A Morning in Silwan

Morning in Silwan.

Israeli bulldozers are at work. Again.

Israeli police laughing at the Palestinian and Israeli photographers below
Israeli police laughing at the Palestinian and Israeli photographers below

The details? Nature and Parks Authority. Land that is both privately owned by Palestinians and part of a National Park. Bulldozers. Probably a hundred heavily armed soldiers. Horses. Dogs. Arrests. Yelling. Cameras. The usual dance.

I don’t care about these details. Who cares about these details? Sometimes details can obscure the truth. Here are the details that matter:

Israel has been occupying Silwan and rest of East Jerusalem for more than four decades.

Israeli soldier preventing Palestinian man from nearing his property
Israeli soldier preventing Palestinian man from nearing his property

Israeli bulldozers are a regular fixture of the landscape here in Silwan, demolishing structures and houses build “without permits.”

Israel’s occupation authorities virtually never grant permits to Palestinians, certainly not in Silwan. Certainly not in Silwan. Certainly not near the City of David, the ancient site of Jewish history, archeology. Only Jewish history. Certainly not other histories also.

So this morning, in Silwan, the bulldozers were sparked again, the kids with guns wear serious expressions on their still pudgy and sleep-deprived faces. Guarding, protecting, serving. Serving what, though?

Israeli police surround the Palestinian man who had descended part of the hill
Israeli police surround the Palestinian man who had descended part of the hill

This place is growing sicker every day, and we don’t feel it. I think that’s a symptom of our illness, the unfeeling. The ignoring. Closing our eyes. The murder of a 17-year old child in Budrus, the shooting of a 21-year old University Senior near Hebron. Constant, constant oppression. Can anything force our eyes open?

This video that I shot on my iPhone is of a Palestinian man who owned part of the property the bulldozers were tearing into. He tries to get past the arbitrarily drawn police-line, to his property, and is tackled by a soldier whose dog (thankfully still with a muzzle on) jumps on the man. He is then taken away by other soldiers.

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