Only In Israel

Monday, March 28, 2005

A typical Protest - Part II - the violence begins

After the first post caused an uproar describing the way protestors against the fence look to the everyday Israeli, I imagine this one will cause more. Here I'll detail the racist and violent behavior of anti-fence protestors I've personally witnessed.
Every protest, parade or demonstration usually begins at the village's mosque as it's the center of the everyday life. Most protests occur after the festive Friday prayers, but you can get them every day of the week (with the usual exception of Saturday, because no public transportation is available in Israel). The Israeli protestors from more "sane" groups like "Peace Now" or "Women in Black" usually wait on the outskirts on the villages and don't go in. The Anarchists and the ISMers go all the way into the villages. The way to know whether a protest is going to get violent and get out of the village towards the IDF and Police and the fence construction scene is by looking at the cameramen. If you find most of the media standing with you, it's gonna get bad. I don't know how, but somehow, the photographers always know what's the plan for the protest. They wait, sometimes for hours at a time, at the place the parade is headed to. The less media arrives, the less likely it is for the protest to go out of the boundaries of the village. I'm not even sure what drives what, does the media know the plans of the protest organizers, or do they just act on the amount of media out there. I tend to believe it's the first option.
It begins with a few villagers, usually lead by the Imam or the village leaders who start marching with signs inside the village. Nothing violent, nothing bad. A few chants. Some of them are so stupid, I just feel obligated to quote them. There are the usual "Free Palestine", "This wall will fall" and there are few numerical ones, to show the world the protestors aren't as stupid as they seem and actually are capable of counting:
1,2,3,4 Israel NO
5,6,7,8 Palestine YES

Gee that's a tough concept to conceive, eh? Another popular one would be:
2,4,6,8 Israel's an Apartheid state
3,5,7,9 Freedom for Palestine
And yet another "let's count" quote I feel obligated to include:
1,2,3,4 We don't want your racist war
5,6,7,8 Make Palestine a real state
Funny how they keep talking about Palestine but even they realize it's not a "real state".
Once they've shown they learned to count there's room for more creative chants:
Hey Sharon, you will see, Palestine will be free.
Hey Sharon, you should know, we are all the PLO
And my personal favorite: Israel murdered Rachel Corrie, US aid is the story.
Ah, and here I thought the story was her being an idiot who didn't move away.
The closer they get to the Police, the more violent and obscene the chants get, from the all popular "From the River to the sea, Palestine will be free" they get to
We don't care what you'll say, Intifadeh all the way

5,6,7,8 I'm a martyr, I can't wait.
and, the not so prominant, but always fun to hear:
Hamas, Hamas,the Jews to Gas.
Oh yes, non-violence at its best.

A regular protest begins. This is the part where they're still in the village.

They then reach the village boundaries, where it gets serious. Many people now have joined the march, school is out, so lots of teenagers there packing rocks, plus, all the not-so-crazy Israeli activists now joined the flood. They begin moving towards the construction area.
Now, I'm not going to list IDF's way of handling the protests, but I am going to give you a general idea of how it looks: We do not shoot unless we are in mortal danger. I have never, in any protest shot a single live bullet, neither me, nor my fellow soldiers, just rubber coated bullets, fireboms, and tear-gas.
The goal of the protestors is to disrupt the fence construction, this is why Budrus is such a big protest place, the fence is VERY close to the village, and although it passes directly on the Green Line (the 1967 border) this is where most protests against the fence occur. This carries a valuable lesson for the goal of the protestors. Their goal isn't to stop the fence of going off the Green Line, their goal is that the fence won't be created in the first place.
Anyway, as the parade begins moving towards the construction area, we (IDF, Police, Border Police) form a line to stop the protestors from passing to the construction area. This is where it gets violent. First, comes a shower of rocks. Now, I don't know how the hell did Palestinian kids got so good at it. They can hit you accurately from 80-100 meters. Their accuracy is surprising. It's not the kind of stones that give you a couple of bruises, mind you. They use slingshots, with deadly accuracy, a friend of mine was directly hit in the face with a rock. He lost an eye, and that's lucky that no actual brain damage occurred. I actually managed to take away a few slingshots, they're quite hard to operate accurately (atleast with the small amount of time I had to practice) I still keep them at home.
The Israeli forces usually respond with shock grenades and tear-gas, which are both unpleasant, but really aren't that lethal. The moment this begins, the photographers and reporters shift positions: They go to the side of the soldiers and try to shoot as many pictures possible of soldiers shooting teargas grenades, and rubber bullets (which to someone who wasn't in the military would look like a normal rifle firing with a small addition on the barrel) and, as they stand on the soldier's side, they always take shots of the oh-so-poor coughing Palestinians, ISMers and Anarchy scum. Let's say you throw 10-15 shock grenades per protest and have what, 200-300 rocks thrown at you? Just look at the photos the mass media puts out there, how many of them show the soldiers shooting teargas, and how many of them show the rocks hitting them?

