A bad day in Nabi Saleh

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

Back in August the photograph below of the arrest of Nariman Tamimi by Israeli soldiers who tore her away from her two daughters went viral and I knew I had to visit her village in Palestine. Nabi Saleh is famous for its active resistance to occupation, and for the crushing Israeli response, and the truth is I had been afraid to go before. But the photograph made me ashamed of that fear. Last Friday I spent most of the day in the village, and it was a bad day, according to villagers. Israeli soldiers came repeatedly into the streets to fire tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators.  

tamimi1
Israeli soldiers arrest Nariman Tamimi, as her daughters try
to prevent the arrest, August 24, 2012.
(Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

At 5 o’clock 11-year-old A’hd Tamimi was struck by a rubber bullet in the arm and carried, crumpled, into the house where I was sitting. She wasn’t crying. A journalist came limping after her, hit in the thigh. By then the Israelis had shut off power to the village and a tear gas attack had set a neighbor’s yard on fire and soldiers were firing live rounds into the air to intimidate people. I felt trapped. All I wanted to do was leave. 

But a group of popular committee members then decided to go off through the village to deal with the fire and tend to a woman who’d been hit in the head by a rubber bullet. They told me to come with them. 

“Where is the safest place right now?” I said. “With us,” an older man responded, as we ran through the streets and up a hillside. 

Nabi Saleh is about 15 miles northwest of Ramallah in the hills of the West Bank. Its population is 550, many of them from one family, the Tamimis. It is on a picturesque hillside that could be in Italy or California, except the lands on the next hillside to the south are colonized by Israelis. Nabi Saleh now has a fine view of serried red rooftops in a settlement called Halavahs, and right next to Halamish is an army base that serves to protect the settlement. Driving past, it looks like an armed camp. There are Israeli flags out on the road, and large gates with men standing around with semiautomatic weapons.

Because Friday is demonstration day, and Israel is trying to sew up Palestinian resistance, the road to Nabi Saleh was blocked by soldiers when my minibus arrived last week. Two women were asking the soldiers to be allowed to walk to the village. They were barred from doing so. The minibus had to proceed about 8 miles around to the west and north, entering Nabi Saleh from the rear.

As I got out, I stepped into a war zone of young men throwing rocks at faraway soldiers and the soldiers firing teargas canisters and rubber bullets back. The salient was a gas station at the main intersection in the village. I scurried out of the way of the chaos, but a woman came walking up the road to me with a big smile. She was my host, Manal Tamimi, and might have been inviting me into her garden. This is normal, she said. Her husband Bilal came over. He wore wire rimmed glasses and a yellow press vest, had cameras around his neck. He documents the weekly demonstrations, and he was due to go out the next day to Sweden to a conference on journalism. He would be flying out of Amman. He is not permitted to use the Israeli airport, 30 or so miles west of where we were standing.
The teargas action soon moved to the fields, and Manal took me out to the hilltop to observe. We joined 30 or 40 villagers looking down on the demonstration, along with a dozen internationals. Far below us boys were throwing rocks at the soldiers and the soldiers were set up on the road in front of Halamish firing back at the boys. Near us other boys collected rocks to be passed down to the boys below.
Manal pointed out Nabi Saleh’s lands that have been taken by the settlement on the opposite hillside. Just behind the soldiers’ trucks was a little green oasis of trees. This is Nabi Saleh’s spring. The villagers demonstrate by trying to get to it but they’re not allowed. The settlers have renamed it Meier Spring. Some of the water goes into their big swimming pool. They have water all the time. Nabi Saleh only gets water 12 hours a week, Manal said. And the olive trees on the hillside behind the spring– all taken from the village. Manal also pointed out the handsome white amphitheater built by the settlers for outdoor performances, not far from the swimming pool.

I always reflect when I’m in the occupation that if New Yorkers were subjected to these oppressions, we would be up in the hills with guns. Of course Palestinians have tried violent resistance, but they have failed to repulse the occupier and been labeled “terrorist” into the bargain. So in an effort to win the world’s good opinion, they have turned to non-violent resistance–and documenting that resistance on the internet, and seeking the attention of internationals. Bilal Tamimi has a youtube channel and a website and a facebook page and says proudly that googling Nabi Saleh turns up a million hits, where a few years ago it only produced references to the prophet Nabi Saleh. 

