2 pictures of children

on 51 Comments

Please indulge me. But I love these faces. They are “just” children, Silwan’s children, Palestine’s children, our (global) children, our future. First picture:

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — The Madaa Creative Center “Summer Games” program was launched yesterday in Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan. The Games features a wide range of activities for children during one week of the summer holiday period, including games, educational activities and entertainment. The week will be concluded with a colorful street rally in Wadi Hilweh, a tradition since 2008 when the first rally was staged as a community gathering and protest against settlement policy in Silwan.

2011 marks the fifth consecutive Summer Games event, under the “I Love You Silwan” banner. The Games seek to inspire pride amongst Silwan’s young residents in their community. Silwan is inhabited by 55,000 Palestinians and 300 Israeli settlers. Over 70% of Palestinian residents live below the poverty line, and all must pay taxes to the Israeli state, which does not provide municipal services in return.

I discovered Wadi Hilweh Information Center-Silwan when I started following @sarahonline @ Twitter.

It’s not all fun and camp in Silwan. Second picture. From a month back, Dark days for Silwan’s youth.

Looks awfully young, don’t you think?

7 children numbered amongst 8 arrested by Israeli forces in Silwan today. One child arrested, Yahya al-Rishaq, is not even 6 years of age. Despite al-Rishaq’s attempts to persuade soldiers not to take his young son, Israeli forces insisted on his arrest.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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51 Responses

  1. dimadok
    July 22, 2011, 10:31 am

    Look at the mirror and see yourself? Your self-righteousness is showing.

    French police fire tear gas at stone-throwing high school students :
    link to msnbc.msn.com

    Boy, 10, arrested after ‘stone throwing’ death crash
    link to bbc.co.uk

    link to telegraph.co.uk

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    Shock as stone-throwing Dundee youths target vehicles
    link to thecourier.co.uk

    Fires and rioting in Stockholm suburb
    link to thelocal.se

    Child killed by stones
    link to shilo.org.il

    Mexico’s government has destined the fatal shooting of a Mexican man who was supposedly throwing stones at US agents across the Tijuana-San Diego fence.
    link to zimbio.com

    • annie
      July 22, 2011, 10:43 am

      nothing to see here folks. just another apartheid apologist flinging accusations to deflect attention away from the gross violations of human rights taking place by the iof.

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 11:57 am

        having children as shield and use it for a provocation is a violations of human rights itself, how many videos have seen that there bunch of children with flags marching and then behind them there are their adults..

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 11:59 am

        children being used as provocation? odd you would say that. what is so provocative to a soldier about children?

      • Taxi
        July 22, 2011, 12:03 pm

        Hey Hamish,

        Thanks for reminding us that ‘Israelis Use Gaza Child As Human Shield’:
        link to youtube.com

        Go hide your head in the sand you disgusting defender and enabler of child-abuse!

      • Ofer Neiman
        July 22, 2011, 1:27 pm

        Hamishe_Sabz, in Silwan young children often throw stones at the armed thugs who enforce the occupation there. Adults are not needed.

        Israel regards this as terrorism, of course. And Israel refuses to abide by international treaties on the rights of children.

        Now, anything you wish to add about, say, Upper Volta?

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:03 pm

        you are welcome…you guys are really tough around here…how did i defend a child abuser in my post.
        enlighten me!…

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 3:06 pm

        how did i defend a child abuser in my post.

        according to you those innocent iof’s were provoked, weren’t they? you suggested palestinians were use their own children as human shields. disgusting

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:09 pm

        you are right, as simple as that….they are is some cases abused by the soldier (all those sound bombs and gas etc.., b/c a soldier is not trained like a police force on how to deal with civilians, specially when children are involved .

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:16 pm

        i dont understand why talking is a disgusting thing!

        its not according to me, its according to the most youtube videos on the silwan rallys etc…a soldier is not trained like a police force on how to deal with civilians, specially when children are involved .

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 3:17 pm

        a soldier is not trained like a police force on how to deal with civilians, specially when children are involved .

        and that Hamishe_Sabz, is called a defense. do you know they actually have special units who abuse children? that’s right the (8 or more, i cannot recall off the top of my head) kids rounded up in their playground while playing soccer from the village practicing non violence against israel’s occupation and apartheid were surrounded and kidnapped by a special unit. the police interrogations, not pretty and include torture. don’t pretend the police are not complicit in this, not for one second.

      • tree
        July 22, 2011, 3:22 pm

        …b/c a soldier is not trained like a police force on how to deal with civilians, specially when children are involved .

        What a sorry admission. Most of the IDF soldiers face Palestinian civilians everyday, and you are saying that they aren’t trained to deal with them? And child arrests( in the middle of the night, no less) are one of the activities that the IDF does regularly, but you expect us to excuse that because the po’ widdle IDF doesn’t know how to deal with children? What the F– have they been doing all these decades dealing with civilians, and children, if they aren’t “trained” for it?

        BTW, I think they very well are trained to deal with civilian adults and children, its just that their “training” is just another point of oppression in a decades long brutal occupation

      • sandy
        July 22, 2011, 3:32 pm

        “include torture”


      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:43 pm

        what is the reason that kids rounded up in their playground while playing soccer from the village???

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 3:45 pm

        reason? israel doesn’t need a reason?

      • dimadok
        July 22, 2011, 3:47 pm

        “do you know they actually have special units who abuse children?’

        Get a grip, please, or provide with the source.

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 5:30 pm

        scroll. do your own homework. scroll past the ones about jpost fabricating information, the one with the video of breaking the guys hand, past

        Bassem Tamimi, the popular committee leader of Nabi Saleh, was arrested more than one month ago for his role in organizing unarmed demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. His arrest was largely based on evidence illegally obtained from a number of Nabi Saleh youth including 14-year-old Islam Tamimi. (ed note: important link btw)

        Read more on the protest in Nabi Saleh:

        Nabi Saleh: A tiny village’s struggle against the occupation

        and scroll down to the post called “East Jerusalem: Israel detains 8 year old Palestinian boy”. the first paragraph looks like this

        The Israeli police are ramping up arrests and attacks against Palestinian children. Targeting of children is nothing new in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh and Bil’in. This afternoon, Israeli police raided the house of 8 year-old Ali Siyam in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

        it has several supporting links in it. the “villages” link takes you to:

        According to the press release issued by the PSP, “other soldiers, accompanied by special units, invaded a park full of children between the ages of 12 and 15 years. The Israeli Forces attacked and shot rubber bullets and sound bombs at the children so they could not run away, and then proceeded to arrest 13 of them. Several army vehicles came into the area for support, attacking houses and cars to frighten people so they could not come to the children’s defense. The army shot tear gas and sound bombs toward women who attempted to rescue the youth, and then beat a group of women, including Mona Abu Maria. The army arrested 13 children, all of whom are under the age of 18, and took them out of the village. Their families do not yet know where they are being held.”

    • Taxi
      July 22, 2011, 11:49 am


      You honestly think anyone with a sound mind would even bother to click on your obfuscating links?

      You’re probably getting paid by the link huh.

      You think you’ve ‘studied’ mondo and it’s community and you can succeed with your disgusting trolling here where others much smarter than you have failed?

      Like are pictures of beautiful Palestinian children so virulently despicable to your Apartheid sensibility that your natural reflex is to lash-out against them and DEFEND their torturers and murderers?!

      You really are the scum of the earth.

      You won’t last long here. Hasbara agents usually don’t.

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:11 pm

        no one can fight mondo comm. i mean compare to ppl here, right wing settler is a Micky mouse.
        speaking of hasbra, i feel people are trained here…where can i sign up. ?

      • tree
        July 22, 2011, 6:13 pm

        i feel people are trained here

        We are just well educated on the topic. That may be what surprises you. Since hasbara works best where people don’t know the facts, or anything at all about Israel/Palestine, and lots of posters here are familiar with the history and the facts, that’s why we appear to you as “trained”. I suggest having an open mind to question and explore the things you’ve been told, rather than just indulging in mindless regurgitation, would be the best way to “sign up”.

        …compare to ppl here, right wing settler is a Micky mouse.

        Intellectually, yes. But you don’t have to worry about your physical safety here if you disagree with us, and none of us has personally stole Palestinian land, cut down olive trees, burned fields or harassed Palestinians. Does that make us “mickey mouse”, or just less morally challenged?

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 7:24 pm

        where can i sign up. ?

        it’s your lucky day! The Israel Project is hiring via GovJob.co.il (Israeli government)

        English-Speaking Journalist Required

        בחברת The Israel Project באיזור: ירושלים
        Research and Content Associate


        REPORTS TO: Under the direct supervision of the TIP Israel Director of Research and Content, the Research and Content Associate provides research, content and support for TIP’s overall research and media management efforts with a particular focus on new media.