A female Border Policewoman fires rubber bullets.
Notice the angle the Photographer takes, he would never stand behind her and take photos of the angry mob she's shooting at.

As the protestors get closer to the soldiers, the rock throwing largely stops. The Palestinians may be accurate, but they wouldn't like endanger hitting their own with rocks, although those cases have also happened.
As the protestors come closer, the cameramen move to their side, to shoot pictures of IDF soldiers shouting at the seemingly innocent protestors. You tell them "This is a closed military zone, you're not allowed to be here, move away", and the answers range from "STOP THE OCCUPATION!!!!" to "You have no authority on this land", the all time favorite "NAZI!!!! NAZI!!!" and the low grunts of the Baboon I've mentioned in part 1. First they begin pushing you, which naturally gets a response as noone should ever be allowed to put their finger on an IDF soldier. Then they start punching you. As I said, I've personally been punched numerous times, and I have to say, for non-violent protestors they punch really good, it's almost as if they practice daily.
Non-violence has absolutely nothing to do with what happens next. It's simply a giant brawl. They punch and hit their way through soldiers, policemen and policewomen, even the girls, Palestinian and foreigners just push, shove, punch, kick, spit and do everything they possibly can. You can't shoot tear gas, because your own will get hit, you can't throw firebombs or shoot rubber bullets for the same reason, the only remaining option is hitting back and cuffing the people you're capable of catching. Conveniently enough this is the exact point the press usually goes to interview the village leaders on the reasons behind the protest. And even if photos of protestors attacking soldiers are taken they rarely get out to the mass media.
The scariest thing in all this isn't all the hitting and punching a-la British soccer fans, the worst thing that can happen, is that amidst all that hitting and punching they try to get your weapon. Now this is amasing, why would NON-VIOLENT protestors try to take away your weapon? Maybe they're covering for something much darker and much more violent than trying to attack a few soldiers, eh? The closest I can say I've seen happen is someone cutting a soldiers' weapons belt and running away with the rifle for 4 meters before getting knocked down by a club to the head. Imagine what would happen if that weapon got to Palestinian hands. How many victims would die in shooting attacks which derive from that.

This is Laila, which I discussed in an earlier post, a moment after she tried taking the weapon away from a soldier.
I've actually been in that protest and seen it with my own eyes.


Now this is usually the most violence used out there, but that's not always the case. In Budrus, Specifically, where the construction work is lower than the village, molotov coctails are often thrown. I remember a case where two foreign activists and a Palestinian were caught hiding 4 ready molotov coctails under a rock, probably for future use. They got arrested and I'm not sure what happened to them, though as usual the international media remained silent.
The fighting comes and goes in waves. After you've pushed the protestors back to where they don't endanger the construction, they gather power and try it a new. Usualy, during that period, the protestors try to lure the soldiers into coming close enough for them to begin rock throwing again. Saying stuff like "soldier, you're not a man, come're" (which sounds HILARIOUS when said in Hebrew with an Arab accent). Or "Oh soldier, I'll f--k your mother" (you really should hear they shout that with an Arabic accent to see just how funny that is). Sometimes they get personal, I have no idea how they learned the names of the Border Police personnel around, but they tend to call them out by name, especially one pretty female fighter who they all like to call out to attack with rocks.
After 3-4 repeats like that the interest disappears, and more importantly, the press goes away. The police have already arrested the most violent people, cuffed them and sat them in the side or taken them away. And generally the demonstrators lose motivation, so slowly the villagers begin leaving, returning for their everyday life, then the Anarchists go away, and somehow, the last to remain are always the foreigners. It almost seems like they're there to make more trouble than Palestinians themselves.
This slow rock throwing here and there can last for hours at a time, and usually continues till nightfall. When the last kids and foreigners get tired of it gets quiet. Another protest is over.