Of course the demonstration is not really nonviolent.  The boys throw rocks. When the soldiers’ trucks came through the village later, I heard rocks clattering off the doors and fenders like hail. The popular committee regards the rocks as symbolic gestures of the right to resist. It feels more than symbolic. But I can’t imagine that the elders would be able to stop the boys, who are enraged and want to do something, and if the villagers merely walked to the spring every week and were arrested, they would not create the same drama that masked boys hurling rocks with slings do. The provocation gains rubber bullets and tear gas canisters and international attention.

After years of this routine, now contained to a few villages by the Israelis, some people write off these demonstrations as a show. Certainly that was the theme of The New Yorker story on Palestinian demonstrators written by a former Israeli soldier, Shani Boianjiu. And no doubt the demonstration is a form of resistance theater. The boys play a role, the soldiers play a role. No one is supposed to get really hurt, though people inevitably do. But so what. It is a form of theater that is highlighting real and outrageous conditions. The soldiers are protecting an illegal settlement, condemned by every country on earth but the U.S. And it is the demonstrators who get arrested and fired upon? Any means of dramatizing this enormity makes sense to me.

It was a bad day at Nabi Saleh Friday because as dusk approached, the soldiers came into town and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at close range. I heard that they were incensed by the rockthrowers, that a soldier had been hit in the head. I was on a rooftop as they fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets into an adjoining lot at the boys. It was terrifying. The soldiers stopped their truck and shot the canisters at close range, not at an arc. These things have great force. When one canister hit a telephone pole, the pole shook as if a car had struck it, the wires swinging. No wonder that a soldier firing a teargas canister at close range killed Mustafa Tamimi on the road just below us, more than a year ago.

The other large factor at work here is the audience, internationals. Brave people come a long way to support the resistance, and some are able to gain attention for the demos back home. Manal talked with an Israeli woman who comes often. But there were few Israelis there last Friday. The Israeli soldiers intimidate solidarity activists by declaring Nabi Saleh a closed military zone, and threatening activists with arrest.

Still these rural people carry on. And the international attention gives the villagers hope that they will one day prevail, and that the settlement will be removed from their land and their spring returned to them. Iyad Tamimi, a member of the popular committee, described an inspiring visit in October by a delegation from the Martin Luther King Center for non-violent change. Two dozen veterans of the civil rights movement came to Nabi Saleh, and because they didn’t want to be exposed to tear gas and rubber bullets, sat in chairs on the roof to observe. It was not theater to them. It was their own history. Most of them were crying, Iyad said; they told him this is exactly what they experienced in the south. The visitors assured the villagers that Nabi Saleh will prevail, as the civil rights demonstrators in the south prevailed.

Still, the village is under tremendous pressure. We will never leave, Manal said. This is our life. Yet dozens of them have been imprisoned just for demonstrating, Popular committee leader Bassem Tamimi has been in prison for over a year; and shutting down the village’s power that night seemed a possible preface to nighttime raids to arrest boys. Iyad’s son was imprisoned, for 5 months, at age 15. He came back changed. Some interrogations took place that were against Israel’s own rules about how to handle children. What do the Israeli expect to learn from these people? Who threw the stones? Who organized the resistance? All of Palestine supports this little village in its weekly show of strength. 

The ring of fear Israel has set up around Nabi Saleh is another way of containing the resistance. Internationals are afraid to go give support. But when I told Iyad that I had been afraid to come, he looked at me uncomprehending. This is normal for us, he said. This is our life. We are never safe. 

Never safe, never afraid– a definition of valor.  

It was night and the village had at last settled down. The small fire at the neighbor’s house had been put out, the soldiers had left. Little A’hd Tamimi came down the street with a bandage on her arm. The main road was reopened to a burst of normal traffic. For a moment I felt safe. A boy passed us jingling sweatshirt pockets loaded with the shells of live rounds that the soldiers had fired into the air so as to frighten people. I took one as evidence. It appeared to be a .22 from an M16.

But when I got to the Qalandiya crossing an hour later, I realized I would be passing through metal detectors and the soldiers at the checkpoint would pull me aside. “Where did you get this? What were you doing?” I tossed the shell away in the dark.

40 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    November 12, 2012, 1:12 pm

    ” “Where did you get this? What were you doing?” I tossed the shell away in the dark.” Well, maybe video “footage” gets out, but hard evidence is hard to get out. When the criminal controls the collection and presentation of evidence, well, * * *.

    Thanks Phil for taking this brave part in this long struggle.

