Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Uneasy Pieces

"Every fighter for justice in the world should ask himself/herself: what have I done against Israel today?" The Angry Arab

Today I watched two YouTube videos posted by Max Blumenthal on his website.

The first, from occupied East Jerusalem, was captioned: Jewish settlers filmed themselves humiliating a local Palestinian man, or, as they call it, 'lowering the confidence of Palestinians in the neighborhood':

The video opens with a title in Hebrew. A young, neatly dressed Palestinian man emerges from a house. An off-camera voice hails him in Hebrew. Calling him over? He approaches, answering in Hebrew. Maybe he's asking what they want. There is no aggression in him, he appears completely unaware of what's coming. The 'voice' proceeds to tip a bucket of what appears to be white paint over his head. The thick white substance covers his head and face, and drips down onto his clothes. He appears stunned, gasping for breath. He walks off, muttering something, occasionally looking over his shoulder, to the accompaniment of a jaunty piano piece provided by the maker of the film. I am suitably awed by the creativity and humour of those who created this filmic bon bon. And the piano accompaniment, so cute! Next year's Tropfest? The next Israeli film festival perhaps?

The second video was simply captioned Settlers assault Palestinian girls on the way to school in occupied Hebron:

A group of teenage Jewish settler girls are standing on a hillside by a path. A young female international volunteer appears to be trying to negotiate passage with an Israeli policeman. In the distance, a group of Palestinian schoolgirls led by their teacher and another volunteer approach. The settler girls mill around excitedly. They begin chanting. It sounds Arabic to me. I catch ma fi filastin (There is no Palestine) but the rest is unclear, apart from the word Israel. The settler girls block the path as the schoolgirls near. A scuffle ensues. An Israeli soldier appears, making a desultory effort to separate the two groups. One of the settler girls kicks the Palestinian teacher, a middle-aged woman, from behind. Another soldier, or perhaps the same one, urges the remonstrating teacher to move on. I can hear the Arabic word imshi (Let's go). The path soon ends at the wall of a tall building where a set of narrow steps lead steeply down to a street below. As the schoolgirls begin the descent, in full view of the street, they come under fire from a group of settler boys throwing stones. The girls cry out in distress, but push on down the exposed steps. There are police and troops down on the street but they make no effort to stop the stonethrowers. The first schoolgirls reach the bottom of the steps, scurry around the corner of the building and run up the street which leads away from their harrassers. By this stage the settler boys have been joined by the settler girls from the hillside. The camera pans up to show a group of schoolgirls trapped midway down the stairs under a hail of stones. A police vehicle finally wedges itself between the strategic corner at the bottom of the steps and the stonethrowers. Finally, the last of the schoolgirls has rounded the corner, followed by the teacher and one of the volunteers. One of the schoolgirls has been struck by a stone on the face and is holding a handkerchief over her nose. The settler youth hoot and shriek as the police and troops prevent them from chasing the schoolgirls. The Palestinian teacher, gesturing toward the girl with the handkerchief over her face, says to a soldier in English, See? There is nothing we can do, he replies in English. Of course, I feel sorry for the poor young soldier placed in an impossible situation. And the kids? If only they could hang out together and dialog, I'm sure they'd get along just fine. Oh yeah! And for sure those Palestinian teachers have got to put a stop to all that dreadful anti-Semitic incitement going on in their schools NOW!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those Palestinian teachers have not been dragging the kids, kicking and screaming, to the mandated UN Holocaust curriculum, I can tell. Why not, it works a treat in most other countries. It's the modern form of scripture studies for the Goy.