Israeli Black Shirts (aka Border Police) Provoke Sheikh Jarrah Violence
Above you’ll find 9 minutes of riveting video of the fisticuffs and mauling used by Israel’s Black Shirt Border Police to “quell” a noisy, but entirely peaceful protest by Sheik Jarrah’s Solidarity activists.
This past Friday’s Sheikh Jarrah solidarity demonstration against the dispossession of East Jerusalem Palestinians from their homes provoked a round of extreme violence from Israel’s Black Shirt police force. They trampled old men to the ground, all while masked with balaclavas intended to shield them from being identified and to intimidate the demonstrators. Some officers were mounted on horses though all protestors were completely non-violent and posed no threat to anyone.
This is the face of Israel’s national security state. A “democracy” afraid of its own shadow.
Compare the images of the activists–youthful, open, hopeful, brash and even eccentric, with those of the police–hooded, mounted, watchful, bored. They tell the whole story. They show us that there are two choices for Israel: the Sheikh Jarrah protestors or the Black Shirts.
There are 124 marvelous images at the Amir Bitan’s Facebook photo gallery page. I read two telling comments here about an image of the masked Black Shirt whose eyes were the only part of his body visible to the camera. One was: “the eyes are the mirror to the soul.” The other: “when the gaze is vacant–what does this tell you about the soul?”
27 thoughts on “Israeli Black Shirts (aka Border Police) Provoke Sheikh Jarrah Violence – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Excuse me, but i do not think we watched the same video.
The demonstrators are clearly trying to make their way into the private property – you can watch the excitment near the gate at the begining of the video footage – which doesn’t not constitue a legal or peaceful act of any demonstration. If i as a US citizen would act in a similar manner the police would use at least the same amount of brutality if not a greater amount.
There is enough wrong in Israel without resorting to cheap propoganda, which what this is.
“The demonstrators are clearly trying to make their way into the private property”.
You are aware that this “private property” is in Sheikh Jarrah – in occupied Palestine according to international law – aren’t you ? This house has been taken over by religious fanatics as dozens of other Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem.
Here’s a video of Australian Zionists touring the al-Kurd family’s house and garden after they’ve been expelled, and lived in a tent in their own garden. This was a year ago and today it’s the “private property” of some religious nutcase too. I guess you would qualify the demonstations in front of the al-Kurd house as violent and non-legal too !
Please, watch the ‘old bitch’ at the end. Makes me sick ..
It seems to me that you do not understand why those Arab people were evacuated. The court gave them the right to reside in the properties as a “protected tenants” providing they will pay rent. they simply didn’t pay the rent.
there is no dispute that the land was not owned by those families prior to 1948 when the area was conquered by the Jordanian Legion.
regardless, i believe that the solution for this problem is around the negotiation table, all the variants are known, and both Abu-Mazen and Bibi will do a great service to their people if they will resume negotiations.
as for the ‘old bitch’ at the end, don’t be shocked i heard much worse and seen much worse on you-tube. coming from both sides.
“The court gave them the right to reside in the properties as a ‘protected tenants’ providing they will pay rent. they simply didn’t pay the rent.”
Ira, why should you have to pay rent to anyone on a house that you own? The Sheikh Jarrah residents aren’t tenants of the state. They are owners.
The families in Sheikh Jarrah moved into those properties at different times. Some were there long before 1948. Others (such as the Al-Gawi family) were expelled from their original homes in 1948, and purchased property in Sheikh Jarrah by trading in their food aid. The Al-Gawi family’s documentation is recognised by the courts. It hasn’t got them their house back, though.
And even if none of the Sheikh Jarrah residents had lived in the area prior to or immediately after 1948, how would this justify the settler takeover? Because I very much doubt that THEIR families were living in Sheikh Jarrah prior to ’48 either. We’re entering a noxious circumstance where Palestinians have to prove decades of continuous ownership just to be able to keep a roof over their heads, whereas settlers can ‘requisition’ homes (a word that they frequenty use to describe what they’re doing) almost anywhere they like on no firmer basis than their religious affiliation and their ethnicity.
