Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Silwan: The Blasting Cap

Last June, I wrote about Silwan, where the Jewish settler group Elad--with the cooperation of the Jerusalem municipality--has been planting a vanguard of extremist families. In the foreground, the desire to expand an archaeological dig, the so-called City of David, and Jewish tourist "gardens." In the background, the desire to expand the Israeli footprint in East Jerusalem--in of all places, this most densely populated and volatile neighborhood, which enjoys virtually no municipal services.

Now swallow hard and look at this video from last Friday. The driver of the car is the head of Elad, David Be'eri, who claimed "his life was in danger." Presumably, an "existential threat," which required the reassertion of "deterrence."

The kids were probably the same kids who had joined our peaceful demonstration last June; but the neighborhood was recently inflamed by the shooting death by an Elad security guard of Samir Sirhan, a 32-year old father of five. When the city descends into Bosnia-style civil violence, this is how it will start.


Y. Ben-David said...

How do you know the Jews living there are "extremist"? Because they are living among Arabs? You live in what was an Arab-owned home before 1948 and the owner fled or was driven out by the fighting in Jerusalem. You certainly didn't pay him for his property. Does that make you an extremist?

BTW-Did you ever have a people throwing rocks your car? After all, you are an Israeli which in their eyes makes you a legitimate target. It's pretty scary. Hard to judge someone else in that position. You might then reply...he has no business being there. But, then again, there were more than one suicide bombings in the neighborhood where you live and I'm sure the bomber and those who sent him thought that the Jews they were targetting "had no business being there, either".

Y. Ben-David said...

It is interesting that the neighborhood was quiet for years. The Jews made a point of having good relations with their Arab neighbors. Then you and your friends show up, keep telling the Arabs there that you support them driving the Jews out, the violence agaist the Jews increases, your friends have cameramen ready to film the blood. Your "innocent children friends".
I now see one thing...you and the rest who demonstrate there and in Sheikh Jarrah WANT to see the Jews driven out, by peacful means or not...you just want the Arabs to do the work for you....so you can keep your hands clean and so you can keep telling everyone that you are "peace activists" (some of whom, by the way, live in stolen Arab homes).

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog (and read your book). I'm an American scientist whose position on these issues is fairly similar to Matt Yglesias. (I'm anonymous b/c the internet never forgets).
But I think you're mistaken about the video and even more, posting a link to it threatens your credibility. Look at it again, this is clearly an ambush using "small arms fire" and a bunch of photographers (press?). If it happened to you, you might make the same mistake as the driver. Second, the clip has been edited so that what comes before the upending of the kid is not shown. Call me a skeptic, but I bet there's a reason for that. It likely was a setup.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the previous posts. As much as I find the behavior of groups like Elad despicable, I think that the driver's actions in this instance are defensible.

It's also grossly unfair to correlate his reaction to a stressful situation in any way with his political activities. This was not a premeditated act.

Potter said...

It's hard to believe that the driver found himself in an existential threatening situation. He ended up with broken windows and his life in tact whereas he had the power to kill those kids with his vehicle. I looked at the other versions of this presented in "defense" by propagandists on the driver's side which try to tell the viewer ( unsuccessfully in my opinion) what to watch and what to think.

This is a war being fought in the media. But it's clear who the underdogs are and who are the oppressors no matter how you slice and dice and narrate the film/video. This will not change people's minds it will just enrage those who are already enraged one way or another- And that was B. Avishai's point I believe. The guy in the car was headed to his home where he had no business residing unless he was interested in putting his life and the life of his family members on the line for his beliefs. He can't say his life was in jeopardy because of the children's stone-throwing without that point arising.

Anonymous said...

"How do you know the Jews living there are "extremist"?"

Because some of us have not only been there but tried to talk to them, tried to reason with them. They are not in the least bit embarrassed to tell you that all Arabs are murderers and, if you question that, state flatly: "Jews like you are worse than Arabs."

But maybe you should try to go to Silwan or Sheikh Jarrah and talk to them, Mr. Ben-David.

Bella said...

"Now swallow hard and look at this video from last Friday. The driver of the car is the head of Elad, David Be'eri, who claimed "his life was in danger." Presumably, an "existential threat," which required the reassertion of "deterrence.""

This is probably the most naive and possibly disingenuous statement I have ever read on your blog. Did you not see the photographers hovering and then taking pictures and urging the kids on; the kids carrying on fearlessly while one of theirs was bouncing off the roof. Did you not see the gap in the timing between when this happened and when the kid was finally attended to?

I'm no fan of Elad, but to not see this for the set up that it was, and to not also be able to put yourself in that car going round a bend, being hit by stones and kids rushing at you. Seeing really is in the eye of the beholder.

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