The other night I went to a movie in downtown New York, and afterward a large group including filmmakers and friends went to a bar. In the garden out back, I met Badia Dwaik, of the Hebron group Youth Against Settlements.
Well, I was preparing a post about Hebron, and I got out my computer to show Dwaik a video I’d taken there in February so he could interpret it for me.
But when my video library came up, he pointed at another video I’d taken– with the still image above.
“That’s Issa Amro, of Youth Against Settlements,” he said– the man speaking.
“Yes, I know Issa.”
“Issa was arrested the other day. He was in jail for three days. The Israelis didn’t want him going to Italy to talk about our work. And that guy on the left is in jail too right now.”
“The journalist with the taperecorder?”
“Yes. His name is Mosaab. And you see that guy on the right?”
“Yes. He’s Danish. He was attacked on a bicycle trip in the West Bank.”
“Wait; he was the Danish cyclist clubbed by that Israeli officer?!“
The famous case, in April, captured on film, two months after my picture above.
I happened to photograph these three men at the opening of a wonderful exhibit of photographs by Palestinian newspeople. The exhibit was at a Hebron elementary school. Several European governments helped sponsor the exhibit. A Spanish consular official was at the opening, just to the left of the three men.
I offer this photograph today, a random image from my travels in the region, as evidence of the iron fist of occupation. If you are there, you are vulnerable. Everyone is affected.
(P.S. I had another beer and then caught the train home to my place in the Hudson Valley, reflecting how lucky we are to live in this country. But Issa Amro and Badia Dwaik were born into an occupation our government supports and have had no choice but to struggle. Can we sacrifice some small measure of our own comfort to try to bring freedom to that land?)