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Protesting the revolting death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah

Last night I went to the demonstration in Tel Aviv to protest of the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah in Bilin on Friday. Being a family man, it’s hard to be as active as I once was. But I really wanted to go to this one. To put it simply, Jawahar’s death disgusted me.

The ease in which non violent protesters in the territories are killed and injured is revolting. I stood last night in front of the Defense Ministry to point a finger at the man responsible, Ehud Barak, for the death of Jawahar. I joined the chants, “Ehud Barak, Defense Minister, how many female protesters have you killed so far?” The words were not easy to say. I felt uncomfortable. But I said them. And then I said “Democracy is not built on the bodies of protesters”, and it rang true just as well.

And then I saw the police brutality saved for left wingers. I’ve been to my share of demos. When I was a teenager demonstrating against religious coercion, I never saw such force. When I was a student on strike at Tel Aviv University, I never saw such force. When I witnessed the disengagement from Gaza in Gush Katif, I never saw such force. What I did see was the disrespect, maybe even the hate, in the eyes of the policemen.

Below is an unedited video of the footage I took with my pocket camera last night. After 30 seconds, the blocking of the road begins, and some of the arrests start at 5:00. At 9:57 a violent arrest takes place.

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    1. Shelly

      I’m glad you’re safe. I couldn’t help thinking, as I watched your footage, of Kent State and that famous photo, I’m sure you know it, I found it on Wikipedia.( link )

      This is what we have come to. Of course we were already there decades ago when a Peace Now demonstrator was shot and killed (I forgot his name).

      The thing is, that the “hate” in the policemens’ eyes that you saw was matched by the “hate” in the protesters eyes, I’m sure. That’s what makes this whole situation doubly difficult.
      The hate that both Jewish sides feel towards each other. The kind of people that join the police as opposed to the kind of people that demonstrate. The way each side looks down at the other. It’s sociological.

      And who was that screaming woman in the background – screaming in English?
      I think that screeching foreign voice would have made me, if I was a cop, even more livid.

      It’s all so sad and complex.

      Reply to Comment
    2. You saw “hate”in the eyes of the Police.I dont believe that you would have seen the same in the eyes of the peaceful demonstrators.What you would have seen,I believe,is outrage.This is mirrored in people all over the world.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Woody

      “The hate that both Jewish sides feel towards each other.”

      I know it may be difficult for +972 readers to imagine, but there are also NON-JEWS involved here. You know, there are 20+% of the 1948 Israel population that aren’t Jewish, as well as 50+% of the overall population under Israeli control who are non-Jews.

      People are always talking about how they want to bring a real democracy to Israel, but they can’t even implement pro-democratic, even LIBERAL, language in their understanding of the situation. Shelly – it’s people like you that caused and maintain the problem here. That problem is Jewish racism and Zionism. You can’t even imagine that this protest is nothing more than a Jewish Conversation. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising given that +972 also imagines the conflict as a Jewish conversation.

      Reply to Comment
    4. maayan

      That’s right, any time you get some history or a discussion from somebody who is Jewish or Israeli about the conflict, they are racists.

      It’s funny because the other day one of the people here called me a racist for no reason other than his disagreement with my views. Glad that somebody else is doing it to the people here.

      Now if only we could get the Woodys and the pro-Palestinian activists of the world to address the real bigotry of the Palestinians against the Jews (Abbas’s “not one Israeli will live in Palestine” apparently modified from the original “not one Jew”), the bigotry of Muslim Palestinians against Christian Palestinians, the bigotry of the Egyptians against Egyptian Copts, the bigotry of Saudi Arabia against any non-Muslim, and so on.
      Last time I checked, non-Jewish Muslims and Christians in Israel were deeply into their co-existence with the Jewish population, their standard of living rising alongside their longevity (the Israeli-Arab men’s is now actually higher than longevity in the US), unafraid to criticize Israel publicly or to demonstrate on behalf of Israel’s enemies even in wartime, sending hostile politicians to the Knesset, preparing angry rewriting of history by groups like Adalah (that is, Israeli-trained Arab-Israeli lawyers using the subsidized education they received from Israel to attack it) and enjoying full and robust freedom of expression and of religion.
      But what do I know? In the past week I swam in a pool alongside Israeli Arabs, watched construction of a house close to my home where the workers were Arabs but so was the main contractor, played (expensive) bowling next to an Israeli-Arab family in a shopping center in the heart of a Jewish-Israeli city, given my medication by a (gorgeous) Israeli-Arab pharmacist in a Jewish-Israeli owned pharmacy, drove by Arab towns that were reachable from the 6 highway to the same degree Israeli Jewish towns are and ate at an Arab-Israeli restaurant recommended to me by a local Jewish Israeli, where my Arab hosts and their kids could only be differentiated from Israelis by their spoken language, not their dress, mannerisms or looks. That’s the Israel I see every day.

      I think the rhetoric of this conflict and the strong desire to constantly attack Israel for it (instead of the Arab side), has brought about a total skewing of the reality which exists in Israel today.

      Reply to Comment