UPDATE: I originally featured a different image in this post. It was a photo collage that used an original photo by Dorit Jordan-Dotan and replaced the advertising image behind the Palestinian woman who was attacked, with a historical photo from the Nazi era showing a Jew similarly assaulted in a public setting. Ms. Jordan-Dotan objected to her image being used in this way for such an artistic purpose. Even though Amir Schiby’s photo collage is a brilliant piece of political satire, he asked me to remove it so as to avoid possible legal entanglement with her. I have written to her in an attempt to make her understand the importance of Schiby’s work. I hope I can persuade her to alter her opinion and apologize I cannot use the image that would be most suitable here.
In the U.S., Schiby’s work would be protected from copyright infringement as a derivative work which comments on the original photograph and adds depth and meaning not included in the original. This is a provision of the Fair Use doctrine under copyright law. I understand Israel has a similar Fair Use provision. But I also understand that it is sometimes complicated (and expensive) contemplating protecting one’s artistic perogatives when lawsuits may be involved.
If this were just up to me I would attempt to persuade the original photographer to understand the importance of the derivative work. If she didn’t, I would not remove it here. But I must respect Amir Schiby’s request, since he is the one who may be responsible if he is sued.
Wonders never cease when it comes to the Israeli criminal justice system. It manages to put people in jail, but often the wrong people. A case in point is Hanna Amtir, a young pregnant Palestinian women who was attacked on Purim by a vicious gang of Jewish settler women at a Jerusalem light rail station. Photos of the incident clearly show the Jewish women pushing and hitting her. One image even shows a woman’s fist in her face. The photos do show as well that Amtir objected strenuously to their assault. But they do not show any physical violence on her part or that she initiated the incident.
Yet after questioning the Jewish women, the Israeli police, who like the Royal Canadian Mounties, always get their “man,” even if he’s the wrong one, decided (Hebrew) that Amtir was not the victim but the instigator. Let’s keep in mind some facts: Amtir was in a crowd alone with no other Palestinians nearby. She was pregnant. She was bundled in a coat that prevented free movement. She was surrounded by Jews. It was Purim, a holiday on which Israelis are known to get drunk and inflamed. Taking all this into account, these are the circumstanced under which Amtir picks a fight.
In court, the prosecutor admitted that the three Jewish settler girls first picked a fight with Amtir by cursing her and pushing her up against a wall sign. When she rebuffed them, then the altercation became physical. A Jewish eyewitness even said:
“It was almost a lynching. And no one nearby intervened to help [the victim]. They tore off her head-covering. The light rail security police stood by the entire time doing nothing, with smiles on their faces. They didn’t do anything. Just the opposite, they tried to stop me from photographing [the incident].
How much evil can there be in human beings? There is now in Jerusalem a sense of great violence and hatred.
The only thing that stopped the incident was the arrival of the train, on which all the attackers embarked, leaving the victim in pain and injured.”
So the message appears to be if you’re Palestinian you can’t defend yourself when you’re assaulted with racist shouts and shoves. You just have to grin and bear it for the sake of…for the sake of what? For the sake of shalom bayit? Maintaining civil order? Jews can wail on Arabs, but Arabs have a responsibility to say: “Yes massa, you be a good massa.”
The settler attackers are represented by Itamar Ben Gvir, another rabid settler extremist who seems to represent the worst of the settler scumbags who end up in court. He reminds me of those defense lawyers whose entire clientele is made up of “made” guys. Lawyer to the mob=Lawyer to the settlers. Ben Gvir has been arrested by the police 46 times in the past 18 years and never convicted (funny thing about that). He vandalized Yitzhak Rabin’s car only minutes before he was assassinated. Israel allows this jackass to make a mockery of the justice system.
Only a few days ago two women, one Palestinian and one Jewish were traveling to Jerusalem to pay a shiva (condolence) call on the principal of their school. There they were set upon by children, possibly the same ones who attacked Amtir, who spat on them, broke the windows of the car (which belonged to the Jewish woman) and slashed her tires. The Palestinian needed an escort from the neighborhood to get home.
While we’re on the subject of assaults, here’s a picture of the damage done to a Palestinian waiter at a Tel Aviv fast food restaurant by a bunch of Jewish hoodlums. An Israeli in a neighboring hospital bed (who apparently had been in a car accident) took this picture and wrote on Facebook:
He [the waiter] was crying the whole time and I felt like I wished I would be run over again.
Returing to Amtir’s case, please, people–what do the police take us for? Idiots? Will this pig fly? There are many miscarriages of justice in the Israeli system. This would be but one of hundreds or thousands. But must Israel turn to its citizens and the world and piss on them? Not to mention its Palestinian citizens?