8.3.08

Me vs. the occupation

For a while I dealt with this conflict as if it was far away...as if it was a series of events that touched other people and not me. I would get depressed when I feel its impact on me: when I drive down one road which I might not be able to drive through again; or, when a roadblock stops me from getting home. Through all of that, I thought my personal safety was always protected. I thought that the peaceful little town I live in will shield off all those stories I read so frequently. It is not that I did not sympathise with the characters in these stories, or that I felt unattached to them. I just never felt their feelings. I never knew the uncertainty that overcomes them about their most basic right: their right to live. Well, living in Palestine, you won’t be able to escape for long. That is what I have just learnt recently.

Last Saturday, we thought that we had enough of working non-stop and the daily routine of Ramallah, so we decided to go down to Jericho for BBQ. We found a friend who was willing to let us use their house, and so we went to enjoy our time. Coming back, we were stopped at the main checkpoint out of Jericho. Just because a friend had “Gaza” as the place of residence on his ID, we were not allowed to use that road. We were told to take a back road.

At mid-night we arrived at another checkpoint in the middle of the desert. When confronted with the opportunity to make an event of their long night, the ten or so teenage-age soldiers who manned the checkpoint rushed to our car. “ID’s and get out of the car!” they demanded in a tone that gave a good idea of what was to come. They started searching the car so violently as if it was an old box left in someone’s attic. When they found a bat in the booth, they saw it as an opportunity to make a fuss, and search everything else. The two knives we had to work on our BBQ were then treated as a murder weapon. Suddenly, their crowd turned violent for nothing other than amusement. We tried to reason with them, but with their astounding lack of ability to speak any other language other than Hebrew (except for one Druze soldier), all we got back were their kicks. For a while, and as the girls with us were frightened and crying, I thought that there are no limits to what we could expect that night. A game of chance between the Heavens and the devil, and our lives could be at stake. Each of them started playing his part of the game, and if his friends liked what he was doing they would join him, if not, they’d leave him alone.

It is not easy for someone to have to go through this. All the emotions that you could ever feel play with like a tape: Anger, sadness, humiliation, oppression, dispossession, fear, strength, worrying. Then you stop controlling these feelings and you start a series of incoherent actions: shouting, accepting their violence, hitting back, silence, defending yourself, obeying order and then disobeying them... all of this while you try to know where this will ever lead.

And you never know, even as they ask you to put your stuff back in the car and park on the side of the road. Or when you wait in the car and see them, done with you, trying to find amusement through fighting each other. You never can know until you leave with a limp that will last for few days and the cold desert wind blows into your car as you try to calm down your fears.

38 comments:

Bar Kochba said...

"Occupation"? Hmmm... Could these "terrible" conditions like being inconvenienced stem from the Jews' desire not to be blown up? 8 innocent teenagers were murdered in a yeshiva in Jerusalem the other day by an East Jerusalem Arab. Their only crime was that they were Jews. In reaction to this barbaric crime, Arabs in Gaza danced and sang, and gave out treats in the mosques. Those who celebrate the slaughter of boys are evil, barbaric animals who deserve the same fate as the terrorist. Evil cannot be negotiated with or tolerated. It can only be destroyed.

Ned said...

to answer your question: No! because if their desire was not to be blown up, then they would have simply let us go, we had no bombs!
and when you talk about events please try not to be selective, few days before the yeshiva attack Israel was going on a killing spree that left more than a 100 killed. if you were related to any of these 100 or identified with them you would understand why people celebrated.

Bar Kochba said...

There is nothing in the world to justify the brual slaughter of teenagers by an Arab animal. Did you dance? If you danced, then you are a murderer as well.

Why was Israel in Gaza? Israel left Gaza in 2005 and in return, Israel got tens of thousands of rockets on Sderot and Ashkelon and handfuls of dead. No country would be expected to take such attacks lying down. There is no comparison between a sovereign nation defending its territory and citizens from missile and attacks and the cold-blooded gunning-down of boys studying Talmud.

Ned said...

Actually i felt sorry that i replied to your comment after reading your blogs. a Kahanist talking about evil? Unlike you, i don't dance for anyone's death. While you would easily call for the murder of arabs. just because they are arab. I guess that's equal to killing jews because they are jews, or because they are not Arian, no?

Bar Kochba said...

(Quirky Holocaust reference. The abuse of the Holocaust never stops. But wait... I thought that it never happened.)

I would never call for the death of Arab because they are an Arab. That is sick and evil. I call for the death of anyone, Arab, French, Black, Chinese (I don't discriminate) of anyone who hates or wishes to kill Jews. I call for the end of the Arab occupation of Jewish land and the Apartheid policies of the Arabs against the Jewish people.

Ned said...

I can only laugh!

Bar Kochba said...

You won't be laughing for long once Israel gets a real Jewish leader and not a puppet of the goyyim.

young_activist said...

I had an interesting exchange with this Kahanist on his blog. If only for the sake of showing the world how Israel thinks (and I know he is not repersenative of all Israelis, actaully he doesn't even live in Israel) we should all give this fool as much of a pedestal to preach his views as we can.

Bar Kochba said...

YA, you are a fool and worse, an accessory to murder. These animals celebrated the slaughter of boys, your age, and no Arab leader has condemned the bloodbath. Hamas, those who you want Israel to negotiate with, called the cowardly attack "heroic". Where is the outcry? How can you justify such murder? You stand by the the blood of innocents. Shame on you.

BTW You don't live in Pseudostine so what gives you the right to speak?

young_activist said...

Actually plenty of Arabs condemned the attack. Which is more then you could ever do for any of the Arabs that Israel killed. Of course someone as bloodthirsty, racist, and arrogant as yourself would have no problem celebrating such a thing if you were a Palestinian.

young_activist said...

Ned,
I saw this on the blog of a rightwing Zionist and I thought you might be interested:
I am looking for a Muslim, Preferably a Palestinian, to interview and place the results on this blog. The interview will be posted verbatim to insure the most fair interview possible.
If interested, comment this post, or email me at:
Yisrael.chai@gmail.com
His blog is here: rightwingjew.blogspot.com

Perhaps discussion with these people will foster an understanding that will make them rethink their ideas.

Ned said...

Thank you young activist. I have been away for a while, and I expect to be away for much longer starting next week. I will be travelling for three weeks and am not sure how often I will be able to access my email. In any case I emailed the Right Wing Jew, and would love to speak to him if we can arrange for an interview in the next few days before I leave again.
Ned.

zaher said...

that night was a nightmare ,only time can deal with it.

Anonymous said...

that night was a nightmare ,only time can deal with it.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.myslantedview.org/2006/07/08/beyond-the-abc.aspx

Moshe Dayan said...

hey palis u wanna more death u gonna get it

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Rainmaker said...

I've read the stories here and the comments. I still can't understand how these people taking over a country can be supported around the world. I do believe that this occupation is illegal and the most nasty in history.

I am right now travelling in Palestinian territories and I am happy to see that Palestinian people are not just poor because they live in this terrible situation. Palestinians have so much strenght inside.

My only mission is to spread the message in Europe of what is going on in Palestine and all the terrible things that Israel does there.

I and many more are for Palestinian people and I appreciate the blog that you Ned write. Keep the good work. The message sooner or later will reach enough people to make a change.

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