The boy on the horse

Israel/Palestine
on 74 Comments
Video 21 0 00 50 44
A settler boy on his horse points at Badia Dwaik: “He’s an Arab”

I visited the divided city of Hebron two weeks ago. There I met Badia Dwaik, a Palestinian who works for the group “Youth Against Settlements.” Today, Hebron, the largest Palestinian city on the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) is divided along religious and ethnic lines. Palestinians are permitted only in certain areas. In theory Jews are also restricted to their areas. But the reality is much different. 

While Badia was showing us Shuhada Street, the former and now completely shuttered commercial center of Hebron, Phil Weiss had his tape rolling. The video is seven minutes long. At 0:50, a settler boy rides into view from the distance. The words he calls out to an Israeli soldier are, in Hebrew: “hoo aravi, asoor lo lehiyot po.” (In English: He’s Arab, it’s forbidden for him to be here”). 

Who’s in charge? During the entire seven minutes we were in full view of a checkpoint perhaps 50 meters away (you can see it around the 2:30 mark, after the car almost mowed us down), and the two soldiers manning it didn’t object to Badia’s presence. There was no issue until the boy rode up on the horse.

Must the soldiers always back the settlers, even when the issue at hand is absurd? What are the rules? Nothing more than what any one settler or soldier decides they are? The settlers don’t obey the rules when the rules become inconvenient for them. The “rules” allowed Badia to be there on that street. If Israeli settlers can’t accept the outcomes of rules that overwhelmingly benefit them at the expense of Palestinian rights, then what would a fair-minded person suggest the Palestinians do? Badia stood his ground in a dignified and peaceful manner. His calm and entirely rational responses to the boy and the soldier constituted an act of nonviolent resistance. 

Badia was a rational man standing in an irrational situation. The “problem” that agitated the boy was illusory. The irrationality of the odd event Phil and I witnessed that day in Hebron was in fact the backdrop the boy emerged from, the backdrop of an utterly distorted system.

A system can become so distorted that meanness itself takes over; injustice itself takes over. People are human, but if you keep them in a system that is absurd, the framework of life becomes so distorted that they cannot avoid doing harm.

This is true of all people, and all distorted systems. It has nothing to do with being a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian. The person has no channel and no outlet for fairness, for simple human back-and-forth, when the system is unjust and absurd. 

An unjust system backed by one-sided force is like a foolish boy on a horse. Something childish driven by something powerful.

74 Responses

  1. Bill in Maryland
    August 17, 2012, 8:48 am

    Thanks very much Scott for sharing this glimpse of a truly sick system. The boy idly riding on to the scene, acting with complete impunity, gesturing down from his horse to have the Israeli military execute his racist and unchallenged wishes. To defend this sick system Obama must prostrate himself before AIPAC and Netanyahu?

  2. Woody Tanaka
    August 17, 2012, 9:24 am

    Just another example of the mindvirus of zionism at work. Can’t allow the subhumans to walk among the Chosen People…

  3. Mndwss
    August 17, 2012, 9:30 am

    This made me cry.

    How humiliating this must be…!!!

    A child on a horse telling the “soldier” to do his job….

    Like he found a rat and calls the exterminator!

    “He’s Arab, it’s forbidden for him to be here”

    (I would also cry if it was a video of a Hitler-Jugend on a horse telling the Wehrmacht that: He’s Jewish, it’s forbidden for him to be here.)

  4. Dan Crowther
    August 17, 2012, 10:14 am

    “you’re not allowed to be in my self made ghetto, only I can be in my self made ghetto.”

  5. Annie Robbins
    August 17, 2012, 10:25 am

    it makes perfect sense the settlers child was telling the soldiers how to do their job, in a world where the boy represents the wishes of the messiah and the soldiers serve as the messiah’s donkeys.

  6. Annie Robbins
    August 17, 2012, 10:34 am

    Badia conducts himself with such dignity. i am in awe of him.

  7. ritzl
    August 17, 2012, 10:50 am

    The part where Badia misinterpreted PW’s question about violence was heartbreaking.

    He calmly, though clearly tired and sad, started into the “no options, no hope, I won’t do it but violence may well happen (and we’ll get blamed for it)” refrain of truth, all within the real-time, videoed backdrop of being treated like an animal.

