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Top cop smacks Arab lawyer in the face at Nakba demo

As more videos are surfacing and telling of yesterday’s events,one of them is going viral. In it you can see Kobi Bachar, deputy commander of the Galilee District Police, slapping an Arab lawyer roughly in the face after she asked him why he was arresting protesters.

Ynet reports:

“The protester, Attorney Maisa Arshid of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, had joined around 25 other Arab students in marking the Palestinian day of mourning over Israel’s founding.

Police had come to disperse the gathering, which took place near the border-side town of Avivim, because the protesters did not have a permit. But they refused to vacate the area, which due to escalations in violence across the border had been declared a closed military zone.”

Of course, the police reaction was that they were provoked. “Israel Police had no official comment, but the Galilee subdivision said the protesters had clearly been attempting to create a provocation. ‘Though they were told it was an illegal protest they did not respond to the police’s request to vacate the area and forces were forced to use reasonable force to disperse them. Eight were arrested,’ the district said in a statement”, Ynet continues.

Sure, you can clearly see it. I see it. I totally understand Bachar. He’s not a hotheaded new recruit. He’s an experienced officer, he knows very well what he’s doing. I feel like I can read his mind:

“That female lawyer had the nerve to ask me why I was detaining protesters, the ruler of the land? She even stood two feet away! How dare she?! If that’s not a provocation, I don’t know what is!  Bam! Slap across the face! That’ll teach her. A good slap in the face. That’ll teach all them negroes to go back n’ stick to pickin’ cotton and….. oops… wait a minute…. where am I?”

Sick, sick society. Makes me nauseous.

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    1. Louis

      Ami, A very good comparison to Selma in the 1960s… That indeed is the attitude that the cops here have… unbridled power coupled with complete disregard for rights and human dignity

      Reply to Comment
    2. louis

      PS Meissa is a quintessential human rights defender. It is her vocation and her avocation. She was attacked a number of levels (no hierarchy implied in the levels). She was attacked as Palestinian woman by a Jewish-white-Israeli male with power, physical and institutional, she was attacked as a human rights advocate, she was attacked as person asserting her rights and the rights of others. The question is to what extent will this be tolerated? If we judge the answer to that question by recent history we will find that impunity will be the rule and a triumph of rights will be the exception. That, in a nutshell is the Occupation…

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ali

      what an Animal!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Deper

      You can hear her hit him first.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Well you can sure hear something happening before the camera swings over to her. I hate when you only get a piece of a story.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Joseph Shalom

      Deper, that’s a racist comment you are making. “You can hear her hit him first.” Aside from a sixth bigoted sense that you appear to posses, there is no rational way you can arrive at your conclusion. It is pure prejudicial nonsense. This video clip depicts clearly what occurs there daily: a hate-filled, inexcusable, racist abuse of power by a member of a brutal occupation force. Face up to what has become of Israel and work to change it.

      Reply to Comment
    7. jabbrik

      comment was removed

      Reply to Comment
    8. Yishai

      Even if the spurious claim that “you can hear her hit him first” were true (which I seriously doubt), it is part of the job description of a police officer to remain professional. It doesn’t matter what petty provocation, if any, triggered this disgusting act, the very fact that it is a police officer — and not just a police officer, but a commander — who did this is absolutely out of line. And I have to agree, although I dislike historical comparisons, the swaggering attitude of the officer both before and after he strikes the woman is a chilling reminder of the American south in the early 1960s. He walks around like Bull Connor. But exactly.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Mikhael

      Bull Connor, Bull Sh*t. These are no Freedom Riders, but 5th Columnists who on that day were actively aiding and abetting foreign infiltrators from neighboring hostile enemy states to invade the country. It was made clear that they were in a closed military zone and the MAGAV and army were dealing with the infiltrators from Syria and Lebanon that this woman helped cross into the border and she is asking why she can’t demonstrate there after being told to leave the area repeatedly. She is lucky she only got a little slap on the face.

      Kobi Bachar acted with restraint, if anything.

      Reply to Comment
    10. wm

      This comment has been edited
      Mikhael– It’s not okay to slap someone just because you’re angry and you think they’ve been disrespectful towards you. It was caught on tape, he should apologize and face consequences. I wonder why the tape hasn’t received more attention — possibly because the writer of this blog felt the need to sensationalize things even further by pretending to read the mind of the police officer and adding broad commentary like “sick, sick society, makes me nauseous.”

      Reply to Comment
    11. Y.

