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Never Surrender: A Palestinian-American recounts harassment and discrimination during trip to Israel/Palestine

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Moe Diab

I am a 25-year-old Palestinian-American. I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I was raised to be proud of my Palestinian heritage and culture, and to be conscious of the daily Palestinian struggles and oppression, due to the Israeli occupation. My American upbringing instilled in me an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality. However, I never truly understood the significance of universal human rights in my daily American life, until the Israeli authorities stripped these so-called inalienable rights away from me.

In the summer of 2004, I traveled to East Jerusalem to visit my family. This was not my first time visiting; however, it was the first time in my life I ever felt like a vile unwanted intruder. I was visiting my family on the land where my ancestors thrived for generations, the origin of my culture and traditions, my roots. Regardless of the sentimental attachment I felt, I was treated as a dangerous trespasser.

Prior to this visit, I thought that I had already experienced the worst racial discrimination possible following 9-11. I went to bed on September 10th 2001, a normal American kid and woke up the next day labeled a “terrorist” Arab. I was targeted, teased and threatened; however, local law enforcement handled the situations in a reasonable manner, on most occasions. My epiphany began upon my arrival in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion airport and continued throughout the duration of my visit. What shocked me the most was the fact that it was not the high school bullies and prejudiced civilians carrying out the racial discrimination and harassment towards my family and I, on the contrary, the Israeli authorities were systematically administering it!

After traveling for over a day, we arrived in Tel Aviv absolutely exhausted and anxious to see our family. The second I stepped foot off the plane, I immediately noticed there were two different sets of airport procedures. I noticed the passport control lines appeared to be racially segregated. Initially, it may have been my lack of sleep leading to my presumptions, however, after waiting in line for over an hour to have our travel documents stamped, we were detained and escorted by a security official to a special screening room. All the while, other non-Arab passengers proceeded to claim their baggage and meet their loved ones after passport control.

It was in the special screening room that I first felt a real hostility radiating from Israeli security officials, it made me angry. It wasn’t even so much the idea of being racially targeted to undergo another body and luggage search, despite the fact that my luggage hadn’t been touched since it was searched prior to boarding the flight in America. It was an aggressive, condescending superior-like attitude by the security personnel who conducted our screenings that enraged me. The way they spoke down to my mother like a criminal– I clenched my fists. With each additional disrespectful word and baseless insinuation directed towards her, I felt closer and closer to losing control. Fighting back the urge to defend my mother’s dignity, took everything in me. Within minutes in that room, I was sweaty all over, every muscle in my body was tense, and my fists were beginning to cramp from holding them so tightly.

Following additional security checks, my family was separated and questioned individually for hours. I was worried about my mother. They asked invasive intimate questions about my relationships, social networks, and other matters that was none of their business. Then I was hit with a barrage of aggressive personal questions and comments:

“Why did you come to Israel? You have nothing here.”
“This is the land for the Jews. Why do you visit if this is not your land?”
“Let me see your cell phone! Who did you contact before you got on the plane?”
“Log into your email account!”
“Where does your family live? What is their address?”
“We know what you have done, just tell us who is helping you!”
“I can sit here all day until you answer my questions, I know you are lying.”

No matter how calmly and honestly I answered the questions; the security officer always cut into my responses by degrading them with another comment or question. I later realized this technique of systematic questioning was used intentionally to emotionally assault my pride and dignity in an attempt to break my will. It felt inhumane.

I was told by the senior security officer to stay seated and instructed not to say a single word while he left the room to continue interrogating my mother. My luggage was being searched again, this time for explosive residue. There was a moment when the female security official was searching my luggage, after the supervisor had left the room, I could have given her a piece of my mind but I knew surely she would break and radio her supervisor to make an example out of me. But something strange happened I’ve thought about many times. I felt the tension in the room ease as soon as her supervisor left and it occurred to me the intimidating supervisor was making us both uncomfortable. Watching her across the small interrogation room, she seemed more relaxed. Her posture and expression changed. She picked up my boxers, turned to me smiling and said, “these are cute!” in a playful, sarcastic tone. At that moment I imagined this young woman, who couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, sensed my frustration and sympathized with me on some human level. But why would she be complicit with this blatant racist system if deep down she knew on some level it was wrong? Her comment threw me off. On one hand, I felt at any moment I was going to burst into a verbal defensive, my blood was boiling, my muscles were tense, it was against all I believed in to stay quiet while being dehumanized. On the other hand, I made it through the first stage of questioning without giving them a piece of my mind, and here was this young Israeli woman, as guilty as the rest of the security officials by complicity, allowing me to believe she was sympathetic, convincing me, deep down she hated complying. On reflection I think she was making an attempt to normalize the situation. She allowed herself to humanize for a moment and it seemed obvious to me she felt guilt when she realized I wasn’t going to respond or smile back. She failed at her attempts, much like racial segregation couldn’t be normalized during the African American civil rights movement. The only way to normalize racial segregation and oppression is by ending it through a system of equality and justice. The only way she could satisfy her inner resistance is not only by refusing to comply with the apartheid system, in essence be neutral, but also to voice her opinion against what is being done in her name.

After hours of individual harassment, we were finally released to go meet our family. I would be lying if I said that was the end of the discriminatory treatment. As we drove from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I was shocked to see the Wall for the first time. The construction of the Israeli Apartheid Wall began just two years prior to my visit and the intentions were already obvious. As we drove alongside of this twenty-five foot high concrete abomination with an abundance of trenches, barbed wire, electrified fencing with numerous watch towers, electronic sensors, thermal imaging and video cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, sniper towers, and roads for patrol vehicles, I felt imprisoned within a police state.

During our drive home and throughout my trip, I was in complete disbelief each time we were questioned at checkpoints by kids my own age. Having a 17-18 year-old point an automatic assault rifle in my face, while aggressively snatching my American passport, gave me a deeper sense of how reckless Israel is with Palestinian life, in a way that penetrated my psyche. I started thinking about how feelings of superiority must begin early on in life, through prejudicial injurious rhetoric, then solidified when teenagers are handed military-grade automatic assault rifles and are required to dominate unarmed Palestinian civilians. Is it really the best idea to brainwash kids into believing they are racially superior to their co-inhabitants, then hand them lethal weapons to police their so-called “inferiors”? No! We have already seen the outcome to this type of catastrophe and it’s not a distant memory; but this is precisely the reason Israel forces teenagers to serve in their military. A conscious adult is more likely to question unjust acts and feel remorse for terrorizing innocent civilians. A growing number of Israeli citizens are refusing to serve in the Israeli Military. Is it a coincidence that the majority of those whom refuse to serve are well into their twenties and early thirties? I don’t think so; the majority of teenagers are not capable of making rational, consequential decisions. Between my mood swings, rash decisions and occasional angry outbursts at 17, I was in no way mentally prepared to be given a gun and handle the responsibility attached. In fact, more 17-year-olds commit crimes than any other age group, according to recent studies by psychiatrists, the same age as many Israelis entering the military. But being in this environment was making me more reflective about who I was, my life, and Palestine.

After my eye-opening experiences with the Israeli military occupation and numerous racially segregated checkpoints, it became obvious to me that the Apartheid Wall only reinforced Israel’s strangling system of permits and checkpoints, where Palestinians are harassed, degraded, humiliated, detained, beaten, and even shot.

Remembering and reflecting upon my experiences during this visit infuriates me on so many levels. Witnessing my family swallow their pride, while holding on to their dignity each time they were racially targeted for questioning or a car search, brought pain to my heart. My cousins only worried about my comfort, they were strong and composed because they didn’t want me to realize so much was out of their control. This was their reality, how could they be so selfless? This was their normal daily life but nothing was normal about it. It’s not normal having to constantly worry about your children being targeted and harassed. It’s not normal to have a constant fear of military assault, losing loved ones, random arrests and indefinite illegal detentions. No matter how calm my family remained, I could always see the frustration and resistance in their soul, through their eyes. They are not accepting the occupation as the norm, they are simply living through it, doing what they can, as best as they can, until equality is restored and justice is served.