    What anguish he and his must endure every single day and still put one foot in front of the other (even on Shuhada St.). There’s got to be a just way out of this. Soon.

    It’s getting hard to watch there vids anymore.

  8. Elisabeth
    August 17, 2012, 10:58 am

    I guess riding a horse ads to the feeling of being a pioneer, a master, a lord of the land, a ‘new Jew’.

    • Bill in Maryland
      August 17, 2012, 11:23 am

      Good insight Elisabeth- thanks.

    • gamal
      August 17, 2012, 11:24 am

      a cossack?

    • Shmuel
      August 17, 2012, 12:36 pm

      Absolutely, Elisabeth.

      The horse is important on many levels.

      – It allows the rider to dominate from up close. Domination and showing “the Arabs” (and soldiers) who’s boss being a central settler theme, especially in Hebron.

      – It lends an aura of authenticity, of a direct connection to the land. There are a number of settlements and outposts in the vicinity of Hebron that advocate that sort of “return to the land” – which basically amounts to imitating the Palestinians (as early Zionist settlers did), who actually do have a connection to the land that the settlers envy. The Palestinians cultivate olive trees? We will cultivate olive trees! The Palestinians herd sheep? We will herd sheep! The Palestinians ride horses? We will ride horses!

      – There’s no escaping the cowboy/injun frontier fantasy, even if you’re a yeshiva punk.

      – There’s also a kind of a back-to-nature subculture among those referred to as “hilltop youth”, who have a thing for horses and animals and wide open spaces (“don’t fence me in”) – combined with virulent ethnic nationalism of course, although many will tell you they have no interest in “politics”.

      On a side note, I can’t help but think of Psalms 20:8 – “They the chariots and they the horses, but we the name of the Lord our God invoke.”

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “The horse is important on many levels.”

        Gee, maybe the soldier should have had one.

      • Kathleen
        August 19, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Easy to see that soldier was the horse’s ass

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2012, 2:16 pm

        “They the chariots and they the horses, but we the name of the Lord our God invoke.””

        Gee, what a great thing to say before you get trampled. Very dramatic.

      • Elisabeth
        August 17, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Shmuel,
        “It lends an aura of authenticity, of a direct connection to the land.”

        I thought about that too. And I have seen interviews with the hilltop-types: They really look and talk like hippy-ecologists as long as the topic is ‘the land’. But the funny thing is: They do not realize that if they had an authentic ‘connection to the land’ they would be riding donkeys, wouldn’t they? But that is for the lowly Arab.

        Your quotation from the psalms stands in a long and venerable tradition (the best in my opinion): Through history people have always managed to read the scriptures as a subversive text.

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:01 pm

      “I guess riding a horse ads to the feeling of being a pioneer, a master, a lord of the land, a ‘new Jew’.”

      Ah, such naches it must give you to see it! I wonder, Elisabeth, do you think that settler is “naive” and “disturbed”?

  9. jimbowski
    August 17, 2012, 11:49 am

    Awesome glimpse into the Occupation. As an American, I’m greatful for your website. It continues to open my eyes (and I’m sure the eyes of many others).

    • Philip Weiss
      August 17, 2012, 11:59 am

      Thanks Jimbowski, I’m proud that we are performing that service.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2012, 2:27 pm

        “I’m proud that we are performing that service.”

        I thank God you know the Zionists will leave you alone to let you serve it.

    • Dexter
      August 17, 2012, 12:32 pm

      Good point Jimbowski. There is NO other website that provides this kind of information, insight, and analysis on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

      It’s a pretty darn amazing site!

      • Philip Weiss
        August 17, 2012, 12:36 pm

        thanks Dexter, I can only hope that’s the case; and it means we have to get better and more reliable and trustworthy.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2012, 2:03 pm

        “thanks Dexter, I can only hope that’s the case; and it means we have to get better and more reliable and trustworthy.”

        Yes, and we can count on you to present the situation in all its complication.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2012, 1:21 am

        i’ve noticed a pattern, perhaps it is just a coincidence..but i notice sometimes after MW has fundraiser you go there. it’s really worth it. you could be buying yourself a new piece of furniture instead. i’m glad you are not. i am grateful you are giving it right back to us.

