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.