Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
GOD SAVE HRC, FROM REALITY — Jeffrey St. Clair on Hillary Clinton’s miraculous rags-to-riches method of financial success; LA CONFIDENTIAL: Lee Ballinger on race, violence and inequality in Los Angeles; PAPER DRAGON: Peter Lee on China’s military; THE BATTLE OVER PAT TILLMAN: David Hoelscher provides a 10 year retrospective on the changing legacy of Pat Tillman; MY BROTHER AND THE SPACE PROGRAM: Paul Krassner on the FBI and rocket science. PLUS: Mike Whitney on how the Central Bank feeds state capitalism; JoAnn Wypijewski on what’s crazier than Bowe Bergdahl?; Kristin Kolb on guns and the American psyche; Chris Floyd on the Terror War’s disastrous course.
"Let Go or I'll Cut Your Arms Off"

A Busy Day for Bulldozers

by GILA SVIRSKY

It’s been a busy day today for Israeli bulldozers. They had to do 16 houses by sundown, and they couldn’t start until the men who live in them had gone off to work in the morning. But those machines are tireless, and by the end of the day, you could find 16 families sitting on heaps of rubble, weeping and cursing. Children, too.

It was also a busy night for the boys in Tulkarm. That’s the Palestinian town where our soldiers forced 1,500 men out of their homes in the middle of the night, put them on trucks, and then drove several miles out of town to dump them out, with orders not to return home ‘for a few days’. And then the soldiers had to put the town under curfew, just in case the women wanted to go out looking for them.

So now we have several man-made tragedies of the last 24 hours, but it couldn’t have been very interesting. Not a photo or even a word about it appeared on the 45-minute TV news tonight on channel 2. Though we did get a very extended item about why the national Israeli soccer team again lost to France. Now that’s sad.

Three of us women–Na’ama from the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, Sylvia from Peace Now, and me from the Coalition of Women for Peace–had a big argument with one of the bulldozers at Sur Baher (just outside Jerusalem) this morning. The bulldozer wanted to knock down the house, and we wanted to knock down the bulldozer. Well, actually we just wanted to stop its progress. Our presence standing between it and the house worked beautifully until the soldiers dragged us away along the rocky, thorny hillside. Thanks to three other activists for their support and photos.

Here are some remarks I heard today:

Soldier #1: They have to knock it down–there are terrorists inside.

Soldier #2: No, it’s because they’re building the security fence right here.

Soldier #3: No, it’s because they were built illegally.

None of the above. The homes demolished today were all in one neighborhood, and our best guess is that this is on the planned route of new bypass road #80.

More remarks, these directed to the peace activists:

Officer #1: See that? [Palestinians trying to protect their homes.] You’re inciting them to violence.

Officer #2: Your presence here is illegal.

Soldier: Let go of each other or I’ll cut your arms off.

And now some Palestinian remarks made to the soldiers:

Villager #1: You better kill us, because if you don’t, we’ll kill you.

Villager #2: See that kid over there? You just turned him into a suicide bomber.

And a Palestinian woman who alternately cried and shouted in broken English, "You are animals, where is your humanity, don’t you have a mother?"

It’s been that kind of day for the Israeli soldiers. In addition to having to work from dawn to dusk, and sometimes in the middle of the night, they have to put up with insults and violence.

Oh, and did I mention that one of those houses destroyed–for the world-record fourth time–was the home of Salim and Arabiyyeh Shawamreh? That’s also the home of Lena, their daughter, who I wrote about 5 years ago in ‘Lena doesn’t live here anymore’.

Oh, and did I mention that March was a particularly busy month? 99 Palestinians were killed, 28 of them children. It’s a good thing it’s April now! Ooops, I spoke too soon. Seven more were killed today, and still an hour before midnight…

The Israeli army keeps turning the screws, but, hey, what’s going on in Baghdad?

GILA SVIRSKY lives in Jerusalem. She is a member of Coalition of Women for Peace. She can be reached at: gsvirsky@netvision.net.il

Today’s Features

Uri Avnery
A Crooked Mirror: Presstitution and the Theater of Operations

David Vest
Can You Hear the Silence?

Anthony Gancarski
Colin Powell Telemarketer

David Lindorff
Takoma: the Dolphin Who Refused to Fight

Michael Roberts
War, Debts and Deficits

Ramzy Baroud
Now That Iraqis Are Being Killed Is Israel Any More Secure?

Jo Wilding
From Baghdad with Tears

Anton Antonowicz
Cluster Bombs on Babylon

Alison Weir
Israel, We Won’t Forget Rachel Corrie

Bruce Jackson
Hating Wolf Blitzer’s Voice

Eliot Katz
War’s First Week

Steve Perry
War Web Log 04/03

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /