It’s the last day of the year and I have wanted to publish this video for over a month. If anyone questions whether there is apartheid on the West Bank, well, look at this video. “Apartheid on steroids,” as the Nation put it.
The man in the video is Abu Ibrahim ‘Attalah, 52, a father of seven who lives in the small Palestinian village of Beit Iskariya in the occupied West Bank southwest of Bethlehem.
Beit Iskariya is surrounded by Israeli settlements. Indeed, the most crushing part of the video occurs at about 3:50 when I ask him to name the settlements that surround him, and he moves around the compass, beginning on the north, naming nine or ten Jewish settlements by their Hebrew names. And he describes the efforts to choke his village so that the people leave: this is the ethnic cleansing that has been going on in Area C for many years now.
At the beginning of the video, you will see him comparing the little school in Beit Iskariya, which is under a demolition order, to the fancy school in the settlement center across the way, which serves all the Jewish settlers of Gush Etzion bloc. He points out a college there, and a swimming pool, which the Palestinian villagers can’t go to. The translator is Fadi Kattan.
And at about 1:40 of the video, he talks about his one meeting with Tony Blair three years ago, when Tony Blair promised to make a solution for Beit Iskariya, and — 2:40– nothing happened. At 3:20, he describes the lack of media attention for the village.
In the shorter video below, I pressed Abu Ibrahim to understand the segregation of the children of Beit Iskariya and the children of the settlements. Could his children go to the school across the way? My question is so idiotic to him, he cannot answer at first. Equality? Wait for his explanations at the end of the video.