Monday, July 26, 2010

As seen on Israel Channel One? Palestinian Shepherd Films Israeli Settler Stealing Sheep

It's another day of waking up, turning on my computer, and finding the same old story coming out of Tuba. On the 22nd, an Israeli settler came out of the settlement and calmly stole a sheep owned by one of the shepherds from Tuba. But this time, Ahmed, the shepherd in question, caught the whole thing on tape.

Here's what my friend Diane, who is in Palestine right now, has to say:

Last week Wednesday Ahmed was shepherding and several settlers came and stole one of his family's sheep. As a result of the video that Achmed took of the incident the Israeli police were able to identify the settlers and Achmed's father went with the police to retrieve the sheep from the settlement. While Ahmed and his father Omar were at the Israeli police station filing a complaint against the settlers (Ahmed for 5 hours), one of the settlers came in and filled a counter complaint against Omar (which is bogus as Omar wasn't even at the incident). At first the police didn't want to give Ahmed a copy of his complaint, but the B'tselem field worker who accompanied Ahmed insisted on a copy as if the case goes to court and Palestinians don't have a copy of the complaint that they filed the Israeli police have sometimes claimed that none was filed. And then the complaint of the settler is the only one for which there is paperwork for and the case would go badly for the Palestinians. In instances such as this with both the Palestinians and the settler filing complaints the case will mostly likely be thrown out by a judge – and the settlers will not be prosecuted for stealing a sheep.
Check out the rest of her blog entry here. And more details here.

Like I said, this is kind of a case of same-old, same-old. I've been working hard on a graphic novel about the Tuwani area and feeling a little defeated. I feel like I'm telling one story, over and over. But the truth is, that one story contains in it a lot of hope. For example, take Ahmed. Ahmed is an amazing videographer - probably the best activist filmmaker I know. Filming a settler stealing your sheep is a risky thing to do, but this is far from the first time that Ahmed's taken that risk and kept filming. I'm told that this footage actually made it on to Israeli TV. That's pretty incredible. And then there's the larger context - Ahmed is simply one of those people who shine. He's hella smart and his family (and a few random foreigners) are hoping that he'll be able to go to college or do anything else that he wants to do. Being the sort of person that brings that kind of hope into a group of people's lives is pretty fantastic. It's resistance, for sure, but it's also just life. Also just Ahmed. So, hey - thumbs up for Ahmed. Tongues stuck out at stupid settlers and the stupid Israeli system that creates and sustains them. Let's get back to resisting the Israeli colonialism. Or, I at least should get out of bed.

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