22 Comments:

  • The ISM and its volunteers (mainly spoilt students from rich countries) are apologists for terror. Its refusal to acknowledge the suffering of both sides and its endorsement of Palestinian terrorism (killing children on buses is NOT resistance, idiots), proves that the ISM is far from committed to universal human rights.

    The fact that two suicide bombers thought it apt to attend a memorial for Rachel Corrie (arranged by the ISM) is perhaps a fitting tribute for an organisation not interested in peace, but interested in manufacturing more international shahids to raise its media profile.

    What they represent is a particularly rancid fringe of left-wing politics which everyone should avoid, and should put in the same category as the StWC/SWP pro-saddam ultra-left here in the UK.

    brian

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 AM, March 29, 2005  

  • why don't they require you to use eye protection, like riot police?

    By Anonymous elctronicIDF, at 10:54 AM, March 29, 2005  

  • Good perspective, you should send this to Charles at LGF. I'm sure he would post it on his site.

    Anyways keep up the good work, and teach those terrorists applogizers a lesson.

    Manker

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 AM, March 29, 2005  

  • What a bunch of zombies! Sorry to hear about your friends eye.

    By Anonymous elin, at 12:00 PM, March 29, 2005  

  • For the latest in the ISM's antics, look here:

    Foreign Exchange Program for Terror

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17450

    ISM'ers aren't zombies. They're liars - in everything they do and stand for.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 PM, March 29, 2005  

  • Let me get this straight once and for all - what/is is ISMers?

    By Blogger Nemesis6, at 9:42 AM, March 30, 2005  

  • Nemesis6, read all about the International Solidarity Movement.

    Then get back to FlashFX. ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM, March 30, 2005  

  • I already addressed most of these false claims under the soldier/blogger's previous posting on protests. He did not respond to a number of my comments because he has no effective way to respond. He prefers to avoid the facts.

    But I will readdress a few:

    The Wall is about land theft. It is both illegal and immoral. Our soldier/blogger is using violence against civilians in defense of land theft.

    The original path of the wall from 2003 in Budrus would have taken 20% of the village's land and encircled Budrus and seven other villages. The residents of Budrus feared their freedom of movement within the West Bank would be greatly constrained by the Wall path and their land taken. The 2003 Wall path in Budrus deviated a good deal from the Green Line, enough to have a very significant impact on the lives of the people of Budrus so that they chose to peacefully protests.

    Because of their continual non-violent protests since late 2003, the people of Budrus succeeded in forcing the Israeli government to change the planned path of the wall and to move much of it to the Green Line. Now only 5% of the 20% of their land that was planned to be seized will be behind the Wall. This is a victory for non-violence and human rights, and the people of Budrus have every right to continue to protest.

    The original planned path of the Wall from 2003, as I described it, and the revised path of the Wall as announced by the Israeli Ministry of Defence in February 2005 can be seen in a map on the B'Tselem website (www.btselem.org). Our soldier/blogger is ignorant of these facts or is avoiding them.

    The leadership of Budrus has explicitly and repeatedly accepted a Wall on the Green Line. This is their position and their choice.

    Despite what the soldier/blogger suggests, there is no plan by the protesters for violence at these protests. Since a plan for violence does not exist, the media would not know of such a plan in advance from the protesters. The only group that is planning violence in advance is the Israeli military. Community leaders, ISM and Israelis specifically discuss in advance how to avoid violence, and minimize the violence inflicted by the Israeli military.

