The terror of living under a so-called living.
We live in this continuous vicious cycle of terror.
Whether we are kneeling down in humiliation and weakness, or facing oppression with our lives.
The terror of living continues to surround us.
Another day of horror to Jerusalemites.
Another attempt, a successful attempt in incursion to the Aqsa.
The problem of Israelis is that they don’t understand that in the mentality of a Muslim, a Palestinian, al-Aqsa represents honor.
It is not for fundamental religious causes or common clannish ideals.
It is a place that always represented the pride of our identities. The holiness of our cause. It is a place that represented the power of Islam in the golden age of what Jerusalem understands as tolerance and forgiveness.
These are not just mere words of attracting sentiments.
This is exactly what it means. What it represents.
Our failure to protect it from the impurity of the oppressor is exactly like the inability of an Arab to protect the honor of his daughter.
As a Jerusalemite, as a Muslim, I am not taken by surprise of yet another probably intended attack by another Palestinian into Israeli pedestrians. How much is it all a coincidence with the incursions to the Aqsa? How much is it connected to the all-out, systematic attacks on the locals? How much is it linked to the murders of other Palestinians in the past months? To Gaza? To the confiscations and black horror acquiring of houses on the east side of the city’s neighborhood? To the continuous demolitions? To the massive fines? To the non-ending taxes? To an every day sudden disaster that may show up in the disguise of occupation? The answer will always remain unknown. For a simple fact. The alleged attackers were solidified on the spot, and the real reason is buried with them.
We will never know if these were accidents. We will never know what was the real reason behind that push hard to the drive in their cars and making that decision to end people’s lives and theirs. To leave families behind.
But since the truth is buried with those who performed the action. We can only speculate, and as Palestinians, we can only relate, identify, understand, and maybe justify why it all happened.
It takes me again to those notions we have been tuned to for the last two decades. Inside a Jerusalem that is “ unified,” would Israelis notice that the integration in the form of apartheid is what is making such incidents easier? The soft train that was built on Palestinian identified lands to cut the neighborhoods apart, the highways, the colonial parasitic living inside Palestinian communities… the unnecessary treatment of injustice, the constant feeling of being threatened by the very own presence in one’s home, in one’s life and lives of beloved ones. Those and many other reasons are just a few representation of what goes inside the repressed, oppressed violated mind of any Palestinian.
Above all … the horror of failing to protect your loved ones at any given time of the eruption.
As much as my life seems and is a spoilt luxurious life in comparison to many and maybe most of my people, what I go through represents the feeling of horror without being necessarily part of a confrontation. At any given instant your whole life is under a real threat. This threat has a name and stands, follows, and haunts you in many sizes and different numbers and situations. It is the horror of oppression under occupation.
When I learned today about the incident, the attack, whatever it could be called, I was in the university in Abu Dies Campus. Abu Dies is less than three km away from Jerusalem center, and we reach it through a detour of around 15 km. I was already complaining of the smell of burnt tires in front of our offices for the third day in a raw, with young boys aimlessly burning tires, throwing stones at an empty wall. Of course Abu Dies is enclave with a wall that separates it from Jerusalem, and is surrounded by at least three colonies, the biggest that represents the entrance to the town is Maale Adumim, and the exit to Jerusalem is through a checkpoint, and all the way home is surrounded by a wired wall that separates the main road from Anata and Esawiya (two villages) surrounded with another set of Colonies, mainly, the French Hill and Pisgat Zeev.
The moment I heard about the attack, my mind raced to the children, the schools. Another reported car was running over a soldier in Beit Hanina. Suddenly everything became the center of my being. One of my daughters is across the same street in her school in Beit Hanina. The other is on the other side of Jerusalem at Jaffa Gate. And my son …my son is taking the transportation from the checkpoint in Qalandia. He is a direct target. A young 17-year-old youth on a bus. Panic took over my head. Abu Dies was about to be sealed. Jerusalem is sealed. The kids are sealed in their schools; my son is not answering his phone.
At a certain point, I decided not to think, and believe that everything will be all right … admittedly, I made my ex-husband panic.
Somehow in the way back, I was observing the state of panic in the streets. Every single car entering Abu Dies was stopped. The line of cars was as far as the entrance of the checkpoint. Passing through the checkpoint, what Jerusalem looked like was just an enclave city surrounded by yet another wall. All the way is a wall. A wall that reminds you of a life of imprisonment, confinement, stolen freedom, limited access to all.
For some yet another strange observation, I was for another time connecting my life under the Israeli occupation with my marriage. The relationship between my ex and the rule seemed pretty descriptive to me at that instant. But for the first time in a decade, my ex-looked less of an oppressor than Israel.
After all, I admit my marriage wasn’t a forced marriage, and my children were not children of rape. But yet, this act of trying to get loose, to set oneself free from a life of imprisonment, that no matter how it is surrounded by a beautified wall sometimes or a luxurious prison rooms. It is a life that sabotaged, confines prohibits and denies freedom.
My sense of weakness, inability to stand up to the arbitration of the tyranny of my ex always reminds me of our relationship with Israel. We never seem to satisfy them even when we try. We never succeed to negotiate with them even when on it’s our property. We never seem to get a closer look to what they hide for us, whether good or bad, and it always turns out to be bad.
At some point, one day, we will be able to set ourselves free from this tyranny.
It is sad that some of us pay his physical existence as a price for that liberation. It is also sad that Israeli lives are spent as a consequence of such tyranny.
Occupation is like divorce; children always pay the highest price. Always the innocents pay the price of battles that are supposedly for the sake of those innocents….