The police were designed to take Black and Palestinian lives, not protect them

The knee that choked George Floyd is part of the same oppressive force that walked away from Ayman Safiah and that pulled the trigger on Iyad Hallak.

Police officers fire tear gas in St.Paul and Minneapolis during protests following the killing of George Floyd, May 28, 2020

Ashraf Ghandour writes in +972, “It has been a week of shocking police misconduct in Israel-Palestine and the United States. For Palestinians, the saga began on May 24 when Ayman Safiah, a gifted Palestinian dancer from Kufr Yassif in northern Israel, met his tragic death in the Mediterranean Sea near Atlit, where he drowned after saving a friend who was swept up by the violent waves.”

“Ayman’s friends, who were with him at the time, immediately called Israeli police to help find him. Yet it took three days to find Ayman’s body. Three days in which the Palestinian community in Haifa and the north had to mobilize to search for him, because the authorities showed little interest in doing so. A helicopter hung over the sea for a mere two hours during three days of searches, while officers on the beach issued fines to Palestinians for taking the search efforts into their own hands.”…

“Ayman’s death blatantly displays who does and does not matter in the eyes of Israeli law enforcement. A country that prides itself on its military capabilities, on its “heroic” missions and intelligence tactics, could not even dedicate 24 hours to intensively find somebody’s loved one. The answer, of course, is that they could — but not if the loved one is Palestinian.”

Young men stand beside an old ship in the Gaza port.

“After all, Israel’s police boats and military divers are not geared to help Palestinians like Ayman. They are used instead to enforce the blockade of the Gaza Strip while harassing Palestinian fishermen in its waters. The helicopter that looked for Ayman for a mere two hours was originally meant to locate Palestinians in the narrow streets of Issawiya in Jerusalem, in order to capture and throw them into prisons on dubious charges with no right to legal counsel. All these institutions — the navy, the police, and the justice system — were designed to take Palestinian lives, not protect them.” (more…)

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