B’Tselem’s “Shoot Back” project

The BBC is covering video footage of Israeli settlers beating an elderly shepherd, his wife, and their nephew with a baseball bat, as they graze their goats on land near the illegal settlement.

Footage from a video camera handed out by an Israeli human rights group appears to show Jewish settlers beating up Palestinians in the West Bank.

An elderly shepherd, his wife and a nephew said they were attacked by four masked men for allowing their animals to graze near the settlement of Susia.

The rights group, B’Tselem, said the cameras were provided to enable Palestinians to get proof of attacks.

A spokesman for the Israeli police said that an investigation was under way.

So far, no-one has been arrested.

Baseball bats

For the past year, B’Tselem has handed out video cameras to Palestinians as part of its “Shooting Back” project.

Read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7451691.stm (warning: video is graphic).  You can read more about B’Tselem’s inspired human rights campaign, “Shoot Back,” at http://www.btselem.org/english/Video/Shooting_Back_Background.asp.

–L.L. Wynn

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5 Responses to B’Tselem’s “Shoot Back” project

  1. Raffe says:

    I don’t think there’s anything good that can be said about the settlers. Those that i’ve met them they’ve all been a bunch of crazy people. Hopefully this will lead to well deserved arrests.

  2. Thanks for the link to B’Tselem’s ‘shoot Back” project. I looked at the images. I also put together some more links (mainly from YouTube). What’s disturbing is most of the images are of children who are venting their anger towards international observers or to Palestinians.

    (A) Settler children (and some of their parents)
    Settler youth venting their anger

    Settler riot in Tel Rumeida (2003)

    Settler abuse towards internationals in Tel Rumeida (2003)

    Settler children throwing stones at international observers

    Settler father and son abusing an international

    Drunk settler abusing observers

    Settler woman swearing at a Palestinian woman

    Settler children harrassing a Palestinian woman

    (B) IDF veteran testimonies
    Breaking the silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifadah.
    http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/index_e.asp

    Israeli soldiers’ photos offer rare insight
    Exhibit in Tel Aviv depicts harsh price of deployment in Hebron
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5217711/

    (C) The life of Palestinian cameramen working for Reuters and ABC

    Patricia Naylor, a Canadian TV producer, met a number of Palestinian video cameramen and still photographers who cover the frequent clashes in Hebron.
    http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/israel.palestine/thestory.html

    Cameraman shot dead while filming Israeli tank
    April 16, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death today of a Reuters cameraman who was killed in the Gaza strip while filming an Israeli tank.
    http://www.cpj.org/news/2008/mideast/gaza16apr08na.html

    (D) Israeli peace activists attacked
    Israeli Soldiers Fire at a Peaceful Protest

  3. llwynn says:

    Many thanks for that impressive, if depressing, list of links, Stewart.

  4. As difficult as they are to watch – the images from Hebron are really informative at a number of levels. One area I am interested in is the attitude of IDF conscripts to being deployed in Hebron. You can see on the videos their mixed response – at one end of the spectrum are those soldiers who themselves face abuse and threats from the settlers to the other end of the spectrum to those soldiers who have nothing but contempt for international observers and towards Palestinians.

    At the end of this whole process of dehumanisation from which ever way you look at it someone has to pick-up the pieces. The settler children, the Palestinian kids, the 19 year old IDF conscripts all have been forced into an unbearable state by adults who are stuck in their ways. Instead of experiencing joy these children are taught to fear and demonise the other.

    There is definitely a better way. The Jewish community has the beautiful Torah – a revolutionary text (for it’s time – that champions justice, love and mercy). Instead the Torah is being limited to selfish nationalism rather than inclusive humanitarianism. At one level this is no different to the denigration of the Koran and Christian Bible to suit narrow-minded ends.

    My hope is that each community can take the good from each of the texts (if they are religiously inclined) and use this to build community rather than destroy.

    ==========

    On a separate note a few more interesting links:

    Shulman, David (2007) Dark hope: Working for peace in Israel and Palestine

    A review on Schulman’s book
    http://21stcenturycicero.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/milton-viorst-on-israel’s-tragic-predicament/

    ‘Jewish settler attack’ on film
    BBC 12 June 2008
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7451691.stm

    Henry Maine’s (an anthropologist) blog on Religion, Nationalism and Terror
    http://religionandterror.com/category/israeli-palestinian-conflict/

  5. Raffe says:

    Excellent points Stewart Mills.

    The settlements are a failed idea. Whilst they were once a strategic objective for having an occupation in Gaza or the West Bank even the once champion of their cause, Ariel Sharon, realised that they only caused pain and grief to people on both sides of the border.
    When I was younger, and much more ignorant, I supported the settlements. There’s no possible way that peace can continue without the withdrawal from those lands.

    When Israel began to remove people from the settlements in 2005 the IDF and police wore special uniforms covered with Jewish symbols as they hoped that the settlers wouldn’t attack them…they were wrong.

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