I'm curious -- are you officially anti-Semitic if you're outraged by stuff like this? (emphasis added)
Munira Amer is ecstatic to see visitors. The 41-year-old mother of six is so keen to have a conversation with someone outside of her immediate family that she almost bounds across her family's muddy plot of land to meet a trio of strangers.
It's rare that the Amers see guests any more, and it's easy to see why. The family home has the appearance of a medium-security prison, surrounded on three sides by tall, wire fencing and on the fourth by an eight-metre-high concrete wall.
There's no way for Ms. Amer to invite the visitors in today, either. By following an out-of-date map, they arrived at one of the sides with no gate. She apologizes that she must speak to them through the fence.
The Amers' four-room concrete bungalow has been sealed off from the rest of the West Bank village of Mas-ha by a concrete wall since 2003, when the controversial security barrier Israel is building was erected between Mas-ha's 2,000 Palestinian residents and the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Elkana.
Only the Amer home was left on the Israeli side of the eight-metre-high wall. Then, under pressure from settlers who were nervous about having a Palestinian family living in their midst, Israel fenced the family in on the other three sides.
Consequently, their house has become a lonely island unto itself that is neither in Israel nor the West Bank.
"We live in a state by ourselves. We've been cut off totally from our people," Ms. Amer said. Her five-year-old son Shaddad stood beside her with his face pressed glumly against the chain-link enclosure, watching a pair of Israeli joggers go by on the other side.
But, you think, you might just be angry with the unspeakable thuggishness of the Israeli government. That doesn't necessarily reflect badly on the Israeli people themselves.
Her neighbours on the other side in Elkana, a gated Jewish settlement ensconced about four kilometres inside the West Bank, acknowledge having some sympathy for the Amers' plight, though they insist the harsh measures are necessary.
"Some people might use this house to attack the settlement," said Moshe Raik, a 62-year-old restaurateur. Although he acknowledges there's no suggestion that the Amers themselves have any ties to Palestinian militant groups, he sees the family's situation as something that was brought on them by other Palestinians. "The terror that they created among the Jews forced us to make these walls."
So they build a wall to separate a single family from the rest of their community, then fence them in on the other three sides.
We're not done with this.