For Palestinian ownership in Sheikh Jarrah to be accepted, they have to present land deeds from the Mandate authorities (and even this is no guarantee that their ownership will be recognised). Israel does not recognise Ottoman land deeds, so Palestinians whose link to their property goes back even further than the Mandate are at a serious disadvantage. As for people who bought houses and land after ’48, often because they were forcibly displaced from their original homes, they can forget their rights altogether.
Out of interest, are you prepared to campaign for their right of return to the houses that they were driven from initially? After all, if you don’t think that Palestinian families should be in Sheikh Jarrah if they weren’t there prior to 1948, it’s only logical for you to apply the same standard to the descendents of those Israelis who took over the refugees’ homes and land…
I think I read that some of the evictees are renters who have been paying rent to owners (not Jewish ones). But I’m glad to hear from you that some of them are owners. That makes a stronger case (at least to anyone but Israeli authorities).
And yes, I think if we’re going to go down the settler road then Palestinians should be allowed the “requisition” those homes fr. which they were expelled in 1948 which are now in Israeli Jewish hands. But I guess God only wants Jews to “return” to their ancestral lands. Palestinians, not so much.
@ Ira Schlussel)
“I’ve heard muck worse and seen much worse on youtube and from both sides”
I hardly can’t imagine anything worse that a group of Australians touring a evacuated Palestinian house, and a Native Australian telling a Native Palestinian that God gave HER their house.
“It seems to me that you do not understand …”
I understand perfectly weel: it’s simply the ongoing ethnic cleasing of Palestine that started in 1948. We all know that most evacuated Palestinians have documentations proving they’re the owner, though not signed by GOD !!
And if I understand you correctly, families who lived somewhere prior to 1948 should be allowed returning home. Great ! Minimum 800.000 – I’m using the lowest numbers – Palestinians were expulsed or fled their homes in 1948, and maximum 10.000 Jews, many of whom were not even born in the Yichouv left their homes in the 22% of historical Palestine that wasn’t integrated into the Jewish State.
How does someone trying to enter a door where a squad of policemen are standing constitute a threat that deserves trampling people underfoot including a man who looks to be over 70 yrs old. And trampling him was no accident. You can clearly see the Black Shirt throw the man to the ground. Not to mention trampling many others. And those trampled aren’t anywhere near the door nor are they threatening to enter the house.
This comment is virtually a repeat of another comment of yours. Primary comment rule: DO NOT repeat yrself.
I invite you to imagine you live in a suburb of Detroit which is disputed between Blacks & Jews & has been for decades. Let’s say a Black mayor gets elected part of whose platform calls for returning Black residents to those Jewish neighborhoods where they were evicted decades ago. Let’s say you live in one of those neighborhoods and yr family has lived there for oh, say, 50 yrs. You may own yr house or you may rent it. But you’ve paid yr mortgage or yr rent regularly. Now the mayor & his police come & say you’re not entitled to continue living in yr house because Blacks used to live in it. Those Blacks don’t have any deed for your house. They merely make a claim based on broad statements for former Black ownership of homes in the neighborhood.
Now along come the police & they evict you violently. Throw you out on the street. Pay you nothing. In yr place they put a Black family who justifies your eviction by saying that God wanted Blacks to return to your neighborhood & home. And the courts of Detroit & the state of Michigan supported the actions of the mayor & police.
Tell me honestly how you would react to that scenario. Note I said “honestly.” Don’t make up excuses or engage in pilpul. But engage w. the overall sentiment of my scenario. If you’re halfway honest w. yrself you’ll see the huge injustice of both your ficitonal eviction & the dispossession of Sheikh Jarrah.
You’re lying about the evicted tenants. They paid rent to their landlords. They were not evicted for non payment of rent. They were evicted because settlers want to Judaize an Arab Jerusalem neighborhood. If you deny this then you’re simply lying to yrself.