      Comment has been deleted
      Ami: @Y – please refrain from putting words in my mouth. Thanks.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Arlosoroff

      He’s a thug, and needs to be fired.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Mikhael

      I didn’t say it was ok, per se. It was truthfully, unprofessional and caught on tape, as you state. I propose a metaphorical slap (on the wrist) for a slap.

      The comparisons to Bull Connor, who unleashed wild attack dogs on peaceful protesters is completely unwarranted and is indicative of the ridiculous, histrionic hyperbole that is tossed around, as you pointed out.

      Police officers and soldiers are supposed to be professional and not react angrily to provocations, but they are humans and have the same stress hormones as anger responses as everyone else. In general, the IDF and MAGAV reacted with restraint on a tense day, that’s why a mere 14 violent infiltrators out of thousands who breached the border were killed. No sovereign country would or should tolerate such a thing.

      Reply to Comment
    14. cmon

      In the States if you don’t do what the police say you get arrested. If you resist, like this woman did, the police have a right to use force. Usually its 3 cops forcing you to the ground, or macing you in the face.

      Reply to Comment
    15. MikeB

      And what will be the net result of all the publicity?
      Why, Israel will crack down on videos, of course. There’s lots of laws in the US now that make photographing police a crime.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Su

      If I were a Palestinian, I would love if my neighbor was like you.
      @DEPER: He can’t hit a woman.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Usama

      Are people actually shocked? Credit to this cop for showing restraint. I’ve seen much worse.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Robert

      What a pig he is..and you can see in the footage that she did not! As the first comment went..reminds me of Selma, Alabama!

      Reply to Comment
    19. Lydda Four Eight

      watch the video she did not hit him first.

      the fact that this officer was aggressively asserting his power as a male, as a white man, as an Israeli, as an officer is striking.

      the manner in which he chooses violence, slapping a woman, is also striking. makes me wonder how he treats his mother? if he has a wife and how he treats her, a sister how he treats her?

      Reply to Comment
    20. Rage

      Mikhaïl you are laughable with you pathetic attempt to justify racist hatred and police brutality with imaginary “foreign infiltrators” the peaceful protesters were shot on Lebanese soil as they were approaching the border. Unifil confirmed they had not crossed the blue line, and even if they had, opening fire on unarmed civilians, causing 14 dead and hundreds of wounded is a crime against humanity. With this attitude of supporting and justifying such you are only proving to the world you are brutal criminals and merciless animals. Palestinians have suffered and bled under your boots for half a century, the day the tide will turn, and it’s getting near, no one will have mercy on you, like you had none when you had the upper hand. May Gd forgive you, because we will not

      Reply to Comment
    21. Rage

      “usama” maybe you should get a taste of it, or “much worse”, and then give credit to the cop

      Reply to Comment
    22. max

      Rage your rage towards the Lebanese army (who were doing their job too aggressively)

      Reply to Comment
    23. redux

      @mikhael – by “foreign infiltrators” you mean the native sons and daughters of this land cleansed and dispersed not a mere 63 yrs ago.

      and a racist cop nonchalantly slapping a civilian woman in total awareness of his impunity is “unprofessional”. even for an apologist of zionism this is pretty low.

      “lucky she only got a little slap…” – you would have showed her, right?

      me thinks you all know the game is up and its but a matter of time, before its curtains for this sick little fascist society….

      Reply to Comment
    24. Orly frank

      Cops are no less brutal or abusive of power in the USA . A pig is a pig in any language.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Mikhael


      It’s bad enough that some of the foreign infiltrators succeeded in crossing. Why should our army, and border guard, whose job it is to protect me and my fellow Israelis wait until they cross over when they are clearly a threat? If foreigners want to visit our country, they must possess a valid passport and the necessary visas. It also helps to not be residents or citizens of a foreign enemy state and chanting slogans about ending the existence of Israel. Outside of the members states of the EU (but try getting from outside the EU into the EU), no country, even countries with peaceful relations such as the US/Canada tolerates people crossing the border like that with no documentation or inspection.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Mikhael


      No, by “foreign infiltrators” I mean the foreign infiltrators. These were residents of Syria and Lebanon, enemy states, one of which is in the midst of brutally suppressing its own poplar uprisings.

      Indeed she is lucky she only got a little slap, for demanding to demonstrate in a closed military zone. By that I mean she is lucky she lives in Israel. If she lived in Syria, she would be buried in a mass grave alongside all the other protesters against Assad.

