Story #1
In the spring of 2013, I was crossing the Allenby Bridge to Amman’s airport to take a flight to Dubai. (The bridge is the only exit/entry for Palestinians who have permission to live in the West Bank to enter or exit the West Bank). It’s barely a bridge. Although it goes over the dry Jordan river, it is a series of checkpoints and security points controlled by Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian police (Needless to say, the Israeli has the overall supervision of all checkpoints. It is the toughest one to pass through and the most detailed security check with 4 stops and changes of buses (in total one changes 5 buses, a process that takes at least 3 hours), anyway I don’t want to attempt to explain the unexplainable.
Anyhow, once I was crossing the bridge, I reached the hall where we get body searched, and I switched the camera on my iPhone intending to document the process. Due to a sudden intuition (fear?), I decided not to, and as I was putting it back into my pocket, an Israeli Soldier jumped at me. Pulling me away from the crowd and snatching my phone, he shouted: “He was filming. He was filming.”
I calmed down, and replied that I was just checking the time. Nevertheless they took me to an interrogation room, and their captain came and asked me to unlock my phone and show them him my photos. Knowing that I didn't film anything, I had some courage to prolong this situation a bit, just to make them think I might be hiding something. I told them that they are paranoid, and that they have no right to see my private photos. The captain said he was only interested in seeing the last few pictures I took… As I unlocked the phone, he immediately snatched it off my hand Krav Maga style. And he didn’t find what he was looking for, Feeling victorious I looked him in the eye and reaffirmed what I’d already said – that they are paranoid. The captain looked at me and asked: “but why didn’t you take photos?” I was surprised “Excuse me?” He repeated in a serious tone “why didn’t you take those photos…?” “Because I didn't want to take any photo…” I answered back… “well” he said “there is no sign saying, ‘No photos allowed!” I was taken by surprise “So, are you saying I can take photos here?” He smiled at me and said, “I’m not saying anything, I am just pointing out a fact. Now take your stuff and get out of here”. And so I did.