  2. blarmore
    November 12, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Scary as hell, I know it! Thank you so much for doing this! I have heard nothing but great things from the villagers regarding your visit. Thank you for being brave and for writing about your experience. This means the world to them and to me.
    With much respect and appreciation,
    Billi Jo Larmore

  3. bintbiba
    November 12, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Thank you thank you, Mr. Weiss.
    You are so much appreciated! Your courage is remarkable! It lifts the spirits no end.

  4. Annie Robbins
    November 12, 2012, 6:00 pm

    eh, this made me cry. the endurance to keep on keeping on. the admiration i have for these people knows no bounds.

  5. gamal
    November 12, 2012, 6:23 pm

    ” A’hd Tamimi was struck by a rubber bullet in the arm and carried, crumpled. She wasn’t crying. A journalist came limping after her, hit in the thigh.”

    “the soldiers came into town and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at close range.”

    ” No one is supposed to get really hurt, though people inevitably do”

    “Of course the demonstration is not really nonviolent. The boys throw rocks. symbolic gestures of the right to resist. It feels more than symbolic.”

    “I always reflect when I’m in the occupation that if New Yorkers were subjected to these oppressions, we would be up in the hills with guns.”

    Do you not experience any kind of cognitive dissonance? “Rubber bullets at close range”, “not really non-violent”, “inevitably”, “more than symbolic”, “no one is supposed to really get hurt” eh?, and “up in the hills with guns”=but what of non-violence?

    “Of course Palestinians have tried violent resistance, but they have failed to repulse the occupier and been labeled “terrorist” into the bargain. So in an effort to win the world’s good opinion,”

    because those labels just fall from the sky, do they descend upon the soldiers and settlers, who have, i guess, tried non-violence, in their pursuit of international criminality, but been thwarted by their victims?

    good for you though Mr. Weiss, not critical just cant get where you are coming from with some apparently unexamined assumptions, cant really see the point in fleshing it out, this will have to do.

    • ritzl
      November 12, 2012, 6:52 pm

      I think the “unexamined assumptions” are in fact examined/known, but left out because of the difference in perceptions stemming from being able to leave it behind and having to live through it on a daily basis, without recourse.

      As you said, that is not a big criticism because there is probably a value in presenting it in this way – a “Western” view to a “Western” audience – as the whole reality is probably too tough to embrace.

      I heard a podcast a few months ago, This Week in Tech, about a pitch for humanitarian aid for people in Sudan(?) where the discussion centered on the theory that focusing on one person is more effective in motivating people to become involved. The rationale was that if the broad reality is shown, people who are predisposed to getting involved, despite their good inclinations, only see a hopeless situation and shy away. I think there’s some, maybe significant truth in that.

      I wish I knew the answer.

      • gamal
        November 12, 2012, 8:43 pm

        interesting ritzl thanks.

        edit: just to say obviously my own prejudices occlude my vision, not really having a coherent view point. so thanks, also re the sudan comment, it is a key point in mental practices associated with compassion that it is always important to focus on one real person rather than a mass of theoretical persons an interesting synergism, if that is a word that means what i want it to mean. so thanks again.

    • marc b.
      November 13, 2012, 9:24 am

      gamal, it’s hard to be too critical of weiss when he has done what so many of us avoid, seeing it for himself, but his primary project is, after all, the rescue of the ‘jewish soul’. with that as the lens, things can’t help but be distorted. (see my favorite weiss quote, during his visit to gaza no less: “I remember her wincing when I would say things like “the hummus has been decimated,” at lunch–she wondered how much of the violence in our surroundings had invaded our speech.”)

      if you have the stomach for it gamal, take a gander at the ever evolving ‘other’ as zombie meme, complete with IDF as savior and rat-like masses trying to scale the separation wall.

      • gamal
        November 13, 2012, 2:37 pm

        thanks marc.b,

        as to the film yeah, its very instructive, here are the teeming masses currently being subjugated by the speculator empire, storming the citadel of pretty whiteness isnt Brad gorgeous, a bit lady-boy but each to their own, the title put me in mind of Costa-Gavras’ great classic Z ( which stands for “he lives”, so more zombie references) based on the Lambrentis (sp?) assassination.

