IDF Soldier Who Brutalized Palestinian Activist, Jailed Issa Amro was guiding Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, Lawrence Wright, through Hebron, when he was brutally attacked
Today ,February 13th.
I was detained and beaten violently by an Israeli soldier in Hebron. I was showing the famous American writer lawrence wright @NewYorker @lawrence_wright the Israeli occupation and apartheid in my home town #Hebron. pic.twitter.com/Oel845CKtB
— Issa Amro عيسى عمرو 🇵🇸 (@Issaamro) February 13, 2023
I didn’t touch the soldier, my hands were behind my back not to give any excuse, @lawrence_wright witnessed that and I have more videos to show.
The video which shows the lies of the army about why I was arrested. pic.twitter.com/BKhgnuC6Ff
— Issa Amro عيسى عمرو 🇵🇸 (@Issaamro) February 13, 2023
I wrote here yesterday about a brutal attack by an IDF soldier on Palestinian activist, Issa Amro. Amro is perhaps the leading figure in the Palestinian solidarity movement on the West Bank. He leads tours for Israeli Jews, American Jews, foreigners and journalists through his hometown, Hebron. New Yorker journalist, Lawrence Wright, is preparing a piece on the Israel-Palestine conflict and has spent the past few days in the West Bank. Yesterday, Wright toured Hebron with Amro and filmed a street interview.
An IDF unit on the scene unilaterally decided this was prohibited. A standoff ended with one of the soldiers violently assaulting Amro and throwing him brutally to the ground. All while Wright was filming. If there is one rule about brutalizing or murdering Palestinians it is–don’t do it on camera. You can engage in the most brutal homicidal acts off-camera and get away with it. But on camera, be a gentleman. He violated that rule and for this, he will pay. Not much, but he will pay.
The attacker has been jailed. There will be an investigation. He will be reprimanded, a slap on the wrist, at best. The army knows this will be at the heart of Wright’s reporting. It offers the sort of drama that animates such a story. The only way to get ahead of such awful publicity is to arrest the culprit. Then, Wright will also have to report that it took action against him. After the story is published, they will quietly release the soldier and put him right back on the streets so he can take up right where he left off. The army, like Israel itself doesn’t solve problems. It manages them. And badly.
Israel’s approach has a lot in common with the US attitude toward guns. Most Americans know guns kill far too many. Most would be fine with regulating them. But the gun lobby has Congress by the unmentionables. It pours tens of millions into Congressional races. The US political system is helpless in the face of the gun slaughter. There is simply no hope of change. Instead, we race from one mass murder scene to another. We see the same pictures of weeping onlookers at the scene of the killings. Parents desperate to find out the fate of their children (I wrote an op-ed about such a deadly shooting at my son’s school). Ambulances with sirens wailing. Almost everyone knows this is horrible. That is a national shame. But we stand helpless in the face of Big Money.
In Israel, money isn’t the reason for the frozen status quo. Rather, it is a century of Zionist ideology, uber-nationalism, and visions of messianic redemption, which have poisoned the well. Add in a high dose of a Holocaust victim complex. Mix it together and you have an entire nation standing like a deer in the headlights. Thinking its only option is to stand stock still. Maybe if it did nothing the car won’t run it over. It continues with the same failed policies, thinking the more often it invades villages and kills 14-year-old children the more likely it will eventually, somehow prevail. And until it does…more of the same. Israel will never change as long as the world permits it.
Returning to Amro’s attacker: Itamar Ben Gvir, the police minister, who seems to believe he’s the Commander of Everything, wants to pin a medal on him (of course).
But let’s view this in a broader perspective: the assault against Amro is not a matter of a single incident or a single soldier. It’s an entire system. If anything or anyone should be jailed it is the Occupation itself. Apartheid itself. Liberal Zionists make the serious mistake of believing that ending Occupation will solve the problem. It won’t. If you bring that soldier and all his comrades home (will never happen), you will still have a state that is not democratic, which privileges Jews, and oppresses its Palestinian citizens. The current government offers conclusive proof that it is the entire state of Israel, and the basic premise of apartheid and terror which undergird it, which pose insurmountable obstacles to peace.