        1. Research – conducts research and obtains materials with specific emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
        2. Content – provides written and multimedia materials for posting to TIP’s website and/or distribution to journalists/media/diplomatic community outlets via TIP’s online database system including, but not limited to:
        i. Press releases
        ii. Backgrounders
        iii. Fact Sheets, timelines
        iv. Press kits, etc.
        3. New Media – develops TIP’s presence on the Internet through existing and future avenues including social media sites and blogs. To liaise with Multimedia and Web Associate – Israel. To liaise with DC new media staff, particularly Web Advocacy Specialist; and Internet, Graphics and Social Media Assistant.
        4. Identifies/Trains/Provides subject-matter experts to Israel-based foreign media on a proactive/reactive basis consistent with the current news cycle.
        5. Maintains subject-matter expert list in online database system and by updating expert source book for use throughout TIP.

        more at the link. you can get paid sitting in te aviv to sit around all day and blog @ mondoweiss. lucky you. as far as i know these job offerings are not offered to non or anti zionists, but if you hear of any will you let us know? i’d love to make a salary doing this.

      • dimadok
        July 22, 2011, 7:52 pm

        Hello Taxi. I do not get paid by anyone but to keep your fire going – I am a former IDF soldier, platoon sergeant, who served during second intifada and keeps reservist duties as well. Now I heard all kind of verbal insults and frankly you are boring. Keep tracing my posts- maybe you get some release for your supressed frustrations and fears of Israel.

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 8:42 pm

        maybe you get some release for your supressed frustrations

        hey dimadok, just thought i’d let you know the last poster who made these kinds of insinuating remarks to taxi was banned for them.

        You won’t last long here. Hasbara agents usually don’t.

        hey taxi, wanna place bets how long our soldier boy will last?

      • dimadok
        July 22, 2011, 9:12 pm

        Banned for what exactly, Annie dear? I haven’t got near the lexicon used by the people here, in reply to my posts ( e.g. “scum of the earth” by dear Taxi). Now if you feel uncomfortable with my line of questions- that’s another thing. Please refrain from the banning treats- it is really not helping at all.

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 10:21 pm

        i’m not your dear and that wasn’t a threat. as far as i am concerned you can dig yourself as big a hole as you like. a whole hole will do just fine.

      • Taxi
        July 23, 2011, 3:24 am

        “Hello Taxi”.

        Buzz off!

    • Cliff
      July 22, 2011, 12:04 pm

      This is an Israel-Palestine blog. Not a ‘everything else but Israel-Palestine’ blog.

      Dim, do you HONESTLY think no Zionist in the history of debating this polarizing issue online, has attempted to change the subject by talking about other examples of disgusting behavior?

      Your tactic is useful if one wants to ENDLESSLY whitewash ANYTHING Israel does to the Palestinians.

      You never ever, face your own crimes, because you keep changing the subject.

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        July 22, 2011, 3:12 pm

        worng, this is “Israel-and everything else” blog!

      • Djinn
        July 22, 2011, 4:54 pm

        I doubt very very much that dim saw bus bombings in Israel as a trifling matter because much more deadly bombs have exploded elsewhere.

      • dimadok
        July 22, 2011, 7:40 pm

        Care to elaborate on that, please?

    • Chu
      July 22, 2011, 12:22 pm

      It’s look in the mirror btw.
      I dont think the person who penned this article is
      guilty of tear gassing or stone throwing. If your claim is the world is bad, and what’s the big deal, that’s a cop-out.

      I didn’t realize Palestinians pay taxes to the Israel state and get nothing in return. Sounds like a crafty swindle for the oppressive regime. It makes one think of the British crown and their taxing of peasants.

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 1:49 pm

        I didn’t realize Palestinians pay taxes to the Israel state and get nothing in return.

        they get something in return, they get to contribute to their own oppression. it’s apartheid! their own taxes help support the private security too.

      • sandy
        July 22, 2011, 2:37 pm

        “I didn’t realize Palestinians pay taxes to the Israel state and get nothing in return.”

        They use public roads, water, electricity, and so on – don’t they?

      • annie
        July 22, 2011, 3:03 pm

        They use public roads

        lol, they pay for their own apartheid checkpoints, how refreshing.

