Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

Activist prevents Israeli officer from arresting Palestinian child

During Sunday’s Jerusalem Day events, a Palestinian boy, perhaps 10 years old, was chased down an East Jerusalem street by a very angry officer of the Border Police. The boy tripped and fell, then picked himself up just as the Border Police officer reached him and tried to grab him. But a 22 year-old female Israeli activist prevented the boy’s arrest by throwing herself between the two, allowing the Palestinian boy to flee.

Jerusalem Day is meant to be a celebration of the city’s ‘reunification’ following Israel’s victory in the 1967 war. In practice, it is a day for Israeli nationalists, draped in flags, dancing in circles, singing and chanting (including the popular Israeli nationalist chant, ‘death to Arabs’) as they march through the streets of East Jerusalem and the Old City. Many of the Jewish demonstrators are bused in from right-wing yeshivas in Israel and the West Bank.

Marching toward the old city on Jerusalem Day (photo: Activestills)

East Jerusalem resident Aziz Abu Sarah writes that the Israeli police ‘suggest’ to the Palestinian merchants that they close their shops early on Jerusalem Day, in order to ‘reduce tension’; in previous years, the yeshiva students attacked Palestinians in the Old City and vandalized their property. The police issue an outright order to Palestinian merchants to clear away any merchandise that is displayed outside the shop. In the same post, Aziz describes the year he was prevented by a police officer from returning to his own home on Jerusalem Day, even though his identity card showed he was a resident, because his presence – in his own neighbourhood – might disturb the celebrations.

In recent years, a few Israeli left-wing activists have staged small counter-demonstrations outside the old city’s gates, as the celebratory marchers stream past. Generally, the counter-demonstrators hold small signs with slogans like “East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory,” and the like. A few Palestinians hold a vigil, too, usually with Palestinian flags in their hands.

This year, an Orthodox Jewish man grabbed the Palestinian flag from the hands of a 10 year-old boy and refused to return it. The boy, enraged, tried to prise it out of the Jewish man’s hands. A Border Police officer, seeing the struggle between a 10 year-old Palestinian boy and a fully grown Jewish man, chased the Palestinian boy rather than ordering the Jewish man to return the flag. Someone made a montage of the incident and posted it on Facebook, with commentary. Note the expression of rage in the Border Police officer’s eyes, as seen in the second photo.

Montage posted on pro-Palestinian Facebook page (photo: facebook.com/welcometopalestine)

Border Police officer chasing Palestinian boy on Jerusalem Day (photo: Activestills)

In the end the boy got away, due  to the intervention of a 22 year-old Israeli activist from Jerusalem named Sahar Vardi, who threw herself in front of the Border Police officer just as he was about to grab the child. Photojournalist Haim Schwarczenberg caught the incident.

Israeli activist Sahar Vardi intervenes to stop Border Police officer from arresting Palestinian child (photos: Haim Schwarczenberg)

The incident was also filmed and the clip posted on Youtube:

Meanwhile, there are some violent reactions on Facebook to the image of the enraged Border Police officer chasing the frightened Palestinian boy. Some of the comments are a bit funny, in a sad way – like the comment from Geffen Cnaani, a woman in her 20s who works for a medical care provider, who writes (my translation from the Hebrew):

Stinking leftists instead of saying thank you to the soldier who did e-x-a-c-t-l-y what he was supposed to do, you’re trying to change the story?! It’s simply a disgrace that willfully ignorant people live in our country… You should appreciate a soldier like that who acts bravely in the face of the cruelest enemy we have, may the names of all Arabs be wiped out!! And respect to the dedicated soldier..!

Yehuda Daniel, an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student, writes (with a few spelling mistakes in the holy tongue):

In my opinion at every event there should be a group of people who break cameras. If you see a camera, break it at some point so that the leftists will stop bringing expensive cameras – and then they’ll photograph more general shots (because of the lack of technology) – every camera costs tens of thousands of shekels – I doubt that journalists will be happy if someone breaks their camera every time. :-) (Daniel’s idea received two thumbs up – LG).

