A slap is a physical act not meant to wound, maim nor kill. It is rather, an act born of frustration, of indignation and a stinging rebuke for unwanted action.
Ahed Tamimi is a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh where villagers have resisted the Israeli occupation.
The Israeli occupying army functions as the military defenders of Jewish settlers in the nearby Jewish village of Halamish. This is a settler village whose residents steal the Nabi Saleh villagers' water, and illegally confiscate their farm land to expand the settlement.
I was introduced to the area in 1977 when Palestinian leaders encouraged a group of foreign journalists with whom I was traveling, to visit an abandoned "Tegart Fort," one of a series of military installations placed on strategic hills, first by the British during the Mandate period and later used as police outposts by Jordan.
The Tegart fort above the village of Nabi Saleh had been empty until Israeli Prime Minister Begin authorized six outposts of Gush Emunim Orthodox Jewish families to move into occupied Palestinian land.
Gush Emunim translates from Hebrew to English as "bloc of the faithful."
The fort overlooking Nabi Saleh later became the Jewish Orthodox settlement of Halamish. It was the most recent of the six outposts authorized by Prime Minister Begin. So we decided to drive north to visit with the Gush Emunim Jewish settlers living comfortably and secure on a hill above the village of Nabi Saleh.
What we saw was that the IDF had established a tented military outpost within sight of the fort to "protect" the settlers. The obvious plan was for the families to be joined by other Jewish families in a future Jewish settlement (Halamish).
I discussed this 1977 visit to the future Halamish in a posting for Wall Writing s on April 3, 2010, which I called "Nabi Saleh Has Endured Land Confiscation Since 1977."
In one of the rooms I found an entire family recently arrived from Chicago. The mother had been born in Israel and then moved to Chicago. Now she was back, this time in the West Bank, land she believed was given by God to the Jewish people.
On that day in 1977 when we went to the Tegert Fort, we saw Jewish settlers occupying Palestine land by living in an abandoned Jordanian police post. We also saw the IDF standing guard.
It was on that day that we saw a carefully planned future for Israel's invading settlers living under Israeli army protection. That isolated outpost appeared harmless enough to us in 1977.
Now, flash forward to this new year of 2018. The IDF continues with its "protection" of Jewish settlements which are anything but "harmless." The settlements are an established movement through which Israel plans to totally control Palestine.
What a small group of foreign journalists failed to grasp in 1977, was a dark future which Palestinians suspected and feared.
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