      • tree
        July 22, 2011, 3:10 pm

        Its called taxation without representation, sandy. And there are of course “public roads” that they can’t use, and have no access to, and they pay for water and electricity. Its NOT some freebie from Israel. Palestinians pay for their occupation, because Israel is too cheap to do it. And they might actually have to end the occupation if they had to pay for it, so they make the Palestinians, and the international community pay for it.

      • Chu
        July 22, 2011, 3:22 pm

        Water? You cant be serious…
        link to thenational.ae
        Bethlehem’s taps run dry as West Bank Israelis continue to fill their swimming pool

      • Graber
        July 24, 2011, 1:39 pm

        From link to cpti.ws:

        Tax resistance was one of the actions of the first intifada, the mass resistance of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation. It was chosen as a tactic to separate Palestinians from the Israeli economy and administration. In 1989 the mostly Christian Palestinian village of Beit Sahour unanimously decided to withhold taxes from the regime.

        “We will not finance the bullets that kill our children, the growing number of prisons, the expenses of the occupying army. We want no more than what you have: freedom and our own representatives to pay taxes to,” read part of a statement from the town on October 19, 1989.

        Before long the Israeli government responded by declaring the town a “closed military zone.” Telephone lines were cut, entry into the area was prohibited, and a curfew was imposed from evening until morning. During this time property was seized from individuals and businesses. Tax collectors confiscated truckloads of personal belongings, and many citizens were fined or jailed. International support was drawn to Beit Sahour, and the solidarity of its citizens continued despite the harassment. Beit Sahour was nominated by the Nobel Committee for the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize and received the annual award of the Danish Peace Foundation in 1990. This resistance continued until 1995 when the Palestinian Authority took over.

        (Source: Conscience, Winter 1990; NWTRCC Network News, July 1990; Al Fajr, June 4, 1990; More Than a Paycheck, April 1997.)

    • Danaa
      July 22, 2011, 1:10 pm

      Dimdock – You are certainly right to bring up the exploitation of children by drug cartels, though you forgot to add that Pol Pot of Cambodia also tortured children, as did Sierra leon and others who used child soldiers; then there are the sorry records of the dirty wars in Argentina and Chile, in which children were sometimes deemed rebel- rousers with punishments metted accordingly. And let’s not forget the child traffickers (which include some of Israel’s mightiest crime families). And if we go back in history a bit, we’ll find that children, say jewish ones, did not fare so well under certain regimes. Israel is definitely a step up from these – a true achievement indeed. After all, they only arrest and torture babies and kids – they don’t actually do away with them altogether (as much as they’d like to….if to listen to 60% of the population).

      It is good to know that you can proudly say Israel’s official thugs (what you call them – IDF? for Israel Deterant Forces) are at least better than Pol Pot’s, Pinochet’s minions – and are a definite improvement over Mexico’s drug cartels – you got a good point there.

      In fact, israel can come up with some great slogans to help whitewash the guilt off their lawless best and brightest armed thugs – how about something like – “Israel – it could be worse!”. Or, you could try “Israel – better than Milo!”. If short on inspiration, here’s another one to contemplate ” a country of Law – by the Jews and for the Jews”.

      • eljay
        July 22, 2011, 4:48 pm

        >> In fact, israel can come up with some great slogans to help whitewash the guilt off their lawless best and brightest armed thugs – how about something like – “Israel – it could be worse!”. Or, you could try “Israel – better than Milo!”.

        I’m rather fond of my slogan:
        “Israel: We’re not as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!”


    • lyn117
      July 22, 2011, 5:24 pm

      Considering that the excuse used by the GOI to establish settlements was that they serve a military purpose, why is the GOI using tiny babies for military fodder? And why were the settler parents involving their child in their illegal activities including confiscation of Palestinian land for Jewish-only use in land that doesn’t belong to Israel, and possibly using the little baby as a human shield?

  2. Cliff
    July 22, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Dimadok’s comment does not challenge the article.

    It simply diverts attention from Israel’s disgusting behavior, by saying ‘look over there!’

    • annie
      July 22, 2011, 1:58 pm

      obviously. the only plus factor about dimmie’s comment is the post was down thread and had received no attention. it’s an important article imho and deserves widespread attention(twitter it!). his first comment landed it on the comment stream as do all the comments. so it served not only bring attention to the important post but it allows for discussion of b’selem’s recent report (which i have not even mentioned yet) on israel’s diversion of it’s own norms wrt the prosecution of children plus that of international standards. not to mention how he degrades himself with his diversionary comment.