Asaf Cohen, a 27 year-old who is studying to be a car mechanic, writes:

They should’ve broken his legs so he couldn’t walk anymore, and then they should’ve broken the legs of the leftists with cameras.

Raz Melamed, who seems to be in his 20s, writes:

I’m not a leftist, I also don’t agree with “burning leftists and Arabs,” but it’s funny that you curse the Arabs and say they should be killed while using [Arabic] words like ‘yalla,’ ‘kus umak,’ and ‘in’al.’

As of this writing, the last response belongs to Amitai Ben-Abba:

200 comments, most calling for IDF soldiers to kill children. Congratulations, you’re a light unto the nations.

And so you have it: A day of celebrating the ‘victory’ and ‘reunification’ of the holy city of Jerusalem.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Sick, sick, sick. Unfortunately for the scumbags, camera’s aren’t left or right, they simply register what is happening.
      That’s the only offence accepted by the Zionists since mobiles and camera’s became weapons: providing evidence. It doesn’t matter what we do, just make sure nobody sees it.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Curtis

      I’m glad I live in Canada

      Comment edited.

      Reply to Comment
    3. JDE

      “Light unto the nations”, my ass. Israel is unsalvageable.

      Reply to Comment
    4. All Respect ….

      Reply to Comment
    5. aristeides

      Coming short of the righteous in Sodom.

      Reply to Comment
    6. sean

      really because it looks like he is attaking the jew look at his face he looks shocked look at the boys it looks angry and hate filled

      Reply to Comment
      • Sare

        Sean who is hate filled is people who think like yourself. He is only a child and you do not have any right to make assumptions that he is hateful. He might have been scared because the police ran towards him as if he was an adult. Israel needs to bear in mind that these are children and not adults and you need to treat them as children.

        Reply to Comment
    7. John

      Comment deleted.

      Reply to Comment
    8. eddie

      SEAN really the Jew looks shocked or is it a smirk and he is taunting the boy and the boy is not angry but frightened all i see is Injustice and bravery on the part of the Girl who defended the Boy

      Reply to Comment
    9. Michael Moore

      Citing facebook groups shows what quality your journalism is… this is some of the worst journalism I’ve ever seen.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Jennifer

      I agree with Eddie – looks like a triumphant smirk to me.
      The first tree comments quoted in the article are appalling.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Paola

      Jerusalem Day is a disgrace. Sahar is a hero.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Chava

      Please remember that the woman who intervened between the soldier and the boy was an Israeli. No nation is all good or all bad. It saddens me as much to see people talk about “Israeli pigs” as it does to see them say the same thing about Arabs.

      Reply to Comment
    13. hass

      Chava, regardless of the national identity of the 22 year old activist, the day when an Israeli is forced into a tented refugee camp is the day you can claim moral equivalency between the plights of Palestinians and Israelis. The fact is that it is the Palestinians who are being wiped out, not the Israelis. One is the oppressor and one is the oppressed.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Elisabeth

      I agree with you completely Chava. I was surprised that the “Israeli pigs” comment wasn’t deleted. And Hass: Did you read what Chava wrote? Where does she claim “moral equivalency”?

      Reply to Comment
    15. That’s one brave young woman. To quote Hadag Nachash, who wrote a song about a similar young woman, “Bella Bellissima.”

      Reply to Comment
    16. funes

      She is simply a traitor. The Arabs have no idea of how to run a state while still in the tribal stage.
      One incident in Israel and thousands killed in Syria on a daily basis-but the world does not care.
      How do you account for that?

      Reply to Comment
    17. Harry

      Have to agree with Chava. No nation is all good or bad. There are extremists in both. Just like there was the soldier, who yes, in my opinion was way out of line in chasing that boy, and just like there are the extremists who shout ‘death to the arabs’, there are also the bystanders, like the israeli woman who intervene. So too, there are the palestinian extremists, who hold their children up as shield with rifles at the age of 3 and train them to shoot israelis. Every nation has extremists.

