Daniel Day-Lewis and Throwing Stones at Israeli Apartheid

I read this transcript before I left home; the cold facts ran through me like a virus. It is a radio communications exchange by the Israel Defense Forces, Gaza, October 2004. Four days later, crossing into Gaza, I’m still shivering: what the hell is this place we’re going to?

Soldier on guard: “We have identified someone on two legs

100 metres from the outpost.

Soldier in lookout: “A girl about 10.” (By now, soldiers in the outpost are shooting at the girl.)

Soldier in lookout: “She is behind the trench, half a metre away, scared to death. The hits were right next to her, a centimetre away.”

Captain R’s signalman: “We shot at her, yes, she is apparently hit.”

Captain R: “Roger, affirmative. She has just fallen. I and a few other soldiers are moving forward to confirm the kill.”

Soldier at lookout: “Hold her down, hold her down. There’s no need to kill her.”

Captain R (later): “…We carried out the shooting and killed her… I confirmed the kill… [later]… Commanding officer here, anyone moving in the area, even a three-year-old kid, should be killed, over.”

A military inquiry decided that the captain had “not acted unethically”. He still faces criminal charges. Two soldiers who swore they saw him deliberately shoot her in the head, empty his gun’s entire magazine into her inert body, now say they couldn’t see if he deliberately aimed or not; another is sticking to his damning testimony.

Every weighty bag of flour for Abu Saguer’s household must be broken up and lugged across the 200 yards of wasteland. Everything must be carried. We are smoking apple-flavoured shisha in the courtyard after a lunch his wife made of bread, tomatoes, olive oil, olives and yoghurt, all from the small plot left to him. “Take some puffs so you can write,” he says. He speaks with great urgency and my pen lags behind. On November 7, during Ramadan’s month of fasting, a three-tiered perimeter of razor wire was laid, encircling his house. This forced him and his family to use the military access road, walking his children past tanks to get to school. It’s a much longer and more dangerous route. After a week of this he was shot at from the watchtower. Abu Saguer gathered his wife and children, then they sat down in the road. All afternoon they sat.

“I didn’t care if they crushed us there and then. I wanted a resolution,” he said. Jeeps passed, nothing happened. After dusk they went in to break their fast. The next day a senior officer approached them in the road.

“What’s the problem? Are you on strike? What is it, are you upset?”

“Yes.”

“A lot?”

“A lot, a lot, a lot.”

“Are you upset with us?”

“I’m upset with the whole lot of you.”

“Why?”

“You’re forcing my wife and children to walk in front of tanks and bulldozers — I want a donkey and cart.”

“Big donkey or small donkey?”

“Big, to pull a cart.”

“Impossible.” (Abu Saguer, his eyes twinkling, smoke streaming from his nose and mouth, says: “If they’d said yes, I’d have bought a very big donkey to bite his nose, and donkeys that bite are very inexpensive.”)

“Give me a gate, then.”

“We don’t have gates.”

“I’ll make one.”

He makes a gate from two pieces of wood and a wire grill. They ask him to buy a padlock. He buys one. A soldier supervises as he cuts through the bottom tiers of razor wire (they won’t allow the top one to be cut) and he installs his little gate. “If the gate is left open and anything happens, we will shoot you.”

Sue Mitchell, the MSF psychologist, asks: “What’s it like for you to tell this story?”

“I release what I have in my chest,” he says. “I can’t sleep. I woke this night at 1am. I thought it was sunrise. I woke the kids and told them to go to school. I look around and see that my life has been ruined. I’m like a dry branch in the desert.”

Psychologists have been visiting the family since shortly after the occupation of their house began. Each time, they have to apply for access to Israeli authorities; it’s usually granted three times out of four. Sue, a 41-year-old Australian, has a wonderfully gentle presence. She quietly steers her patients to and fro between the pain of their memories and a recognition and acknowledgment of their dignity, courage, generosity and good humour in the face of this desperation. She encourages them to voice their fears, tell their stories and, particularly with the children, act out their experiences.

