Qalandiya - Just like you got rid of Netanyahu, we’ll get rid of Abu Mazen

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Tamar Fleishman; Translator: Tal H.
כלים כבדים וחפירות מתקדמות בדרך לבניית שכונה יהודית חדשה בשטחו של שדה התעופה הישן עטרות

That which had been a rumor regarding the building of a new settler-colony in the area of the landing strip, is now becoming a reality.

The area which according to the Trump plan was supposed to become a tourist area for Palestinians has changed direction and is going to be a very large neighborhood for Jews.

The heavy equipment has been brought and works are rapidly proceeding. They work so close to the wall that the noise comes in and disturbs the sleep of the refugee camp dwellers from the early morning hours.

Everyone is speaking and wringing their hands about the recent going-on in the Palestinian Territories and nodding their heads, saying that the end of Abu Mazen is closer than ever, for having caused the murder to the hero Nizar Banat.

Just like you got rid of Netanyahu, we’ll get rid of Abu Mazen, they say and curse the head of the Palestinian Authority.

This anger in response to the murder of a Palestinian by the Palestinian police, in contrast with a kind of acceptance, almost as if it is the way of the world that Palestinians are ‘normally’ murdered by Israelis, reminds me of something that happened when a friend of mine who had a house surrounded by a well-tended garden was victim from time to time to soldiers’ incursions to his home – for mapping or searching or just for fun. He decided, advised by his wife, to move to an apartment in a high-rise located in a different neighborhood, for the sake of their traumatized children. There would be no garden to sit in, but at least a kind of security at night.

One day a force of the Palestinian police broke into his present home and vandalized it. Not the kind of pogroms that Jews hold, but still…

  • I know who gave the order. It’s someone who hates me. I’ll kill him, said my friend.

  • No you won’t, I said, you are not going to begin a chain of bloodshed.

  • I’ll kill him, he repeated again and again. It’s much more painful and insulting because these are our own, they are us. It’s not like the Jews who are not our brothers. When I lay my hands on him, I’ll kill him.

Never, ever were the soldiers and security personnel so glad with me as I crossed the checkpoint as they were this time.

Only when I arrived at the end of the checking track, only before my exit, I recalled that an hour earlier I had bought from Khaled – whom I know and befriended ever since he was 7 and is now nearly 20 – a green little monkey that Khaled hung on my neck.

Thanks to that little monkey I got smiles and waving hands and a lot of joy in the eyes and faces of all those inspecting and guarding at the checkpoint, all of those who usually delay me and scold and question me why I was coming from the side that is out of bounds for Jews, the “red side”, and tell me how dangerous it is over there. They all replaced their rage with joy!