International Solidarity Movement
24 June 2010
A member of the left-wing Knesset party visited Tel Rumeida settlement in Hebron Wednesday, generating a large crowd as walked through the city. He came to speak and was given a tour of the settlements. The group was surrounded by around 10 police, 40 border police, and also at least two vans of secret police (according to Palestinian bystanders these are the same group who shot dead several people on board the Gaza flotilla last month). There were also representatives of Breaking the Silence, and three or four coach-loads of Zionists following the press and party member into the Tel Rumeida settlement. The heavy police presence suggested concern that settlers would attack the visitors.
Local Palestinians and internationals waited at the bottom of the street as he entered the settlement as well as coaches and the soldiers stationed at the checkpoint there. When the tour/demonstration made their way back down the road towards the coaches, Zionists approached the internationals and began shouting at them. One man was accused of drinking Jewish blood because he was drinking a can of Arabic coke. The settlers shouted ‘This is not Palestine, it is not Arab land and you’d better get used to it!’.
One woman screamed into the face of an international that foreign money had gone to buy the Palestinians shopping malls and that Jews could not even build on a tiny scrap of land. The deluded and venomous nature of what they were saying, caused several internationals to break down in tears. The presence of the police and army to step in and defend the Israeli visitors, and their accommodating attitude towards the ‘peaceful protest’ was also a source of distress. Palestinians are accustomed to being shot at and tear gassed in response to their own peaceful demonstrations.