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An Israeli soldier aims a tear gas gun at Palestinian demonstrators during a protest against the closure of the Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. Hundreds of demonstrators, including foreign and Israeli activists, gathered on Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the closure of the street, which was closed by the Israeli army in 1994 following the Hebron mosque massacre by Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler, who went on a rampage inside Al Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 Palestinian worshipers.

I recently read Haggai Matar’s recent piece in 972 mag about Hebron.  Just another settlement harassment and assault on a population that can’t defend itself at all, especially in the light of the presence of the IDF.  I sometimes read the headlines and don’t even bother reading the article, because in places like Hebron, nothing ever changes.

This is the most recent exchange between the settler population and Palestinians:
 The group of girls, encouraged by the recent arrival of the soldiers, is starting to heckle the horse riding group. “You’re ugly,” shouts one girl at another child looking her way. “You’re all heathens and I want you all to die,” laughs another 7-year-old, meaning every word. “Why are we afraid? Let’s tell the soldiers to kick them and their horse so that we can play,” calls out a third as a challenge to her friends while holding a football in her hand. No one moves. Two older women pass by and one girl spits in their general direction and half-whispers “fat whores!” Nothing happens. The soldiers stand on the side, talking to each other, and the other kids keep going on and off the horse, looking timidly at the girls. They know that they cannot possibly talk back without the soldiers intervening. In the background, loudspeakers are blasting a song into the air. “We shall overcome…” No. Seriously? Yes. This is Hebron.

To read, "Waiting for Obama: Hebron youth take cue from U.S. civil rights movement", 972mag.com.

Hebron, with a settlement population of around 500 to 800 armed settlers protected by 2,000 policemen (the ratio of settler to police seems to be 1:4), is the face of the occupation.  I try to keep it in check, present a reasonable, logical argument based on the historical record, on the statistics, on international law.  When I read of Hebron something happens to me.  The bile rises, the anger I so carefully keep in check begins to let loose…sometimes I weep uncontrollably.   Who wants to listen to a sobbing, ranting, middle-aged woman carrying on about the injustice perpetuated upon the Palestinian people?

The Palestinian population of Hebron is around 250,000.  The are essentially defenseless against a terrorist population that blatantly abuses them, beats them, shoots them, spits at them, vandalizes property while in full view of the “police” who are specifically hired to defend the settler population.  How is this possible that a state that considers themselves morally superior to every other nation, to a police force who are intentionally blind, sometimes actually participatory in violence, harassment, denial of fundamental basic human rights and the absolute model of Apartheid supported by nations such as Canada and the United States?  How can any human being knowingly defend this type of abuse and horror with terse statements like “Israel is not perfect” or “a few bad apples”?

It is beyond me, beyond my simple comprehension that one can know this and stay silent.  One thing I do know, while we go on about Palestinian terrorists, perhaps we need to examine who actually are the terrorists.  Perhaps, each and every time we hear about an act of Palestinian violence, we need to remember this and realize that this is how terrorism is born, through the denial of fundamental, basic human rights, the practice of Apartheid upon a population and constant humiliation and violence perpetuated upon a defenseless community in the full view of “policemen”.   These aren’t “bad apples”; they are the true representation of the systematic disenfranchisement and brutal military occupation perpetuated upon an entire population.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Canadian mother of four, works at Canadian University, blogs and co-host of Blog Talk Radio's "Lies My Country Told Me" with co-host and love of my life, Fred Lemon.

    by mmayer on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:34:05 AM PDT

  •  Hebron is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, corvo

    an horrendous tragedy.  I would argue with your statement that Israel considers itself morally superior to any other nation.  Like in the US, there are Israelis who do and many who don't.  

    I would also say that there is a client state and there is a power broker state in the US/Israel relationship. Israel is not the power broker in this.  The US does indeed benefit from their land based air craft carrier.  Imperialism has many victims.

    FWIW, many Israelis also object to the situation in Hebron and in other areas.  They are also victims of their government policy in many ways.  

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 08:43:52 AM PDT

    •  Well, yes: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      letsgetreal, too many people
      I would argue with your statement that Israel considers itself morally superior to any other nation.
      You're absolutely right about that.  More to the point is the degree to which Israel, as a nation/series of representative governments, feels itself above international laws and norms.

      Kind of like the USA in that regard, actually.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:05:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Client State - Power Broker (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      Please explain where "the US does indeed benefit from their land based air craft carrier" ?  Israel is no longer, and hasn't been for quite sometime, a strategic asset to the United States.  

      Canadian mother of four, works at Canadian University, blogs and co-host of Blog Talk Radio's "Lies My Country Told Me" with co-host and love of my life, Fred Lemon.

      by mmayer on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:34:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And this morning's NYT had an article about the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        greeting Obama is getting - still another settler location opened in the middle of East Jerusalem, with cheery remarks from the realtors, and settlers saying nobody would ever remove them, and those who objected . . . .  A day before his arrival.

        It seems that every time a major US official goes there, they are greeted with another public announcement of a new housing incursion by settlers against whatever neighborhood is the one of the moment, a message IMO from the Israeli government because there ain't that number of coincidences, that American can .... itself as to matters of settlement, and the current visitor is being made to know that again.

      •  It is, however, a strategic asset (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KibbutzAmiad

        to the military-industrial complex.  Our unyielding support of Israel ensures the existence of long-term enemies who need to be put down with our military hardware, usually sold -- or donated at the American public's expense -- to client regimes in the area.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:21:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is stellar! (4+ / 0-)

    There is no excuse---no justification----of any kind for the sheer daily brutality inflicted on the Palestinians.

    What has been done---and what they endure on a daily basis is sickening---it is disgusting---especially when you consider it happens with full knowledge of two countries---both of whom consider themselves to be real bastions of democracy---human rights---and justice.

    What a pathetic farce--they both are---and the older I get the clearer it becomes.

    Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

    by lyvwyr101 on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 09:33:42 AM PDT

  •  I hope diaries like this keep coming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    until it gets through some very thick and brainwashed heads that the US has made a big mistake siding with Israel, that Israel is not to be trusted as a world "partner" and that our continuing blind support and determination to be Israel's protector is only going to bring our country down.

    •  The Wrong Side of History (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Fishtroller01

      I truly believe that our (Canada and the United States) stand with the State of Israel regardless of what atrocity they are committing will certainly put us on the wrong side of history.  We look at the recent Palestinian bid for status change within the UN and we have Israel (of course), the United States, Canada, and of course the powerhouses of the Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Panama and we cannot forget Micronesia.

      Contrary to popular belief, Israel is not a strategic asset to the United States and has for quite sometime actually been detrimental and against the US's self interests.

      Our children's children will be hanging their heads in shame over this one.

      Thanks!

      Marg
      www.thismuchiknowistrue.com

      Canadian mother of four, works at Canadian University, blogs and co-host of Blog Talk Radio's "Lies My Country Told Me" with co-host and love of my life, Fred Lemon.

      by mmayer on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:43:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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