And discriminatory treatment towards me, as a Palestinian-American, is not only demeaning; it’s completely disrespectful towards American-Israeli relations. Even more infuriating is that fact that the U.S. government has done absolutely nothing to stop American citizens from being discriminated against and harassed by Israeli officials, regardless of the thousands of reports filed. As an American a significant portion of my tax dollars is given to fund Israeli military, security and economic structures, the same military that racially profiled me, harassed me, detained me and said they could care less if I was American. Israel does not respect the citizens of the United States; regardless of the billions of dollars in aid we provide them annually. How foolish of me to assume that as an American, Israel would treat me with more respect than my family, given our “Unbreakable” military alliance and generous economic contribution, which funds their illegal military occupation. However, I have little to complain about compared to the daily discrimination, humiliation and abuse endured by Palestinians entrapped and oppressed by their constant violent encroachments.

M 7358
Moe Diab

After returning from my trip, I had the words “Never Surrender” tattooed across my back. At the time, I didn’t realize precisely why I had the desire to permanently scar my flesh with those words; it may have been my subconscious hinting at me to pursue action for my unsettling experience. In fact, those words would penetrate deeper than my skin. Those very words pierced my skin, engulfed my soul, and fueled my intellectual resistance. I just knew that something changed in me after that trip. I didn’t think the same. I didn’t even talk the same way. I perceived the world differently. I began to evolve into the human rights activist I am today. In the years following my trip, I came to learn that knowledge is far more powerful than any military force. By educating myself, I am able to educate others. By spreading awareness, I am awakening the sleeping conscience of neutrally compliant individuals. Knowledge is the most dangerous threat to an unjust system of oppression.

Regardless of the anticipated difficulties I may face, I plan on visiting my family in Palestine soon. So what if they detain me and question me again? It’s their way of instilling fear in the hearts of those wishing to visit their beloved homeland and families. Of all people, the Zionist government should know, as Palestinians we will not give up our right of return after 65 years of occupation, especially considering Zionists claim that same right after more than 2,000 years. I’m sure the intimidation, harassment, and vile treatment deters many Palestinians from returning home, but not this one. If there is one thing that Americans and Palestinians have in common, it’s that we ‘Never Surrender’.

Moe Diab
About Moe Diab

Moe Diab is a Palestinian-American human rights activist, writer, and mental health graduate student. He blogs at MoeDiab.com and you can follow him on Twitter @Moe_Diab.

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82 Responses

  1. philweiss
    philweiss
    June 5, 2013, 12:57 pm

    This is an incredibly inspiring story, great thanks for sharing it with us, Moe.
    For me, it is a reminder of how important the American lens is for our work. This piece has a thoroughly American voice, in the vein of Huck Finn and Richard Wright and Saul Bellow, but for the new international age. It causes me to reflect on my own childhood indoctrination in superiorities, of a few varieties!
    And this passage reminds me of the huge specific meaning of all our efforts here, and particularly for Americans:
    “Witnessing my family swallow their pride, while holding on to their dignity each time they were racially targeted for questioning or a car search, brought pain to my heart. My cousins only worried about my comfort, they were strong and composed because they didn’t want me to realize so much was out of their control.”

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 6, 2013, 4:21 am

      @ Philip Weiss
      No great Palestinian-American novelist has surfaced? They haven’t been here long enough? There numbers are relatively small? The Great American novelist–romansbildung is dead, and has been for some time? The last one was, who–Philip Roth? There little profit in the general audience market. What is most profitable? An example is paperback books one finds near the check-out counter in many food stores.

      Instead, we have reality TV, and narrative fiction, such as Game Of Thrones. Americans identify with these narratives, that is, they identify in personal ways with the story, or set-up, watching the characters, who are like next door neighbors to them, or even family members, or conversely, characters may remind them of someone they don’t like, etc.

      Similarly, narrative reporting on foreign affairs—i.e., the kind of long-form piece that identifies characters and histories in the crowd—is awful slim in the US at the best of times. Instead we have the citizen journalism of Twitter and Facebook, which has its advantages in volume, and in the slightly more democratic makeup of the people who are bringing the news to us. But what it seems to lack is anyone drawing it together in a coherent whole, making it clear what all the human costs are.

      Sometimes, a single photo will galvinize American popular interest, e.g., the little naked Vietnamese girl running down the napalmed road, or the single Chinese youth standing in fron of the tank in the square. The Palestinians have what, the defenseless Palestinian father crouched in front of a wall splattered with IDF bullets, his dead child in his arms? No wonder the wall was quickly demolished, and Israel had worked so hard to pretend to prove the child was never killed–recent update on this right here on MW.

      No Palestininian narrative has been implanted in the American mind. Mr. Diab’s excellent, very personalized short story, non-fiction, here, is a start.

      On the epic narrative film form, I don’t think we will see an Exodus saga on the Nakba anytime soon coming fron Hollywood. Clint Eastwood would be interested.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 6, 2013, 4:34 am

        You can tweet Senator Boxer this story with an appropriate short text: https://twitter.com/SenatorBoxer

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 6, 2013, 4:56 am

        Boxer’s tweets promote much legislation she’s heavily involved in–but she does not tweet about her bill for non-reciprocal visa waiver wrt Israel. I just did 4 tweets to her on the subject, including two with link to Moe’s story here. I hope some of my followers RT. Let’s she if her tweet account responds…

      • AlGhorear
        AlGhorear
        June 6, 2013, 11:23 am

        I checked Boxer’s timeline and don’t see any tweets to her on it. Apparently, her account is set up so only her tweets and retweets appear. What is your twitter handle, Citizen? I’d like to follow you :) and others who post here.

        I’m @alghorear. Surprise surprise.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 7, 2013, 7:11 am

        I just checked her timeline–she, or whoever posts in her behald last posted on June 4th. Maybe nobody’s been sitting at her twitter seat since then?

  2. American
    American
    June 5, 2013, 1:11 pm

    Strong, very strong. Stay strong, the zios supremist will not prevail.

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    June 5, 2013, 1:13 pm

    Alex has an article up on the new thinking originating from the Israeli right. I wonder if that doesn’t come in at least some part from a realization of the power of “Never Surrender” and the respect that engenders in people that view the world in narrow power v. power terms. Perhaps a shift from deadly enemy to worthy adversary, with shifting more to come. Just thinking out loud… but interesting developments all around this/your issue.

    Rights and leadership are crucible-based imvho. Your article is elegantly and poignantly descriptive of the process that generates both. Thanks. Inspiring. Best wishes.

    • annie
      annie
      June 5, 2013, 1:56 pm

      Perhaps a shift from deadly enemy to worthy adversary, with shifting more to come. Just thinking out loud… but interesting developments all around this/your issue.

      yes, this segment of our population, palestinian american youth, there are literally tens of thousands of them. i believe we’re seeing, what could very well be, the beginning of an explosion of activism from within our society. and they could tip the scales in ways previously unimagined.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        June 6, 2013, 10:13 pm

        @Annie Couldn’t agree more.

        Being born free with the resultant expectations that come from being free and demanding no less are hard for Israel to deal with. It is the end of the “narrative.” No one can place conditions and/or demands on the desire for freedom that would not be laughed at. That desire runs too deep and resonates to effectively, especially here in the US.

        Israel doesn’t do “free” well, or at all. The I-RoW arrative is in its end game wrt to US politics certainly, but also wrt regional politics.

        Thanks for encouraging Moe to post here.

  4. Obsidian
    Obsidian
    June 5, 2013, 1:15 pm

    ““Why did you come to Israel? You have nothing here.”
    “This is the land for the Jews. Why do you visit if this is not your land?”
    “Let me see your cell phone! Who did you contact before you got on the plane?”
    “Log into your email account!”
    “Where does your family live? What is their address?”

    The airport incident occurred seven years ago when Moe would have been 18 years old.
    A remarkable memory he has.

    And the photo of his tattoo. It’s kinda….well.

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      June 5, 2013, 1:21 pm

      A remarkable memory to remember something that happened when you’re 18?

      Very pathetic of you, proudzionist-sockpuppet.

    • annie
      annie
      June 5, 2013, 1:32 pm

      he was 17. obsidian, it may interest you to know when i first got in touch with moe, thru another of our contributors, because i was interested in his activism, his response was very brief; he’d write something for us but he didn’t think the article should be about him. but that is what i wanted to know, his personal story. (which is published now for the first time).

      after he wrote this for us on request, and after it was in draft, i found out in conversation, quite coincidentally, more information about the circumstances that day. knowing the information, one can imagine for personal reasons why it wasn’t included, but it’s easily verifiable.

      perhaps someday (perhaps when moe is used to exposing information about his life) he will write more about that one segment of this article, and then you’ll know what i’m talking about and why he would have it imprinted on his mind for the rest of his life.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 5, 2013, 3:08 pm

        then you’ll know what i’m talking about and why he would have it imprinted on his mind for the rest of his life.
        Uh oh….

        Just got to be courageous, I think.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 5, 2013, 3:22 pm

      “The airport incident occurred seven years ago when Moe would have been 18 years old.
      A remarkable memory he has. ”

      Yes. A remarkable man, part of a remarkable people. Being oppressed by adherents to an evil ideology.

      “And the photo of his tattoo. It’s kinda….well.”

      The word you are looking for is “awesome.”

      Zionism=Racism. Free Palestine.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 6, 2013, 4:59 am

        “And the photo of Adelson. It’s kinda….well.”

    • frankier
      frankier
      June 5, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Obsidian, you should state unequivocally what you are soooo subtly suggesting. Are you doubting that such a “security” routine takes place? Are you implying that the author is lying?

      I do not have any more information on the author than you do, Obsidian, but I think I can figure that it is possible that you never have to endure a physiological or physical trauma…… and then thinking that maybe your mother could be subject to the same.

      I can assure you that the detail of that day will remain with you for the rest of your life.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        June 5, 2013, 4:50 pm

        Ben Gurion Airport customs is intrusive. That’s a given. We know that NOW, they ask about email accounts, but I doubt that seven years ago, BGA customs asked 17 year old Moe or his mom for his/their password, etc., .
        I believe Moe is ‘projecting’ backwards.
        His memory of this seven year old event is also too keen; as if it happened yesterday.

        Was Moe and his family given a tough time at the airport. Yes.
        Did it happen just as Moe says here? I doubt it.

        I was strip searched at Ben Gurion 10+ years ago and I only have the vaguest recall. Than again, I wasn’t an anti-Zionist activist. I was just an ordinary smart ass.

      • annie
        annie
        June 5, 2013, 5:40 pm

        i don’t think moe was an activist back then. a little trip to his blog ..it was all science science science til about a year ago. doesn’t look like he became an activist for a few more years.

        i crossed the border in 09 and i recall very specific things they said to me, and i remember a lot of what i said to them too. i was there 8 hours. and i’m not palestinian. moe had been there before…but there were some differences this time, aside from his age. i can’t say anymore and i really do not know why you’re obsessing so much on that passage from his article. palestinians have gone thru much much worse, much worse. whatever it is you’re defending here, the point is moe is a 25 year old masters grad student double major, he’s a busy guy w/a career in front of him and he’s an impressive person, he’s an accomplished person for someone of his age especially. he’s a smart, dedicated, charismatic popular person. so just relax, you’ll be fine.

        and your story is not important here, israel probably treats young men of the age moe was at that time…differently..if they are palestinian. something you would not understand.

      • Blank State
        Blank State
        June 5, 2013, 5:58 pm

        I too, like another poster has queried, would like to know exactly what Obsidian is saying, without the pebbles in his mouth. He is obviously making the insinuation that Moe has embellished the actual occurence, if not out and out lied about it.

        So, lets take the hypothetical that Obsidian offers; That the story might be true if Moe was claiming that it happened yesterday, rather than claiming it was an event that occurred 9 years ago. I’m a little curious if Obsidian thinks such harrassment, if recent, is now justified. And I can’t help but wonder if Obsidian realizes what he is admitting to; That Israel is devolving, becoming more and more racist and fascist as time passes. I wonder, if Obsidian is willing to accept, as truth, that Moe’s story is only believable if applied to the current security at Ben Gurion airport, what truths will Obsidian be admitting to ten years from now. Will Israel be gassing these people like Moe upon their arrival??? Or perhaps just tattooing thier wrists?

      • santasa
        santasa
        June 5, 2013, 6:27 pm

        You evaluate your own intelligence? How unpretentious.
        Eh, smart ass – maybe more ass then smart, or simply just ass !?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 5, 2013, 6:40 pm

        Ob, you’re much of a coward to call the man a liar, but no one here but you zios would doubt anything in this story. The stuff is typical of the thing done by the pigs you people hire for your airport Gestapo. And unless you were a Palestinian man 7 or 8 years ago, your doubts about what the custom scum did is worthless speculation.

      • eGuard
        eGuard
        June 5, 2013, 6:55 pm

        Obsidian: Ben Gurion Airport customs is intrusive. That’s a given.

        Only for those labeled “Arab”.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 6, 2013, 5:15 am

        We cannot imagine fully what they do at the Israeli airport to hi-bar code “security risks.” Here’s a sample of they do on departure from Israel–and this was done to a Jewish American straggler from his BirthRight trip: http://www.aaronswwadventures.com/2013/01/leaving-tel-aviv-israel-airport-security-ben-gurion/

        Maybe Moe will tell us of what happened at the airport when he departed Israel. then we can compare the two accounts.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        June 6, 2013, 8:32 am

        Obsidian says: “His memory of this seven year old event is also too keen; as if it happened yesterday.”

        You forgot to mention that one can only keenly recall atrocities up to seven decades ago, if one has Jewish genes.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 8, 2013, 11:16 am

        Here’s a sample of they do on departure from Israel–and this was done to a Jewish American straggler from his BirthRight trip
        I just read the article and the comments from your link. Particularly the last account by Maria upset me. It looks like Israel wants to scare off absolutely everyone.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 10, 2013, 6:47 am

        I don’t think Maria would mind having her comment reproduced here so visitors with little time understand why you said it looks like Israel wants to scare off absolutely everyone:

        Maria June 5, 2013 at 7:20 am #
        My experience were even worse.
        Me, a german tourist, a blonde female, 24 years then, went to Israel for holidays. I was there for like ten days, slept in hotels and hostels and admired the country.
        At the airport on my flight back they questioned me a thousand times (“What were you doing?” “Holidays” “What for?” “To see the old Jerulasem, to lay on the beach?!” etc.) then I had to open my whole luggage. in there: A Bikini, sun-cream, dresses… NOTHING suspicious. Addition: Only stamps in my passport are from USA.
        Nevertheless, they took all my things (including wallet, phone, passport) and I had to got to a room on the side, taking off all the clothes I wore (except underpanties). Than they felt on the side of my underpanties if there would be hidden sth, they searched in my hair (!) for sth. I don`t even know what they thought, I could possibly carry with me!
        Then they went away for 20 Minutes with my clothes, while I was sitting barefoot and naked, arms crossed to cover my breasts in a sterile room on a plastic chair.
        it was then when i realised that i was completely at the mercy of them. no passport, no clothes, no rights.
        finally they decided that I was – after all – a harmless tourist and escorted me right to my seat in the plane with three (!) armed soldiers.
        the whole plane was looking at me like I was a dangerous criminal.
        never been that humiliated.

    • Djinn
      Djinn
      June 5, 2013, 10:06 pm

      You don’t remember things that happened 7 years ago Obsidian? You might want to make an appointment with a neurologist.

      I have a terrible memory but I can describe in detail the 6 hour delay, harassment, intimidation and lies by Israeli officials (a mix of army, police and private security) when attempting to enter Gaza (the papers and approval had all been arranged months in advance and I was travelling with an NGO funded by the Australian government) I can even more vividly recall the humiliation they attempted to engender on return through Erez while standing in the body scanner and watching Israeli officials in the office above pointing and laughing and making sexual hand gestures. I could pick ANY ONE of those officials from a line up years later.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        June 6, 2013, 4:34 am

        “You don’t remember things that happened 7 years ago Obsidian”

        He just remembers stuff pre 70 CE.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      June 5, 2013, 10:52 pm

      Obsidian, I keenly remember some emotional incidents of life 20 or 30 years ago as if they happened last week. Some things one can never forget.

      While you or I might find tattoos onto the body…kind of well…. (I find them abhorrent.)

      Tattoos are very important and proudly significant for others. Just as important as identity markers such as a yarmulke or even a physical circumcision.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 6, 2013, 10:33 am

        While I disagree with your view on tattoos, your comparison to circumcision is inapt. Most people who have had their foreskins amputated had the process inflicted upon them as children, without their consent or input. Most people who have tattoos voluntarily underwent the procedure as adults as an example of self-expression.

        So while a victim of circumcision may later take pride in his truncated member (though perverse as some may see such pride), it is not the same thing as one getting a tattoo.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        June 7, 2013, 11:11 pm

        Woody, right. It is a false comparison. I was trying to make the point that regardless of what one might think of tattoos, for many who do choose to take one for whatever reason, it is important to them and to be respected.

        Obsidian diverted to ridicule Moe Diab. A tiresome tactic.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      June 6, 2013, 6:51 am

      I have to wonder, when Jewish survivors of the Holocaust pick a guard out of a line-up 60, 70 years later – do you question their memory too?

    • AhVee
      AhVee
      June 7, 2013, 9:52 am

      I remember things people said to me as early as age 5, I’m 20 years older than that now. And those conversations I recall aren’t even emotionally scarring.

      Regardless of if it’s Jewish, Palestinian or Ugandan life, this kind of smug sarcasm in response to someone’s account of a traumatizing memory would always be equally tasteless.

  5. annie
    annie
    June 5, 2013, 1:18 pm

    i was really impressed when i heard moe’s 2 hour ‘crash course’ radio interview on Hanif J Williams Show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edj3wiutAhI&feature=youtu.be

    and then the more i looked the more impressed i was with his activism, plus he appears to have quite a following….understandably.

  6. seafoid
    seafoid
    June 5, 2013, 3:43 pm

    I wonder if Moe noticed the archaeological signposts on the road to jerusalem . Only jewish history is promoted . Nothing post ad70 ce gets mentioned .

    It must have been incredibly inspiring to arrive in jerusalem and breathe the air and hear the accent and drink the turkish coffee . Ahwe dayman , Moe.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      June 6, 2013, 6:54 am

      Israeli archaeology is dominated by what can only be described as a Jewish Ahnenerbe, deserving of nothing but contempt.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    June 5, 2013, 6:02 pm

    RE: My epiphany began upon my arrival in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion airport and continued throughout the duration of my visit. What shocked me the most was the fact that it was not the high school bullies and prejudiced civilians carrying out the racial discrimination and harassment towards my family and I, on the contrary, the Israeli authorities were systematically administering it! ~ Moe Diab

    MY COMMENT: This racial discrimination and harassment will soon be coming soon to an airport near you*, courtesy of the “Start-Up Nation”! Yet another “legacy”, of sorts (like Skunk®**).

    * SEE: “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12

    [EXCERPTS] Security officers at Boston’s Logan International Airport have come under fire for the widespread racial profiling of Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics in their zeal to ferret out terrorists.
    The ‘New York Times’ broke the story over the weekend after officers who requested anonymity came forward;
    some officers have complained internally to the Transportation Security Agency as well. A Massachusetts lawmaker has called for congressional hearings on the racial profiling allegations.
    The ‘Times’ reports that officers estimated that “80 percent” of passengers “searched during certain shifts” were people of color. What’s more, the Boston airport “is the testing ground for an expanded use of behavioral detection methods at airports around the country.”
    But what’s not touched on in the ‘Times’ report is the fact that Logan International’s security procedures are modeled on Israel’s policies at their own airport–policies that are blatantly racist. . .

    . . . The Israel connection is integral to understanding Boston’s racial profiling problems. In 2009, according to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jerusalem Post reported that “Boston’s Logan Airport has tapped the Israeli company New Age Security Solutions to help secure the facility using Behavior Pattern Recognition.” . . .
    . . . It took until August 2011 for the Israeli-inspired model to be operationalized. That was the date when the “behavioral profiling” became an official model at Boston’s airport–and this was “a direct result” of “Israeli influence” on security procedures at the airport
    , according to the Associated Press.
    Fast-forward to the New York Times story. The ‘Times’ reports that one anonymous TSA officer complained that this “behavior detection
    program is no longer a behavior-based program, but [rather] a racial profiling program.”

    To observers of how Israeli security works at Ben Gurion Airport, the allegations of racial profiling will come as no surprise. Palestinian and Arab travelers at Ben Gurion are guaranteed to be harassed by Israeli security. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/boston-airport-security-program-rife-with-racial-profiling-has-israeli-links.html

    * ALSO WATCH: On the Wish List from the Boston Bombings – The Israelization of America (Aaron Cohen, “National Security Expert” on Fox “News” saying that we need to “get on the Israeli page”) [VIDEO, 00:24] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fff8dXQNVdA
    ·

    ** FROM WIKIPEDIA [Skunk (weapon)]:

    [EXCERPT] “Skunk” is a malodorant, non-lethal weapon used for crowd control by the Israeli Defense Forces. Deriving its name from the animal of the same name, “Skunk” is dispersed as a form of mist, fired from a water cannon, which leaves a terrible odor of rot or sewage on whatever it touches. It does not wash off easily and is said to linger on clothes for up to five years.[1] First attempts at developing a scent-based form of crowd control began in Israel in 2004; Skunk was first used for crowd control in September 2008.
    According to David Ben Harosh, head of technological development for the Israeli police, the recipe is based entirely on natural organic ingredients, including yeast and baking powder, does not include any harmful materials, and may even be ingested without causing harm. The inventors plan to market Skunk to other forces worldwide. . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk_(weapon)

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      June 5, 2013, 6:12 pm

      P.S. MORE ON ISRAEL’S SKUNK® LEGACY, COMING SOON TO A COMMUNITY NEAR YOU:
      “IDF Skunk Cannon Odorizes West Bank”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/06/13

      [EXCERPT] The IDF routinely uses a truly disgusting weapon of war to maintain the Occupation: a skunk cannon. To the uninitiated, imagine instead of fire hoses and police dogs, Sheriff Bull Connor used a massive stream of raw sewage mixed with skunk oil and let it fly not just on the civil rights marchers but all the citizens and businesses in town. Then imagine you’re one of the victims and it’s flying at you from a truck the size of a small tank. The ostensible purpose of this vehicle is to disrupt protests on the West Bank. Keep in mind, that these are for the most part totally non-violent incidents in which demonstrators are expressing their legitimate opposition to issues like building the Separation Wall, which in itself is an illegal project under international law. In short, the purpose of the skunk cannon is not to break up violent rallies or protect the IDF from the wrath of Palestinians. It is purely meant to suppress the political will of the Palestinian people.
      Ynet reports (Hebrew) that in addition to spraying protesters, those who operate the vehicles randomly spray residential homes and businesses having nothing to do with the demonstrations. This is collective punishment . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/03/06/idf-skunk-cannon-odorizes-west-bank/

  8. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    June 5, 2013, 6:34 pm

    I was raised to be proud of my Palestinian heritage and culture.
    Being proud of something that you didn’t choose or achieve is idiotic.

    My American upbringing instilled in me an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality.
    Good one. The USA appreciates hypocrisy and double standards.

    The military said they could care less if I was American.
    You mean that the military could NOT care less.

    How foolish of me to assume that as an American, Israel would treat me with more respect than my family.
    Yes, that was indeed foolish. Of course, racists don’t care about citizenship. I guess that US citizens feel superior, too. That’s why they believe that they will be treated with more respect than others.

    If there is one thing that Americans and Palestinians have in common, it’s that we ‘Never Surrender’.
    Don’t compare US citizens to Palestinians. The first are imperialists, the latter are victims of imperialism.

    Apart from that, it was a good story.

    • tree
      tree
      June 5, 2013, 7:22 pm

      Apart from that, it was a good story.

      Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

      I guess that US citizens feel superior, too. That’s why they believe that they will be treated with more respect than others.

      And I guess that SOME German citizens feel superior, too. What does that have to do with the story, other than a chance to get in a gratuitous swipe at Moe? Moe wasn’t saying that he thought he was “superior”, which is your implication. He was saying that he didn’t realize that the Israelis would treat him as bad as his family, because the US, and in that respect US citizens, are the Israelis benefactors.

      Don’t compare US citizens to Palestinians. The first are imperialists, the latter are victims of imperialism.

      But Moe is an American by citizenship and a Palestinian by ethnicity. What does that make him in your grand Manichean scheme?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 6, 2013, 5:37 am

        Yes Moe was explicit in the context of his whole article–he meant, as an American, visiting America’s “great ally,” he, a teen at the time, believed he wouldn’t be harrassed because in America he experienced very minimal bullying by state/municipal police or security employees. Nothing he said in context of his article implies he felt superior simply because he was born and raised in USA.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 6, 2013, 6:09 am

        Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
        I know that my negative criticism refers to minor points only. So what? In numerous previous posts, I already made very clear that I oppose Zionism and support equal rights for Palestinians.

        Moe wasn’t saying that he thought he was “superior”, which is your implication.
        But he expected Israel to treat him LIKE a superior because of his citizenship. That’s not much better.
        He emphasised his citizenship way too often. The theme of his article was, “Why do they treat me like this? I am a US citizen.” Instead, he should have expressed, “Why do they treat me like this? I am a human being.”
        Why does he bring up his citizenship this often? His citizenship is not particularly relevant here. If he were a citizen of Egypt instead of the USA, then Israel’s treatment of him wouldn’t be justified either. Racial profiling is unacceptable in any case, regardless of your citizenship.
        Besides, if he seriously believes that the USA values freedom, liberty, justice and equality, then he is just as brainwashed as the Israeli teenagers whom he mentions in his article.

        What does that make him in your grand Manichean scheme?
        If you use words that I need to look up, then please spell them correctly.

        But Moe is an American by citizenship and a Palestinian by ethnicity.
        My statement was general. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. However, most US citizens supported the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war. They also approve of the drone war. That makes them imperialists.
        Both, the USA and Israel, are infected with a feeling of superiority. Comparing US citizens to Palestinians is like comparing perpetrators to victims.

      • peeesss
        peeesss
        June 6, 2013, 11:38 am

        “Besides, if he seriously believes that the USA values freedom, liberty, justice and equality, then he is just as brainwashed as the Israeli teenagers whom he mentions in his article.”
        German Lefty, I must admit that you make a good point. I, too, wonder why so many intelligent, incisive commentators equate their anti Zionism with their pride in being born, by accident of birth, in the US and/or to US citizens. Forgetting the massive hypocrisy, mythology , violence that has made the US this “Exceptional” State shining upon the Hill might give that person a good feeling , “we are good”, as we decry the massive crimes of Israel.. But the US ,in its history , and most recently in its perpetual war, its imperialism, and enabler of Israel’s crimes against humanity certainly is not a country to be revered.

      • tree
        tree
        June 6, 2013, 5:32 pm

        GL
        So what? In numerous previous posts, I already made very clear that I oppose Zionism and support equal rights for Palestinians.

        Wow, you support equal rights! You get a gold star! But it doesn’t exempt you from criticism of your comments. You felt it important enough to criticize Moe Diab, and I’m pretty darn sure that he opposes Zionism and supports equal rights. too. Do you think that you deserve some special privilege that Mr. Diab doesn’t deserve?

        But he expected Israel to treat him LIKE a superior because of his citizenship. That’s not much better.

        He expected that Israeli security would differentiate because of THEIR bias, not his. He isn’t assuming what he “deserves”, he’s making assumptions about how they will treat him and he certainly isn’t “justifying” the Israelis treatment of his non-American relatives. How is that bad? For example, if I go to visit my Jewish Israeli sister in Israel, I expect that I will be treated much, much better than Moe Diab was. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my feelings or beliefs. It has to with what the Israeli authorities feel and believe. If instead I tell the Ben Gurion security people that I am going to the West Bank, I expect they will treat me less kindly, but not as badly as they would treat me if I were Palestinian. Again, its all based on the prejudices of the Israeli security people, not on the prejudices, if any, of the people they are “screening”.

        The theme of his article was, “Why do they treat me like this? I am a US citizen.”

        That certainly wasn’t the theme that I read. Maybe you are making too many baseless assumptions?

        If you use words that I need to look up, then please spell them correctly.

        I did. Spelling it with an “a” before the “e” is one alternative spelling. The way I spelled it is the other alternative. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of the word, given your viewpoint.

        Comparing US citizens to Palestinians is like comparing perpetrators to victims.

        Again, you didn’t answer my question. Where does Moe Diab, a US citizen of Palestinian heritage fit in your Manichaean, or Manichean, scheme? You seem to think that all US citizens think they are superior to everyone else. I can assure you that most of us don’t. However, I detect that YOU seem to think that Germans are morally superior to Americans. How is that any better than the “superiority” that you assume all or most US citizens possess?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 7, 2013, 6:26 am

        Wow, you support equal rights! You get a gold star! But it doesn’t exempt you from criticism of your comments. Do you think that you deserve some special privilege that Mr. Diab doesn’t deserve?
        Sigh. Tree, you are completely twisting my words again. In your previous post, you complained that I was only talking about minor points of the article. Therefore, I pointed out to you that I am only mentioning the minor points because it should already be known that I agree with the main point of the article, i.e. that Palestinians must be treated equally.

        He isn’t assuming what he “deserves”, he’s making assumptions about how they will treat him and he certainly isn’t “justifying” the Israelis treatment of his non-American relatives. Again, its all based on the prejudices of the Israeli security people, not on the prejudices, if any, of the people they are “screening”.
        I understand what you mean, but Moe wrote: “And discriminatory treatment towards me, as a Palestinian-American, is not only demeaning; it’s completely disrespectful towards American-Israeli relations. […] Israel does not respect the citizens of the United States; regardless of the billions of dollars in aid we provide them annually.” His disappointment clearly shows that he believes that he deserves to be treated with respect because of his US citizenship. He expects that money translates into respect. As you already wrote, being treated well and being respected are not necessarily the same thing. Every human being can rightly expect to be treated decently. Moe, however, doesn’t only want to be treated decently, but he also wants to be treated with respect because of his citizenship and his country’s money. That’s pretty arrogant.

        That certainly wasn’t the theme that I read.
        Read the paragraph above the tattoo photo again.

        I’m surprised you haven’t heard of the word, given your viewpoint.
        The problem is not my point of view. The problem is that you are twisting my words.

        Where does Moe Diab, a US citizen of Palestinian heritage fit in your Manichaean scheme?
        I don’t have a Manichaean scheme. Also, I don’t know if Moe is an imperialist or not, because his article only deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and not with US foreign policy in general. However, he chose the slogan “Never Surrender” as tattoo. And it looks like he wears a military helmet in the photo above. This indicates that he views the military favourably, which I find worrying.

        However, I detect that YOU seem to think that Germans are morally superior to Americans.
        What on earth makes you think that? You put words into my mouth again. I didn’t write anything about Germans or about morality at all.

      • tree
        tree
        June 7, 2013, 7:05 pm

        Sigh. Tree, you are completely twisting my words again. In your previous post, you complained that I was only talking about minor points of the article.

        No, I was NOT complaining that you were only criticizing “minor points” in the post. I was complaining about the crassness of you telling Mr. Diab what he should have said, thought and felt; what he shouldn’t be proud of, and blaming what you imagined to be his sense of superiorty for his surprise at being treated so shamefully–and then throwing in the “apart from that, it was a good story.” –“Apart from the fact that you husband was murdered, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln” may not have been the best way to illustrate the callousness of criticizing most of what Mr. Diab said, and then throwing in your little “it was a good story” bone at him, but your use of “apart from that…” is what made me think of it as a response. When you answered with, “So what?”, you believe in equal rights, it seemed like you wanted a pass having your own comments criticized after tearing Mr. Diab’s comments apart. It doesn’t work that way. If that wasn’t what you meant, then I apologize for the misunderstanding.

        What’s clear from Mr. Diab’s story is that before he went through Ben Gurion in 2004 he had never faced institutionalized discrimination in the US. His experiences with discrimination after 9-11, as bad as they were here, were cases of racist individuals, not US institutions, whereas in Israel it was the governmental institutions themselves that oppressed him. This is clearly what surprised him. Not that he thought he “deserved” better because he was American, but because he thought that Israel would treat him better because they would consider him a citizen of its generous benefactor. I think he better understands the force of institutionalized discrimination now, and its led him to be a human rights activist, not a soldier, despite what your wild mind-reading skills have deduced from his tattoo and helmet in the picture.

        Moe, however, doesn’t only want to be treated decently, but he also wants to be treated with respect because of his citizenship and his country’s money. That’s pretty arrogant.

        You know what’s pretty arrogant? Claiming that Moe is arrogant because he was surprised that Israel treated him just as badly as it treats the Palestinians in Israel and Palestine. Get this in your head, he is not “wanting” to be treated with more respect than his relatives, he was just ‘expecting” that Israel would treat him better. I’m sure he thinks that all people should be treated equally.
        You think this shows an attitude of superiority?

        ” I started thinking about how feelings of superiority must begin early on in life, through prejudicial injurious rhetoric, then solidified when teenagers are handed military-grade automatic assault rifles and are required to dominate unarmed Palestinian civilians. Is it really the best idea to brainwash kids into believing they are racially superior to their co-inhabitants, then hand them lethal weapons to police their so-called “inferiors”? ”

        I hate to be so crass here, but you most definitely have your head up your *ss on this.

        me:However, I detect that YOU seem to think that Germans are morally superior to Americans.
        you:What on earth makes you think that? You put words into my mouth again. I didn’t write anything about Germans or about morality at all.

        No, you just claimed that “US citizens feel superior, too. That’s why they believe that they will be treated with more respect than others.”

        I suspect that feeling of superiority exist among some citizens of most any country. But you didn’t mention that, didn’t you? You are stereotyping Americans so that you can criticize Mr. Diab, not with what he said, but with what you wildly deduce he must have meant.You mentioned it in order to impugn Mr. Diab’s thoughts and feelings when he clearly made no reference to thinking he “deserved” better treatment. Again, for example, I would expect to be treated better by a white bigot than a black person would be treated simply because of my whiteness. The same would go for you. It has nothing to do with my feelings or your feelings, and everything to do with theirs. Why you can’t understand this and keep tarring Mr. Diab with this “superiority” shtick of yours is beginning to mystify me. Is it just because you can’t back down? “Never surrender” might just apply in your case as well?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 6, 2013, 10:17 am

      “Being proud of something that you didn’t choose or achieve is idiotic.”

      Nonsense. One can take pride in his or her heritage and culture, so long as it is done constructively.

      “Good one. The USA appreciates hypocrisy and double standards.”

      Does Germany appreciate sweeping generalizations about 1/3 of a billion people?? Perhaps from your perch in the land still haunted by the Stasi you may not know that, but regardless of what failings Americans have as a country and as a people, we absolutely instill an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality. One who doesn’t know that doesn’t Americans.

      “You mean that the military could NOT care less.”

      No, in the American vernacular, “could care less” is a common and well-understood, if grammatically incorrect, way of stating “could not care less.” Having the fact that it is grammatically incorrect by pedants is more annoying than the fact that it is grammatically incorrect.

      “I guess that US citizens feel superior, too. That’s why they believe that they will be treated with more respect than others.”

      Wow, project much? I’m sure he meant that since the USA is supposedly the zionist’s entities BFF, that US citizens would be treated by them as befitting that status. In 1985, as an American, I might have expected to be mistreated entering die DDR, but not die BRD. Savvy?

      “Don’t compare US citizens to Palestinians. The first are imperialists, the latter are victims of imperialism.”

      So, tell me, do you think that all us US citizens are all imperialists as a genetic matter?? And given that you think that a blanket statement can be applied to all members of a group based on the acts of some in that group, are we to surmise that, like you, all Germans have an inability to view people as individuals and, therefore, impress the sins of the worst upon all who share a common citizenship?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

        One can take pride in his or her heritage and culture, so long as it is done constructively.
        Nonsense. Being proud of a coincidence is silly and not constructive at all.

        Does Germany appreciate sweeping generalizations about 1/3 of a billion people?
        Are you denying that the USA is hypocritical and has double standards?
        nuclear weapons owned by Iran -> evil
        nuclear weapons owned by the USA and Israel -> great
        ethnic nationalism in Germany -> evil
        ethnic nationalism in Israel -> great
        murder of thousands of innocent New Yorkers -> terrorism
        murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis -> fighting terrorism

        we absolutely instill an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality.
        The lack of background checks for gun ownership is not freedom.
        Indefinite detention without charges is not liberty.
        Death penalty is not justice.
        DOMA is not equality.
        If Moe appreciates freedom, liberty, justice and equality, then that’s despite his US upbringing, not because of it.

        In the American vernacular, “could care less” is a common and well-understood, if grammatically incorrect, way of stating “could not care less.”
        I know, but that doesn’t make it correct. A serious news website should use proper English, not slang.

        Wow, project much? I’m sure he meant that since the USA is supposedly the zionist’s entities BFF, that US citizens would be treated by them as befitting that status.
        No projecting. I don’t expect to be treated with more respect than others.
        I can follow Moe’s reasoning, but nevertheless it doesn’t make any sense. Zionists believe that Jews are superior to and more precious than non-Jews. His US citizenship can’t make up for his lack of Jewishness. He and I agree that his assumption was foolish.

        So, tell me, do you think that all us US citizens are all imperialists as a genetic matter??
        Again, I did not write that “all US citizens” or “the US citizens” are imperialists. Besides, look at the USA’s foreign policy and at the surveys regarding the wars.

      • tree
        tree
        June 6, 2013, 7:02 pm

        Again, I did not write that “all US citizens” or “the US citizens” are imperialists.

        Yes you did.

        Don’t compare US citizens to Palestinians. The first are imperialists, the latter are victims of imperialism.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        June 7, 2013, 1:00 am

        Poor German Lefty, I think you walked into a buzz saw here. I presume you are a German lefty. Often you have an interesting perspective on many issues discussed here at MW. You seem to have missed one major point that makes Moe’s story important. He is a US citizen. You might not like it but US citizens have a level of protection around the world that people from other countries do not have because they are protected by the US State Dept — which is implicitly backed by the US military the world’s only remaining super power. This is true for all American citizens EXCEPT for one small minority. And that is for Americans whose ancestors came from Palestine and who visit Israel and for Americans who have for one reason or another come into conflict with Israel. At this point these US citizens do not have the protection of the US government. We all know the stories — Rachel Corrie, Furkan, the crew of the USS Liberty and others I am sure.

        So GL you might not like it but US citizens are privileged, unless they are viewed adversely by Israel. At that point they are no better than the rest of the world’s humanity. We are complaining about discrimination on one very narrow ground that you foreigners are unlikely to appreciate. But please keep on coming back but try to avoid certain land mines.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 7, 2013, 5:21 am

        Yes you did.

        No, I didn’t. There is no “the” or “all” before “US citizens”. That means I was talking about an unspecified number of US citizens. In this case, I meant the majority. Again, let me tell you that survey results prove that most US citizens support imperialism and believe that their country is superior to other countries.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 7, 2013, 7:22 am

        I think you walked into a buzz saw here.
        Well, as long as it’s only a figurative buzz saw, I will survive it and can continue providing you with “an interesting perspective on many issues”.

        I presume you are a German lefty.
        Why do you write this? Do you question my Germanness or my left-wingness? I wouldn’t mind being mistaken for a foreigner. But don’t you dare suggest that I am a right-winger.

        At this point these US citizens do not have the protection of the US government.
        Yes, and this shows that Israel is the boss, not the USA.

        So GL you might not like it but US citizens are privileged, unless they are viewed adversely by Israel. At that point they are no better than the rest of the world’s humanity. We are complaining about discrimination on one very narrow ground that you foreigners are unlikely to appreciate.
        I can’t quite follow. You seem to think that non-US citizens don’t enjoy protection and that all countries, except the USA, belong to the Third World.
        As German, I feel properly protected by my country and don’t feel discriminated against in other countries. US citizens are not discriminated against either. The problem is that they often have too high expectations and therefore they mistake equal treatment for discrimination.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 7, 2013, 9:50 am

        “Nonsense. Being proud of a coincidence is silly and not constructive at all.”

        Baloney. Normal people often gain psychological satisfaction and encouragement by noting the accomplishments of people who are similar to themselves. That’s why many successful people from modest or poor backgrounds go back to those communities as role models. If you find such normal human behavior to be “silly” then I would suggest the problem lies with you.

        “Are you denying that the USA is hypocritical and has double standards?”

        No, I’m saying that your statement was an utterly idiotic one, as it pressed upon an individual the sins you see in the state of which he is a citizen.

        “If Moe appreciates freedom, liberty, justice and equality, then that’s despite his US upbringing, not because of it.”

        And, once again, you are speaking out of your ass. The fact that there are examples of things which YOU BELIEVE don’t demonstrate freedom, liberty, justice and equality, in no way demonstrates that appreciation of them is not a major component of American upbringing. You are pretty damned egocentric to elevate your opinions about things to the point of making sweeping statements about other people’s upbringing.

        The acts of the American government does not change the principles on which 300 million people were raised, and it’s pretty damned insulting of you to suggest otherwise simply because you have a view on these principles that others see differently. Some would say that your view on the death penalty and pacifism show a profound disregard for justice. Does that entitle them to make sweeping statements about how you were raised?

        “I know, but that doesn’t make it correct.”

        It’s not a question of it being “correct;” it’s a question of it being acceptable in context. And in normal, conversational English — which this piece is written in — it is absolutely acceptable to all but incorrigible pedants.

        “A serious news website should use proper English, not slang.”

        It’s not slang, it’s a colloquialism. And your point is irrelevant. This piece is serious, but it’s not news reporting; it’s a first-person testimonial. In that type of writing, informal colloquialisms are expected, normal, and appropriate.

        “No projecting. I don’t expect to be treated with more respect than others.”

        So you expect that German citizens traveling to the UK will be treated the same as, say, Iranian citizens traveling to the UK? That’s pretty naive.

        “His US citizenship can’t make up for his lack of Jewishness.”

        That is exactly his point. He had the expectation (and a reasonable one if the israelis weren’t bigots, as they and their supporters in the US always claim) that he would be treated simply as an American, no different than a Jewish American. Instead, his expectation was proven wrong because the israelis are bigots. You can claim that expectation was foolish, but none of it supports your idiotic statement about Americans believing they are superior to other people.

        “Again, I did not write that ‘all US citizens’ or ‘the US citizens’ are imperialists. Besides, look at the USA’s foreign policy and at the surveys regarding the wars.”

        Yes, you did. You wrote an unqualified statement that US citizens are imperialists. If you did not intend to reference all US citizens in that construct, the obligation is on you to say so.

        But, beyond that, your attempt to weasel out of the implications of what you wrote are blatant and transparent. If you were not making a blanket statement about all US citizens being imperialists, then your statement “Don’t compare US citizens to Palestinians” becomes meaningless gibberish, because, if you were only saying that some US citizens were imperialists, then there is no problem with comparing Palestinians to those US citizens who are not imperialists.

  9. eGuard
    eGuard
    June 5, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Thanks, Moe Diab. Impressive story. 2004!

  10. annie
    annie
    June 5, 2013, 7:05 pm

    I guess that US citizens feel superior, too. That’s why they believe that they will be treated with more respect than others.

    ha!

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      June 6, 2013, 6:15 am

      ha!
      Uh? Annie, if you want me to understand you, then please express yourself differently.

      • annie
        annie
        June 6, 2013, 10:28 am

        GL, i wasn’t writing for you to understand me i was just expressing myself. i think our minds are so far apart on reaction to the article it would take up too much time and diversion to list all the things off in your comment. to start, moe did not ‘compare’ US citizens to Palestinians. he mentioned something at the end, in his opinion, they have in common.

        there’s also a difference between respect (or expecting a level of respect) and notions of superiority which for some reason you have imposed not only on moe but by extension every american. that’s simply not worth arguing.

        also, i am not sure you read the earlier comments when you came on the thread, or if it even matters…but if you had you would know i solicited this personal account from moe who wasn’t really even familiar with this site. he’s relating how he felt at 17. so if you want to label him an imperialist, seriously, why would that even warrant a response?

        you think he mentions his citizenship far too often, well maybe it just struck him how his upbringing in this country didn’t prepare him for this rude awakening of what it means to be palestinian..in palestine. i don’t know. your reaction just tells us more about yourself than anything. if this post provides you the opportunity to criticize americans, or get something off your chest, i think you should go on doing it. it’s quite revealing…about you.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 6, 2013, 11:24 am

        moe did not ‘compare’ US citizens to Palestinians. he mentioned something at the end, in his opinion, they have in common.
        The situation for US citizens and for Palestinians is fundamentally different. US citizens don’t surrender? To whom? There is no oppressor.

        there’s also a difference between respect and notions of superiority which for some reason you have imposed not only on moe but by extension every american.
        I did not say “every US citizen” or “all US citizens”.
        Look at these survey results, page 9:
        http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/UserFiles/File/Task%20Force%20Reports/EMBARGO_CCS_2012.pdf
        “Percentage who believe the United States has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world or who believe every country is unique and the United States is no greater than other nations.
        The greatest country in the world -> 70 %
        No greater than other nations -> 29 %”

        if you had you would know i solicited this personal account from moe who wasn’t really even familiar with this site.
        I did read the previous comments, but I don’t see how that’s relevant to my comments. Are you saying that I shouldn’t negatively criticise his article because he wasn’t familiar with this site?

        so if you want to label him an imperialist, seriously, why would that even warrant a response?
        I didn’t label HIM an imperialist.

    • June 6, 2013, 7:37 am

      I would think that white Americans can expected to be treated well by the officials of other first world and western nations given the power the USA has over all those countries.

      Then one glaring exception being Israel — that nation can kill Americans without consequence as we have seen on several occasions.

      It is a bit different for non – whites as it is less certain the US govt will have their back

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        June 6, 2013, 10:20 am

        I would think that white Americans can expected to be treated well by the officials of other first world and western nations given the power the USA has over all those countries.
        Power and money don’t necessarily translate into respect. You can’t buy respect. You need to earn it.

      • tree
        tree
        June 6, 2013, 5:39 pm

        You may not be able to buy respect from some people, but there are others who would gladly sell it to power and money. And “treated well” and respected are not necessarily the same thing.

  11. James Canning
    James Canning
    June 5, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Bravo. Great piece. More like it need to be written and disseminated.

  12. kayq
    kayq
    June 5, 2013, 9:19 pm

    Obsidian, I travelled to Palestine back in 2004, and I remember some events quite clearly, so to claim Moe made this story up? Really? It sure as hell sounds authentic.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Moe. More people need to know what Israel does to us, and the systematic discrimination course that they bestow upon us.

  13. mondonut
    mondonut
    June 5, 2013, 9:46 pm

    Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?

    • Cliff
      Cliff
      June 5, 2013, 10:19 pm

      Hey nut,

      I doubt he looked like the cartoon you’ve drawn him as.

      He was harassed by the security personel. The questions came before he became agitated but he didn’t lose his cool obviously.

      And this was after witnessing them do the same to his mother.

      Do you selectively read everything here? I mean, you make it seem as if he came there agitated and that the questions they asked were reasonable. As if they had been very sensible towards him and he simply reacted irrationally out of nowhere.

      Again, he didn’t flip out and you have no idea what he LOOKED like at the time.

    • Blank State
      Blank State
      June 5, 2013, 11:04 pm

      “Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?”

      It is astounding to me that those like yourself must create fantasies to arrive at justifications. But even more amazing is that you don’t seem to realize what that says about you, and your cause.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      June 5, 2013, 11:22 pm

      @ mondonut,

      Q: Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?

      R: The same way I’m suspicious when confronted with keyboard-hammering, truth-twisting auto-bots that think they’re in control?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 6, 2013, 5:44 am

      If he ever exhibited any physical threat to the airport authorities, his story would entail much worse treatment. He was talking about how he felt inside, describing his emotional state. Obviosly the airport security weren’t threat by his sweat or his clenched hands–you can bet he kept them at his side, along his trouser line.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      June 6, 2013, 8:35 am

      mondonut says: “Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?”

      I have come to the conclusion that Zionists are mentally incapable of seeing their disgusting behaviour as the primary cause for anything. Would you agree?

      • peeesss
        peeesss
        June 6, 2013, 11:59 am

        I agree, totally.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 6, 2013, 9:44 am

      “Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?”

      Mondonut, why are you such a racist? you know that the slur and libel you have committed here — portraying him as a crazed fanatic simply because he’s an Arab — is no more true than the caricature of the Jew as the schemer trying to steal everyone’s money and being concerned for nothing but other Jews. I wonder whether the mods are going to permit that kind of racism here, too, like they’ve permitted your racism.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        June 6, 2013, 10:38 am

        Woody Tanaka says: Mondonut, why are you such a racist?
        =============================================
        I thought about letting this slide along with the rest of the unintelligent replies but baseless accusations of racism are just too much.

        For the record and as you know, I did not invent any of the characterizations in my original post – they were Moe’s words, not mine.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 6, 2013, 10:52 am

        Nothing baseless about it. Your posting have repeatedly demonstrated that you are a racist and one who excuses racism.

        “For the record and as you know, I did not invent any of the characterizations in my original post”

        Yes you did; you characterized his reaction to the racism of the israelis as being the cause of the israeli’s actions, when the reverse was true. As you well know. In doing so, you showed your true racist colors.

      • annie
        annie
        June 6, 2013, 10:57 am

        mondonut, did you notice the section of the article when moe discusses 17 yr old teenagers in a general sense? i think he has enough self awareness as an adult to reflect back on his feelings that day and what he experience to understand he was likely being manipulated, especially with regards to his mother. and not everything was disclosed. you may not have read moe’s brief bio but he’s completing his masters, a double major in science, one being mental health. he already holds a bachelor degree in biology. so he probably understands a thing or two more about his mental state that day, today, than he did at the time.

        so your comment merely seeks to justify the suspicions and actions of a security officer when it’s likely interrogators are well aware male teenagers of that age are much more likely to become ‘off balance’ or under duress under certain circumstances. ie: by abusing, degrading or threatening their mother. so please do not tell us the situation warranted suspicion when it’s entirely predictable any teenage boy might respond in a similar fashion under those circumstances.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        June 6, 2013, 11:59 am

        Woody Tanaka says:Nothing baseless about it. Your posting have repeatedly demonstrated that you are a racist and one who excuses racism.
        =======================================
        I guess you just do not understand what the words means, you will not find a single racist statement from me ever on this blog.

        However what is obvious is your transparent attempt to stifle words you do not like (or understand) by slapping labels on them and then seeking to have it banned.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 7, 2013, 10:22 am

        “I guess you just do not understand what the words means, you will not find a single racist statement from me ever on this blog.”

        All one needs do is glance through your posting history and many racist statements can be found.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        June 8, 2013, 11:46 am

        Woody Tanaka says:All one needs do is glance through your posting history and many racist statements can be found.
        =================================================
        Such as?

  14. just
    just
    June 6, 2013, 8:21 am

    Thank you Moe. I had to read this three times in order to digest the pain and humiliation that you and your family endured.

    And for mondonut and Obsidian– you are transparent Zionist trolls.

    “Now why in the world would any security person have suspicions about a tense, enraged, fist clenching teenager covered in sweat and on the edge of losing control?”

    Imagine the goons interrogating and harassing and demeaning your mother, an Israeli… how would you feel? Oh wait– that NEVER happens, and Boxer is greasing the skids right here in the US.

  15. AlGhorear
    AlGhorear
    June 6, 2013, 11:58 am

    If it’s any comfort, Moe, it’s not just Palestinian Americans that are mistreated at Israel’s borders. I suffered a 6.5 hour interrogation at the border crossing between Taba, Egypt and Eilat. I’ll never forget the blonde woman with her sky-blue eye shadow screaming at me “Where are you goingk?” “Who told you to come here?!” My luggage was searched with everything examined and each scrap of paper read and scrutinized. Then the only person with a name tag, Tal Moran, had me turn on my laptop and log on so he could scour my laptop.

    The border crossing is in such an idyllic location on the Red Sea, but the day was spoiled by the demeaning and humiliating behavior of the border officials. At least I was able to finally make my way to Jerusalem and join the International Solidarity Movement for protest actions in the West Bank. It was the experience of a lifetime.

    Moe, as Citizen suggested, I hope you send your story to Senator Boxer and I want to thank you for sharing it here.

    • tree
      tree
      June 6, 2013, 5:46 pm

      Moe, as Citizen suggested, I hope you send your story to Senator Boxer and I want to thank you for sharing it here.

      My sentiments as well. And as a fellow American I’d like to apologize for the US idiots and bigots who treated you so badly after 9/11. That kind of bigotry is inexcusable.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      June 7, 2013, 10:38 am

      I suffered a 6.5 hour interrogation at the border crossing between Taba, Egypt and Eilat. I’ll never forget the blonde woman with her sky-blue eye shadow screaming at me “Where are you goingk?” “Who told you to come here?!” My luggage was searched with everything examined and each scrap of paper read and scrutinized. Then the only person with a name tag, Tal Moran, had me turn on my laptop and log on so he could scour my laptop.
      Wow, I assumed that they would be a little less mean at the border crossings.

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