Tear gas fired at Issawia ascends to the buildings of the Hebrew university
.The sounds of helicopters , stun grenades, tear gas and live ammunition fired are heard clearly throughout the classes.
Yet, within the corridors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, nobody is speaking about that.
The smell of tear gas and the sounds of grenades exploding is concrete but there are many other means of oppression used to crack down on Issawia : during this months, two of three entries to Issawia are blocked by the army, preventing the residents to leave their houses upon will, children from going to schools, truck drivers to deliver supplies. Frequent army incursions leave the residents under the impression that the army is using the village as training ground,provokinf and causing an unnecessary friction between the army and the occupied civil population.
Above that, there are seemingly more 'sublime' methods of oppression enforced on Issawia at the institutional level: despite the high tax rates the residents pay to the Jerusalem municipality the municipal services are not provided on an adequate level: the roads in Issawia are in bad condition and new roads aren't being paved. There are no parks or other recreation and development projects. No soccer ground or playgrounds.
There is a severe shortage in classrooms and staff- classrooms are so crowded that in one class there might be 45 students per teacher. Building permits are being constantly denied creating a housing crisis. 'Israel is blockading us as it did to Gaza'.
I find it difficult to believe that all the policies I mentioned above are meant to ensure the safety of West Jerusalem. I am more likely to believe that these policies are aimed at ensuring the Israeli sovereiginity over East Jerusalem by pushing the Palestinian residents to move beyond the wall.
'The professors of the Hebrew University teach about human rights, moral values- why are they not talking about what is done to Issawia?'
One of the local activists asked during the joint protest that was organized by the local committee and the activist- students of the Hebrew University, an avant garde group small in numbers yet persistent. And I couldn't help but feel ashamed. And angry.
The Hebrew University, as pointed out by other activists, objects academic boycott as a mean of collective punishment but it is silent as the nearby village Issawia undergoes horrific process of collective punishment. This is a disgrace of intellectual integrity.and moral integrity.
I'm also upset to know that Palestinian protests are only heard of once stones are thrown or people attacked.