Only In Israel

Friday, July 22, 2005

The protest, the protestor and the bus home. Only in Israel.

This is a story that probably couldn't happen anywhere but here.
I was on a shift in a patrol on the Anti-Terrorist barrier slightly north of Tul-Karem when the protest began. As usual, first came the reporters and photographers (that's how we knew it's gonna get serious), then, yellow Palestinian taxis began arriving with people getting off them and quickly running into the closest village, then we heard singing and whistles and saw young boys preparing piles of rocks about 200 meters from the checkpoint nearby.
The protest began by the protestors hurling stones at an IDF position near a segment of the barrier which is a wall (about 300 meters long), and then they began marching towards the checkpoint, where my patrol and a couple of Police vehicles waited for them. The ISM was, as usual in the lead, slightly behind them, Israeli anarchists, and closely following them - an angry Palestinian mob.
First came a few songs, yells of "Sharon is a butcher, Mofaz is crazy", a few chants of "Nazis!!!". They posed a bit for the press which naturally moved over to their side, taking pictures of soldiers through waving Palestinian flags and cheesy protest signs. The clear leader and top inciter of the protest was a guy in a "NYC" T-shirt. Of all the stupid bums, he was obviously the dumbest. A few kids got on a nearby house's roof (by this point, they were on the outskirts of the village) and began throwing rocks at us. Suddenly a car screeched to a stop right behind us. A young Arab came out of it, walking confidently towards the commanding officer. He was from the Palestinian Authority.
He said they sent him to stop the protest as it wasn't authorized by Abu-Mazen. Right... One guy vs. an angry mob.
Meanwhile the stone throwing got stronger, and the Israeli and foreign activist formed a circle around the Palestinian crowd, stones flying above their heads towards us. At this point, one of the photographers who remained on our side of the protest raised his hand. Seeing his T-shirt, clearly marked "TV", The Palestinians immideately began waving for him to come. The stones stoped for the 10 seconds it took him to get to their side and then resumed immideately, even more fiercely than earlier.
The PA guy shouted at the crowd a few words in Arabic. The stones stopped. A few seconds later the crowd erupted in cries of "Abu mazen go to hell" and "Abu mazen is crazy". The reason for the stones stopping was quickly revealed, when a big burning tyre exhausting thick black smoke rolled towards us.
This was obviously a call for action, our bullet-proof hummers and jeeps rolled into the village, establishing stopping when the protestors ran away and hid behind a house's wall. occasionaly hurling rocks. They hit a border policeman in the chest with a brick and he collapsed on the ground panting. The jeeps went into the village, arrested two teenagers and returned to the checkpoint. The protest was over.
I got to the base, and discovered I missed my bus home. Needless to say, this didn't exactly cause for more sympathy towards the ISM or the protestors. I showered, put on my uniform and waited a few hours for the nxst bus home. I managed to catch it, and as the driver was driving a thin mountain road we saw a woman, around her 30s walking with a large bag, she looked like the average hiker. The driver stopped and asked her if she wanted a ride, she said yes, and mounted the bus.
I started looking at the woman. Something about her was familiar.
The driver asked her where was she coming from, she said she was visiting friends in a nearby Palestinian village, which is considered dangerous for Israelis. And then it hit me. She was one of the protestors. She was there with the rockthrowers, acting as a human shield for them. She was there, with a crazy look in her eyes calling us all nazis.
I had to ask her. I said: "Were you in the protest?"
"Oh yes! it was fun! how did you know about it?"
"Such a great fun it was, my favorite bit was when you threw rocks at us, and rolled a burning tyre towards the soldiers"
Then came the answer. "I didn't throw any rocks, but I'm certain that if you looked for someone to throw rocks at you, you probably found them".
"Ofcourse," I said, "It's a personal fetish for me to look for people to throw rocks at me. Thank you for providing me with that oportunity."
I prefered talking to her no more, remembering my uniform represented something, and being afraid to say something not in place to the woman. The driver questioned her a bit more about her regular activities and they had what appeared to be a nice conversation about having to "defend" poor Palestinians from evil IDF soldiers. A female officer behind me was grasping to every word, eyes open in disbelief.
The woman got off at the station she wanted to get. The driver closed the door and began a session of well aimed insults towards the protestor, appologizing to the rest of the bus he ever stopped to pick her up, and suggesting he should've ran her over instead.
That was my ride home. As I said, only in Israel.