    Palestinians do not throw rocks as the marchers advance on the soldiers (unless perhaps there are occasionally a few young boys doing this without the knowledge of the community leadership, and out of their view). So the soldier's claim that "first comes a shower of rocks" is false.

    Sometimes the soldiers immediately begin teargassing and shooting at the peaceful marchers as they approach. The marchers try to continue walking through and around through the soldiers, nonetheless. As marchers try to walk through and around soldiers, the soldiers try and block them (because at that point they cannot gas them as he said). Most often the soldiers begin pushing and beating the marchers. I have a few times seen marchers push back when they are pushed by soldiers, including a few women from Budrus, though none of this is a general practice by protesters (it sounds like it may be hard for our soldier to accept that Palestinian women may push back when pushed by soldiers !). Even if some of the marchers might very occasionally push back, the overwhelming amount of violence is used by armed soldiers using guns, teargas, stun grenades and clubs against civilian men, women and children who have no weapons.

    The armed soldiers provoke rockthrowing by young boys by aggressively confronting young boys, chasing them, teargassing them, shooting at them, entering the village when they do not need to, etc..

    The Israeli military's disproportionate use of violence against peaceful marchers is well documented by many journalists. It's not that these journalists are biased, it's that journalists are simply capturing the reality on film that the Israeli military uses disproportionate force. If the marchers were using violence, I'm sure the Israeli military would ensure that got all over the media. I was once at a protest in the Salfit area where I saw two Palestinians punch Israeli soldiers and one kick a soldier (while the soldiers were doing the same). Journalists photos of Palestinians punching and kicking were all over the newspapers and internet the next day. If more Palestinians punched and kicked, we'd see photos as we did that day.

    Protesters do not try to take soldiers weapons. This is an absolutely ridiculous claim. I've seen a soldier at Budrus put a gun right directly into Laila's face and video camera, in a manner that looks a bit like the posted photo. But the posted photo seems not to be from the same day, because the day I saw this Laila had her videocamera in her hands. I can imagine a soldier put his gun directly in Laila's face on the day of this photo.

    Foreigners and Israelis have nothing at all to do with molotov cocktails, or with hiding molotov cocktails. This again is a ridiculous claim.

    I have never heard 50% of the chants that the soldier mentions - that is I have never heard the uglier chants he notes. I wonder in what language are the ugly chants he is claiming to have heard - english, Hebrew or Arabic ?

    The soldier's claim of racism are silly. The only people practising racism are soldiers using force against Palestinian civilians and taking their land for Israelis.

    We need to go back to the bigger picture. The Israeli government is taking more Palestinian land by building the Wall on Palestinian land and not on the Green Line. This was the plan for Budrus, like most villages. This violates international law and any understanding of morality. Israeli soldiers are using violence against civilians to implement this illegal and immoral policy. Soldiers shoot with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, they use teargas and soundbombs, and beat and arrest civilians. None of this is defensible legally or morally. Palestinians occasionally throw rocks or push armed soldiers in response to all this violence against them. Are we really supposed to pity the soldiers because of this ? No, Israeli soldiers have a choice. They can and should refuse to implement these illegal and immoral orders, and refuse to use violence against civilans who are simply defending their land with their bodies.

    Some soldiers are refusing to serve (not enough), and I have met others at protests who say that they know that what they are doing is wrong, but they often say that they have no choice because they are "only implementing orders." This a sad defense.

    ISMer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:36 PM, March 31, 2005  

  • One additional point, don't take anything seriously written by Lee Kaplan or his colleagues at Front Page Magazine re ISM.

    ISM has nothing to do with this new student exchange program (PSE) mentioned in his newest article. It is a complete fabrication. Kaplan out and out lies repeatedly in his articles. As just one example, he claims there is something posted about PSE on the ISM website. Go search for this on the ISM website for this.

    As another example, in 2003 Lee Kaplan suggested that the ISM was funded by the CIA ! The CIA ? Really ? You can find this article on his website Dafka. His reports are simply not credible. They are fantasies.

