Friday, November 6, 2015

Israeli Police Brutality is Inciting Stabbing Attacks

Recently the Holy Land has witnessed a wave of violence. Why is it some Palestinian youth have been conducting stabbing attacks in which they are practically certain to die?

+972 Magazine's Orly Noy has written a sobering article that explain how this happens.
I set out to hear about the everyday lives of youngsters in East Jerusalem from Abed al-Karim Lafi, who served for years as the head of the parents’ council in the eastern half of the city. Lafi is an architect by profession, and in addition to his work on the parents’ council, he also has also led the Sisyphean struggle to get building and planning permits for the residents of his neighborhood, the village of Beit Safafa. Most of the battles Lafi fights with the Israeli authorities have to do with education and construction, in which he almost always faces certain failure. Eight months ago he decided to step down as head of the parents’ council. (Orly Noy, 'East Jerusalem youth no longer distinguish between life and death', October 15, 2015.)
(In the excerpts below bold indicates the interviewer. Normal font are Lafi's words.)
Over the past two months I have been summoned for interrogation twice, once during Ramadan. They told me, “Abed, Jerusalem is moving toward an intifada, a war,” and then wanted me to help them calm the tensions. I told them, “You can calm the tensions. This whole mess started when you let Jews enter Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa is religion, not politics. And when a person feels that his religion is under threat, no one in the world can predict what he or she will do.” I can calm down my son, but who am I to say anything when some crazy woman shouts “Muhammad is a pig” inside the mosque. (Orly Noy, 'East Jerusalem youth no longer distinguish between life and death', October 15, 2015.)
 And so we see how anti-Muslim bigotry has helped add fuel to the fire in this terrible situation.
East Jerusalem is even more dire, because the settler knows he has a father, that he has a government that is protecting him. Who protects the Arab child? The father? The poor father can’t even protect himself. So they [the youth] have lost all hope in adults, in life, and in peace.

Is there a group of professionals, psychologists or social workers, who are trying to deal with this situation?

What are you talking about? If I want to speak to the children, the police will arrest me! If I try to speak with these children, I turn into a collaborator on the Palestinian side and an inciter on the Israeli side. The same thing happens with psychologists or social workers. And those who lose are the children. Children whose classmate was killed and no one is talking to them? Should the teacher ask to hear how they are feeling, which in Israeli society is considered a positive thing, it will be deemed incitement. ...

This morning I saw three soldiers telling a young man to pull down his pants with my own eyes. Can this young man then listen to me or you or anyone else? Do you know how many parents have told me that when they try to speak with their children, the child says “you’re a coward” to his father? So what can they do? The way the kids see it, we are no longer in the picture.

And along with their trust in adults, they are also losing their fear.

Exactly. They are no longer scared. The pressure the state puts on them has brought them to a place where life and death are the same thing. This is very painful for us. You are a mother, you understand what I am talking about. Every mother and father goes crazy when even their kid is sick. So what are we supposed to say? (Orly Noy, 'East Jerusalem youth no longer distinguish between life and death', October 15, 2015.)
What a terrible situation. How dare the COGs say there is no hope until Christ's return. We need peace now.

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