      • dbroncos
        August 18, 2012, 11:31 pm

        electronicintifada.net/

      • Kathleen
        August 19, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Yep. Was much needed. Tried like hell to get Firedoglake to be the first but then the Nation supported Mondoweiss being born. Nation much braver than FDL and other so called liberal sites. Mondoweiss broke the ground for a U.S. website

  10. Blake
    August 17, 2012, 12:01 pm

    “Rational man standing in an irrational situation.” Sums occupied Palestine up for me.

  11. Denis
    August 17, 2012, 12:09 pm

    “It has nothing to do with being a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian. ”

    This is so very important. The labels Zionist, Arab, Palestinian, etc. are necessary just to communicate about who is doing what to whom, but the real issue is simply what is right and what is wrong.

    There is something in us that wants to pull the kid off the horse and slap the s**t out of him [the kid, not the horse] — not b/c he is a settler, or a Zionist, or a Jew, but b/c he is a prick, and b/c he and the soldier are wrong and their very presence stands for what is wrong.

    I wonder if the camera and American witnesses had not been there whether this would have ended as peacefully as it did.

    As an irrelevant aside, I am struck not just by how empty the streets are, but how clean they are.

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:07 pm

      “There is something in us that wants to pull the kid off the horse and slap the s**t out of him [the kid, not the horse] — not b/c he is a settler, or a Zionist, or a Jew, but b/c he is a prick, and b/c he and the soldier are wrong and their very presence stands for what is wrong. “

      Yes, and if Israel could be managed without that kid on the horse, how much more lovely and sucessful the Zionist project would be.
      Well, Denis, you’ve got the NYTs on your side. They realise that the problem with Israel is the Settlers, the Ultra-Orthodox, and the non-secular Jews who live there.
      I wonder which of those the IDF man was? I notice you express no desire to slap him.

      Oh, Ziocaine amnesia is a riot. Yesterday, I was alarmed, I thought the episodes were taking less than a day to set in, but it seems we’re back to the usual 24 hour cycle.

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:24 pm

      “I wonder if the camera and American witnesses had not been there whether this would have ended as peacefully as it did.”

      And gee, I gotta wonder, if we had applied the lessons we learned in elementary school-civics, if it would be happening at all.
      But then again, why would we insist on Israel using the same system which has hurt US Jews so badly?

  12. MHughes976
    August 17, 2012, 12:32 pm

    You have in a way to be sorry for these terrible children brought up in circumstances where everything is about being of the right or of the wrong race. What moral chance do they stand?

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:09 pm

      “What moral chance do they stand?”

      Well, with the IDF taking their orders? I’d say plenty! After all, the settler-cowboy is not the one who’s been trained by “the most moral Army in the world”.

  13. radii
    August 17, 2012, 12:41 pm

    there is nothing uglier in this world than fascism spewed from a child – worse still, when he can back it up with might

    • Kathleen
      August 19, 2012, 1:25 pm

      In the clip Phil referred to the boy on the horse as a “racist boy”

  14. Sheldonrichman
    August 17, 2012, 12:53 pm

    It makes me sick.

  15. Sheldonrichman
    August 17, 2012, 12:57 pm

    It’s interesting that the second soldier seems reluctant to interfere. He seems to think that if he doesn’t interfere, he will be in trouble himself.

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:11 pm

      “He seems to think that if he doesn’t interfere, he will be in trouble himself.”

      Well, he doesn’t strike me as a stupid man. Jews have a reputation for high intelligence, you know. 15 IQ points above the beasts, on average.

  16. Sheldonrichman
    August 17, 2012, 1:40 pm

    As I commented on my blog:

    I don’t care what race I am a member of, what citizenship I hold, or what ethnic group or religion I was born into. This man is one of my people, and the boy on the horse and soldiers are not.

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2012, 2:13 pm

      “This man is one of my people, and the boy on the horse and soldiers are not.”

      See what I mean about high intelligence? You can make the distinctions others may not be able to.

  17. Mooser
    August 17, 2012, 2:18 pm

    How the hell do you think it’s done? Because Israel was made by Jews, under circumstances whic ostensibly differed in some ways from other colonialism, we have to investigate and indict (and always with the most sanctimonious shock) all over again. What a great delaying tactic. How the hell do you think it’s done, all you college-educated…. oh, never mind.
    And if anybody knows another way, I’d be glad to hear it. Yes, I know, no partners for peace, wouldn’t accept the Jewish community, yes, all that…

  18. MarkF
    August 17, 2012, 2:35 pm

    Just like the south when a white child could call out and humiliate a grown black person for not stepping off the sidewalk where the white child walks.