Good luck. Abu Mazen won’t return to the table till Bibi & the Black Shirts stop their dispossession.
as a rule of thumb i do not lie, and if you want to be taken seriously, please do not resort to cheap ad-hominem BS, it is offending, uncalled for untrue and in defiance of the purpose of this Blog isn’t it ?
as for your scenario, it is based on the notion that the residents paid their rent on time, the document i provided above in my reply to Vicky (By Shaikh Jarrah Solidarity) shows otherwise.
Now i would like YOU to reconsider your scenario based on the FACTS and not based on Your Imagination.
with respect to the threat. First the anarchists demonstrated prior to the police arriving on scene, and entered the property prior to the police arriving, is it threatening absolutely, do they have the right to demonstrate ? absolutely, it was ruled by court that they do (the same court who authority you don’t recognize in evicting those residents) are they demonstrating peacefully ? who are You kidding. Are they trying to instigate trouble ? Absolutely.
I can’t see any link to a document in your comment, but I’ve also had a look at the SJ Solidarity website and I think I’ve worked out what you mean when you talk about rent. The FAQ section mentions two Jewish organisations, the Sephardic Community Committee and the Knesset Yisrael
Committee, which claimed legal ownership of the land in 1972 and started to demand rent from the people there.
Your argument that the SJ residents were rightfully evicted because of rent-dodging only stands if you accept that these two committees are the owners of the land (which lies in East Jerusalem, illegally occupied under international law). These groups are basing their claim to ownership on an Ottoman land deed for an olive grove that used to lie in the area where the twenty-eight affected houses now stand. This is a useful insight into the double standards that are at work in the Israeli judiciary, as Palestinians are not allowed to present Ottoman deeds as proof of ownership. But the ‘Sephardic Community Committee’ and the ‘Knesset Yisroel Committee’ are. This should make it abundantly clear to you that Israel’s land laws are specifically designed to facilitate the dispossession of Palestinians.
These two groups make no claim to ownership of the houses of Sheikh Jarrah. They’re claiming the land that it’s built on, and they are doing so in the name of settlers who believe that they have a religious obligation to Judaize the area. These settlers have no personal connection to the area whatsoever. You know as well as I do that if these groups really were the landlords, and this really was a simple case of rent-dodging, then the properties would be re-advertised for rent – and anyone would be able to live in them, in spite of religion or ethnicity. They wouldn’t be taken over by gun-wielding new tenants in the middle of the night in a pre-planned event (and yes, this has happened during the evictions – some unfortunate people were physically thrown down the stairs and onto the street). And those new tenants wouldn’t be going about openly proclaiming that they view it as their special mission to make the area completely Jewish.
The settlers are prepared to go about this process in a very violent way. You referred to the solidarity protestors as troublemakers because they tried to enter a house that is occupied by a settler. You suggested that the police violence is perfectly justified because of this act. So what, in your opinion, is the just response to people who throw smash windows, throw fecal matter at passers-by, and celebrate Purim by singing songs in praise of Baruch Goldstein? Because the settlers in Sheikh Jarrah have done all these things and worse to the local inhabitants. Often they are joined by supporters from within Israel and abroad, who travel into the area just to harass Palestinians. And I’m not talking about namecalling, I’m talking about actual threats and physical violence. This happens on an almost daily basis.
The inhabitants here have been refugees once. I live just a short drive from Deheishe and Aida refugee camps in the West Bank, and I know what a difficult existence it is in those places. The SJ residents desperately wanted settled status. They worked hard to get it, and surrended all their entitlement to welfare provision from UNRWA when they finally achieved their dream. Now a group of spiteful extremists has taken that stability away from them on the flimsiest of pretexts, because as far as they are concerned a human being’s right to a stable home is trumped by their supposedly divine right to dominate the land. And if you talk to them, you will find that most of them don’t even bother to use pretexts and excuses. They will tell you quite openly that they have to drive Palestinians out in any way they can, be that deceit or manipulation or violence. You are making excuses for them that they don’t trouble to make for themselves. When Nasser Gawi tried to object to the settler’s insistence that God had mandated this take-over, that settler’s response was, “Look, if God tells me to kill Arabs, I have to kill them. But it is not just Arabs. If he told me to kill Americans I would have to do it.” (Presumably this courteous clarification was intended to make Nasser feel better.)
