On 27.8 I joined the weekly protest against occupation of Nabi Salikh.
Nabi Salikh population is about 500 people, all part of one big family- Tamimy.
I joined the protest, in belief that the only resolution for peace in this region is Palestinian & Jews working togather, hand in hand to bring an end to racism, discrimination,
violence & hate.
It is very easy to feel related, attached to the people of Nabi Salikh.
They have welcomed me warmly, letting me into their houses.
Those people are farmers. The main source of their income is agriculture.
The village itself is stunningly beautiful.
Land un-touched by industrialism.
No skycrapers, no high-way, clean fresh air.
Earlier this year,
Nabi Salikh people began protesting after settlers from Halamish,
nearby settlement tried to take over their spring,
which they use to water their herds.
The villagers have also made their complaints about
harrassment & damage to their property by
settlers while working in their lands.
They have also expressed their fear that their land
might be confisticated,
as already happened many times
before,in other places in the region.
The settlement of Halamish was built on the village's lands,said
Bassem Tamimy, chairman of the village.
On the second friday of Ramadan I came to join the villagers in their attempt to march to their lands. We began the march from the village, as people were chanting slogans in arabic, the children walking first, waving Palestinian flag.
The march was stopped by IOF , that demanded that the villagers will not move forewards toward the main road. I saw a Soldier, fully armed, degradingly speaking to Bassem, pushing him back. After that, the soldiers closed the gate upon the protesters, not allowing them to move on. The children climbed over the gate, waving their flags (one of the flags was grabbed by a soldier, who gave it back after a while).
The villagers began to bang on the gate with stones.
Later on, the march went back into the village,
yet the soldiers remained present, even while we gathered at the yard and sat on chairs.
Provoked by the army's presence, some Shabab,
village's youth began to hurl stones on the soldiers.
In my opinion , the soldiers had no right to intrude private property,
even though they claimed they did so to prevent more violence.
The soldiers responded by shooting tear-gas into peoples' houses.
They didn't only shoot it in the direction of the stone-hurlers.
Later on, the army chased the Shabab in olive groves.
There were two IOF jeeps standing outside the village, army patrol runs in amoc after the stone hurlers. Young people against fully armed men who shouldn't have been there from the first place. I have heard before about an infant getting shot in the head with a rubber bullet. I have seen the week before how the soldiers intrude a house to search for stone hurlers, again, fully armed, where a family was sitting with a baby.
This, in my opinion, is not a fair fight.
Justice means protecting the weaker from
being abused or having their rights taken by
the stronger ones.
As I saw the jeep trying to enter the village, I stood in its way, tried to block it.
A bit before that, I stood before army patrol, blocking their way to. They spitted in my face and called me bitch.
This time, I was grabbed by a soldier and handcuffed.
I was taken to an IOF facility in the nearby settlement.
The soldiers have tried to be nice to me and offered me water.
I was held in that facility for about three-four hours before I was taken to the police HQ.
The soldiers that were "babysitting" me were trying to be nice in the most chauvinist way.
They were extermly talktive, trying to pursue me to see the error of my ways.
Their attempts included the claim that the attendance of Israeli &
International protesters incite the villagers to more violence,
that when we are not present the palestinians do worse things
(contradiction: as if we weren't coming the villagers wouldn't act in protest)
, that a villager might get to my home and execute a terror attack
(well, what they see from the army might incite them into that),
that if they let the protest carry on the Palestinians would have reached the settlement,
hurl stones there (well, the settlement is secured, isn't it?)
Ridicoulos was the fact that most of those arguements came from an ethiopian soldier and
american non-jewish soldier, who have also claimed that the jews have
"genetical superiority" over other races, and that worse things are happening in
Chechnia and Darfur.
I couldn't help but asking myself if the reason they came all the way here was
to just to prevent other people legitimate right to claim their lands.
I have also heard the arguement that the Israeli occupation is nothing but a fight over lands,
(by colonialists against natives- IMO).
He added that he met some arrested lefties and thought they were good guys, although a little bit confused. I think he was glad to have an english speaking companion.
I wish he wasn't so convinced in the idea that jews are superior.
Or held up to the idea that freedom, democracy, liberalism are western values.
Maybe they are now more common in the west, but
America has its illness,
and Palestinians shouldn't be punished by having their
lands confisticated because they are
"bad" people (meaning: a rather conservative society.)
However, the attempt to force
"western" values on conservative societies have ended up
with mass genocide both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
and Colonialism isn't "enlighted". It is only the colonialists that see it this way,
as it serves their causes and provides them benefits.
More of their saying:
Palestinians are not being denied from any basic human rights
(save for the right to sovereignty, self-determination, freedom of movement, and protest- there are evidences that shin bet
was interupting peaceful gatherings of protest,
the right to have their property protected-abused by ongoing confistication of lands)
as could be seen in the case of arrest of peaceful protester and leader, Abdallah Abbu Rahma. I wish I could point out to my captures that an arguement in such conditions isn't fair: I was their prisoner.
I had no real chance to convince them that UN's 194 decision defines settlements as illegal and that their presence in the territory also illegal).
Fair enough, I was released from my handcuffs.More of their speech focused on fact that it's completly un-reasonable to enter an "arab village" while I could be "having fun" at the beach or "go to a party" and that I will have very miserable life if I go on with such foolish actions.
(well, I think the village is a beautiful place,
the people are warm and friendly,and ride is cheap- while serving the army is an action that almost grant commiting crimes you might be sorry for the rest of life. more than that, I believe that selfish existence is misery, and the only thing that lasts after death is values &
virtues you stood up for).
I was taken for further interrogation in Binyamin police headquarters.
I was uploaded on the jeep again, for about an hour drive, the road was bumpy.
Female soldier that drove me stated she tried to make the road even more bumpy just for me.
I had to wait for another half an hour for an interogator to arrive,
I couldn't help but notice that his
The interrogation was quite short:
I was charged with interupting security forces
during operational activity in a
way that could have risked their lives.
( yeaps, a bunch of stone hurlers risk lives of fully armed patrol).
I remained silent, as I was advised. About 7 hours from the time of my arrest,
I was released on bail. A fellow activist came to pick me up and drive me back home. I had a headache. I knew that if I was a detained palestinian minor, they could have kept me there much longer. Most of the time I could smoke and use the phone, but mostly it was a degrading exprince.
Yet, I still support civil non- violent struggle against occupation and any other form of breaking international law, but I wish I could be optimistic enough to believe that the violence and hate will stop some day soon:
it exists of both sides of the conflict,
both driven by nationalism and religious motivations.
There are no 100% innocent ones,
but portions of power and way it is used differ.
Even when there is a fight, I believe it should be fair.
And I understand the the Military people think they do the right thing,
stopping terror, protecting civil population in Israel and Jewish People from another holocaust,
I think they fail to differ civil population from another militia.
I think their presence in the village & the force they use will only provoke more hate, and escalate the violence. They go their way, I go my way, forces that are greater than us play on the field ground, and the best judje of all is history.