Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are fair game. They’re fair game in the occupied territories and fair game in Israel. They’re fair game because their blood is cheap. It’s cheap in Umm al-Hiran and cheap at the Tul Karm checkpoint. It’s cheap at construction sites and cheap at roadblocks.
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When the people killed are Arabs, nobody cares. When a soldier is killed in an accident, it’s front-page news. But when a Palestinian is killed while just waking up at home, nobody cares.
Not one of the people killed in the last few days would have been shot to death if he weren’t a Palestinian or a Bedouin. It’s doubtful if any of them deserved to die. Was this wholesale killing designed to divert attention from another story, as has happened in Israel before and is customary in dark regimes? It’s hard to tell. But it’s easy to say with certainty: They’re fair game.
They were fair game Wednesday in the Negev. Behold, Zionism 2017 – destroying a community of Bedouin refugees in order to build a Jewish community in its place. That’s the basic Zionist violence; nationalist and racist. Compare the case to the Amona outpost and you have perfect evidence of apartheid: negotiations and compensation for Jews, brutality for Arabs.
In no eviction of Jews would the police have fired that way. In Umm al-Hiran it’s allowed. It’s also allowed to wound Joint List leader Ayman Odeh because the police have been trained to think Arab Knesset members are traitors. That’s what they heard from their public security minister, Gilad Erdan.
Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, a teacher, was shot to death in his car for allegedly ramming it into policemen on purpose. Immediately the authorities spread their lies about him. They said he was linked to the Islamic State and had four wives. (MK Ahmad Tibi says Abu al-Kiyan’s only wife has a Ph.D., while his brother is an inspector in the Education Ministry).
After that, how can anyone believe the police, who hastily claimed he deliberately ran over policemen? At least one witness, Kobi Snitz, told a website he saw the opposite. First the police sprayed Abu al-Kiyan’s car with bullets, then he lost control. A video posted Wednesday also raises heavy suspicions about what happened. You get the impression the shooting preceded the ramming.
But so much over the past week preceded the events at Umm al-Hiran. In the Fara refugee camp, soldiers killed a man who had just woken up; 11 bullets from point-blank range in front of his mother; the soldiers say he tried to attack them. Mohammed al-Salahi was an only son who lived with his mother in a single room.
In the Palestinian town of Tuqu, the Border Police shot a 17-year-old, Qusai al-Amour, who had thrown stones – obvious revenge. They then dragged the dying youth on the ground like a sack of potatoes. His head was battered on the rocks as they did so, while the cameras filmed.
The next day, the cameras also documented the killing of Nadal Mahadawi, 44, at the Tul Karm checkpoint. The sight was horrific. He’s seen standing quietly while the soldiers shoot for no apparent reason. When he tries to flee, in what appears to be a dash for his life, they kill him.
But no big deal, the “terrorist” was killed. That’s how the media portrayed it. The dragging of the wounded youth at Tuqu and the execution at the checkpoint should shock anyone. Above all, they should shock all Israelis, because the perpetrators are theirs sons, their soldiers and their police. But the victims were Palestinians.
A straight line passes through Umm al-Hiran, Tuqu, Fara and Tul Karm – the line of dehumanization guiding the soldiers and police. It begins with the incitement campaigns and ends with trigger-happy troops.
The roots are deep; they must be acknowledged. To most Israelis, all Arabs are the same and they’re not human beings equal to us. They’re not like us. They don’t love their children or their lives the way we do. They were born to kill. There’s no problem killing them. They’re all enemies, suspicious objects, terrorists, murderers – their lives and deaths are cheap.
So kill them, because nothing bad will happen to you. Kill them, because it’s the only way to treat them.