      However, Israel itself, as a body, as a country, does not condone such behaviour or employ it as an ideology. Do you know what the protocol is for an israeli soldier when coming in contact with an enemy who is about to commit a crime/potentially harmful act (ie.kill somebody, blow something up), that they are unable to stop without weaponry? ill tell you:
      1) take out the gun, to show him you are armed, as a warning.
      2) shoot in the air, as a preliminary warning.
      3) shoot in the air again, to let him know that he needs to stop what he is doing.
      4) shoot on the ground near the enemy.
      5) shoot the enemy in the foot
      6) shoot the enemy in the leg
      7) kill the enemy.

      if israeli soldiers skip ONE of these steps, they will be discharged.
      Israel does employ morality as a principle. I cannot speak for the palestinanin authoritative bodies as i do not know enough about it. However every nation has extremists. And for you to call israeli’s ‘pigs’, you are only making yourselves one of them.
      5) shoot the enemy in his foot

      Reply to Comment
    18. Camilla A.

      Sahar is my hero. Such a brave girl. And some of those whose comments are quoted in the article should, with all the due respect, see a doctor. A good one.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Alon

      Curtis. You’re a racist. If this clip should have shown you anything, it is that not all Israeli’s are Palestinian hating thugs. What do you say for the Israeli activist who put herself in the way of the soldier? And for this website which is the product of an Israeli-Palestininan collaborative endevaour? Try to avoid knee jerk reactions.

      Reply to Comment
    20. WE should be more balanced and dont forget that it as an Israeli girl who defended the boy

      Reply to Comment
    21. Mitchell Cohen

      No doubt I disagree with the border police officer who chased down the ten year old boy. I would like to know though: If the comment about “living with Israeli pigs” wasn’t deleted, what the heck did “John” say that his comment was deleted? Lisa, you did say to “Caden” on another thread you wouldn’t tolerate racism. I am disappointed at you (even if not 100% surprised).

      Reply to Comment
    22. Elisabeth

      “if israeli soldiers skip ONE of these steps, they will be discharged.”

      If that were true, the IDF could be called a moral army. And I understand that you want to believe it is true.

      But I have seen video’s of soldiers shooting people throwing rocks (would you call that “kill somebody, blow something up?”), or even just demonstrating without using any violence. None of these soldiers have been dismissed.
      Take also for instance the case of captain R. who was promoted to the rank of major after he shot a little girl.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iman_Darweesh_Al_Hams

      Open your eyes, and stop believing in fairytales.

      Reply to Comment
    23. You know, Elisabeth, one of those people said that arguing with me was like arguing with a dining table. It really makes me wonder if they are all idiots, or all accomplished professional propagandists, or what.
      .
      It just struck me, ‘Sahar’ is probably ‘Shachar’ (שחר) = Dawn. I think there’s a fashion now for not bothering with phonetic transliteration.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Rahab

      what I do not understand in Harry’s comment: how comes to see this boy as enemy?

      Reply to Comment
    25. Rowan – The young woman’s name is Sahar – סהר

      Reply to Comment
    26. OMG. “סהר = Moon (literary)”. Gorgeous. thanks, Lisa.

      :-)

      Reply to Comment
    27. Pumpkin

      God bless the boy and the girl who helped him.

      Shameful and shame on these thugs with weapons, who at the best of times, look like uneducated twits.

      This comment was edited.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Smith

      Comment deleted.

