As I read mr. Kim’s blog and the ”letters from Israel section” I started to feel that I should share my experience, and my opinion of Israel, it’s people and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that seemingly became part of our lives. But as I imagine the letter I would write it always goes to dark places.
I do not wish to make a grim picture of my beloved Israel, but it seems if I wish to discuss the conflict, specially the allegations of Israeli apartheid, that hurts me deeply, I have to go there.
When discussing the check points and the West Bank wall people say it’s illegal and inhumane, that we don’t have a right to treat the Palestinians as some sort of cattle that we close within a cage. Today all I hear of Israel are these allegations of racism and apartheid, but all I can recall of why all of this was created, is my time at school around the year 2000 when the Second intifada (A.K.A Intifada Al-Aqsa) started.
As the Palestinian Popular uprising started one of the most remembered incidents was the Ramallah lynch where two IDF reservists entered Ramallah by accident (there were no checkpoints at that time) and were lynched by a large mob. After this incident our teachers devoted an hour talking about the conflict. I clearly remember my teacher saying: ”Although this is a bloody incidents, I try to understand the Palestinian point of view. They have accumulated a lot of anger and that two soldiers were an object that they could focus their anger on.”
After the incidents a wave of murderous terror acts started. Every other day a suicide bomber blew up in a bus, or a mall. At first, it was working, people got scared, I remember how for several months everybody refrained of going out, they preferred to stay at home. I felt that too, but then something even worse happened: we got used to it, we became numb. I remember clearly me sitting in class when one of the students that was checking the news on his cell-phone (something new at that time) saying: ”There was a terrorist act in Netanya.” And then us asking him automatically: ”How many died?” and it was just another day in school. I still watched the news regularly, but it was out of an almost compulsive need to be up-to-date. I recall how motionless and emotionless I was as they read the names of the victims: ”And these are the names of the 21 deceased that were taken at the bombing in the Delphinarium night-club in Tel-Aviv…” By the way at this terrorist act most of the killed were kids aged 14-18 and the oldest was the bouncer aged 25. And most of them went to the same school.
So why was the wall raised, why were the checkpoints established? Because as much as we would like the Palestinians to move freely on their lands, we had to take control of the situation. Since those times suicide bombing became very rare (relatively) and what we suffer is ”just” the rockets from Gaza for the most part.
Are the measures we have taken to stop these terrorists humane? Maybe not, many innocent Palestinians now live in less than optimal conditions with many of their rights violated. But were those measures justified? You tell me…