Sheikh Jarrah: The unsurprising and the unexpected

The (mostly Israeli) demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah were calling to stop the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land when I saw this dad with two kids, dressed in a particular Haredi way that dates back to 18th century Russia.

I found them very interesting and ran accross the road to take a picture of them, but there were people in the middle and I had to stand there, holding the camera in position to photograph them. But this other guy, with a similar outfit, saw me and yelled at me. He is one of those violent ultraorthodox people who are trying to impose to moderates and seculars their religious life, and who are the spearheads to take over other people’s lands.

I moved the camera just a little to include him in my pic and said in English I didn’t understand what he was saying.

He came straight to me, trying to hit me with his fist. I was not going to let that happen. But someone else yelled at him. He was a videographer working for the police, the guy who documents what the protesters do to gather evidence against them.

The fanatic backed off. The agent looked at me then, letting me know with a gesture that I was in no-man’s land, just where the riot police normally push everybody away with not very kind manners –everybody but the Jewish settlers. I noded and left.

2 responses to “Sheikh Jarrah: The unsurprising and the unexpected

  1. When the police decides to disperse a demonstration they’re not kind to anyone, settlers especially. They are quick to use force and arrest those they deem troublesome. I have heard such very clear accounts from a fair share of people, including policemen and settlers. One account even stated that when faced with religious women demonstrating, the policemen might touch them in inappropriate ways (as a part of pushing them away) with the purpose of shaming them to back off.

  2. I can only say what I saw in the two Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations I’ve witnessed. The settlers can move freely. The demonstrators are pushed and dragged away.

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