This is what you are defending. Trying to turn it into the equivalent of a rental dispute in suburban Chicago might make you feel a bit better, and I daresay it will work – so long as you never have to come here and look it in the face. It gets harder to find excuses then.
i do apologize but the system simply didn’t publish my erlier post, i got an error 404 after posting.
so i read your reply, and now that we both agree on the facts let us move on.
I don’t know if you know that or not but the legal status of the Arabs residing in Silowan and Shiekh Jarrah is different then the ones residing in the refugee camps.
The Arab residents of east Jerusalem including Silowan and SJ, are permanent residents of the state of Israel and recipient of social security and other benefits.
as recipient of Israeli paid benefits they can’t claim that the Israeli courts have no jurisdiction over the matter. furthermore in the deal they signed in 1976 they recognized the ownership status of the said properties.
It is amazing to me, that as someone who advocates on behalf of one side, you didn’t get yourself familiar with the facts.
but don’t get me wrong, as i stated in my post that was never published i think that the law is discriminating, and should be changed. i think that allowing Jews to take over properties they owned prior to 1948 while not allowing Arabs the same right is awfully wrong, and as i stated in my first response i think that a solution to all those issues should be agreed upon around the negotiation table, which both stay away from.
Yet, as things stand at the moment there is nothing illegal on the acts of the Settlers, the rightful owner gave them the right to stay at their properties, and there is nothing wrong with that. You and I may not like it, but it doesn’t make it a wrongful action on their part.
and that leave us with the anarchists, the way to change things is not with creating anarchy, the way to change things is with appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court and inside the Israeli Knesset.
This is utter nonsense. These particular settlers aren’t taking over properties they owned in 1948 as you claimed. They are taking over properties that they never lived in, but which the Palestinian owners have lived in for decades if not generations.
The new residents have stolen property that isn’t theirs.
“The Arab residents of east Jerusalem including Silowan and SJ, are permanent residents of the state of Israel and recipient of social security and other benefits.”
This is not quite right. Legally they are classed as ‘permanent residents of East Jerusalem’, but they don’t have citizenship and all the rights that should come with that. (I say ‘should’ because even Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship are subjected to huge levels of discrimination in all areas of life.) The residents of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan can’t vote. They get no benefits. There is a path through which they can acquire full citizenship of Israel – but this means accepting Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem.
The reason why I mentioned the former refugee status of the people in Sheikh Jarrah is because it was this status that enabled them to buy the property in the first place. According to the Refugee Convention of 1951, “The Contracting States shall accord to a refugee treatment as favourable as possible and, in any event, not less favourable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances, as regards the acquisition of movable and immovable property and other rights pertaining thereto…” The Jordanian authorities were discharging their responsibilities under Article 13 of this Convention when they allowed the refugee families to purchase property in Sheikh Jarrah. International law trumps national law in this case, and the Israeli Supreme Court is in breach of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention in allowing the eviction of the residents. Israel is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions.
The illegal dispossession of these people took place on the basis of a century-old land deed that was sold by its holders to a company representing extreme settlers. It’s quite clear that this was all part of a ruse to facilitate yet more ethnic cleansing. That deed holds no weight in law, and even if it did, we would still be morally obliged to protest the awful way in which the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been treated. They have been very brave – after her family’s eviction, Sharihan Hanoun refused to cancel the university psychology exam she was due to take in a few days’ time, studying on the pavement opposite her house (where she also slept). She got the highest mark in her year. If that isn’t a demonstration of what the Palestinians call ‘sumud’ (courage, dignity, steadfastness), I don’t know what is. But they can’t go on living like this forever. Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity recognises this. They aren’t anarchists, as you call them; they’re doing their best to get the Israeli public at large to recognise the humanity and the basic needs of these people.