      Reply to Comment
    27. From gotnotruck: What I’d like to know more about is torture in Israeli prisons. Go see “Miral” by Julian Shnabel, a Jewish American artist become filmmaker, married to a Palestinian. Google “The New Israeli Left” in The Nation magazine. The IDf doesn’t just beat people up and kill peaceful protestors, or those throwing rocks, on their own ever-expanding soil, but make frequent incursions into what is supposed to be Palestinian land. Yet Obama in his speech at the State Dept, just said that a Palestinian State must be demilitarized. Great idea if the IDF were even reasonable, instead of being, when stressed out, brutal and yes, racist. As a white Southern atheist of Christian derivation, (NOT anti semitic, just pointing out it wasn’t all Driving Miss Daisy), who along with other white Southerners was in the civil rights movement, and, before it began, drank from “colored” drinking fountains, peed in “colored” women’s rooms, waited in “colored’ waiting rooms, (unless they asked me to leave for their safety), I appreciate that no one has said the South is racist now. As Bob Moser wrote, “Talking about race in the South is a way of not talking about race in the rest of the country”. Here it’s a way of talking about racism in Israel. (And in some of the Jewish community in New York. Where was the ADL when in the Kuchner debate Mr Wiesenstein (?) said Arabs were “subhuman”? If that isn’t defamation, I don’t know what is. I also have a problem with their Campus Watch, a program for students to monitor profs and make sure they’re sufficiently pro Israel. I keep urging The NYTimes to do a magazine cover story on Aipac, the second most powerful lobby after the NRA. We’ll see. I doubt it. Meanwhile, on MSNBC evangelicals get blamed for Israel’s foibles, (to put it mildly). I stopped watching Bill Maher after he began to call anyone who isn’t bicoastal “rube, red neck, hillbilly, cracker, etc.” All regional and ethnic slurs. How horrible that someone would work in a field! Unless it’s a cool urban locavore providing organic greens at a green market in a city. The actual derivation of “red neck”, however, was from brave W Va coal miners trying to unionize, who wore red kerchiefs as they marched towards The National Guard who shot them down. Does that resonate, and take us back full circle?

      Reply to Comment
    28. David

      Does sharia law not state that you can smack a woman as long as it does not hurt her too bad? I think I recall many an Imam agreeing with this. So in a way the Police officer was only ‘reaching’ out to the Lady Lawyer.
      Btw looooove the Selma reminders here. Holocaust, Selma, what’s next? Surprise me , please.

      Reply to Comment
    29. cmon

      Regarding Israeli prisons there was a recent article in Haaretz concerning a Palestinian who just got out of a Fatah prison. He said he was treated way better in an Israeli prison! I’d wager 9 out of 10 Palestinians would take an Israeli prison over a Fatah one and 10 out of 10 would over a Hamas prison!

      Reply to Comment
    30. Bruce Buchanan

      I am so sad! I’m 63, but didn’t know until I was 21 that my father grew-up Jewish, in NY. We was probably one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known, but also, very cruel, & a bully (a deceased Federal judge). He & I were like oil & water; I was raised in Fundamentalist Christianity, & disowned when I was 15. F.C. still scares me to this day! I just started my own Spiritual,path about 11 years ago, & have wanted to move to Israel, to mostly ONLY read, write, & study (wisdom). Over the years, I’ve had police beat the crap out of me (with flashlights, put guns to my head, etc.) & I hammered a few of them, too, when younger, & healthier. I can’t understand why they’re usually so fearful! There’s good & bad everywhere; take the good & leave the rest!

      Reply to Comment
    31. Mike

      CMON- regarding the jail they would prefer, i agree, and have talked to palestinian’s with such opinions. the bigger question is if this in any way explains away the police man’s action (oh, it is worse elsewhere, look away; BS). further why are fatah and hamas so very harsh? oh yeah, they live under brutal siege and occupation, and are stateless, and the political mayhem is a result of israeli actions, if you want to be honest. this also does not excuse it… but the root of fatah brutality has some israeli origins (even hamas, as the partially failed fatah coup was forced on fatah when all funding was cut). for fatah, to get their funding, they are forced to be brutal and work WITH israeli intelligence in keeping the occupation humming along peacefully. again… i make no excuses for their VERY harsh tactics, but the thing we ALL should focus on is israeli occupation and colonization. they will have a very moderate state if they were just allowed to…. i have lived in the west bank; on average palestinians are quite educated and desire law and order and true democracy (but freedom must come first for it to progress further).

      Reply to Comment
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