Friday, January 19, 2007
"Neighbors" From Hell
Thanks to the video shot by a Palestinian woman, Raja abu Aisha, of the Hebron settler woman cursing at her, the Israeli press (at least Haaretz) discovered the city of Hebron and is telling its tale. Although the writer of this article tells the Hebron story also from the settlers' point of view ("oh, it's just an ordinary fight between women, one of whom wasn't too refined"), the overall picture that is captured reflects the surreal nature of Palestinian life in Hebron. The parts about how Palestinian children's lives are impacted by this madness are particularly maddening.
A classic Kafkaeaque moment is when Palestinians complain to the police of settler violence. Raja's grandfather explains the "process":
"every time we complain, the police demand that we say exactly who attacked us, what his name is, what he looks like, what the color of his eyes is, what shape of skullcap he has and what his father's name is. If we can't answer all of those questions, they don't deal with the complaint."
I'm sure when a settler complains of a Palestinian, no such questioning is needed. Any Palestinian will do. Arabs, like all "Others", all look the same, which greatly facilitates the law enforcement business.
Make no mistake about it: what is going on in Hebron--the forced appropriation of land, the daily harassment, the humiliation, the restrictions on movement, the destruction of commercial life--is organized sate violence and standard Israeli colonial policy.