Thus it was that, happy and good-hearted, I reached the blinding lights and concrete blocks of the Ein Yael checkpoint. A soldier armed with a machine gun stretched out an arm and ordered me to stop. Obeying, I stopped. We stood there, face to face, a face no longer young (mine ) opposite a very young face, helmet opposite helmet, bicycle opposite concrete block.
"Where are you from?" he asked. "In what sense, where am I from?" I replied with a philosophical question. "Where do you live?" he asked. "In Jerusalem," I replied without trying to be smart again. "Well done," he said and saluted, really saluted.
He didn't know that the woman he was saluting is a serial smuggler of female human beings whom he knows as "people illegally present," a smuggler against whom a complaint is pending with the police, a smuggler who the evening before was asked on a well-regarded television program if she checks the underpants of the women she smuggles, in case they have hidden a bomb there.
And since the soldier at the checkpoint saluted me and sent me on my way, it now occurs to me to ask the many people of little insight among my Israeli compatriots: Who, then, will protect you, you who foolishly place your trust in checkpoints, who will protect you from offenders like me who do not poke around in the underpants of their Palestinian friends but bring them here to socialize with us and be guests in our cities and thus, among other goals, look for different ways to ensure us at long last a life of security and peace?
Well, Ilana, the obvious answer to your query is that we start with arresting you so that Arabs don't think they can take advantage of your incredible stupidity and next time, send into Israel someone that is more sinister than your other girlfriends.
After all, if that soldier didn't recognize you, maybe you won't recognize that future her.