Above is one of the most infuriating video clips I have ever seen, but it is not shocking to me because I know this type of behavior by Israeli forces is commonplace according to reports I have read.
This is the beating of 15-year-old Tarek Khdeir who is a Palestinian student from Florida who was out protesting with other inhabitants of Arab East Jerusalem. They were collectively angry about the burning-to-death of Tarek’s cousin, Muhammad, and this is how they often treat Palestinian/Arab/Moslem children who use their voice and throw simple stones, even if they are American.
According to the NYT and the AP, six young men have been arrested as suspects in last weeks beating and burning death of a 16 year old Palestinian boy named Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The autopsy revealed that the victim was still alive when the burning took place.
The AP reports that, “Israeli authorities said the killers [of Khdeir] had acted out of ‘”nationalistic”‘ motives.” The “grisly” murder happened shortly after the burial of three kidnapped and murdered Israeli youths whose bodies were found in the West Bank near Hebron a few days before .
Now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel stated that, “We do not differentiate between terrorists,” referring to rather they are Israeli or Arab. “We will respond to all of them.”
But according to a quote in the AP piece, Khdeir’s mother argued that, in reference to the six arrested Israeli suspects, that, “They need to treat them the way they treat us. They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do it to our children.”
The Israelis rounded up 800 prisoners in the West Bank, killed six in their operations, and destroyed two homes and countless “Hamas targets” during the search for the youths over a three week period. There is a double standard.
Judging by reports, a third intifada could become a reality in Israel/Palestine if something does not break in the search for the three missing Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Four Palestinians, one of them 15, have already been killed by Israeli troops and 340 have been arrested by their forces in an operation called Brother’s Keeper.
The photos of the Palestinian deceased have been hoisted at mass funerals for they are seen as martyrs in the liberation struggle.
Emotions are being ramped up more and more every day according to this NYT piece.
In The Guardian yesterday there was a piece on striking testimonies from Israeli soldiers recounting their own violence against the people of occupied Palestine.
The Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence has been collecting these testimonies for it’s ten years of existence and conducted a reading in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square on Friday: the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land in 1967.
They are all horror stories that recount the brutal nature of the occupation down to small incidents detailing differing types of atrocities against innocent Palestinian citizens. And it shows that even Israelis, themselves, feel guilt over their little part of the internationally condemned occupation.
Here is just one of the recounted incidents found in the article linked here:
Paratrooper, 2002, Nablus
We took over a central house, set up positions, and one of the sharpshooters identified a man on a roof, two roofs away, I think he was between 50 and 70 metres away, not armed. I looked at the man through the night vision – he wasn’t armed. It was two in the morning. A man without arms, walking on the roof, just walking around. We reported it to the company commander. The company commander said: “Take him down.” [The sharpshooter] fired, took him down. The company commander basically ordered, decided via radio, the death sentence for that man. A man who wasn’t armed.
I saw with my own eyes that the guy wasn’t armed. The report also said: “A man without arms on the roof.” The company commander declared him a lookout, meaning he understood that the guy was no threat to us, and he gave the order to kill him and we shot him. I myself didn’t shoot, my friend shot and killed him. And basically you think, you see in the United States there’s the death penalty, for every death sentence there are like a thousand appeals and convictions, and they take it very seriously, and there are judges and learned people, and there are protests and whatever. And here a 26-year-old guy, my company commander, sentenced an unarmed man to death.
A short report in The Guardian on today’s meeting between Pres. Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu in Washington.
It correctly reports that the U.S. will not be able to protect Israel from international sanctions if some sort of movement towards peace with the occupied Palestinian peoples is not reached by April.