It's shocking how little people know about what is going on. People don't know even very simple things. A lot of Israelis don't know that in the Territories the currency is Israeli,
for example. The Palestinians don't have their own currency; they use the Israeli currency. People don't know it. Or take house demolitions.
Tell a random Israeli about house demolitions. He will say, "Yes, they built without a permit, so they destroyed his house." or "That's a terrorist's house, so he deserves it." They don't know how many houses have been demolished because of the subject of no permits, and they don't know that there's no such thing as building permits, that if they want to get permission, no one will give it to them. They don't have the kinds of facts that will create consciousness. When you learn those facts, you understand that something is not right. If they destroy a person's house when he built without a permit because no one would give him one for years, and he doesn't have a choice because a person needs a home, then you begin to understand, why this boy whose house they destroyed grows up and is raised with the desire to revenge and kill. Otherwise people don't understand those things.
The same thing with the checkpoints. People will tell you, "We need checkpoints so that terrorists won't get into Israel." What people don't know is that the checkpoint is on the road, but ten meters to this side, and ten meters to that side, no one is guarding. And whoever wants to come in and do an attack, he can go over the hill or the wadi,
not by the road. That is, the checkpoint doesn't really stop people. In most cases, the checkpoints only hurt people who are not suspected of coming to do an explosion.
Both people don't know enough about what happens at a checkpoint, and they also don't know the extent to which those checkpoints are not the answer. So again, people don't understand, because they don't see, they don't know, they don't visit. They receive only partial information about those things. For years already I had told people, "It can't be. It can't be like that. It's not right, because it doesn't make sense. Why put a checkpoint in a place where it's possible to go around it? So why put a checkpoint?" and people will answer "It must be important, it must be correct, if the army decided so." It is hard for people to accept that we as a group, as a people, as a country, are doing things that are not right or correct, or without reason.... The most comfortable thing is to think that apparently there is something that we don't know. Whoever is in charge knows. We are just common, simple people and we don't understand, but the people who make decision know the real reason. There is a sacred issue at stake: security. Even in the High Court of Justice, when human rights organizations try to approach these issues, if the army lawyers claim what is at stake is related to security, they don't even have to prove it, it just gets overruled.
Two weeks ago we were on the way to a village next to Nablus, where a board member lives. We had a managers meeting there. They stopped us at the checkpoint, and we waited for an hour or so until we could continue. We were allowed to pass the Palestinians in the line, but on principle we don't do this. We wait in line like everyone else. There were two members of Windows for whom it was their first visit in the Territories. One of them said, "I don't understand why the soldiers aren't letting them past. Why are the soldiers behaving this way, why are they doing this? It doesn't make sense." And for him, it was his first opportunity to see how many illogical and excessive and damaging things happen there that shouldn't happen. For him it was a shock. But he took the step to come and see. Most Israelis do not, so they continue to think that there is something sensible and right and justified. That man is around 35. He isn't a kid. He reads newspapers, watches the news, meets people-- he's a very regular person, a regular Israeli. He's an intelligent person that is interested, and those people don't know. So then you start to think, how can we make a change so that those kinds of people will know? How do we help other people to know?