‘What are they thinking?’

REUTERS/Mahfouz Abu Turk

It is 10 am and I am in the office. For a couple of minutes sirens can be heard all over the city of Jerusalem to remember the horrors of the Holocaust. I just read an article in the Haaretz in which Shimon Peres refers to the killing of at least 100 Palestinians in Jenin yesterday as a “massacre”.

An IDF officer is quoted in the same article by saying: “The bulldozers are simply ‘shaving’ the homes and causing terrible destruction. When the world sees the pictures of what we have done there, it will do us immense damage.There is no justification for causing such great destruction.”

Reading this and at the same time listing to the siren makes me cynical, depressed and very sad. Could there be a clearer example of the fact that people obviously have not learned from history?

Do they really not see that they, the victims of that terrible war have become the perpetrators and oppressors of today? That today they control, humiliate, and violate the rights of a whole people? Do they really think this is all necessary for the sake of their security?

Yesterday somebody from a Jewish Dutch magazine asked me why our petition from last week, did not mention the human rights violations of Israeli civilians getting killed in suicide attacks. I answered him although every single civilian who gets killed is one too many, at least they can be evacuated, can get medical treatment, can be buried in dignity, do have access to basic needs like water, food, and medical supplies.

Why is it so difficult for people to understand that there is a real difference in power, that these two sides are not equal? Today on the doors of the Interior Ministry’s office in East Jerusalem can be read that family reunification for Palestinians is completely stopped. Families of ‘terrorists’ will also be excluded from social security and allowances from the National Insurance Institute. At the checkpoints, I see the ‘common’ humiliations and I remember a quote I heard yesterday in a report on television. A Palestinian guy, who was just released said: “Do they really think that we are going to love them more because of these actions?”