I’ll tell you what I love about this video. It reflects perfectly how an ordinary person might respond to a constant police presence, a suffocation that’s untenable. It was only a few days ago that I first read about harassment through traffic violations in East Jerusalem. Traffic violations? Here’s a translation from the video thanks to Ofer Neiman, “I am from Jerusalem“:
– Israeli Policewoman (repeats herself throughout the clip) : Please give me your license
– You’ve taken our lives, what do you want ??? – We have no money to pay you
– We have no money, the [driver’s] license I can give you
– I will give you the license, and I will face you in court and everything, and I will show up at any of your requests, but enough, enough of these fines, you’ve killed us, us – you’ve killed us.
– You’ve killed us, we have no more breath
– Where will we get the money for you?
– Breathing is forbidden in this country.
– I will give you the license.
[sirens, and cars honking]
– [Israeli policewoman] : He doesn’t want to move
– [Palestinian man, angry]: I don’t want to move???!!!!
[I will run you over?] Go away, you sicko, go away.
– Starts cursing
– I wanted to move, you didn’t want me to move. Now you’re saying I don’t want to move. You people are so evil. You are crooks. You are a mafia, you’re not a police force. You are a mafia. Mafia, that’s what you are. the thing you’re based on is that you’re a mafia.Extorting people, yes, in front of the camera. This is something that exists. god sees, that’s what exists. You are extorting us, you are killing us. Breathing, you don’t want us to breathe
– Go on, give me your license.
– You don’t want us to breathe.
“We have no more breath.” Is it any wonder why people snap under these conditions? And this guy’s just screaming at a police officer. Suffocated by day with constant delays, surveillance, the army and police presence and suffocated at night while police roam the neighborhoods drenching schools and homes with putrid liquid stinking of feces and rotting animal carcass. This is the “battle of Jerusalem” Americans don’t see.
During yesterday’s interview on Democracy Now, Rashid Khalid said increased settlement activity in East Jerusalem had penetrated “neighborhood after neighborhood, Arab neighborhoods that have never seen armed settlers, with a heavy military and police presence to guard them, are now slowly, but surely, being colonized one by one. And so, you’re basically turning up the heat on a very, very hot situation, and that’s been going on now for many months.”
Is it, by design, creating a tinderbox intended to make people snap?
In that same interview Eran Efrati said the goal has always been to oppress Palestinians so much and make their lives so miserable as to make people leave and go crazy. “The end goal in the end to make them want to leave also made them want to do crazy things, like attacks on Jews and on Israelis.” And when Juan Gonzales asks Amira Hass, how she would characterize the tensions in recent weeks in Jerusalem, (not days mind you, not in the last few days since the synagogue killings, but the build up over the last few weeks) she says the police are “everywhere….daily confrontations with the police. There is more police, or there are more confrontations.”
The locked down by roadblocks and police patrols effects every single person. What’s it like trying to live a normal existence in East Jerusalem these days? This is Jerusalem, as Rashid explains, “38 percent of the population of Jerusalem, Palestinian Arabs, and yet they are treated as if they have absolutely no rights.”
AMIRA HASS:……A guy who lives in the Old City told me, “I cannot go in to my own house. The police is there. There are checkpoints. They don’t let me get in from this place. They don’t get in people who do not live in the Old City.” So, you feel that the Israeli measures, to remind Palestinians in Jerusalem that they are not natural residents of the place, natural natives of the place, but they are actually there on probation. They live in Jerusalem on probation, provided they behave nicely or behave according to Israeli regulations. This is the sense that you get. You get a sense—Palestinians get a sense, more than ever, that they are here in this—in their city, natives of this city, as a gesture, not because it’s their native right. . .
RASHID KHALIDI:…….The most important statement made by an Israeli politician was made by Netanyahu this summer. He said, “We will keep permanent, perpetual security control of these territories.” So he’s basically said, “No state, no sovereignty, no independence. You can talk as long as you want. I will meet with you. But you will never get an end to occupation.”
The man in the video represents an ordinary person, a native of the city. John Fearey spent one week in Jerusalem, and I agree with him, it’s not complicated :
News flash to the inhabitants of planet earth. What I saw is an apartheid system intended to make life so intolerable for its victims that they leave.
(Hat tip Ofer Neiman)