Saturday, January 21, 2017

Apartheid Israel: The ethnic cleansing of Umm al-Hiran

Dear friends,
please find two article below from Haaretz on Israel's ethnic cleansing of Bedouin from Umm Al-Hiran and the killing of a Palestinian Bedouin man by the police. Both articles highlight the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.

You can read my earlier post on the shooting in Umm al-Hiran here.

in solidarity, Kim
Kill Them, They’re Fair Game

To most Jewish Israelis, Arabs aren't human beings equal to us. This dehumanization makes the soldiers and police trigger-happy.

Gideon Levy, Haaretz, Jan 20, 2017

Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are fair game. They’re fair game in the occupied territories and fair game in Israel. They’re fair game because their blood is cheap. It’s cheap in Umm al-Hiran and cheap at the Tul Karm checkpoint. It’s cheap at construction sites and cheap at roadblocks.

When the people killed are Arabs, nobody cares. When a soldier is killed in an accident, it’s front-page news. But when a Palestinian is killed while just waking up at home, nobody cares.

Not one of the people killed in the last few days would have been shot to death if he weren’t a Palestinian or a Bedouin. It’s doubtful if any of them deserved to die. Was this wholesale killing designed to divert attention from another story, as has happened in Israel before and is customary in dark regimes? It’s hard to tell. But it’s easy to say with certainty: They’re fair game.

They were fair game Wednesday in the Negev. Behold, Zionism 2017 – destroying a community of Bedouin refugees in order to build a Jewish community in its place. That’s the basic Zionist violence; nationalist and racist. Compare the case to the Amona outpost and you have perfect evidence of apartheid: negotiations and compensation for Jews, brutality for Arabs.

In no eviction of Jews would the police have fired that way. In Umm al-Hiran it’s allowed. It’s also allowed to wound Joint List leader Ayman Odeh because the police have been trained to think Arab Knesset members are traitors. That’s what they heard from their public security minister, Gilad Erdan.

Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, a teacher, was shot to death in his car for allegedly ramming it into policemen on purpose. Immediately the authorities spread their lies about him. They said he was linked to the Islamic State and had four wives. (MK Ahmad Tibi says Abu al-Kiyan’s only wife has a Ph.D., while his brother is an inspector in the Education Ministry).

After that, how can anyone believe the police, who hastily claimed he deliberately ran over policemen? At least one witness, Kobi Snitz, told a website he saw the opposite. First the police sprayed Abu al-Kiyan’s car with bullets, then he lost control. A video posted Wednesday also raises heavy suspicions about what happened. You get the impression the shooting preceded the ramming.

But so much over the past week preceded the events at Umm al-Hiran. In the Fara refugee camp, soldiers killed a man who had just woken up; 11 bullets from point-blank range in front of his mother; the soldiers say he tried to attack them. Mohammed al-Salahi was an only son who lived with his mother in a single room.

In the Palestinian town of Tuqu, the Border Police shot a 17-year-old, Qusai al-Amour, who had thrown stones – obvious revenge. They then dragged the dying youth on the ground like a sack of potatoes. His head was battered on the rocks as they did so, while the cameras filmed.

The next day, the cameras also documented the killing of Nadal Mahadawi, 44, at the Tul Karm checkpoint. The sight was horrific. He’s seen standing quietly while the soldiers shoot for no apparent reason. When he tries to flee, in what appears to be a dash for his life, they kill him.

But no big deal, the “terrorist” was killed. That’s how the media portrayed it. The dragging of the wounded youth at Tuqu and the execution at the checkpoint should shock anyone. Above all, they should shock all Israelis, because the perpetrators are theirs sons, their soldiers and their police. But the victims were Palestinians.

A straight line passes through Umm al-Hiran, Tuqu, Fara and Tul Karm – the line of dehumanization guiding the soldiers and police. It begins with the incitement campaigns and ends with trigger-happy troops.

The roots are deep; they must be acknowledged. To most Israelis, all Arabs are the same and they’re not human beings equal to us. They’re not like us. They don’t love their children or their lives the way we do. They were born to kill. There’s no problem killing them. They’re all enemies, suspicious objects, terrorists, murderers – their lives and deaths are cheap.

So kill them, because nothing bad will happen to you. Kill them, because it’s the only way to treat them.


Women from Umm el-Hiran surround a home slated for demolition in the village. (Isaac Kates Rose)

 Israeli Coverage of the Incident at Umm al-Hiran Is Proof That Apartheid Exists

In the so-Orwellian Israeli animal farm, pigs live in Amona and rats live in Umm al-Hiran.
Rogel Alpher, Haaretz Jan 20, 2017

In the so-Orwellian Israeli animal farm, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” as Orwell put it. Take, for example, the pigs from the settlement of Amona. The greedy pigs, lords of the land, who blocked the land of other animals, Palestinians who are less equal than they, who deserve less equality. When the court declared that the pigs must be removed from Amona, the media screamed out the settlers’ desperate cry. The poor victims. For months the media screamed out their cry. Just like the loyal pig from the book, Squealer, the aide and spokesman of the racist pig Napoleon.

For months the public heard about the distress of Amona’s settlers and the supreme efforts the government was making to satisfy and appease them and prevent their evacuation. In contrast, the police raided Umm al-Hiran without any prior notice. Negotiations have been underway for months over evacuation of the Bedouin from there. But Squealer didn’t squeal. The squealing media doesn’t care about the Bedouin. In Israel, Bedouin are less equal animals. They deserve less equality.

Considering the media silence over talks on the evacuation of Umm al-Hiran, the debate over whether there is or is not apartheid can be silenced in the Israeli media, which of course reflects apartheid in society. There can be no doubt that the Bedouin residents of Umm al-Hiran were discriminated against, methodically so, in the media coverage following the court order to evacuate them. The resemblance between their story and that of Amona is so great that it is almost the exact negative.

The public did not hear a word about Umm al-Hiran, which means the community does not exist. Like the residents of Amona, the intention was to move the residents of Umm al-Hiran a short distance away to an alternative site, by the name of Hura. Squealer did not say a word about this. Squealer never heard of a hole named Hura, while next to Umm al-Hiran a Jewish community by the name of Hiran is going up. A community of animals who are more equal.

Why did the flock of sheep at home, grazing in front of the television, hear endlessly about the distress of Amona yet heard not a word about the distress of Umm al-Hiran? The answer is: apartheid. There is no other answer. The only difference between the stories is that pigs live in Amona and rats live in Umm al-Hiran.

There was a time, in a different place, where the pigs had suffered terribly, much more than the rats, when they lived on Mr. Jones’ farm. But then they rebelled and established their own farm. Slowly but surely they started to look more like Mr. Jones.

The pigs are not wrong. Anything they do is right. And so, of course, they were not wrong when a large police force entered Umm al-Hiran before dawn. Only the rats who lived there were wrong. It’s all their fault. They are wrong all the time. They are worth nothing.

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