God is the friend of silence.—Mother Teresa
American police officers buy greasy doughnuts, add an over-sweet cup of stale coffee, and then go out to hunt-down Latinos. Stereotypes are wrong and ugly; “You were born to Jews; thus you must behave like this and this.” The examples are infinite.
What happens when Israel’s Prime Minister decides to behave according to the worst stereotypes plaguing his people? It is impossible to make a more direct comment without crossing a legal line, thus let’s take a look at Netanyahu’s odd reaction at the wave of violence that set the last weekend of February 2013 on fire.
West Bank Violence February 2013 Silence
West Bank Violence February 2013
West Bank Violence February 2013
In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise
Violence in the West Bank
Protests in the West Bank are not rare; if they end without violence they won’t even be mentioned by the media. If there was violence, but the event took place in a remote area, it would appear as a tiny news item hidden in the local news section. Thus, when the mainstream media reported protests last Friday (Feb 22, 2013), there was no reason to worry too much.
The first reports I saw claimed that thirty Palestinians had been wounded, there were neither dead nor significant material damages. There was nothing unusual about the event. Next morning, the reports claimed that there were one hundred wounded and that the protests were intensifying. This was the first real sign that something else was happening this time.
It was difficult to find out why there were protests, though they took place in an extensive geographical area and seemed related. Following the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner in Megiddo Prison, the reports became less foggier.
Four Palestinian prisoners, defined in Israel as “security prisoners,” meaning that they are not criminals but freedom fighters, had begun a hunger strike because they are discriminated against Jewish prisoners; the widespread protests were in their favor.
On Saturday, Mr. Jaradat died due to heart failure caused by unknown reasons (sometimes this is the main sign of foul play by security services). At the same time, the condition of at least one of the protesters that was hit by a bullet shot by an IDF soldier deteriorated seriously, and he was moved to a hospital within Jerusalem.
The protests worsened to the extent that the 4,500 Palestinian “security prisoners” held in Israeli prisons decided to join the hunger strike. Member of the Knesset Mohammad Barakeh, from the Israeli Communist party Hadash, met shortly afterwards with Samer al-Aysawi, who after surviving seven months in a partial hunger strike stopped drinking on Friday and faces immediate death danger.
Through the Israeli parliament member, the prisoner sent a request to the international community to get involved. On Sunday, the protests intensified.
Netanyahu’s Greasy Doughnut
On Sunday, Netanyhau delivered urgently Yitzhak Molco, a lawyer who often acts as his personal messenger to the Palestinian Authority Headquarters in Ramallah.
The subsequent reports on the Hebrew media disclosed Netanyahu’s shameful message: “Money for Quiet,” they said. Mr. Molco demanded the Palestinian Authority to put an end to the protests.
The Hebrew used to describe the event was pretty wild, showing how determined and powerful Netanyahu was towards his favorite colony.
Towards the end of the news, it was disclosed that Netanyahu did that only after “thawing” the Palestinian tax revenues that Israel holds illegitimately; before making his unshakeable and righteous demand, Molco had shown that the funds had been transferred.
Better not to add even one word to this.
Netanyahu disclosed himself not only as a weak leader, but also as one with doubtful moral values. Worse than that, he showed to which extent he and his people are detached from reality.
The Palestinian Authority is remarkably weak within Israeli Prisons. In the West Bank, Hamas is quickly replacing it due to its being perceived as being more socially responsible.
The Palestinian Authority is often seen as corrupt and a collaborator with Israel. At this point, if they get involved they would be kicked out of power.
Does Netanyahu think that the silence of freedom fighters, who in some cases have been many years in jail, can be bought with thirty silver coins? Read my lips, Mr. Netanyahu: J-U-S-T-I-C-E. Nothing else.
Mr. Tov Roy is one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media.