In a few hours, the courageous activists of Sheikh Jarrah will return to Anatot (English here), the site of a horrific pogrom several weeks ago which involved a knife assault by a settler hooligan-resident, a sexual assault, and broken ribs and noses suffered by the protesters. I only wish I could join them myself. But if you are in Israel and see this in time and can join the hevra, please do so. It is critical to rally in support of the Palestinian farmer denied access to his fields by the Anatot settlement. It is critical to support the right to protest in a free country.
The Israeli police for several weeks have denied protesters the right to return to Anatot because they claim doing so would be a provocation against the residents. Sheikh Jarrah appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. But before a hearing could be held, the State attorney general informed the police it could not defend their position in court, which gave them no choice but to drop the matter.
Now, protesters going to test the law. Will Israeli police stand by as they did at the first demonstration and allow their fellow Israelis to be beaten to a pulp yet again by settler pogromists? Or will they maintain order as police tend to do in democratic societies? If you’re betting for the latter I wouldn’t want to steal your money. Can you imagine a police force whose legal position just had its legs cut out from under it by the attorney general, feeling inclined to do anything on behalf of the activists?
Justice for victims of Anatot! To support the work of Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity, donate here.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.