“Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: So far so good…so far so good…so far so good…” La Haine (1995)
Writing in the Journal of Strategic Studies at the beginning of this year, Bar-Ilan University-based academics Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir discussed the Israeli military’s concept of ‘mowing the grass’, a “new term” that “reflects the assumption that Israel finds itself in protracted intractable conflict with extremely hostile non-state entities.” Read more
On the morning of March 19 this year, there were no television crews around to capture the moment when an Israeli soldier pulled the trigger and fatally wounded 14-year-old Yusef Al Shawamreh. There were no photographers on hand nor CCTV cameras rolling as Israeli forces, lying in ambush along the path of the apartheid wall, opened fire on children out to pick plants.
Killed while trying to reach his own family’s farmland, Yusef was shot without warning from a few dozen metres away. There was no “threat”, not even a demonstration: just three friends out to find gundelia, cut down by the soldiers of an occupying army. Read more
There is no doubt that to witness the Hamas-Fatah confrontations is a discomforting experience for those working for justice for the Palestinians. On the most basic level, it is distressing to see a colonized people expend energies not resisting occupation but in kidnapping and killing each other. There is also the knowledge that all of this plays right into Israeli hands, serving as both a justification for occupation (‘look what happens when we give them territory’), as well as a distraction for a media that does not exactly need an incentive to avoid discussing the conflict’s roots. However, there are other, more profound reasons why Palestinian domestic politics of the last year should produce discomfort, as the PLC elections and subsequent events have thrown into sharper relief some questions that are unpleasant – yet necessary – to face. Read more