      Reply to Comment
    29. AS

      Rowan: There you go again– imagining that anyone who questions your views is a paid propagandist. I’m the person– not “one of those people”- who said that trying to have a conversation with you was like trying to argue with a dining room table. You subscribe to all the fashionable anti-Semitic conspiracy theories: you have stated in previous threads that powerful Jews control the American government and the media and are engaged in a conspiracy to impose their agenda on the world; you are sympathetic to the view that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks are certain the American government was behind them. So, yes, trying to argue with someone who subscribes to such lunatic conspiracy theories is like arguing with a dining room table. By the way, I was quoting my favorite politician, Barney Frank, who was responding to conspiracy theorist nut much like yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYlZiWK2Iy8

      Adam Schwartz
      http://adamschwartzwriter.com/default.html

      Reply to Comment
    30. max

      @Lisa, quite some editing – I presume on both sides; I doubt that this is a ‘scalable process’
      What’s your take on the balance between creating awareness and providing a platform for hate speech? (I’m obviously referring to a parallel post on the site)

      Reply to Comment
    31. Max – This particular article has received unusually high exposure on social media platforms. In cases like this, some strange people tend to wander in and make one-off, undesirable comments that reflect a racist worldview. Comments of that nature are deleted or edited.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Angelo

      So much hate in so small a part of the world!

      Reply to Comment
    33. max

      Lisa – thanks. It may not be the right platform, but I assume that you also think of the more general issue I raised, so if you comment back you’ll get my full appreciation :)

      Reply to Comment
    34. “…you have stated in previous threads that powerful Jews control the American government and the media and are engaged in a conspiracy to impose their agenda on the world; you are sympathetic to the view that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks are certain the American government was behind them…”

      Adam, this is beyond sloppy misquotation, this is lies, the same thing XYZ does.

      Reply to Comment
    35. AS

      Rowan– The comments I was referring to were posted on different threads. I’l copy them and let reader’s decide whether I’ve misrepresented your views. You wrote:

      “As for AIPAC, well, language almost fails me to describe it. That it’s a conspiracy there can be no doubt at all. That it’s Jewish is I think non-controversial. That its aim is indirectly control the entire world, by stacking the US Congress and blackmailing the US President, is I suppose disputable. Some might say, for instance, that it only intends to control a sufficient amount of the world to secure certain vested interests, rather than controlling the whole of it. But that it plots treasonously against the US has been proved over and over again. And that it gets away with this speaks louder than any words ever could.”

      Reply to Comment
    36. AS

      Rowan also wrote: “there is one very clear reason for suspecting a Jewish involvement, namely, the fact that the towers seem to have been pre-rigged with demolition charges, presumably with the connivance of their owners, Larry Silverstein and Frank Lowy. There is equally strong reason for suspecting Saudi involvement, in the matter of the planes. And there is overwhelming evidence of US involvement.”

      Again, readers can judge for themselves whether I’ve misrepresented you.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Yes, they can. Your first quote, as I made clear in the thread from which you extracted it, was somewhat tongue in cheek. Later in the thread, I stated more seriously that AIPAC endeavours to control US foreign policy by “stacking Congress and blackmailing Presidents,” and that it does this by “funding and defunding candidates.” Both these facts are common knowledge, and have been for decades. As for 9/11, your claim that I am “sympathetic to the view that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks are certain the American government was behind them” simply has no support whatever in what I said. “Involvement” is not equivalent to “responsibility,” and when I said “US involvement,” I did not mention wwhat you call “the American government” at all. For someone who teaches writing, even ‘creative’ writing, you have a remarkably slipshod attitude to the meaning of words.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Actually, Rowan, your comment about ‘Jewish involvement’ sounds pretty Der Sturmer-ish. If you wrote a comment like that on my channel, I’d delete it.

      Reply to Comment
    39. If you believe the towers were brought down by pre-rigged demolition charges, which I do, then it’s hard to see how these could have been placed except with the knowledge of the owners. If they had been Koreans, I would have called it “evidence of Korean involvement.”
      .
      A lot of people have no idea how this could have been done, technically, but it has been appears now that it could all have been done from inside the lift-shafts. It so happens that all the ‘core columns’ were accessible from the lift-shafts, and of course teams of ‘lift maintenance engineers’ were going in and out, decommissioning certain lifts for longer or shorter periods, all the time.
      .
      We even know the material that was used and the method: the material was thermite, which is quite commonly used for ‘cutting charges’. You wrap it around the column diagonally, and it works like a shaped charge, cutting through it. there appear to have been cutting charges placed on all of the core columns every five stories or so. This is why the core columns came down in such neat, apparently pre-cut lengths, which was remarked upon at the time.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Rowan – Do not use my channel as a platform for racist conspiracy theories. Stop now.