    ISMer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 PM, March 31, 2005  

  • ISMer: why not put your energy into fighting the cause of the building of the wall/fence, i.e. the palestinian terrorists? Protest against them instead of the soldiers who are only doing their job to protect their people.

    By Anonymous elin, at 2:31 PM, April 02, 2005  

  • I really like this blog, great writing, and brilliant prospective. I'll send it to all my friends. Keep up the good work.

    Why can't supporters of Israel organise demonstrations as well to support the soldiers? Stuff like bringing the soldiers water, maybe food, just show some support on days like that?

    By Blogger Tiferet, at 11:04 AM, April 03, 2005  

  • Oooooh, ISM'er! Thank you for mentioning Dafka.org, a great site.

    To get an idea of who are the crackpots, connivers and liars here, go to Dafka's news page and use the search box there to look for all reports on "international solidarity movement".

    Read it all. Judge for yourself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • Tiferet, residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza constantly open their homes to the soldiers. They've also set up free snack kiosks for them in places where it's possible. In addition, residents and organizations like Women In Green hand out food and drink to our troops at checkpoints and other remote locations.

    But heaven forbid the press should tell you that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • As for Kaplan's article about the ISM being funded by the CIA, here's the article.

    All Kaplan does there is indeed state that it is speculation. So be it. Big deal. Read the article and decide for yourself if it's conclusive, inconclusive or nonsense. It's hardly relevant however.

    ISM is a terrorist supporting tool organization.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:40 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050401/lthumb.jrl10304011220.mideast_israel_palestinians_jrl103.jpg

    http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20050330/s/r2649690334.jpg

    http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050330/lthumb.jrl11403301603.mideast_israel_palestinians_jrl114.jpg
    (note one soldier, a lot of people)

    http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20050330/i/r3447447.jpg

    http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20050330/i/r1799774176.jpg
    (Note that the guys are doing a scene for their camera man buddy, upper left corner)

    http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20050330/i/r2704222675.jpg
    (appologiser playing victim)

    http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20050330/i/r3501198320.jpg
    (appologiser playing tough guy)

    http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20050330/capt.sge.chy91.300305164836.photo00.photo.default-304x384.jpg
    (note the "non-violent" method

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • Yes, do look at DAFKA and as I mentioned read about how DAFKA/Lee Kaplan (also of Front Page Mag) suggested in 2003 that ISM was funded by the CIA. Then decide who is credible and who are the crackpots and liars !

    ISMer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:41 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • What a great suggestion, ISMer! I went back to Dafka.org and found this great article on you terror supporting leftist loonies:

    The ISM Summer Volunteer Program : The "International Solidarity Movement" With the PLO, First Hand Reportage: From Northern California and From Jerusalem, by David Bedein and Lee Kaplan.

    Some juicy tidbits:

    Until very recently, the opening paragraph on its own Web site www.palsolidarity.org, bodly stated the ISM supports the Palestinian "armed struggle" against the "occupation" and in favor of the "relevant U.N. resolutions."

    Hiding their true agenda. Typical.

    If anyone though that Joe ISMer here takes the green line seriously, then you haven't read this:

    ISM spokesman Raphael Cohen was asked how his group defines the "occupation." His definition? "The Zionist presence in Palestine" - that is, all of the country including Israel within its pre-1967 borders.

    Get it folks? Sweet, peaceful, loveable ISMer here wants to wipe us off the face of the planet.

    Keep reading, folks. Another eye opener.

    Thanks, ISMer, for the tip!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 PM, April 03, 2005  

  • Nice blog. I've been undercover at enough ISM meetings to tell you that lying about their true aims is part of their playbook. "By any means necessary."

    ISM is actually a catch-all name for multiple subversive Palestinian groups: Al Awda, SUSTAIN, MECA etc. They are in reality a war movement to prevent any real two state solution settlement.

    They are waning. Can't get recruits as before and rest assured will find it even harder in the future. By the way, the PSE program is definitely part of the ISM, as it as founded by George Rishmawi ho runs the ISM and is funded by the same PA sources.
    Visit our new website:
    www.stoptheISM.com .

    Lee Kaplan

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