9 Comments:

  • Great post! The end is hilarious


    But kinda OT:

    Dumbass ISMer is spreading BS again in the previous post.

    I say it needs a fair bit of clean up.

    By Anonymous Manker, at 3:32 PM, July 22, 2005  

  • Never mind the previous OT

    Good job, and keep it up.

    By Anonymous Manker, at 3:33 PM, July 22, 2005  

  • What a day! What an utter idiot of a demonstrator! "it was fun?" How revealing of these self-centered idiots! It is all about them!(Expletive Deleted) I do not think I could have refrained from shaking her some and telling her in some obscene detail what a f---ing moron she is!

    Next week you may run into her right-wing extremist double preventing anti-disengagement demonstrators from charging into the Gaza Strip and getting in the middle of the ongoing civil war between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas! As you say Only in Israel! Good Luck whatever happens!

    By Anonymous David All, at 12:42 AM, July 23, 2005  

  • As I said in the previous post, soldier/blogger, identify the location of the Tulkarem protest and I will give you a more accurate description of events. It sounds like the one at Nazlat Isa/Baka Sharqiyeh.

    Or do you not even know the names of the Palestinian towns where you go to shoot at civilians ?

    ISMer

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:14 AM, July 23, 2005  

  • You should have shot the bitch. No, you should have shot the whole protest, including the media-whore cheerleaders. Really, I don't know why you Israelis put up with this bullshit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 PM, July 24, 2005  

  • ISMer - You have shown your true colors. I tell to tell you the truth, no matter how great your dislike for it is. So here it is:

    The policy of the IDF IS NOT to deliberately harm, kill, or maim civilians. If you believe it to be this, well, then I'm not really surprised. As I said, you've shown your true colors.

    By the way, I assume you support the violence junkies at the ISM, since your name suggests that you're one of them, so I've got a question: How do you guys do the stone-throwing part? Do you like, rip out your heart each morning and shove it in the furnace, and roll it around untill it's black enough to allow you to do this? Or do you use black paint? My point is: Throwing stones is something uncivilized civilsations do. Next time, if there is one, and if you're even broadcasting your stupidity within Israel, ask one of those Hamas or Islamic Jihad guys to give you a rifle so you can get yourself killed and, hence, making us free from your crap.

    By Blogger Nemesis6, at 2:06 AM, July 25, 2005  

  • The nerve to feel proud about it afterwards!
    Some people simply have no regard for other peoples feelings!

    By Blogger Pragmatician, at 4:45 PM, July 28, 2005  

  • Thank you for your blog. I'm an American grandmother and have watched Israel fight the whole world since my (and your country's) childhood. Always cheering you on and never understanding the mind-set of Arafat in not accepting so many many offers of a state and peace for his people. When he passed I prayed (still do) and hoped (still do) with the first true glimmer of real feeling that NOW, finally, things would be settled for Israel and Palastine. But no. Terrorists still put their 72 raisins first and protesters who don't seem to have a "common sense" or "positive future" gene in their bodies, still act out. We have protesters over here as well who are missing those genes, so you aren't alone. I'm watching the Gaza melee as we speak, on tv. While difficult, it IS a move toward future peace. Of courst the protesters are at it, as are the gunmen. God bless you and keep his finger on your future. I thought I may see the peace in my lifetime, but now I'm beginning to wonder. There is no cure for stupidity. The gal on the bus is lost. Best wishes!

    By Blogger betsy, at 9:16 PM, August 15, 2005  

  • hey ora, just read your comments on finding rhythm, I know the guy and, i know it probably doesn't matter much, but he isn't the careless thoughtless guy that it may seem like. I know he would only laugh at ignorance and silliness not your people, your work, or your daily struggle in that hard and colorful land... Believe me, his heart, and mine, is for you and definitely not amused at the disgraceful or ugly sides of humanity you see everyday. He's a great guy for what it's worth. shalom

    By Blogger david, at 6:01 PM, September 09, 2005  

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