I used to live in an old neighborhood in Jerusalem called… well, it had many names. The neighborhood had a lot of history behind it and the residents included an elderly Kurdish couple (who still spoke Aramaic), an artist Holocaust survivor, a young Yemeni couple with their kids, a low-class Syrian family that always shouted at each other in Arabic, a non-Jewish Frenchman and an Arab reputed to be in hiding for corroborating with Israeli officials. I wish I could have those days back again and get to know those people better.
One day there was a disturbance at the Temple Mount. I can’t remember the details but some Arabs were protesting outside Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli soldiers were sent to control them. I had purchased a Newsweek magazine the next day. It featured an Arab protester at the Temple Mount. When my young Yemeni neighbor came by our house, I showed him the magazine. He grabbed it from me, threw it to the ground and stomped on the photo of the Palestinian as he blurted some harsh words of contempt against Arabs.
He was a member of the infamous “Mishmar ha-Gevul” (Border Patrol). These people were known for their venomous hatred toward Arabs.
So I was not surprised when I came upon this story at Alarabiya:
Activists have slammed a video released on Monday by Israeli human rights agency B’Tselem which shows an Israeli border officer kicking a Palestinian boy in the Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron.
The officer is seen in the video grabbing the nine-year-old boy, Abd a-Rahman Burqan, by the arm, dragging him as he says: “Why are you causing trouble?” A second officer walks towards the boy and kicks the child as he cries out.
According to B’Tselem, the incident took place on Friday close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Ibrahim mosque, a location that frequently witnesses clashes between police and young Palestinian boys.
The boy’s father, Amer Burqan, said his son had gone out to get soup which is given out to the poor.
Israel’s Border Police immediately announced an investigation into the incident. In a statement released shortly after the video was put online, it said it “condemns the police conduct as contrary to its values,” reported the Times of Israel.
On the contrary. This conduct is very much in accordance with its values – unless things have dramatically changed over the past 25 years.
It’s a fine line a government must walk if it’s serious about protecting its borders. On the one hand, a certain amount of animosity, toward the threatening population, is helpful. We can see, on our own southern border, how ineffective Hispanic border agents can be in protecting us from infiltration by other Hispanics. On the other hand, kicking children is not exactly helpful if we want international sympathy and support. Notably, the soldier in question appears to be Mizrahi* (or he could be Druze). Mizrahis tend to have the least sympathy toward Arabs in Israel as their own parents often experienced anti-Jewish behavior in their original homelands. What they are usually not told is that some of this behavior was instigated by the Zionists in order to force the Jews to leave those lands for Israel.
Emotions and attitudes can be powerful allies, or handicaps, when it comes to protecting a nation from invasion. The words “racism” and “xenophobia” imply there is something wrong with wishing to protect the ethnic integrity of your own homeland. On the contrary, any nation that lacks these sentiments soon becomes extinct. It’s “progressive” and “liberal” attitudes then become a thing of the past. Women’s rights, children’s rights, animal rights, environmentalism and the rights of sexual minorities all become subordinate to “immigrant’s rights”.