Back in the West Bank


Nine years after refusing to serve in the West Bank, a blogger, Noam, relents and says what he thinks has changed, in two parts.

Money grafs, from the second part:

The true cruelty of the Israeli occupation doesn’t lay in it’s murderous nature – because there are far more murderous regimes on earth, let alone in history – but in the way it controls and limits the everyday life of the Palestinians, reducing them to not much more than survival. Forty years of occupation, plus two violent outbursts, resulted in a world  where the very foundations of justice – such as the right to equal treatment by the law – no longer valid. They are replaced by the good (or ill) will of the authority you meet, be it the soldier at the roadblock or the Palestinian official. In those encounters, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t, and whatever the result is, there is almost nowhere to appeal. It is what some philosophers called a “bare existence” or a “bare life”, where man is stripped out of every protection or right the modern society was intended to provide him with.

To survive in this situation, it seemed to me that the Palestinians created a strong sense of community. A few days ago we came across a Palestinian car that was stuck with a flat tire. There wasn’t a car that passes on this road and didn’t stop to offer help. Soon, there were four or five of them standing in line on the side of the road. It wasn’t the first time I saw this king of behavior. It seems that every time a Palestinian got into trouble, everyone around was there for him.

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