I-dont-hate-Israel handcuffs, blindfolds and deports Gazan for being in West Bank

Israel/Palestine
on 18 Comments

Imagine if anyone did this kind of stuff to Jews, the outcry there’d be. Howard Schneider of the Washington Post has a great piece on a horrifying and typical case:

Gaza-born Berlanty Azzam, 21, was two months from receiving her bachelor’s degree from Bethlehem University when the past caught up with her.

During a routine stop at a West Bank checkpoint on Oct. 28, an Israeli guard noticed Gaza City as the town of residence on her ID, placed her under arrest for being in the West Bank without permission and, within hours, had her deported back to the Gaza Strip, blindfolded briefly and in handcuffs.

Her case has drawn high-level attention — including inquiries from the U.S. State Department — from those who question whether such a strict enforcement of the rules is reasonable at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he is trying to ease restrictions on Palestinians and encourage economic development as a way to progress toward peace.

h/t Ilene Cohen

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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18 Responses

  1. potsherd
    November 13, 2009, 10:50 pm

    Azzam is a Christian, deported to a place where, if you believe the Zionist propaganda, Christians are persecuted. Where are the Christian protests?

    • Citizen
      November 14, 2009, 6:44 am

      You mean where are the Christian institutional leaders? Busy instructing the pious to
      redeem themselves from the cardinal sin of anti-semitism by ignoring the Palestinian
      plight:
      link to crosscurrents.org

    • potsherd
      November 14, 2009, 10:43 am

      Years ago, when arch-Catholic Henry Hyde was still in Congress, he once expressed concern about the fate of the Bethlehem Christians as the segregation wall was put up. But when I spoke to his office about this, they expressed consternation at the idea that Hyde would ever abandon his 100% support of all Israeli policies just to help the Palestinian Christian community. Maybe if they were Catholics?

  2. g
    November 13, 2009, 11:29 pm

    “an Israeli guard . . . placed her under arrest for being in the West Bank without permission”

    Who was in the West Bank ‘without permission’?

    • Nolan
      November 14, 2009, 3:43 pm

      If there were justice in the world, she would have placed him in handcuffs. But there isn’t, so she didn’t.

  3. Chaos4700
    November 14, 2009, 12:56 am

    Remind us again how Gaza is absolutely nothing like the Warsaw Ghetto.

  4. Don
    November 14, 2009, 1:32 am

    Good question…where to begin? Since I have approached studying I/P in a somewhat unusual way; that is, from the standpoint “primarily of being a Catholic”, your question is quite interesting to me. The phenomenon reviewed below is not widely known, in the sense that anyone seems to attach much importance to it.

    I want to emphasize that I do not see any of the below as “bad things”, with the exception of the abandonment of Palestinians. It seems to me the Church could have found a way, though it is no easy trick, to embrace “solidarity with Jews AND Palestinians”.

    1. The Catholic protest (Bethlehem U is Catholic) is muted; the American Catholic church is “bound”, at present, by the Church’s (antisemitic) history; and the feelings of guilt associated with it.

    Jeff Blankfort has written about Israeli Jews “guilt tripping” American Jews (something I was unaware of). I would not underestimate the power of guilt. And if Israelis have guilt tripped their fellow Jews, it pales in comparison to accusations directed at the Catholic Church. For many Jews, it is “axiomatic” that the Church bears primary responsibility for the holocaust. (something I increasingly find myself disagreeing with; which is not to deny or justify, in any way whatsoever, the Church’s historic and immoral treatment of Jews).

    In case you have not noticed, we cannot, these days, so much as change a Catholic prayer without it being parsed down to commas and semi-colons by any number of Jewish organizations and intellectuals (pardon my frustration, but sometimes it seems a bit much).

    2. As a result of the above, American Catholics took it upon themselves to vigorously participate in interfaith dialogue, primarily with Jews, after the 2nd Vatican Council. American Catholics have played a key role in this effort.

    And it was, in my opinion, morally necessary. The Church needed to rid itself of its’ historical anti-semitism/anti-Judaism. But is has also required very difficult, if not agonizing, moral choices.

    3. Ergo, and not to beat this to death, but Marc Ellis’ description of “the ecumenical deal” is more than pertinent. Ellis basic premise regarding this interfaith dialogue is that the Jewish position was “we (Jews) will agree to participate, if you (Catholics) agree not to raise the issue of Palestinians”. This has been a “tacit”, not “explicit”, agreement.

    The Catholics who have been the key actors in this dialogue are not stupid. They are among the intellectual elite of the American Catholic church. They knew, and know, what they are doing. Palestinian Catholics (yes, there are some of those) are understandably rather bitter about this.

    4. There are more than 20 catholic colleges and universities in the US that have “Catholic Jewish” studies programs. If you add in programs in Holocaust studies, Jewish history and civilization, and majors in “Jewish studies”, the number exceeds 30. Again, I personally see this as a very good phenomenon. (though it would be kinda nice if every once in a while the Jewish American community would acknowledge these efforts.

    For example, the current Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, was doing what before he became ambassador? He was director of the program in Jewish civilization at Georgetown , a Jesuit university. (link to pjc.georgetown.edu)

    The problem with not finding “dual solidarity”, from the get go, is that now things are starting to change. The link below is to a short, and somewhat tedious, paper…but well worth reading. For two reasons in my opinion…
    a. The “tone” of the author is so extraordinarily respectful towards, and concerned about, the feelings of his Jewish audience.
    b. He does point out at the end that American Catholic leaders are starting to change (and in my opinion rather rapidly) in their attitudes toward Israel.

    He understates the case. There is a small war now going on in the American Catholic church over this issue (though unlike the war in the Jewish American community, ours is well under the radar…hard to even know about, unless you happen to be an obsessive compulsive Catholic nutcase like myself).

    Yipes…much too long. Apologies.

    • Citizen
      November 14, 2009, 6:55 am

      The Palestinian Christians need their own Luther; or they should just toss the Church slippers in the trash, realizing those slippers don’t fit.

  5. Cliff
    November 14, 2009, 1:34 am

    Where is that Nazi, Witty to whitewash this?

    • Chaos4700
      November 15, 2009, 2:56 am

      Busy pretending like this thread doesn’t even exist. Obviously.

  6. Don
    November 14, 2009, 1:34 am

    oops…forgot the link…
    link to regis.edu

  7. Nevada Ned
    November 14, 2009, 2:47 am

    What is really new and noteworthy is that the Washington Post is running this story, very damaging to Israel’s image. Before the Gaza Massacre (called the Gaza War by some people), such stories were very rare in the WaPost.

  8. Nolan
    November 14, 2009, 11:09 am

    Students are a threat to Israel.

    link to static.rnw.nl

    • potsherd
      November 14, 2009, 11:19 am

      Students are no threat to Israel. Israel is just practicing meanness for the sake of meanness. Because they can. And when these young people, thwarted of their legitimate, peaceful ambitions, turn to violence as the only alternative, Israel jumps up and says, “See! The Arabs are all terrorists! This proves it.”

      And the US goes along with Israeli lies because the officials are terrified that they might be linked to a Hasan and held responsible for “allowing terrorists into the country.”

      • Nolan
        November 14, 2009, 11:54 am

        I was being facetious. I think we need a sarcasm tag here seeing as I made the same mistake in another post.

      • potsherd
        November 14, 2009, 12:10 pm

        Ah. I think this site needs completely different software, but tags are a part of it.

  9. GalenSword
    November 14, 2009, 3:28 pm

    Israeli treatment of Palestinians is the model that Zionists are successfully bringing to the USA and Europe.

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