This is one sentence that can be used when one cannot talk about love anymore.
There is a trend among the Jewish Israelis of dehumanizing the Palestinian population and an untold policy of the successive governments who slowly and quietly proceed to ethnic cleansing. I am joining a mail describing an event that happened to a friend of mine.
It is typical in these parts and as such will not be reported by the media.
Working towards peace means opening up to others, ending the hatred and sharing evenly what can be shared.
If anyone has an idea how one can influence a whole people to stop being afraid of other peoples and “love thy neighbor” again, it could really be the start of better times for everyone.
Not much I can do with him but Ill keep away from him
It was 7:45 in the morning of Wednesday 7 of July as I was traveling to Salfeet districttodo my field work as usual as atrainerof empowering Palestinian women, I was carryingmy personal computer in my hand.
I have to use 2means of public transportation to reachSalfeet so I leftthe firstcar and started walking towards the next station.I had to walk forabout 7 minutes towardsZa'atra Junction (Taphoh ) where there are fourbus stations. But theyserve only Jewish settlers. Palestinian of course are not allowed to use them so theywait there for Palestinian public transportation there. In the same place there is alsoa central checkpoint,including military watching tower, and frequent movement of settlers and army. Also, in the same place the settlers built a kiosk for sellingsandwichesand coffee for travelers.Indeed it is a center ofmany Palestinians town and villages around.Palestinians travelers always feel in this place inconvenience due to continuedsettlers' assaults, despite the existence ofthecentral checkpoint in the place, But this checkpointwas established long time ago to check Palestinians who travel ever day to Nablus, Ramallah ,Salfeet ,Jordan Valley areas and Palestinian workers who wants to travel to work in Tel Aviv .
So I was walking in the middle of this place crossing the main street when I noticed a young Jewish settler walking in the opposite direction.He was coming step by step closer to me.. I realized that he was planning something in his mind. I felt that I became a target so I began to be cautious.I was walking and looking in his eyes and observing his gestures.
As the distance between us minimized to a meter or less he jumped suddenly and kicked very hard at the computer in my hand again and again until it was completely damaged.
The settler continued to walk laughing loudly. Nearby at the bus station there were about 10 additional Jewish settlers, among themwomen and children.A soldier was sitting in the watch tower only about 15 meter from the incident and saw fully the incident.
I felt shocked and insulted. My first reaction was to look over the settlers who were at the bus station, to see their reaction. I was surprised to see that many of them were laughing, supporting the act of the settler.
This was a very strange reaction and inhumane ….
Violent act against a Palestinian pleased the settlers. Their message was very clear-- (the place is ours and you as an Arab are unwanted. Leave the place --- otherwise we will punish you as we like).
Despite the humiliation I kept my calm. But then one of them said" dirty Arab,dirty Arab". It is then that I lost my calm and asked the settler: “why did you do this to me?I was passing peacefully and you harmed me”. But he repeated the same words“dirty Arab ….go away".
I moved more closely to the settler and said: "I never violated human principles and moral values which my parents passed to me. I am scared neither from you nor from all the other settlers. But I want to say that your behavior is stripped from morality and humanity and your conscience should punish you sooner or later”.
He was very disturbed but laughed in sarcastic way. I left him and went to the soldier who was standing in the watchtower. I said: "Hi. You saw what that settler did to my dignity and computer?" He said nothing...I felt that he did not want to acknowledge what the settler did to me.I asked him: "Can I talk to the officer of the checkpoint? He called him and I explained what had happened in details.The officer asked me to wait and he went to communicate with his commanders as I expected.
Fifteen minutes later he came back with a strange response. He said "I cannot do much to him. Just keep away from him". I think that such an answer implies absolute disinterest and I was very disappointed with this response.I said to the officer "how will you react if the settlers would attack civilians who used to pass through this place every day?" He said "we will tell to them to stop” but I felt that he would like to say "I wish that I could punish the settler". I said "wish you a good day" and I left humiliated.
I continued my walk to work and started a dialogue with myself about what happened between me and the settlers.I asked myself why he did this to me.
What pushed him to say "dirty Arab"?
From where did he get this extreme hostility and arrogant attitude?
Why did the settlers laugh in that provocative way?
My own analysis of this behavior can be placed in a higher context which is the political, cultural and religious conflict between Arab and Israelis and at the end I reached the conclusion that continuation of the current oppression and status quo effectively means that the peace is unreachable with such extremely hostile settlers.
I turn to you all Israelis peace activists, human rights defenders and those who believe in human dignity in general. I am calling you to provide a different answer that the one provided by the officer. You have to stop the brutality and continued damage to your reputation.I believe deeply that your absence and silence can lead to more suffering for the innocent people and could be a source for the tension in Palestinian –Israeli relations.
Also I am turning to the international community to do all the possible efforts to dismantle the settlement. This should be the most important priority on the international agenda because the daily life for the Palestinians is affected by the occupation and oppression.
I am fully sure that the public opinion among the grass roots of Palestinians and Israelis would like very much to live in peace and mutual respect and only because of my profound and lasting belief in peace, I am writing to you.We all must make efforts to reach peace and prosperity.
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