Left-wing Huffington Post blogger and journalist Yermi Brenner recently published a new article that has heavily cracked down comments. This post will be the first response to it, because the topic is about "Machsom Watch," a group of women who stand around at checkpoints and wag their fingers at soldiers. Because I wanted to see what they had to say, I watched the main video produced by Brenner, and I ask that you do the same so we can talk about it:
I am not going to lie, this video annoyed me a little. Not because of the "suffering of the Palestinian people" depicted within it. But because when the six minutes were finished, my only reaction was: That's it? That's the best that you have, Mr. Brenner?
I'm sorry if I am coming off as "right wing" (whatever that means) but considering that the occupation is so often labeled as causing Palestinian humiliation, debasement and suffering, which in turn provokes Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, I was expecting to see a little more...suffering. A bunch of Palestinians stand up in front of a gate, wait a few minutes, and then cross it. Seriously? That's worth axing children to death over?
And that conversation where one of the activists asks a (rather chunky looking) Palestinian how long he has to wait at the checkpoint, and he says an hour, and she makes a sympathetic sound? What a joke! Does Mr. Brenner seriously expect anyone to bring back the suicide bombers just so Palestinians aren't inconvenienced on their way to work? Because if there is one thing that this video shows us, it's the true nature of the occupation as an inconvenience. Yes, I'm willing to bet that there are Israeli soldiers who get out of line and that there are human rights abuses. I'm not naive. But that being said, if this is the best that Mr. Brenner could get under no time constraints at all, that's not a particularly encouraging sign for him.
Oh, and let's not forget the washing machine. This is the "cruel occupation?" The "hobnailed boot of the Zionists stamping on Palestinian faces?" The unparalleled suffering similar only to the Holocaust, apartheid South Africa, and Jim Crow? That you can't take a freaking washing machine through a checkpoint? I'm not unsympathetic to the man, but don't tell me it's hailing outside when it's only cloudy. If anything, this part of the video hurt his cause.
Naturally, the women being interviewed were incredibly left wing. Just take a look at the part where one is like, "the soldiers do this so the people in Tel Aviv don't feel the effects of the occupation." No, the soldier do this so the people in Tel Aviv don't get blown up or shot to death. But more on that in the next segment, when we talk about this organization more generally.
Here's Mr. Brenner's other video, about the evil evil "apartheid wall:"
Wow. Really? And here I was thinking the wall was a prison around the entire West Bank. Maybe someday it will be, but not today. Just to be safe, maybe the Palestinians should start "resisting" ahead of schedule. Can't be too pro-active you know.
Finally, there is this video which reiterates what the other one said, that the Palestinians have to wait in line for long periods of time before moving on to wherever they are going. Annoying? Probably. Worth murdering people over? Maybe if you're a Huffington Poster.
Update: Elder of Ziyon found a recent news story in which these evil, evil checkpoints caught a Palestinian carrying weapons into Israel. I wonder how many people in Tel Aviv would have "felt the effects of the occupation" if it weren't for the soldiers doing their jobs?