Thursday, August 24, 2006

Everyday Humiliation: Checkpoints

These are the sorts of daily humiliations Israeli troops inflict upon Palestinians but which rarely make headlines. In this example from occupied Hebron Israeli soldiers block children from going to school then beat one boy and a female teacher for trying to get to school and then finally try to have lessons at the Israeli roadblock. Tear gas is eventually used against the children and teachers. Imagine if this sort of thing was part of your everyday reality...and nobody cared...and they even blamed you for getting angry about it.

In this video an (apparently, guessing from the name and accent) Arab-American activist and an Israeli reserve soldier speak out on the humiliations and hardships inflicted on Palestinians at Israeli military checkpoints on their land. Good too because it shows several specific incidents of Palestinians trying to get to ordinary places and being brusquely dismissed by gun-toting Israeli soldiers speaking rudely in bad Arabic ("rukhi min wadi nar" or "go from wadi nar" in badly Hebrew-accented Arabic, wadi an-nar being an extremely long roundabout way to get out of Bethlehem and into Jerusalem which is normally a ten minute drive or so but which takes hours this way - highlighting again how the goal is not to actually even block Palestinians from getting in, simply to make their lives miserable in the process - all items I know both from having been there and from my Palestinian friends who live in the Bethlehem/Beit Sahour/Beit Jala area).


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