    Soldier turns into a smiling wimp blaming the order on someone else. I guess both soldier and Palestinian are demeaned by settler children.

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2012, 12:31 pm

      “Just like the south when a white child could call out and humiliate a grown black person”

      Because black people, adult males, are scared of white children? This is getting ridiculous, this “discussion”. So, what is the power this kid on the horse seems top have over the Palestinians and the soldier? The force of his personality? There recognition of his implicit holiness? What kept the soldier from saying (in, of course impeccable Modern Hebrew: “Scram, punk, I’m workin’ this side of the street. This is none of your business?” Just on the basis of being unwilling to be bossed around by a kid, if nothing else

      Gee, two possibilities come to mind: 1) His superior officers have made it plain that what the settlers say, goes, even one who isn’t more than a few years past his Bar Mitzvah, or 2) The settlers are providing perks for the Army guys. Or combinations thereof.

      And I have a feeling even a cursory perusal of the relationship between, oh, say, planters and plantation owners, the Colonial administration of the European country involved, along with whatever agency they use to administer “Justice” in the colony, and the people living there, usually known as “natives” will provide an answer from over a hundred years ago.
      But no, we can all sit here, marveling like we’ve never seen this before, and wondering what it’s all about, and congratulating ourselves on the fact that we’re so high-minded, we can’t quite figure it out.. We could spend another quarter century doing that.
      Yup, if anything can save the settlers, and help them prevail, it’s liberal Zionism. Best friend they ever had.

  19. American
    August 17, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Can’t help but compare the boy on the horse to..

    “” The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once”
    They Thought They Were Free
    link to press.uchicago.edu

    The nazis didn’t reform themselves, they were destroyed. Absolutely true it applies to Jewish, Christian, Muslim alike…and it has to be destroyed before it reaches a point of no return regardless of who it is. Every time I go back to the chapter of that book at the link it gives me chills because the step by step slide of Israel and the unwillingness of people ( and the US) to say exactly what it is and what is happening is so similiar.

    • Elisabeth
      August 17, 2012, 4:15 pm

      Thanks for that link, American. I put the book on my ‘planning to read’ list.

    • NickJOCW
      August 18, 2012, 5:25 am

      American, The process your link outlines is movingly documented. It is also the process by which a tide turns. One by one people stand apart, a bit equivocally at first like Beinart, and then less so until there emerges a force that can no longer be stopped, people wake up and shake themselves free, and such a boy finds himself ticked off by his father’s friend. This a the real long-term value of Phil’s dedication. However, there is an urgency; if the Gulf monarchies fall before the process is advanced it may be too late.

  20. chinese box
    August 17, 2012, 4:14 pm

    I have heard (I can’t remember if it was from one of the hasbarists who posts here, or from somewhere else) about how much IDF soldiers hate getting sent to Hebron and defending these settlers. Serious question: are the soldiers directed by the IDF to take orders from these settlers? Is there a protocol? Or do they just make it up as they go along?

  21. lysias
    August 17, 2012, 4:43 pm

    In 18th century Ireland under the Penal Laws, Catholics were not allowed to have a horse valued over 5 pounds.

  22. ToivoS
    August 17, 2012, 4:44 pm

    What is striking about this video is that the boy and the soldier are completely oblivious to how their behavior will be seen in the West. They are totally without shame and unaware that the camera is not their friend. And yet these are stories that the NY Times cannot touch.

    • Philip Weiss
      August 17, 2012, 5:07 pm

      Right: just think if the New York Times decided that, in the words of Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Israel is a pariah country, and we need to document the behavior that has made it so.
      But it can’t do that story. And Sasha works for the Op-Ed page; but he wrote that in his book on Israel and South AFrica, published 2 years back, before he went to the Times. The irresponsibility here is tragic, actually; because so much suffering has resulted and will likely result

    • tokyobk
      August 17, 2012, 5:36 pm

      The soldier seemed nervous, perhaps some guilt.