Sadly, the Supreme Court and the Knesset have often proven themselves incapable of recognising that humanity. Some MKs do not believe that Palestinians should be represented in the Knesset at all, and their voice is growing louder and stronger in the current coalition. You are suggesting that the Palestinians ask justice from a system that is fundamentally unjust. It’s not enough. We have to change the system – and that begins by trying to change ourselves, and, in a small way, our immediate environment.
This is why I don’t just ‘advocate for one side’, as you put it. Oppression hurts the oppressor just as much as it hurts the oppressed, albeit in a different way. Because of the nature of the work that I do here, I am acutely aware of the suicide rate amongst ex-IDF personnel (extremely high compared to that of other armies in the developed world), the widespread incidence of trauma-related mental health problems, and all the other nasty things that Israeli teenagers are expected to suffer for the sake of this occupation. It’s not possible for a society to treat people in the way that Israel treats the Palestinians without somehow harming itself. I see those kids in uniform at the checkpoint, and there are days when I want to cry because of what they’re being expected to do. When I protest at Sheikh Jarrah, it’s for them too.
I have no idea what document you’re talking about. There can be no legitimate document that proves the Palestinian residents & owners of these properties have lost the right to live in them. And you certainly haven’t offered one.
Calling the Sheikh Jarrah protestors “anarchists” is not only false but a cheapshot. Anarchists Against the Wall doesn’t run this campaign. You will be careful & precise in your claims & not throw around bogus smear terminology.
As for the protestors, they didn’t engage in any violent act, yet were met by typically thuggish brutality.
not reading your own comment thread and claiming that i never provided any document, seems kind of strange.
if you had bothered reading any of it, you would have discovered that your system responded in an error 404, and my post wasn’t published, regardless with one minute of effort Vicky was able to find the document on the Shaikh Jarrah Solidarity web site, and let me quote from there:
אם נתמקד אך ורק בתביעות המשפטיות בשייח’ ג’ראח (או במזרח ירושלים ככלל), אפשר שנסיק שהן בסך הכל חלק מפעילות חוקית לגיטימית. מכאן עולה השאלה: למה אנחנו ממשיכים להאבק בשייח’ ג’ראח?
even they agree that from the legal stand point, everything is done to code. If you would bother getting yourself acquainted with the material, and not running your imagination free, you would see that yourself.
as for the other nonsense you wrote about the settlers etc.
the rightful owner of the property gave them the right to reside in his property. as simple as that.
You’ve quoted quite selectively fr the Sheikh Jarrah website. No one believes including the person who wrote those words that the dispossessions of Palestinians is ultimately moral or legal. The fact that an Israeli court could assign ownership of these properties to Jews despite the fact that the Palestinian owners have Ottoman deeds indicates the ‘magical legalisms’ involved.
Ira Schlussel’s “the rightful owner of the property gave them the right to reside in his property” is just a sophisticated version of “God gave us this land”.
We’re still waiting for his point of view on the 800.000 Palestinians who lived and had property and land within the State of Israel. If I understand him rightly, an expulsed Palestinian, the ‘rightful owner’ of land in Akka can give other expulsed Palestinians the right to live on his land. “As simple as that.”
It’s also not just a matter of whether something is legal according to national law, in this case Israeli law. Laws can be used by the powerful as a means to advance their interests vis a vis the oppressed.
Segregation in South Africa was in accordance with the laws there at the time and did that make it in any way acceptable or humane or fair to you Ira?