15 thoughts on “Daniel Day-Lewis and Throwing Stones at Israeli Apartheid

  1. As Jew I am not allowed to live in PA, Saoedie Arab, and a lot of more country’s.
    In Israel there are judges, doctors, ingenieurs part of the Israelian society.
    An Israely arab has all the same right as Israelian Jews.
    The only difference is that they do not have to go to the army, but the are allowed.
    And some of them do go.

  2. You are not allowed to live in Saudi Arabia, which is one of the worst countries in the world, so that’s a good comparison: Even the horrible Saudis don’t discriminate against people who they have occupied an made to suffer horrors for decades.

    Also, the article is talking about occupied Palestinians, not the Israeli citizens. To Israeli, they’re all in Israel. So basically you kick someone in the face, then complain about their face hitting your foot, then bomb them to pieces.

  3. apartheids staat ahould mean that residents are discriminated on ground of race, religion etc.
    In Israel this is not done.
    The from Jordan freed territories are not part of Israel.
    The laws followed there are the Jordan laws.

    Jews used to live in this territories before Jordan occupied it, in te cencus from 1845 and 1900 the bigges group in Jeruzalem where the Jews.
    So why should they not anymore have the right to live there just because Jordan expelled and killed them for 19 years (1948 – 1967).

  4. Even non citizen Arabs living in “Occupied Territories” are allowed to enter to Israel. Until second Intifada there were no checkpoints and the Arabs enter Israeli freely with vehicles the same way Belgians enter France. The need to stop that arrangement and to put fence and gates is due to only high aggression of Islamic terror of second intifada. Now more than 150,000 PA Arabs coming to work each day inside Israel.

    Saying that Israel is a State of Apartheid is extreme idiocy. That means that Jews haven’t right to defend themselves from ongoing Islamic daily terror. Muslim extremists used to launch daily rockets deliberately targeted at Israel civilians, and people had died. If Mexico to launch even one rocket at Texas I’m sure that US army wouldn’t leave stone un-touched in the area from where the rocket was launched, not matter the near-by civilians. Israel stopped, not once, aerial attacks that found to host civilians inside or near-by at the midst of the attack/ No other army does it.

    Hamas use civilians, mainly kids, as human shield for their terror attackers, knowing well that if Israel will detect it on time they will hold the attack, but if the Israel didn’t see it by their intelligence, than it will cost the dead of the kids, which will enable Hamas to blame Israel as “children murderer”. But the real murderers are Hamas itself.

    Listen to what one of the high ranking Hamas leader has to say on the matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTu-AUE9ycs

  5. Pingback: ISRAEL IS A STATE OF APARTHEID SAYS DANIEL DAY- LEWIS | circusbuoy

  6. Pingback: Are Israeli Jews the most racist people on Earth? - Page 461

  7. IsraeWorst, how dare you blame the Palestinians for rising up against the humiliation of the occupation.. If Palestinians were living in peace and dignity then there would not be a first, a second, and now a third Intifada. The fact is that anyone with a shred of human decency will stand with the Palestinian cause when they learn about what’s really happening on the ground. Which is what is happening with people when visiting “the stolen land of Israel”, and Israelis hate it when these things come out because it defies the system they have put together to prevent the truth from coming out, controlling the media and Hollywood, so even if Daniel Day Lewis dares to ask for an interview with CNN or NBC to share his findings, the Oscar award winner will never get a chance or will get a brief moment then be called and anti-Semite and be damned for life just like what happened to Helen Thomas and others in the past.

    Saying that Hamas is using the Palestinian civilians as human shields was the number 1 excuse by all Israeli officials during the last massacre in Gaza for killing 100’s of children and women, which was denied by the UN analysis. There are still efforts to try to take the Israel PM to criminal court for this.

    No one buys your Zionist propaganda bs anymore..

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