Israel has recruited its soldiers, armed settlers and biased news media to defend its oppression of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine. The Israelis enter areas, take lands and resources like water wells and destroy Palestinian buildings, and give the assets to the armed settler fanatics. And they wonder why Palestinians throw stones at them
By Ray Hanania
This week in Nabi Saleh, Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked Palestinian Christians and Muslims who were protesting against Israel’s decision to take the village’s water well and give it to the nearby armed settlement of Hallamish.
Nabi Saleh is not in Israel. It is in the Israeli-occupied West Bank near Ramallah.
The scene was captured in social media, showing a Palestinian girl and her parents grabbing a masked Israeli soldiers and settlers to free her brother. The masks worn by Israeli soldiers symbolize a new, ominous trend by Israel to protect its soldiers from war crimes charges.
In the soldier’s headlock is the girl’s younger brother, Waed. The brother’s arm has already been broken. He has been shot by rubber bullets — an Israeli euphemism for large steel ball-bearings coated in rubber that maim and kill as certainly as copper bullets.
If the story hasn’t been ignored by the racist mainstream American news media, which operates in an Israeli-imposed censorship headlock, it has been twisted around. The Israeli media, which is pretty much an arm of Israel’s military has twisted the facts, too, detailing the Palestinian stone throwing but not detailing Israel’s violations of international law.
The real story is that armed Israeli settlers at Hallamish, with the backing of Israeli soldiers, attacked the civilians of Nabi Saleh to take control of the water-well needed for the village’s crops.
The Palestinians protested peacefully, as they have done for many months there and at similar flashpoints throughout the occupied West Bank, to confront the racist theft of their lands and resources. Israeli policy is to take from Christians and Muslims and give to the Jews. And, it is to assault the protestors and push them into stone throwing, which makes for great Israeli propaganda.
Christians and Muslims are not allowed to protest against Israeli policies that favor Jews. When they do, they are arrested, beaten, jailed and oftentimes killed. Not just by armed soldiers, but by armed Israeli settlers, too.
The soldiers and settlers fired gas canisters and automatic weapons to force them away from the confiscated water source, which now belongs to the Jewish-only settlement of Hallamish.
The Palestinians responded by throwing stones at the soldiers who were firing their weapons indiscriminately at the civilians. A soldier grabbed Waed, pushed him to the ground and beat the boy’s head against a large stone.
Waed’s sister and his mother rushed the soldier and pulled him away, the sister trying to bite the soldier’s arm.
Social media has created a new challenge for Israel’s war crimes, documenting the images in photographs that go viral. Israel has responded by calling anything that virally depicts Israelis in acts of terrorism as “lies and propaganda.”
The Israeli media can twist the facts but they can’t bury them, like the Israeli murder of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durrah, shot dead in September 2000. Or 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha, burned to death by Israeli settlers in July 2015. Thousands of other children’s deaths took place between those two horrific incidents.
The racist Israeli media has denied all of the killings, and of course blamed Palestinians for causing their own deaths. But the Israeli media takes its orders from the military. And the mainstream American news media in Israel must receive clearance from Israel’s government, so they adopt the Israeli propaganda just to survive.
Any Western journalist who challenges Israel’s lies can be expelled. The mainstream media has responded by hiring Israeli Jews who live in Israel as their reporters, a further example of the absence of objectivity in media coverage.
But seeing the sister bite the Israeli soldier’s hand, and the mother grabbing the armed soldier by his waist, is the most courageous thing I have seen in a longtime.
I think most Americans, except Republicans running for President of the United States, would do exactly what the Palestinians are doing in response to Israeli violence.
The al-Tamimi family, denounced as terrorists by the Israeli government and media, are heroes. They are the kind of heroes that made America, heroes who refuse to be crushed by the boots of armed injustice. Their protest against Israeli violence is as American as apple pie.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will increase penalties for Palestinians who throw stones, but says nothing about punishing Israeli soldiers and armed settlers who attack non-Jewish civilians using automatic weapons.
What Israel did in the Gaza Strip last year, killing nearly 500 children under the age of 18 and seriously injuring thousands more, was nothing short of an Israeli military riot. And Israeli soldiers and armed settlers are engaged in an anti-Christians and anti-Muslim riot throughout the West Bank.
Maybe one day Americans, 83 percent of whom are Christian, will wake up and realize that it’s not just Muslims being oppressed by Israel. It’s Christian Palestinians, the descendants of Jesus, who are being assaulted, pillaged and murdered, too.
Will Pope Francis talk about that when he comes to America next week? Will he awaken apathetic American Christians from their Israeli-induced slumber?
Maybe the mainstream American news media will start to do its job and report the news accurately, fairly and with the suffering of the victims in mind.
What’s happening at Nabi Saleh today is happening throughout the West Bank. Every day, real heroes, ignored by the American news media and by America’s “Christian” people, stand up to injustice and oppression.