Sunday, August 02, 2009

International Blog Against Racism Week: Hate Speech in the South Hebron Hills

IBARW seems like an appropriate time to blog about a topic I've been meaning to address - hate speech in the context of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

I've heard and seen some pretty rough, racist stuff while I've been working in At-Tuwani. I remember clearly one afternoon when settlers came out of the settlement and into the village. They retreated quickly when the village came out to confront them nonviolently, but as soon as they were back in the settlement, they started making monkey noises, insinuated that Palestinians are subhuman. The incident turned my stomach.

But what frightens me more is the frequency of racist stereotypes combined with violent threats. We've caught settlers on camera telling Palestinians to "be careful" many occasions. when I began blogging about At-Tuwani, I received a series of threatening comments, not targeting me, but the people of At-Tuwani:

There's no such thing as "Palestine".

And as for the Christian part, all Christians know that God gave the land of Israel to the nation of israel- not to Ishmael.

It's written clearly in the Bible hundreds of times.

So is "thou shalt not steal".

The Ishmaelites need to stop being so greedy and violent and be happy with their own lands.

* * *
Tuwani will cease to exist if they continue to insist on violence and trying to ethnically cleanse the Jews from the land of Israel.
* * *

Peace for peace. War for war.

You chose war, and you will pay.

And you will pay much more than you try to make us pay

Here's the rub - the people of At-Tuwani have embraced nonviolent resistance, in the face of settler attempts to drive them out of their homes. I hope that it's obvious that these statements are little more that the repetition of stereotypes and hate - and the denial of one ethnic group's existence.

The people of At-Tuwani deserve safety, respect, and dare I say it, admiration for their brave nonviolence. They don't deserve stereotypes and threats.

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