images-1The IDF admits to using “agents provocateurs” at the weekly anti-wall demonstrations in Bil’in. “But they only start throwing rocks after the regular demonstrators do so.” Which begs the question; what’s the point of using infiltrators then? Once more, logic is that most scarce of commodities, snuffed out in the fog of tugging.

Then again, what’s the point of a lot of things? We so often fold into our designated ruts, each to his role, unthinkingly. Ever thus at Bil’in. Left-wing, self-hating Israelis and internationals fold arms with the downtrodden, the people whose land is nibbled at, cement-trucked, ground into facts. To each his task. The army’s welcoming committee, on the Palestinian side of what’s supposed to be a separation fence, cross-armed, wide-legged megaphones along the script; “This is a closed military zone. Leave now or face the consequences.”

This is the cue for the demonstrators to sit down, defiant, and oh so briefly. No yawning for the short-attention-spanned. Out come the sound grenades. Theirs is the easiest part. The simplest line to remember; “Bang!”

avatarNext comes the tear gas. Vicious stuff. The morning breath of Hades tricks you into believing that you’ll suffocate, accelerates your breathing, inhaling more and more. Then there’s the tears of course, eponymously.

That’s smart,” I said to an older fellow from Tel Aviv wearing construction goggles. “Looks a damn sight cooler than my Speedos.”

I introduced myself.

So, what are you? You with the anarchists, or with the Trotskist front?” he said.

Um, actually, I’m quite on the liberal side.” The word ‘normal’ almost slipped out.

Oh,” he said, unfazed at my profanity, “you know that this here is a problem of capitalist exploitation, right? The occupation will only end when capitalism does.”

I sure hope not,” I proffered. “Say, the Soviet Union did quite a bit of exploiting, didn’t it?”

Yes, well, that wasn’t really communism, that was state capitalism.”

IDF_attacks_anti_wall_demonstratorsWhatever helps you sleep at night, I thought, setting off toward the fencing. I’m a cynic, I admit, driven more by curiosity than a sense that anything important has ever been achieved by shouting and waving a series of unevenly-painted monosyllables.

The world is a stage…” And Bil’in is an excellent place to acquire a tan, and a shot of adrenaline. Like a long-running Broadway show the same scenario is played out every week, and yet the cast never tires. The army does what it does. Very well, I might add. It takes guts to fire rubber-coated bullets to a face when you’re close enough to hear the owner of the face say, “wait, you gotta be kidding me, right?”

There’s comedy there, the ever-perpetuating human farce. A Hollywood remake David and Goliath. Cowboys and Indians. Now there’s a parallel…. But parallels can prove anything, and the latter-day David actually won a landmark court ruling last year. Security considerations have played, admitted the Israeli judge, a distant second fiddle to those of real-estate developers. The Eisenhower prophecy 2.0.

Ah, I’m rambling again, rambling being what I do. The topic lends itself so beautifully to metaphor, historic congruency, and outright histrionics. To each his own, I guess. No point in trying to escape gravity, no matter the great lengths NASA goes to have us believe that’s exactly what they’ve been spending billions and billions on.

I’m almost curious to see what the Arab-hating talk-backers got lined up. Don’t hold back, I say. Do what you do best. I will thank you beforehand. You make me look good.

Blog comments

k20d0509_cr1 | Elisabeth Essenfeld, Thursday Mar 13, 2008 I can’t believe what happens there.

2 | Ari, Friday Mar 14, 2008 Dear Tom, It must be hard for you and your friends being an agnostic there in the west bank. For your information, we trust you agnostics and atheist even more than we are suspicious of Muslim. Joke: When you hear people sneeze, Tom said: “bless you, maybe”, When you are angry, Tom said “goddamnit, I think”. Read Holy Bible and/ or Quran thoroughly Tom, you would write better

3 | McQueen, NY, Saturday Mar 15, 2008 We don’t believe a word your write. The biggest farce is your attempt to be a writer.

4 | Martin, Sweden, Saturday Mar 15, 2008 Dear Tom, There is a legitimate reason for the existance of the “Wall”, are you aware of this? Palestinian suicide bombers and shooters who could earlier penetrate into Israeli territory at will – and carry out their murderous “missions from God” – now face a harder time achieving their jihadnik goals. Thanks to the “Wall” – the lives of many Israeli civilians have been spared. A pretty good, thing – wouldn´t you agree?

5 | Fran, Saturday Mar 15, 2008 No Arab-bashing here, Tom. Sorry. Just a suggestion: after you are through in Ramallah, spend some time in living in Sderot. Stay as long as you can handle the shocks of the sudden bomb explosions 40 times a day. Years ago, when I protested segration and the Vietnam war in America, I accepted the fact that something could happen to me. As a “civilian” I thought 9/11 was a little unfair. The people in Sderot, Ashkelon are just trying to live their lives. Tell the terrorists to stop and maybe those awful Israelis will stop, too. If not, I’ll join you.

6 | Ari, Monday Mar 17, 2008 You know, the Muslims in Ramallah do not believe what you are saying either, Tom. This is a lost european boys telling the guys over there to chill and be drug addict like the rest of the Ramallah agnostics. Tom, if you believe in nothing, then nothing is clear to you.

7 | S McCosker Australia, Saturday Apr 12, 2008 Tom. If you are a ‘liberal’ then do watch ‘Fitna’ – support your fellow left wing liberal, Geert Wilders. Look up all the Quran verses (he didn’t even quote the worst – Surah 9; or 48:29). Read Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan & Jacques Ellul Un Chretien Pour Israel – you read French? Tom – Israel is a war zone because Arab/Muslim supremacist-imperialists want to reverse the de-colonisation that happened in 1948-49. You are a janissary of Jihad.


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