      The boy: Indeed an evil stupidity and banality of racism that has to resonate. Isn’t it just obvious the Arab is out of his place? he stares.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2012, 12:41 pm

        “The boy: Indeed an evil stupidity and banality of racism that has to resonate.”

        Just amazing, the power that boy has over the soldier, isn’t it? What is the soldier afraid of? Or that boy maybe the next Messiah, with an irresistible, holy personality.

        What a sleaze-ball thing to do, blaming an innocent Jewish boy for the sins of Israel. Completely unfair. But of course, we know the lives of individual Jews don’t matter. Sure, we’ll throw away this kid, in the interest of providing a scapegoat for Israel. Pretty low.

        The soldier couldn’t have said” “Yeah kid? Get down off that sway-backed jade and make me”? For some reason, you seem unwilling to question why the kid is in such a position of power, and with a lot of sleaze, make this kid into a superman. Anything to avoid facing the failure of Zionism.

    • chinese box
      August 17, 2012, 5:37 pm

      @ToivoS

      That’s what happens when a person (or a group of people in this case) is coddled and validated at every turn and never made to face the consequences of their actions. They have no perspective in their solipsistic little settlement universe. It’s similar to a child being spoiled, but much worse, of course.

      A part of me feels sorry for this child, for his indoctrination, but on the other hand, I know what kind of a ghoul he is on his way to becoming.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2012, 12:44 pm

        “A part of me feels sorry for this child, for his indoctrination,”

        I’ve never seen an indoctrination boss anybody around. That doesn’t take an indoctrination, that takes power. Let’s discuss where the kid got this power. Who indoctrinated the soldier to listen to the kid ?
        That matters much more than what any dumb-ass kid might do or say.

    • ToivoS
      August 20, 2012, 8:09 pm

      re: a lynch in Jerusalem. Now this has finally made the NY Times today. This story just punctuates my statement What is striking about this video is that the boy and the soldier are completely oblivious to how their behavior will be seen in the West.. One of boys arrested for ‘a lynch’ tells the reporters outside of court ” “For my part he can die,” said one of the suspects, who admitted taking part in the assault. “He’s an Arab,” he told reporters outside the courtroom by way of explanation. “He cursed my mother. “If it was up to me, I’d have murdered him,” he added.”

      Isabel Kershner of all people caught this statement. This poor boy has no idea that he broke the law and is here openly incriminating himself.

  23. weindeb
    August 17, 2012, 5:11 pm

    That upstanding Jewish lad must be a member of the HY (Hasbara Youth). Such as he bode well for the future of the once highly touted Jewish devotion to ethics. And on horseback at that! Racism turned romantic.

  24. chinese box
    August 17, 2012, 6:19 pm

    Didn’t hophmi claim recently on another thread that the system of H1 and H2 in Hebron works well? If Badia’s statement in the video that he is allowed to be in that part of the street is accurate, it gives the lie to hophmi’s claim..

  25. justicewillprevail
    August 17, 2012, 6:23 pm

    A powerful image of a society rotten to the core. Fascist children? What horror will they serve up next? Oh yes, getting on their high horse and yelling at the US army to attack Arabs and Muslims so they can live in ethnically cleansed, subsidised luxury. Baby Bibi is also the boy on the horse.

  26. DICKERSON3870
    August 17, 2012, 6:28 pm

    RE: “Must the soldiers always back the settlers, even when the issue at hand is absurd? What are the rules? Nothing more than what any one settler or soldier decides they are? The settlers don’t obey the rules when the rules become inconvenient for them.” ~ Scott Roth

    ANSWER: Yes and no!

    SEE: “Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity”, by Pierre Klochendler, Inter Press Service, 12/16/11

