UDPATE: About twelve hours ago, a third Palestinian youth was murdered by Occupation forces. This new killing happened near Tulkarm. Ronnie Barkan reported to me there were a total of seven attempts to lynch Palestinians in the past 24 hours.
Israel is not a normal country. It is not a western country. It is not a democratic country. It is a country seeped in blood. A country where the hounds bay for fresh blood. The blood of Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Yesterday and the day before it was the blood of four Jewish settlers murdered in the Occupied Palestine. A couple driving their car through the West Bank were shot to death and two rabbis associated with ethnic cleansing group, Ateret Cohanim, were stabbed to death there. Today, it is the blood of a Palestinian teenager, Fadi Alloun, hunted like a dog by an Israeli mob who suspected him of stabbing a Jewish settler teen, who’d been attacked near the Old City in Occupied East Jerusalem. The stabbing happened in the Musrara neighborhood and the stabbing happened near the Damascus Gate, which are in the same general vicinity.
Electronic Intifada published this deeply disturbing video which shows a mob of mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews pursuing a lone Palestinian man and shouting repeatedly, “shoot him, shoot him.” Then police sirens are heard. The video clearly shows the police car, the officer exiting it pointing his weapon and killing the Palestinian. The officer never says anything to the victim beforehand. He doesn’t tell him to stop. He doesn’t identify himself. He shoots first and then asks the crowd whether the dead boy stabbed someone. Another Israeli responds: “He hadn’t yet succeeded [in doing so].” This is a different translation than the one offered by EI, which claims the bystander responds negatively (“The Israeli youth answers that Alloun did not”). This individual clearly believed the Palestinian intended to stab someone. But it seems equally clear he had no proof or evidence to support this. At no point does any Israeli bystander in the video say they saw the victim do anything suspicious.
When the police murderer asks if there are any stabbing victims here, a bystander says, No. After the shooting, several bystanders shout in a triumphant manner: YES! They add: “Death to Arabs” as a sort of victory chant. While another asks: Why?
I do not see any mass celebration. Though of course Israelis approach the body and treat it with contempt and disdain because they suspect the victim was a terrorist.
The police version of this incident is a total fabrication, as is this Jerusalem Post report:
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the [Israeli] victim was taken to hospital in moderate condition and that police “saw the terrorist holding a knife, shot and neutralized him.”
No Israeli in the video says the victim has a knife. The policeman doesn’t say he had a knife. The Israeli who approaches the body and kicks it over doesn’t say he’s found a knife. That makes this report an outright lie. But I bet you’ll find a photo of a knife in the Israeli media like the one found at Hadil al Haslomoun’s murder scene in Hebron last week.
We are descending into the maelström–blood lust in which Jews and Arabs kill each other on a whim. Based on the flimsiest of rumors. This is not a country. This is the Hatfield and McCoys. Vengeance for vengeance’s sake. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
This is not civilization. This is worse than anarchy or chaos. It is the end of sense and reason. The end of whatever it is that makes us human. Instead, we are become ravening beasts.
This is Israel. Any of you who defend or support such a state thirsting for blood, watch this video and see what you are supporting. And do not seek to minimize this incident. Do not say it is the product of a hooligan mob unrepresenative of the rest of the country. This mob IS the country. The country has collapsed into brutality and murder. It is sickening.
I say repeatedly after the murders of Israeli Jews that I oppose such violence by Palestinians. But no one should be fooled into having any sympathy for the settler enterprise. These people have stolen Palestine. They are thieves. They are usurpers. You cannot be innocent and be a settler. It does not mean you deserve to die in front of your children. But it means that you are guilty and your crimes cannot be swept away.
As for the East Jerusalem attack, it occurred in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. This is where the rabbis who were murdered lived. They lived there as part of Ateret Cohanim’s ethnic cleansing project, seeking to rid the Holy City of its Muslim population. Ateret Cohanim supports the rebuilding of the Third Temple. It supports the razing of the Haram al Sharif. In effect, it supports religious holy war.
There people are not innocent. They are not civilians. They are warriors for the settler god. I did not use a capital “G” because they do not fight for any God I know or worship. They are idolators. They worship at the altar of hate. They worship a false god. As long as they rule Israel (and they do, believe me, they do) the nation is on the road to destruction.
Who will stop this? When will the world step in and say enough to the insanity? How many dead will it take? 35,000 Palestinians have died since 1948 in wars with Israel. How long before another 35,000 die? Will the United Nations, EU and American presidents wait until we have another Rwanda or Sarajevo in the Holy Land? Do 800,000 have to die?
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.