Ilana Hammerman writes in Haaretz:
No more occupation? No, that slogan has become hollow. Write it in your opinion pieces, scream it at demonstrations.
Apartheid? Yes, that’s the right term to define the situation in the West Bank. But quashing this apartheid is a far cry because the military and political-power balance binds the hands of those who want to destroy it, both here and around the world.
The civil struggle of the minority we’ve become in Israeli Jewish society could become more focused if we directed it against the ethnic cleansing that has been carried out for years in the Jordan Valley. An ethnic cleansing generated by Jews. In my eyes, the eyes of a Jew, this is still inconceivable.
Once again, this is what it looked like a few days ago. A flock was grazing the yellow grass and thorns, a month-old donkey foal suckled its mother’s teats. The Bedouin shepherd and his 10-year-old son gathered broken twigs from dry trees and lit a small fire to make tea. Sweet tea for them and us – two Israeli women who came to accompany them, one of us a believing Jew, the other secular. Without that Jewish escort, the shepherds there and in many other places in the Jordan Valley don’t go out to the pasture.
At the edge of the plot where the small herd was grazing, fields stretch out into the distance. Under the army’s sponsorship, a settlement outpost is cultivating a farm and bestowing, under the education system’s patronage, the army’s nationalist-racist values to at-risk youth. From there, as it did the other day and the day before, an army jeep showed up. Four male soldiers and one female soldier got out, young, healthy and good-looking. The children of us all. They marched armed and resolute toward our small group. Their leader came up to the shepherd and shouted: “Get up!”