Ira, so you really think what is happening in SJ is fair, regardless of whether it is legal according to Israeli law?
you are confusing legal and moral.
legal the action taken is perfectly legal, moral that is a different story, and part of the reasons i stated in my first or second post that these issues should be resolved around the negotiation table.
please pay attention to details, seems to me you are debating for the sake of debate and nothing more.
The action taken is patently legal because Israel’s Occupation of E Jerusalem is not recognized by any country in the world therefore the so-called “legal” theft of Palestinian property is only legal in terms of the Occupation regime. Which adds yet more fuel to the fire of opposition burning in the world against Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.
Ira, let’s call a hasbarist a hasbarist here, shall we? You’re a shill for the settlers. Albeit one who curiously claims Palestinians somehow deserve the right to regain their stolen property in W Jerusalem. Of course you say this knowing no Israeli govt would ever repatriate such property, while settlers are currently forcibly doing jusrmt that now in SJ.
Israel’s Occupation of E. Jerusalem is neither legal nor recognized by any other country in the world. Therefore, any judicial decision to expropriate Palestinian property under Occupation from its owner is also null and void. The world doesn’t recognize Occupation justice. So calling this “legal” does violence to the truth.
You are also a laugh in recognizing the Palestinian right of return to properties in W. Jerusalem which is conveniently easy for you to do since you know that no Israeli gov’t would allow such a thing to happen for the foreseeable future.
“The action taken is perfectly legal”
NO, it’s not. Sheikh Jarrah is in occupied Palestine, and nobody but Israel recognizes Israeli jurisdiction in East Jerusalem. Just as “a pig with lipstick is still a pig” so is a propagandist though the language is well chosen and seems ‘legalistic’. Hasbara/advanced level.
The elderly man who was thrown to the ground (see at 2:52) has just attacked a policeman FROM BEHIND.
there is plenty wrong in israel which means you should not resort to cheap propaganda and support illegal actions.
please see how the ‘peaceful’ cameraman is trying to make his way into a private yard (0:19), please observe how the rightful owners of the property (by court decision may i remind you) need police escort to get into their home.
I invite you to try such a foileshtick in your home town, in my home town (Chicago Suburb) the police will demonstrate far more violence then the Israeli police shows demonstrating in this video.
And last think, your title is wrong, the officers in the black shirts are not border police.
Ira, I would like to know from you what your reaction would be if someone came to your house in the suburbs of Chicago one day and took it from you even though you had been living there for decades and you can’t get it back because you happen to belong to the wrong ethnic/religious group and the police would only protect the new ‘owners’.
How would you react? How much more or less peaceful would your reaction be?
At the Sheikh Jarrah protest two weeks ago, I was talking to Nasser Gawi, one of the men who was forced out. He has repeatedly tried to talk to the settlers who are currently living in his home, and finally one of them agreed to speak to him. This settler addressed him politely as ‘Mr Nasser’ throughout their exchange, but remained unbudgeable: “Mr Nasser, God told me to take your house.”
How would the Chicago Suburb police deal with a person who forcibly evicted you from your home on this pretext, Ira? Would they accept the divine revelation and physically prevent you from setting foot in your own house again? Or could you count on them for their support?
Im not a policeman, but Ive read up on the theory, but: From a police-perspective, its just stupid in addition to being brutal and undemocratic. If one of those demonstrators had been the least bit competent he could have seriously injured the policemen. Wading in like that, roughing up people? One korea-veteran could brain three of them with a leadpipe in that throng. What you do is that you form a human chain with shields and you push, two in depth. And you dont let so many people near that place to begin with.
And the balaclavas? And the black-shirt image? Its just stupid, militarism and machoism taken into police-work. And when they know everything is being filmed, the balaclavas loose all meaning as well. It just becomes a theatre of violence, phoning Guy Debord. Its not a police-force anymore, its a militia, showing the damn hippies who holds the monopoly of violence round here. Might as well be uppity ni**ers.
Fascists. They are all the same.
Yesterday the police disappeared from sheikh jarrah. Somehow, despite (or rather because of) the lack of police protection, there was no violence.