Saturday, May 21 2011|Joseph Dana
Why is it that Palestinians are the only people in the Middle East seemingly not allowed to throw stones at a military regime which oppresses and controls them? Why are Palestinians branded as violent when they use the same tactics which the Egyptian and Tunisian protesters used during their historic revolutions? This question has been stuck in my mind since Obama’s recent speech on the Middle East.
On Friday, the Palestinian ‘Arab Spring’ was on display in Nabi Saleh. Watch the video. What do we see here? You will notice that the demonstration in Nabi Saleh, a small village west of Ramallah, began with no stones and only chants. The army quickly attacked the demonstrators with tear gas and sound bombs resulting in the outbreak of clashes between stone throwing youth from the village and soldiers. Do these youth have a right to throw stones at an invading army?
As the demonstration wore on, the army became more aggressive. At one point, soldiers decided to arrest over 10 Israelis in the village supporting Palestinian. For what reason were these Israelis arrested? For the same reason that at minute 2:55, you see a solider throw a sound grenade at the filmmaker responsible for the clip. The army does not want outsiders to understand what is happening to the Palestinian Arab spring in the West Bank. Who would have thought that the Arab Spring in Palestine would feature Israeli supporters resisting alongside Palestinians?
The shocking part of the clip comes at the end when the army brought in the ‘Skunk truck,’ filled with a corrosive petrochemical, and sprayed the village’s central square. Quietly, it covered buildings with chemical rendering them useless for weeks. This video reflects the realization of the Egyptian revolutionary model in the West Bank. This is what unarmed resistance and joint struggle to Israeli occupation looks like. This is the Arab Spring in Palestine.
Video by Israel Puterman