My sister: “ did you see that video? The news? They crucified that poor man. They left the little boy bleeding. They are inhuman. They are pathetic. They are criminals.
My Israeli friend: “ yes but, he tried to kill an Israeli? Do you think it is ok to kill Israelis?”
Between the two monologs, trying to convince my sister that it was inhumane, real. But yet, we should think of the moment before. What if it was one of our children who was stabbed and the stabber is on the ground?
I was asking my Israeli friend in response: “ stabbing was not right. But killing and lynching were a reasonable response?
There is this gap where both sides stop seeing or comprehending the other side completely. As if it is a complete wired zone. No tolerance, no understanding, and a total sense of compassion are completely lost.
We are definitely standing in the middle of two entirely different media outlets that each feeds its side with all what is possible to make us un-see all but what they dictate us to see.
But no matter how, and somehow, I am definitely at this very instant seeing it as a Palestinian, because Israelis seem to be unable to see it. Even when it is a whole video of a moment. It says it all. It doesn’t need analysis. But instead, they decide to un-see. In this instant when I watch a video of a boy being publically executed. A woman begging them not to shoot raising her hands saying she is unarmed. A young school girl kneeling on the ground bleeding with nothing but her school uniform and bag on her. With every instant of such images. Even when this or that person has conducted an act before. The fact that Israelis refuse to see the barbaric act of their reaction and response is beyond comprehension to me.
I will never say that I stand for such acts committed by Palestinians. Not because I am someone who only denounces violence. But on top of all, because I am someone who believes in the vast value of life. These people shouldn’t sacrifice their lives for anything. And yes, I do agree that attempting to stab, kill, or harm any Israeli is not fair. We are blinded as well in not differentiating. But the equation in this is even unjust. Most of us Palestinians tend to distinguish between an Israeli and a settler, a soldier. Whereas, Israelis see us all in one form. A good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian.
The reaction of Israelis proves it today. This anger in the streets. Their violence. Their rage. I do understand this part of fear. But today we all stand in the same tunnel of fear. When a Jew stabbed a Jew today in Haifa thinking he was a Palestinian. It is the same scenario that may happen when a Palestinian ram in his car in the street over Israelis or stab on a bus. The chances are that Palestinian is hurt as well.
What Israelis insist on not seeing, and each time, in such crisis, they decide to be blinded again behind their system and allow fear to trigger all their emotions out. And somewhere, sadly, fear shows a hateful face of even the nicest of all Israelis.
Fear is definitely what instinctively triggers the guns of those police\soldiers\armed Israeli forces in public and civil uniforms. And yes, I do get it, that if someone tried to stab you and you have a gun you want to kill him. And you do. But there is something missing here too. Again and again, it is the power imbalance of the situation. The one who carries the gun is the one in authority. The one who has control of the situation not the one with a knife?
I am denouncing any act of violence again and again. But again and again. Where is the rational in any Israeli mind … do they actually believe that these people are out there to stab them for the love of blood? They want revenge? They enjoy terror?
Does anyone understand what it means to have a young man or woman who haven’t even turned twenty or yet a child, decide to take a chance of hundred percent knowing he will not survive and ever to have a breath in this life to get to this level?
In the past, we all had those stereotypes of images of how people who commit such acts live and move. Today with social media we see it all.
Bahaa’ Alyan of today’s’ attack on the bus was an impressive model of a local and community activist. He was known for launching the longest series of book reading event around the walls of Jerusalem last year. His Facebook status is about community leadership and organizing. He seemed so full of life. He seemed someone who was dreaming of a life of hope.
It doesn’t need much from a Palestinian like me or any other Palestinian to understand what happened to Baha’ or every single other person who decided to take his life out facing a system of oppression with a knife.
It is true that a knife can kill. But the knife is still as efficient as a stone in front of a weaponry machine of soldiers and arms.
I have been doing this exercise for the last weeks trying to really understand what actually pops up to those young people’s minds when they make such a decision. I have been into endless discussions with my children. And confessing again. I do this for my pure selfishness as a mother. I don’t want a homeland on the blood of my own children. And I don’t want it on the blood of other children as well. There is no cure for loss of a child or a loved one.
The way Palestinians live is not hard to analyze. It is even very easy to understand how they react to things and think. In the middle of complete confidence in a defending back, neither by the Palestinian leadership and its authority and the Arab Muslim world from one side, and the absolute oppression in nay possible way by the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian finds himself in total isolation and despair.
I can assure that every single Palestinian has lost his faith in any possible hope from the Palestinian authority, either by believing that they are helpless, and thus they cannot do anything, or because they think that they are in full collaboration with Israel, and their role is nothing but to give a hand to Israeli power.
On the Israeli level of the Palestinian life, when for the whole last year, and as a consequence of the brutal burning and killing of Abu Khdeir, more coercion was authorized against Palestinians? Shooting, lynching and imprisoning remarkably targeted children. When restriction increased. Violations expanded. And on top of all, if I was a young Palestinian who wants to be part of a demonstration and I know that throwing a stone will send me to a life imprisonment, I may as well try to stab. The result is always one, either death or prison.
Palestinians reach a level where full despair made them enter a closed tunnel where they know that the end is a crash that is fatal. With full realization. It could be revenge to the weak, disappointing Palestinian authority that failed to meet the minimum of people’s demands, especially in such times when the people are directly targeted, and not a single statement is made correctly in levels with the situation.
When the Palestinian sees his friend, his neighbor, or the scenes of lynching the bleeding bodies of youngsters with no remorse and sheer inhumanity and fascist behaviors. What does the Israel expect?
My Israeli friend was telling me yesterday: “ do you think it is fair that I will be walking with my infant in the old city and get stabbed?” suddenly for her everything Arab became a red zone and dangerous, even though she lives in Abu Gosh an Arab town, that she insists they are an exception. They are what stand for the real Arabs in Hillel Cohen’s book “the Good Arabs.” For her, the fear of every Arab became the norm. At that instant, I could but see the pattern of my very own life. She wouldn’t even understand what it means to be a mother in my situation, like all those parents who have just lost their children thinking that they went to school or colleges, living with an eternal mourning on a child who was just named a martyr for an act that no one really knows if it happened or not, and in any norm, should it have cost him his life? She doesn’t realize that the moment my daughters leave the door of my home, I leave them with a chance of the absolute hideous fate of a Palestinian living under Israeli occupation. She doesn’t understand that if my daughter for any reason made a wrong move and stopped by an Israeli could be the next Palestinian “terrorist” in her eyes.
And yet, their fear is what should count not ours.
Israelis don’t get it that our emotions to loss are not different than theirs. That no mother wishes to lose her son. That with despair life becomes equivalent to death.
My Israeli friend was saying: “ Palestinian mothers should teach their children to have morals and not stab.” Well. My Israeli friend is a lovely woman who lives with Arabs who don’t teach tier children to stab.
My friend didn’t know that a mother like me could be this very same mother she is mentioning. I don’t need to teach my children to behave and not to stab. Those women whose children didn’t make it home in the last week didn’t tell their children to go and stab. But those kids were definitely looking at their peers who are perishing like animals in hunting seasons by public execution from the Israeli war machine and definitely think what Jefferson has once said: “ when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.
To all Israelis who won’t get it, and will not … it is resistance that triggers us Palestinians neither the hate nor the fear. And resistance is what drives people under oppression, under a state of injustice that Israelis think is the norm when it comes to Palestinians.
Injustice cannot sustain itself with the cold-blooded shedding of children with no consequence. Oppression insists in feeding itself with more racist and fascist techniques believing that force eliminates resistance.
This outburst of young Palestinians is the last straw in the series of injustices that continue to befall Palestinian existence… and resistance is the only way to say: we are still alive… the call is a terror. Call it violence… call it whatever you want to call it …
It is resistance n the face of an oppressive racist, fascist regime that feeds itself on our children blood.