      Reply to Comment
    41. There’s nothing whatever ‘racist’ about it.

      Reply to Comment
    42. AS

      Rowan–

      Maybe in your world it’s common knowledge that AIPAC blackmails US presidents– but not in mine. James Baker, the secretary of state for the first president Bush, once famously said, “Fuck the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.” The “us” he is referring to are Republicans. It’s difficult to reconcile Baker’s sentiments with the notion that AIPAC has much control over the US Presidency. Obama has been doing everything possible to undermine Netanyahu’s plans to bomb Iran. His military experts have repeatedly and publicly stated that Israel doesn’t have the military capability to stop Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. The purpose of such comments is to pressure Netanyahu to back down, because Obama has made it clear that’s he not calling in the calvary if Israel attacks Iran. If AIPAC is blackmailing Obama, they’re not doing a very good job. Anyway, I would appreciate any hard, credible evidence that AIPAC blackmails US presidents.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Beyond your loony theory about 9/11, which you don’t disavow, you have identified individuals by their ethnicity. Two Koreans committing an act does not make it a Korean act. That is racism. Keep that crap off my channel. No more warnings.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Much as I like you, Lisa, I’d rather be banned from your channel than assent silently to an unjust accusation of racism. I don’t even believe that there is any such thing as a Jewish ‘race’. The issues are political and commercial. People’s political allegiances may, or may not, be a factor. Sometimes their motives are entirely commercial. Today’s power elites are largely transnational, but they use political allegiances, along with commercial incentives, to recruit, even at the elite level. Unless you understand what you are up against, you have no real chance of combating it.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Rowan, I’m sure you think your comments are rational and prejudice-free. But they’re not. There is no logical connection between the second and third sentences of your last comment, for example.

      I have to get back to my paid work now; I’d rather not return to this site later today and have to delete comments about Jews controlling the US government via AIPAC or anything along those lines. Please bear that in mind when you next feel the urge to comment.

      Reply to Comment
    46. OK, Lisa. I shall ignore provocations from Adam etc henceforth.

      :-)

      Reply to Comment
    47. AS

      @Rowan–

      I only recently became aware of 972, but I think it would be best for my mental hygiene if I stayed away from it for awhile. I enjoy getting the POV of view of people who are to the left of my own left-leaning family in Israel, but I have to wade through too many racist sickos in the comments section.

      Knock yourself out, dude!

      Reply to Comment
    48. Kathleen

      Full account at Mondoweiss!

      What an important first hand account and footage. Total defiance of international law, un resolutions (and the UN created Israel), boundaries. “The settlers were still dancing with their flags, while the Palestinian protest desperately tried to raise their flags high enough to be seen through the line of police that seemed to be the buffer between the two protests: the blue and white protest and the red, green, black and white one

      And then acted out with such hatred, cruelty along with defiance of international agreements. “The Israeli flags stormed the empty old city, chanting “death to the Arabs”, “Mohammed is dead”, “may the temple be build and the mosque burned”, and all the while they were waving their flags.”

      So sickening…these Israeli’s have totally lost it. Lost all humanity.

      E Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians! These are illegal actions by Israeli’s!

      Reply to Comment
    49. Kathleen

      Comment deleted.

      Reply to Comment
    50. Kathleen

      Many young and older Jews have been coming out and standing up for legal and human rights of Palestinians over the last five years. A new and welcome change! Sahar Vardi good for you. Would be a great interview with that young Palestinian boy and Sahar.

      Reply to Comment
    51. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel