Yesterday there was a demonstration in Union Square, New York, to protest the Israeli “rampage” in the West Bank. Several demonstrators held up the names of Palestinians killed or critically injured by Israeli soldiers during the raids. One of the organizers of the demonstration was an Israeli-American named Tzvia Thier. I interview her as she passed out flyers, above.
It’s a long video, but Thier is a candid and passionate person and I urge you to watch segments of her comments: particularly her revelations about Zionism manipulating Jews at 3:30 and 6:45, and the incredible statement at 8:20 or so that until she joined the Sheikh Jarrah demos in 2008, at age 64, she’d never met a Palestinian as a human being.
“It was the first time in my life I spoke to Palestinians like I speak to you now.”
And this woman was on the left, in Israeli society.
A guide to the video:
:30. Why is she there? To oppose human rights violations of Palestinians. Eloquence:
“They are oppressed terrible. They are tortured. They are imprisoned for no reason. Their land is stolen. What is going on there is a pogrom. They just destroy everything they can.”
1:20 Only if American people wake up will these things stop.
2:30. She left Israel because she could no longer climb the hills outside Hebron to help Palestinians. “I am humane.”
3:30. Thier’s main target is American Jews
“because they do such a harm… They don’t understand that they are fooled by the Zionists. There is no connection between Judaism and Zionism. The Zionists just use Jews. Jews are so naive… They don’t know what Israel is. Israel is a monster.”
4:40. Even Zionism in the 30s and 40s was an immoral cause, she says. “It is colonialism.”
5:30. She has no confidence that she is changing anyone’s opinion out here.
6:30. There’s her husband. “He is happy to take photos of me then to put on Facebook and show that his wife is such a traitor to Israel.” If he didn’t agree with her, they couldn’t be married.
6:45. This is the most beautiful exchange.
“We have two daughters– they taught us. Shall I tell you, I was Zionist. Shall I tell you that. I want to hit myself… Until 2008. Can you believe it? I think about myself, I hate myself.”
I say, So you went 64 years as a Zionist, then something happened. Why doesn’t that give you confidence others will change? And what changed in you?
7:47. I was left. I wanted peace. “Two states and all this nonsense.”
8:20. “All my life I never had a neighbor, an acquaintance, a friend who was Palestinian. Never. Until 2008.”
Then the Sheikh Jarrah expulsions began in East Jerusalem, and she went to the demo there.
“It was the first time in my life I spoke to Palestinians like I speak to you now. We were afraid from Palestinians. They are different. They can do you some harm…. Like a baby, I started to go every place I could. Every speech… everything to read.”
And she joined Ta’ayush.
10:00 You’re so smart, how come you were a Zionist for 64 years?
“I am smart but the Zionist are genius. The way they do it. The way people still believe that Israel is David and Palestinians are Goliath, they are genius.”