Gideon Levy: Palestinians Now ‘Fair Game’ for Soldiers

27 Jan

israeli_police_flag_danIsraeli occupation soldier chases after a Palestinian protester in the West Bank. (Photo: File)

The Palestinian Chronicle, 25 January 2017

Israeli journalist and author Gideon Levy has accused the state’s armed forces of treating Palestinians as “fair game”, in a scathing op-ed published by Haaretz [Israeli daily] newspaper.

Highlighting a number of incidents where Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the first weeks of 2017, Levy writes that Palestinians are “fair game in the occupied territories and fair game in Israel…because their blood is cheap.”

He continues: “When a soldier is killed in an accident, it’s front-page news. But when a Palestinian is killed while just waking up at home, nobody cares. Not one of the people killed in the last few days would have been shot to death if he weren’t a Palestinian or a Bedouin.”

Levy refers to the Israeli police’s killing of Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, during a violent demolition raid in Umm al-Hiran, in the Negev. “Behold, Zionism 2017”, Levy writes, “destroying a community of Bedouin refugees in order to build a Jewish community in its place.”

He went on: “That’s the basic Zionist violence; nationalist and racist. Compare the case to the Amona outpost and you have perfect evidence of apartheid: negotiations and compensation for Jews, brutality for Arabs.”

Levy’s article mentions Mohammed al-Salahi, woken by soldiers raiding his home in Fara refugee camp, then shot dead with “11 bullets from point-blank range in front of his mother.”

Levy also cites the killing of Palestinian teenager Qusai al-Amour, who in widely-viewed video footage, is seen shot dead after throwing stones at soldiers, then dragged “like a sack of potatoes.”

Then there is the killing of Nadal Mahadawi at a checkpoint outside of Tulkarem, also documented by video footage. “The sight was horrific. He’s seen standing quietly while the soldiers shoot for no apparent reason. When he tries to flee, in what appears to be a dash for his life, they kill him.”

According to the veteran journalist, “the dragging of the wounded youth at Tuqu and the execution at the checkpoint should shock anyone”, but “above all, they should shock all Israelis, because the perpetrators are theirs sons, their soldiers and their police.” But – the “victims were Palestinians.”

Levy concludes: “A straight line passes through Umm al-Hiran, Tuqu, Fara and Tul Karm – the line of dehumanization guiding the soldiers and police. It begins with the incitement campaigns and ends with trigger-happy troops.”

“The roots are deep; they must be acknowledged. To most Israelis, all Arabs are the same and they’re not human beings equal to us. They’re not like us. They don’t love their children or their lives the way we do. They were born to kill. There’s no problem killing them.”

He concludes: “They’re all enemies, suspicious objects, terrorists, murderers – their lives and deaths are cheap. So kill them, because nothing bad will happen to you. Kill them, because it’s the only way to treat them.”

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