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The young man being arrested in the video above is Lucas Koerner, and he was a member of the delegation that I recently co-led to Israel/Palestine. Below is Lucas's account of what took place in Jerusalem, which he originally posted on his blog.
Returning from Hebron Wednesday afternoon, I glanced outside my window, only to see miles and miles of blue and white. Today was Jerusalem Day, and a parade of thousands marched through the streets celebrating, as if in an orgy of nationalistic fervor, the 44th anniversary of the Israeli conquest of East Jerusalem. What shocked me initially was how eerily monolithic the procession was: it seemed as though the ocean of Israeli flags was meant to blur all distinctions between old and young, boss and worker, women and men, settler and 48er. In light of the events of recent days, I sensed a strong political undertone beneath the cheers and yells of the ecstatic crowds. Coming on the heels of Netanyahu’s defiant speech before Congress, it appeared to me that the marchers streaming down Sultan Suleiman St. that evening sought to echo their PM’s bold remarks, that all of Jerusalem was “theirs” forever. Indeed, it seemed that this display of triumphal nostalgia concealed a deeper, far weaker emotion, a lurking fear of a future in which nothing between the river and the sea would be exclusively “theirs” but would have to be shared with the other.
After witnessing first hand, over the past week and a half, the many horrors the occupation has inflicted on the Palestinian people, my fellow delegates and I trembled with indignation at the chutzpah of these Israeli marchers as they boisterously paraded through East Jerusalem, brandishing their flags of conquest. Prompted by the traffic to walk the rest of the way to our hotel, we were inspired to launch an impromptu parade of our own. Donning our keffiyehs we had purchased at the Hebron Keffiyeh factory and our small Palestinian flags, we we’re met by spit, aluminum cans, and pure, unadulterated hatred. Police instantly set upon us, accosting me, demanding that I put away my 3 by 5 inch Palestinian flag. It was remarkable how so much as giving voice to the other, the “Arab”, the Palestinian, in 3 by 5 form in E. Jerusalem no less could ignite such visceral fear and hatred.
Upon returning to the Holy Land Hotel, my comrades (Haneen, Amanda, Peter, Lydia, Tammy & Tiffany) and I decided that we would go back to the parade merely to hang out and observe, this time without our small Palestinian flags. In order to avoid any provocations, we simply posted up on the side walk, and, still wearing our keffiyehs, we proceeded to wave and make peace sign gestures to the paraders, who marched on the other side of the street, separated from us by a high gate. The initial reaction of the marchers was a combination of shock and disbelief. I myself had elected to wear, along with my keffiyeh, a kippah adorned with a small Palestinian flag. This last article of clothing on my head contributed, I believe, more than anything else to the climate of collective bewilderment, especially among the youth. For them, Judaism and its physical symbol, the kippah, were inseparably bound up with the particular strain of ethno-religious nationalism associated with the state of Israel. It simply never occurred to them that a Jewish person would, in the name of Jewish ethics, stand in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom. I feel that it was precisely this cognitive dissonance on a societal level that formed the motivation for my arrest.
As we walked up and down the sidewalk, waving our peace signs, many Palestinians of all ages approached to join us. With twenty or thirty people now gathered on the sidewalk facing the parade, we turned over leadership of what had become a demonstration to Palestinian activists, and we happily clapped and danced to their songs and chants. Standing on two feet high pylons, we tried to maintain our visibility as internationals in order to confer as much protection as possible to the Palestinians. The demonstration remained totally peaceful - just singing, whistling, and clapping. In fact, much to the chagrin of the paraders, we often danced to their music. Many Palestinians, fascinated with my kippah, approached me and exclaimed, “I love you”. For a moment, a space was opened for Palestinians to freely gather in their own streets and protest, peacefully demanding their basic rights. We were soon to learn just how brief that moment would be.
Suddenly, the police moved in without warning of any kind. Officers on horseback came so close to the sidewalk, nearly hitting some of the demonstrators. I stepped down from the pylon. In that instant, my impulse to flee was counteracted by the firm realization that, standing on a sidewalk waving a peace sign, I had every right to be there, and if I fled, who would stand with the Palestinians? I stepped back up on the pylon. Moments later, an Israeli police officer ran up, seized me, and dragged me to the other side of the street. He then punched me in the face, put me in a choke hold, and with four other officers, slammed me to the ground. I was eventually handcuffed and carried to the car; I allowed my body to go limp and refused to walk on my own in a gesture of nonviolent defiance. Throughout the whole affair, the only thing audible coming from the policemen was a constant stream of curses words, “motherfucker”, “piece of shit”, etc., which was to me a ringing confirmation of how infuriated and threatened they were by a 19-year old wearing a kippah and a keffiyeh standing with the Palestinians.
To be continued in the next post: “In Israeli Jail”
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16-Jun-2011 12:49 PM“I have never debated with a knowledgeable person but beaten him, and I have never debated with an ignorant person but been beaten by him.”
- Imam al-Shafi`i (May Allah have mercy on him)
16-Jun-2011 01:49 PM
yep i posted the footage in multimedia section
the comments on youtube were interesting. Someone said Zionism is separate from Judaism but then a Christian said that Zionism is in the Old testament because the Jews were promised Palestine. And that Christians follow the Old testament as well thus Christians and Jews are both Zionists. A Jew then praised this Christian.
So when we separate and say Jews and Zionists are 2 different things is that really true? according to them it's in their religion?بعبارة مختصرة جبهتنا منصورة
16-Jun-2011 03:47 PM
Any Christian or Jew who reads the Old Testament of the Bible would have to be a Zionist, because otherwise they are rejecting their own book.
If they do not support some form of Zionism, then they do not believe in their own books.
The Bible says that
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram (Abraham/Ibraheem) and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt (the Nile) to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
Genesis 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Deuteronomy 34: 4 "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, 'I will give it to your offspring'"
Area of "Greater Isreal" coveted by Zionists between the Nile and Euphrates depending on which verse of the Bible you follow :
16-Jun-2011 04:04 PM
tayyeb how did they lose the land then and inhabit Europe?بعبارة مختصرة جبهتنا منصورة
16-Jun-2011 05:03 PM
The Israeli tribes never actually had all that land, which is perhaps why they treat the biblical verse it as a prophecy. Historically the Israeli tribes never had much more than the land of Palestine under their control, apart from small parts of Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. They did not hold these lands outside of Palestine for long either.
The Jews were expelled from palestine more than once. The last time was when the Roman Empire occupied Palestine 2000 years ago. The Jews were exiled by the Romans because of mischief-making.
At that time the Jews spread out into different places. Some of them went to the area of Madina to await the arrival of the prophet who was foretold in their scriptures. Some of the Jews went to Africa and Europe also.
The Jews were not well received in Europe because of their money-lending, and the idea amongst Christians that the Jews killed prophets, such as Jesus and John the Baptist. There were often stories of Jews killing children which made people angry too.
The Jews have been expelled from many European countries at one time or another, and have been forced to move around a lot. If you look at their history over the last 2500 years, you will see how they have been cursed for rebelling against Allah.
16-Jun-2011 05:26 PM
jazakAllah khayr for that.
Ok then the British put em back in and they manage to force out the Palestinians, amazing.
And the Chrisitan Palestinians allow this and fight in the Israeli army.بعبارة مختصرة جبهتنا منصورة