    (excerpts) . . . Often, settler stone-throwers confronting soldiers and Palestinians face arrest and interrogation before they’re sent home with a reprimand, or to a forced ‘exile’ in Israel proper; Palestinian stone-throwers confronting Israeli settlers or soldiers face possible death, or imprisonment.
    Since the army is not responsible for enforcing the law on Israeli citizens – the police is, together with the General Security Services (or “Shin Beth”) – rioting by settlers has continued unabated. Netanyahu decided to give the army the power to arrest radical settlers.
    Moreover, Israel’s police in the West bank show signs of helplessness, even “negligence” and \”incompetence”. . .
    . . . The Israeli occupation, particularly the future of wildcat settlements built by settlers without formal government approval has been a simmering issue ever since their creation during the 1990s.
    In 2005, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson published a landmark report on the question.
    Commissioned by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, the report found the Israeli government guilty of “institutional lawbreaking” and of the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish over a hundred “illegal outposts”.
    The damning irony is that the “outposts” were a 1997 initiative by none but Sharon himself, then foreign Minister under Netanyahu, who’d urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved.
    Repeated injunctions have since pressed successive governments to address the issue. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to original.antiwar.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      August 17, 2012, 6:30 pm

      P.S. RE: “the report found the Israeli government guilty of ‘institutional lawbreaking’… The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved.” ~ Klochendler (in the above-excerpted article)

      LOUIS BRANDEIS ON THE ‘BLOWBACK’ RESULTING FROM “INSTITUTIONAL LAWBREAKING” BY GOVERNMENTS:
      Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis elaborated in Olmstead v. United States (1928):

      “In a government of law, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to original.antiwar.com

  27. DICKERSON3870
    August 17, 2012, 7:08 pm

    RE: “At 0:50, a settler boy rides into view from the distance.
    The words he calls out to an Israeli soldier are, in Hebrew: ‘hoo aravi, asoor lo lehiyot po.’ (In English: ‘He’s Arab, it’s forbidden for him to be here’).” ~ Scott Roth

    TWO EXCERPTS FROM THE SCREENPLAY FOR THE 1974
    FILM “CHINATOWN”:

    23 WITH GITTES

    holding a pair of binoculars, downstream and just above
    the flood control road — using some dried mustard weeds
    for cover. he watches while Mulwray makes his way
    down to the center of the riverbed.

    There Mulwray stops, tuns slowly, appears to be looking
    at the bottom of the riverbed, or — at nothing at all.

    24 GITTES

    trains the binoculars on him. Sun glints off Mulwray’s
    glasses.

    25 BELOW GITTES
    There’s the SOUND of something like champagne corks
    popping. Then a small Mexican boy atop a swayback horse
    rides it into the riverbed, and into Gitte’s view.

    26 MULWRAY

    himself stops, stands still when he hears the sound.
    Power lines and the sun are overhead, the trickle of
    brackish water at his feet.

    He moves swiftly downstream in the direction of the
    sound, toward Gittes.

    27 GITTES

    moves a little further back as Mulwray rounds the bend
    in the river and comes face to face with the Mexican
    boy on the muddy banks. Mulwray says something to the boy.

    The boy doesn’t answer at first. Mulwray points to the
    ground. The boy gestures. Mulwray frowns. He kneels
    down in the mud and stares at it. He seems to be
    concentrating on it.

    28 After a moment, he rises, thanks the boy and heads swiftly
    back upstream — scrambling up the bank to his car.

    ~ ~ ~ [SNIP] ~ ~ ~

    101 Gittes scrambles down the embankment and as he lands near
    the storm drain one shoe sinks, ankle deep into mud.
    Gittes pulls it out, swearing.

    He begins to walk a little further downstream when he
    hears the vaguely familiar SQUISHY CLOP of something.

    Clearing the bridge. on the opposite side is the little
    Mexican Boy, again on his swayback horse, riding along
    the muddy bank.

    They look at one another a moment.

    GITTES
    (calling out to him)
    You were riding here the other
    day, weren’t you…?

    The Boy doesn’t answer.

    GITTES
    (continuing)
    Speak English?… Habla Ingles?

    THE BOY
    (finally)
    Si.

    GITTES
    Didn’t you talk to a man here
    — few days ago… wore glasses
    … he…

    The Boy nods.

    GITTES
    (continuing)
    What did you talk about, mind
    my asking?

    The shadows of the two are very long now.

    THE BOY
    (finally)
    The water.

    GITTES
    What about the water?

    THE BOY
    — when it comes.

    GITTES
    — When it comes? What’d you
    tell him?

    THE BOY
    Comes in different parts of the
    river — every night a different
    part.

    Gittes nods. The horse snorts. The Boy rides slowly on.