        As to my reactions to the above piece, leaving aside moral assessments and personal characterizations neither of which are either of interest or germane, there are two narratives here sitting somewhat uncomfortably with each other, the record of a peoples war waged against a ruthless colonizing army, and a series of non-sequiturs about the theatrical nature of this confrontation and the feelings and motives of the participants, like all resistance there is a theatrical element but this does not render it either unreal or any less a peoples war, waged with both skill and courage, lets recall that despite its predictable limitations it was the violence of the 2nd intifada, instigated by Israel since that is the suit where her advantage lies, that compelled Israel to admit the PLO back in to Palestine, having driven it to Tunisia, an astonishing defeat for key Israeli objectives the consequences of which are slowly playing out in the Imperiums own institutions much to Israels disadvantage.

        The saving of the “Jewish Soul”, laudable though that maybe, will hardly be served by downplaying the reality of this confrontation, the IDF really does mean to harm these people, those little boys and young men are extraordinarily brave clear sighted and skilled, the form of resistance they have developed is being studied everywhere from Karachi to Acheh, from Lhasa to Capetown.

        The people of Nabi Saleh, and their like are the saviors of the Jewish Soul, whatever that is, and that little town should be more sacred to Jewish sensibilities than a thousand faux temples.

        note how one trollish poster has established a check point on this very thread and violated Ms. Deger, and the boring monomania they resort to in trying to ascribe the motive of murder to the resistance, in that context its worth remembering that it is the colonizer who believes in killing, degrading, imprisoning, stealing, literally shitting upon as cherished elements of their armoury, and that these youth are facing real violence which has a real intent to kill and maim, only restrained by the political limitations that Palestinians have imposed on the Israeli aggressors.
        You know about 20 Tibetans have this week self immolated in protest at Chinese policies, to no great effect, speaking to a Tibetan friend last night she remarked “we need an Intifada, but we dont know how to mount one”, I will tell her to check the methods of Nabi Saleh.
        so Tashi Delek and Kale Phe.

    • Mooser
      November 13, 2012, 12:00 pm

      “Mr. Weiss, not critical just cant get where you are coming from with some apparently unexamined assumptions”

      I’m not sure if it’s “unexamined assumptions” or some kind of inheritance we get. Nobody wants to be disowned, and thrown on the mercy of chancery.

      • gamal
        November 13, 2012, 2:41 pm

        “Nobody wants to be disowned, and thrown on the mercy of chancery.”

        mooser I dont know what to say, that there is my life and chancery has a its raffish attractions, belonging is not all its cracked up to be imho.

  6. ritzl
    November 12, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Good one, Mr. Weiss. Good of you to go. Good of you to write about it so starkly. And particularly good that you stuck this in your recounting:

    The ring of fear Israel has set up around Nabi Saleh is another way of containing the resistance. Internationals are afraid to go give support. But when I told Iyad that I had been afraid to come, he looked at me uncomprehending. This is normal for us, he said. This is our life. We are never safe.

    Thanks.

  7. dimadok
    November 12, 2012, 7:02 pm

    You should also visit Sderot and tell the readers about your fear or bravery there. Just for the comparison.

    • Taxi
      November 12, 2012, 10:39 pm

      And you should visit Gaza or the Al Ein refugee camp in Lebanon. Just so you can see what’s happened to the people whose homes and livelihoods you stole.

    • Elliot
      November 13, 2012, 1:52 am

      dimadok – I lived in Jerusalem when suicide bomb blasts were daily occurrences. You never knew whether a loud noise was just work at a quarry, or whether people – perhaps people you knew and loved – had just been killed in another attack. I was a soldier in the Israeli army at its GHQ when it was under attack by Iraqi missiles in the first Gulf War. All we had were broken gas masks for our protection.
      So I know what it is to live with the immediate fear of being killed in a violent attack of Palestinians.
      I get that the people in Sderot are terrified of missiles from Gaza. But you are suggesting an equivalence: all people are afraid of violence and Phil should spend time in Sderot for balance.
      I don’t feel they are the same at all. I used to be an Israeli soldier. For Jews and Westerners who are conditioned to identify with Israeli soldiers, it is a revelation to see what the soldiers are doing from the perspective of the Palestinian side.
      And there is no basis for comparison. Any Westerner can go to Sderot and bring back material evidence of the missiles. As Phil reported, Nabih Saleh is under siege and under attack by the soldiers charged with its protection under military law.
      You could go to Sderot, and if necessary sleep in a bomb shelter and you would be safe. In Nabih Saleh, everybody is a target and no place is safe.
      I don’t see the comparison in bravery.