  3. dimadok
    July 22, 2011, 3:30 pm

    Thank you Annie, it seems that I have started some interest in your post.
    Now back to the subject of my question-is stone throwing considered legal when we are talking about Palestinian children or it is illegal by the global standards, and treated as the petty crime it is in case no one has been injured, or as an attempted injury or murder in case of fatalities (10 month old child). Just answer this simple question ,please.
    And I’ll repeat my previous one- what is the logical connection between throwing stone and apartheid? Please enlighten me, since all my links were related to what had happened in Europe, not in Upper Volta, North Korea, Egypt, Syria or other countries.
    My guess you guys missed it and had reacted instinctively without too much thought. Well it is a long road…..

    • LanceThruster
      July 22, 2011, 7:09 pm

      dim – this is what I feel the legal status of stone throwing by a child at a heavily armed IDF soldier (or quite often armored carrier or tank) is comparable to as the act is meant to highlight acts of Israeli injustice (not meant as a tactical assault on IDF forces).

      One day, Mikhail got fed up with his local Communist Party Commissar and called him an idiot. He was promptly arrested by the KGB and sentenced to 15 years in the Gulag — 5 years for insulting the commissar, ten for revealing a state secret.

    • Bumblebye
      July 22, 2011, 7:42 pm

      Britain did a helluva lot wrong in Northern Ireland, but criminalizing children throwing stones at soldiers – a very frequent occurrence – wasn’t one of them. Neither did Britain bomb Catholic areas back to the stone age in reprisal against pub bombings, or a coachload of soldiers wives and kids being blown up. See any comparison?

      • dimadok
        July 22, 2011, 9:19 pm

        Correct facts-wrong argumentation. Britain vs. Ireland is not about elimination of the people, rather than territorial dispute. In case of Israel vs. Palestinian Arabs the conflict is about who will live and who will perish. Stone thrrowing children in N. Ireland weren’t followed from behind by the IRA.

      • annie
        July 23, 2011, 2:00 am

        Stone thrrowing children in N. Ireland weren’t followed from behind by the IRA.

        you mean like this ? no? so what do you mean? or is this just a regurgitated version of ‘palestinians don’t love their children’ hasbara? check out that wife/mother @ 3:54 in the video as they drag her husband away and the brave little girl @ 4 minutes. do her blond curls scare you? what about her voice? look at her run up to the iof @ 4:20. she’s not very scared is she? she knows who’s on the right side of history. try silencing that voice. whatcha gonna do, kill her?

        coward. these kids and women have more courage then all those soldiers put together. you should be ashamed.

      • annie
        July 23, 2011, 2:08 am

        Britain vs. Ireland is not about elimination of the people, rather than territorial dispute. In case of Israel vs. Palestinian Arabs the conflict is about who will live and who will perish.

        spare us your silliness. this is all about territory. you want it all, that is what this is about. that video, what are the idf even doing in that town? what? why do they need to be there if not for the territory they want to steal. wake up!

  4. Taxi
    July 22, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Regular War Crimes by Israel Against Palestinian Children:
    “EVERY Friday and often after school on other days, Israeli soldiers fire tear-gas and sonic bombs at the Palestinian children as they approach a spring. It sits in a valley that separates Nabi Saleh, an Arab village of 500 people half an hour’s drive north of Jerusalem, from Halamish, a religious Jewish settlement. On most nights jeeps roll through the village; over the past 18 months the Israeli army has detained 32 of its children, some as young as eleven. Many have been taken from their beds, kept in pre-trial detention for months, and brought to court in shackles, there to be convicted of stone-throwing.””
    link to economist.com

  5. Chaos4700
    July 22, 2011, 6:34 pm

    You know, the very best persuasive thing we have in this comment section to advocate for anti-Zionism… are the Israelis who come to this article to justify child murder and torture.

  6. NickJOCW
    July 23, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Interested in the origin of IDF treatment of Palestinian children, I sent an enquiry to Professor Avigdor Svengali, the Iran Segal professor of Zionist Anthropology at the University of Halamish. This is his reply:

    I have no direct information regarding IDF policy towards young Palestinians. However, it may in some way reflect the findings of a research project undertaken by our department, published (1998) in the Zionist Anthropology Review, issue 199684 pages 1257/81, outlining our findings that Palestinians display a marked fondness for their offspring, particularly the young males. I must add that this was consistent with our findings for many other biped species covered in the same review. I have no more to add. Remember me to your mother.

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