    SOURCE – link to sfy.ru

    P.S. Chinatown (1974) HD trailer [VIDEO, 03:20] – link to youtube.com

  28. ColinWright
    August 17, 2012, 7:17 pm

    It’s interesting thinking about the mental environment that boy must have.

    People can become monsters. It’s a fact.

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2012, 12:46 pm

      “People can become monsters.”

      Yes, that kid was twenty feet tall, and stomping buildings like Godzilla. The monster is the soldier.

  29. Kathleen
    August 17, 2012, 7:21 pm

    I think about the two decades that I have heard stories from Art Gish and Peggy as well as other Christian Peace Maker team members who have been witnesses to this type of humiliation and much more serious physical abuse that settlers have committed and continue to commit against Palestinians on their own land. The writings of Edward Said, Ilan Pappe about the abuse. But when you add live video clips of what has and continues to go on you take up the witnessing a few notches because how does that go a picture is worth a thousand words. Phil and Scot thank you for being new witnesses to these decade long abuses.

    Phil you were right to call that young settler boy a “racist boy” Badia is so wise when he said this is what these children are taught. Not from their own minds what they see and are taught. Hate and racism. When apartheid becomes the normal

  30. Shingo
    August 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

    And they still insist this is not apartheid?

  31. jimmy
    August 17, 2012, 8:33 pm

    all I can say is

    I bet not one member of the US congress would even try to watch that video…

    hence why we have the problems in the ME we have…

  32. thankgodimatheist
    August 17, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Lynching in Jerusalem

    “In suspected Jerusalem lynch, dozens of Jewish youths attack 3 Palestinians
    One of the Palestinians was seriously wounded and hospitalized in intensive care; eyewitness:
    Today I saw a lynch with my own eyes.

    link to haaretz.com

  33. Qualtrough
    August 18, 2012, 5:49 am

    It fills me with rage to think that my government (US) bankrolls and runs interference for this kind of behavior, and worse. Imagine the humiliation, a boy on a horse telling a grown man to get out because he is Arab, and ordering around soldiers as if he was their general. The sense of entitlement, the chutzpah, it’s world-class.

  34. NickJOCW
    August 18, 2012, 6:20 am

    Watching this I wondered if he might be the son of an ‘important’ settler using his father’s authority to cow the soldiers.

    • Sheldonrichman
      August 18, 2012, 7:11 am

      That is certainly my impression. The second young solider looks especially uncomfortable, knowing full well that the Palestinian gentleman was where he “legally” was allowed to be. (That’s a whole other subject!) Watch his expressions and his timid responses to Badia. Note how the soldier asked him to move just a short distance from where he was standing. The soldier was surely thinking that if he could just get Badia to make a symbolic move, the soldier would be off the hook; the obnoxious kid wouldn’t report him (to the kid’s father?). To his credit, Badia ridiculed the idea that moving would have made any difference. Who says might makes right?

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2012, 12:47 pm

      “Watching this I wondered if he might be the son of an ‘important’ settler using his father’s authority to cow the soldiers.”

      Now, we’re getting somewhere.

  35. ColinWright
    August 19, 2012, 2:24 pm

    Why is the kid riding a horse anyway? This is the middle of a town.

    Weren’t Jews traditionally forbidden to ride on horseback in Muslim societies?

    Isn’t this — like so much else in Israel — simply an attempt to re-enact the story, but this time with the Jews in the role of the oppressor?

    I wouldn’t bring it up, but no one else has, and as I say, this is in the middle of town. What the hell is someone doing riding a horse?

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2012, 4:30 pm

      Who is this kid, beyond just a settler, that he possesses a whim of iron?
      What was he gonna do if the soldier told him to go to hell? Start crying? Threaten to beat him up? While still keeping one hand on the reins, so the horse doesn’t wander off.
      Give a guy a video camera, and he gets the picture, and misses the story. Somebody knows who this kid is, but we don’t. The soldiers seem to.

  36. Elisabeth
    August 21, 2012, 6:49 am

    Colin, the horseriding-thing was in fact brought up by me somewhere at the beginning of the thread. You could be right that part of it is a re-enactment.

  37. Badia
    March 10, 2013, 5:59 am

    Dear all

    First of all I would like to thank Philip for this great article and I would like to appreciate your comments who support my resistance and wants learn more about the situation under Israel occupation.

    Badia

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