Further, if you did end the Occupation, you would still have a Palestinian state that could barely function. I would be denied the resources to exist independently. It would be reliant in vital ways on Israel. And Israel would never cooperate or facilitate the needs of such a state.
10 thoughts on “IDF Soldier Who Brutalized Palestinian Activist, Jailed – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Richard. Has there ever been a case where two Peoples, with different cultures, languages, histories and religions, suddenly stopped warring against each other and began working together to form a vital, liberal democracy?
I’m hard pressed to come up with an example. Can you or your readers?
BTW. Why have I been singled out and limited to one comment? Because I disagree with you on a few issues? I actually agree with you on many issues, but you’ve limited my speech nonetheless.
@Jay: In almost every category you listed, Israelis and Palestinians have a huge amount in common. Proof of this lies in the fact that for centuries Jews and Muslims got along fine in Palestine. In fact, there was a BBC documentary I posted about here which suggested that Palestinian Muslims were originally Jews who converted to Islam over the centuries. Even if it’s not true, it still indicates a great deal of affinity.
It was only Zionism and the influx of millions of Jews from Europe and elsewhere which sundered that prior relationship. Ideology and nationalist triumphalism is what killed the possibility of co-existence. And if ideology (Zionism) ever stopped being such a barrier, the two peoples would have enormous commonalities.
As to your question: it is almost nonsensical. There are scores, if not hundreds of examples of countries at war with each other for years, decades, even centuries who are now at peace. There are examples too of countries with multiple ethnic or religious factions which warred against each other; but now co-exist peacefully. Then again, there are example of countries in which those groups have lived together in peace for decades only to go to war against each other. And in each of those cases it was ideology, hatred, and racism which drove them apart. Sounds an awful lot like Israel to me. The fact that you would even ask this question means you have no idea about world history.
Do NOT ask me to explain my editorial decisions. You have not been singled out. Many commenters have such a limitation. I’d prefer writing blog posts than answering every quibble & quarrel raised by the hasbara crowd. That explains the limit. I just have better things to do with my time. A single comment is more than enough space to get your point across, raise objections, etc.
You do not agree with me on any issues. Nor have you ever said you did or offered any examples in which you did. At any rate, by your comments shall you be known.
Richard said: “Jews and Muslims got along fine in Palestine. ”
Not true. The harsh treatment of Samaritan Jews led to their mass conversion to Islam. See, New Evidence Relating to the Process of Islamization in Palestine in the Early Muslim Period: The Case of Samaria. Milka Levy-Rubin, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 257-276.
And, if he’s not been blackballed, also see, Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam. Princeton U. Press.
@ Punch Drunk: I have no idea whether the article you offer actually says what you claim. Nor whether the author is a credible historian. Given your overt Islamophobia I would question any source you provided. Regardless, the BBC documentary suggested that conversion of Palestinian Jews happened long before the Ottoman period. Your anti-Muslim bias is duly noted. BTW always cite links to whatever sources you offer. I am not about to go hunting through the entire internt & online journals to find the sources you cite.
As for Bernard Lewis, sorry a totally tarnished figure. Perfect example of academic orientalism.
[comment deleted: I told you you were entitled to a single comment in any thread. You’ve ignored me. You are now moderated. I will approve one comment by you per thread.]
For a 19th century Palestinian perspective, try reading the folklore collection, Tales Told in Palestine, by J.E. Hanauer.
@ Pamela: The idea of a European scholar collecting Palestinian folklore traditions and interpreting them on behalf of the Palestinians themselves reeks of Orientalism.
Pls do not publish more than a single comment in any individual thread.
“Jews and Muslims got along fine in Palestine.”
A word search of the folklore collection, supra, shows that Jews in Palestinian folklore are not portrayed positively. They clearly hold second-class citizenship, and at best, live precariously, and at worst, are victims of violence, blood libels and abuse.
@ Pamela: You’re basing your judgment of an entire Palestinian folkloric tradition & Palestinian Arab attitudes toward Palestinian Jews on a ‘word search?’ Really?
Firstly, J.E. Hanauer was not a European scholar, but a native Palestinian who lived all his eighty years in Ottoman Jerusalem.
Secondly, only a handful of the folklore tales Hanauer collected relate to, or even mention Jews, so word searching is the most sensible way to isolate the relevant folklore tales.