Amira Hass, who drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in Haaretz last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article. I have embedded the interview below, which is in two parts, and highly recommend watching it.
Hass speaks so directly and cooly about the situation as she sees it – saying plainly that Israel has become a foreign ruler in this place and cannot expect to survive this way. You can understand from her answers that she is portraying what she has been witness to as a reporter in the occupied Palestinian territories for 20 years.
Here are some choice quotes from her interview I want to highlight:
Any hegemonic group, sees its hegemony, and the violence it uses, as self-evident, as a natural thing. And we do everything possible to protect this hegemony.
I don’t like the term non-violent because it puts the onus on the occupied rather than on the occupier.
Answering the question about the significance of Kerry’s visit to the region, she said
negotiation becomes an end to itself, and not a means to reach independence…U.S. policy is to keep the status quo going.
We maintain our hegemony with the use of almost unlimited institutional power against the Palestinians…Palestinians have tried many ways, diplomatic ways and others to resist Israeli domination and it has not suceeded. Stone throwing is a message, and the Israelis don’t listen to it. Twenty-five years ago in the first Intifada, Israelis did listen – they did understand it’s a message - not in order to kill or hit somebody but to tell, you are unwelcome visitors in our midst.