      I think you know that too.

      • Dutch
        November 13, 2012, 8:34 am

        Thanks, Elliot, for your adequate answer.

        @ Dimadok: I always feel bad visiting ethnical cleansed territory. How about you?

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 12:02 pm

        I’m not, of course, familiar with the Israeli Hebrew (I should get a boil on my tongue?) but isn’t there a proverb “Stolen meat tastes sweeter”?

    • Cliff
      November 13, 2012, 4:14 am

      Wake me up when S’Derot (built on the ruins of a Palestinian town) experiences anything near the devastation in Gaza when Israel decides to go more crazy than usual.

      There is no comparison but I suppose talking about the panic in S’Derot over crude worthless rockets – that couldn’t even kill 10 people in the years preceding the Gaza massacre of 2008 – would illustrate who the REAL victims are.

      This is a colonial conflict and the Palestinians have always been the victims. Zionism is an illegitimate ideology like all other colonial ideologies (Manifest Destiny).

      The only way to enforce a colonial ideology is by force.

      No native population willingly dies for the immigrant invasion that usurps them. They FIGHT BACK. They suffer. And history shows us that they ultimately become subjugated, marginalize, and even exterminated to an extent.

      The ‘suffering’ in S’Derot is analogous to a bruised knee in the bigger picture of this conflict.

      It’s absolutely VILE that you even consider including S’Derot’s experience in the same context as Gaza.

      Just as Zionist trolls (in real life and at their keyboards) did in 2008, when Palestinians were dying 100 to 1, you seek to do the same now.

      Lets even the playing field and give the Palestinians the same amount of funding, weapons, propaganda, PR, etc. and then you can utter your inane suggestions of ‘balance’.

      AND EVEN THEN, the Palestinian struggle would be legitimate and yours artificial – as artificial as your PR bull**** (‘How to promote Israel on Campus’).

      • jon s
        November 13, 2012, 12:50 pm

        The fact that noone was killed by the Palestinian rockets this time is due to fate , a miracle, God’s grace or pure dumb luck (take your pick), not the terrorists lack of trying.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2012, 1:33 pm

        “The fact that noone was killed by the Palestinian rockets this time is due to fate , a miracle, God’s grace or pure dumb luck (take your pick), not the terrorists lack of trying.”

        As a matter of fact, “jons” He told me that if He had just gotten there a bit quicker, He would have adjusted the ballistics in accord with justice.

        Now, quick, jons, get your panties in a knot, and collapse on the Zionist fainting couch. If you want to twist your handkercheif, be my guest.
        I know, the idea that God doesn’t work for Zionism is heretical.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 13, 2012, 1:49 pm

        “The fact that noone was killed by the Palestinian rockets this time is due to fate , a miracle, God’s grace or pure dumb luck (take your pick), not the terrorists lack of trying.”

        LOL. Yeah, it’s a regular London Blitz. The plain fact is that these little fire crackers are not particularly lethal.

        More people die in auto accidents in the US, on average, every 5 hours than have been killed by these rockets in a decade. That’s about the same number of people who die in the average 8-week period in the US from bee stings.

        But I guess it better promotes the israelis-as-victim routine to pretend that it’s an act of god rather than a mostly symbolic effort for the Gazan David to fight back at the israeli Goliath.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 13, 2012, 2:12 pm

        a miracle, God’s grace or pure dumb luck?

        jon, do you have any idea what the rocket to casualty ratio is? please, spare us your theatrics.

      • justicewillprevail
        November 13, 2012, 2:28 pm

        Whereas the deliberate targetting of Palestinians, and their murder, is a miracle, God’s grace or dumb luck? Well, not luck, just dumb sadism.

      • eljay
        November 13, 2012, 2:31 pm

        >> The fact that noone was killed by the Palestinian rockets this time is due to fate , a miracle, God’s grace or pure dumb luck (take your pick), not the terrorists lack of trying.

        The terrorists try, but they just can’t seem to kill consistently.

        Israel, on the other hand, has no problem killing. Ever.

        Hooray for the supremacist “Jewish State”! It’s no wonder hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists are so proud of it.

  8. thankgodimatheist
    November 12, 2012, 9:46 pm

    “You should also visit Sderot ”
    No one died or dies in Sderot ( built on destroyed Najd) where having to go to a shelter is called a “traumatic” experience. Maybe you should visit Gaza for a day nowadays “just for a comparison”, dimdok.

    • seafoid
      November 13, 2012, 6:18 am

      If Dim were to go to Gaza I think he should dress Gaza style. Like Shalit did when he was released. It was so interesting to see an IDF soldier wearing the uniform of the Gaza Untermenschen.

      link to static.guim.co.uk

    • jon s
      November 13, 2012, 5:18 pm

      No one died in Sderot?
      The first fatality was 4 year old Afik Ohayon.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    November 12, 2012, 11:59 pm

    RE: “Just behind the soldiers’ trucks was a little green oasis of trees. This is Nabi Saleh’s spring. The villagers demonstrate by trying to get to it but they’re not allowed. The settlers have renamed it Meier Spring. Some of the water goes into their big swimming pool. They have water all the time. Nabi Saleh only gets water 12 hours a week, Manal said.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Not allowing Nabi Saleh to get water for more than 12 hours a week is a great way for Israel to induce in its residents “a sense of permanent temporariness” thereby resulting in uncertainty designed by Israel to “maintain acquiescence” on the part of the Palestinians.

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPTS] . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness
    …It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence

    SOURCE – link to lrb.co.uk

    P.S. ALSO SEE: Learned helplessness - link to en.wikipedia.org

    P.P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  10. Red
    November 13, 2012, 1:58 am

    Thanks Phil for the article. I just wanted to offer one small correct regarding the opening line of your article re the two girls who were photographed in August trying to stop the arrest of Nariman, only one of the two girls was her daughter (A’hd). The two girls are actually cousins. The second girl is the daughter of Naji Tamimi who like Bassem Tamimi also spent a year in prison for the “crime” of organising non-violent demonstrations in Nabi Saleh against the occupation.

  11. Red
    November 13, 2012, 2:01 am

    People can also keep up to date with what is happening in Nabi Saleh and support the village’s struggle by joining the Nabi Saleh Solidarity Facebook page link to facebook.com
    and/or by visiting the Nabi Saleh Solidarity website/web blog link to nabisalehsolidarity.wordpress.com

  12. Shlomo
    November 13, 2012, 3:12 am

    How to keep from going insane?

    I’d handle it better if Germans or Italians or Japanese were the oppressors. But Israelis? The citizens of a state claiming to represent all Jews… AND be the essence of Judaism? The people given a home by the world because they’d been oppressed?

    Grrrrr!

    How can so many American Jews cite the Holocaust and not see the hypocrisy committed in their name in the Mideast? They act like “Good Germans” did in Fatherland, claiming not to see or care or be able to do anything. Are Israel-Firsters now pen-pals with aged Nazis, writing: “I finally understand why you did what you did to The Other/Us!” ?

    Sadly, millions of Jews in America will dub Phil a traitor, just like Germans in the 1930s-40s demonized members of the White Rose Society. It seems nothing changes Israel’s insolence. Maybe it will take Russian warships sinking some IDF patrol boats to bring Israelis back to reality. Then they’ll claim they didn’t know what was going on…or that nothing could have changed things. For sure, the Jewish State seems hellbent on growing an endless crop of world-wide hate toward itself.

    Why doesn’t Obama step in? Is he blind? A coward? What? America alone makes the madness possible. He won his second term, has nothing to lose. It’s time to take off the gloves, Barrack, and give arrogant, ignorant, belligerent Israel some chin-music!

    When I hear someone mention the Holocaust these days I feel like yelling, “So what? Who gives a shit? It happened to Jews for the same reason it’s happening to Palestinians: too many ‘good people’ do squat while mean, evil bastards run more and more amok.”

    The longer this one-sided bullying goes on, the more explosive things will get. Ultimately Israel will lose the most. When Palestinians have only 10% of their original land, even going back to the “half” Partition won’t be enough. To many descendents will want revenge. They will want it ALL.

    By then the world will help them. It will have had enough of the “Jewish State,” having endured (65? 75? 100?) years of it being unable to exist peacefully.

    And, as has been postited before, the danger to Jews-at-large is worrisome. They will be held accountable (rightly or wrongly) for having done so little to stop the ravages wreaked by a country acting in their name.

    Where ARE Phil’s fellow-travellers… Jews who emulate those prominent in the Civil Rights movement (and other progressive causes)? Too many act open and liberal and tolerant of just about everything….except questioning Israel. That is verboten. As is supporting Palestinians.

    How do the Arab locals keep on keepin’ on, Israel growing ever-more brutal while the world-at-large cares not a jot? How does Phil find the hair to bear witness to so much pain so directly?

    I salute his sumud!

  13. Allison Deger
    Allison Deger
    November 13, 2012, 8:44 am

    Phil, you should have taken the bullet casing and stuffed it between seat cushions on your bus/service/taxi. It wouldn’t have gone through the metal detector that way.

    • dimadok
      November 13, 2012, 12:31 pm

      Duely noted , Alison. Thank you.

      • jon s
        November 13, 2012, 12:57 pm

        If it’s a .22, it’s not from a M16. The M16 is 5.56 caliber.

      • eljay
        November 14, 2012, 7:48 am

        >> If it’s a .22, it’s not from a M16. The M16 is 5.56 caliber.

        The M16 is 5.56mm = .223 caliber.

      • eljay
        November 14, 2012, 8:10 am

        >> The M16 is 5.56mm = .223 caliber.

        More Googling indicates that 5.56mm / .223 caliber isn’t the same as .22 caliber. But it does indicate that M16 are convertible to handle .22 caliber rounds. (Google: m16 .22 cal)

      • marc b.
        November 14, 2012, 8:29 am

        If it’s a .22, it’s not from a M16.The M16 is 5.56 caliber.

        i qualified as an expert marksman in the service on the m16/ar15. a .22 caliber is 5.56mm.

        link to britannica.com

    • Elliot
      November 13, 2012, 1:23 pm

      Allison, that’s smart. He could have taken pictures of it when he was back in Israel. However, he still wouldn’t have been able to get the bullet out of Israel to tell the story over here. It’s really a challenge how to break through to people here with just stories and images.

    • jon s
      November 13, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Wonderful, Allison – have you considered the possibility that this forum could be monitored by certain authorities?
      Or are you trying to get Phil into trouble? As well as your taxi or bus driver?

  14. gamal
    November 13, 2012, 3:14 pm

    also Nabi Saleh, the Prophet Saleh (meaning Pious) an ancient Arabian prophet who preached to the people of Thamud they told him to STFU, God in his wisdom obliterated their impious asses, often mentioned with ‘Ad, they carved house out of living rock and are symbol in Quranic terms of the transitoriness of worldly power. They messed with Gods camel, fools. from wiki…

    “The Qur’an mentions Thamud in Sura Al-A’raf in the context of several prophets who warned their people of coming judgement. Verse 74 says of Thamud, “Ye build for yourselves palaces and castles in (open) plains, and carve out homes in the mountains”.[5] This could refer to the rock-cut tombs of Mada’in Saleh (the Cities of Saleh)

    In the Qur’an, ʿĀd and Thamud are generally mentioned together as a matter of context.[citation needed] The verses advise Thamud to take warning from the destruction of ʿĀd.

    To the Thamud people (We sent) Salih, one of their own brethren: He said: “O my people! worship Allah: ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (Sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a Sign unto you: So leave her to graze in Allah’s earth, and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.
    “And remember how He made you inheritors after the ‘Ad people and gave you habitations in the land: ye build for yourselves palaces and castles in (open) plains, and carve out homes in the mountains; so bring to remembrance the benefits (ye have received) from Allah, and refrain from evil and mischief on the earth.”
    —Qur’an, Sura 7 (Al-A’raf), ayat 73-74[6]

    This verse suggests some kind of relationship between ʿĀd and Thamud, and ʿĀd may even have been a part of Thamud’s history and culture. Just as Nuh’s (Noah) people were seen as the ancestors of ʿĀd, it seems ʿĀd were seen in a similar relation to Thamud.

    The ʿĀd were a people living in southern Arabia. Some remains of Thamud were found in the region where ʿĀd had lived, especially around the region where capital city of the Hadramites, the descendants of ʿĀd, stood.[citation needed]

    A bit further on from the passage quoted above, the Qur’an says,

    Then they ham-strung the she-camel, and insolently defied the order of their Lord, saying: “O Salih! bring about thy threats, if thou art a messenger (of Allah)!”
    So the earthquake took them unawares, and they lay prostrate in their homes in the morning!
    —Qur’an, Sura 7 (Al-A’raf), ayat 77-78[7]

    In Sura Al-Qamar it says ” For We sent against them a single Mighty Blast, and they became like the dry stubble used by one who pens cattle.”[8]”

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