Amira Hass skriver for Ha’aretz. Hun er «radikal», dvs. hun snakker arabisk, forsøker å skildre virkeligheten med palestinske øyne, noe mange israelere ikke orker. Ordene blir kritiske mot Israel, og noen vil sikkert ha vanskeligheter med å ta det, men artiklene har ikke den giftige, fiendtlige tonen som norske og europeiske journalister ofte har.

Tema er München-aktuelle «vengeance» – hevn.

There’s no need for the explicit term «vengeance» to show up in the conversations, but it is in the background, and it is clear that people are very understanding of the atavistic and tribal urge. Those who avenge through suicide bombings, with Qassams or with a knife represent them, because they found a way to express the sense of rage and impotence that everyone feels, both as individuals and collectively.

Presumably, vengeance made Ahmed Kfina murder the easiest victim he found on his way on Sunday: Kinneret Ben Shalom Hajbi, a 58-year-old woman from Petah Tikva. There’s no need for «assessments» by intelligence experts and orientalists of various sorts, to know that he did not act at the behest of others.

The attempt to explain to Israelis that such acts of vengeance are puny compared to the intensity of the Israeli assault on every individual, and against the entire Palestinian community, is doomed to failure. On a daily basis, Israel attacks every Palestinian with systematic variety. The aggregation is lethal, even if the killing of a nine-year-old girl or setting a dog on an elderly woman are not daily occurrences. It’s that aggregation that undermines any attempt to conduct a normal life. It’s being locked up in the West Bank’s enclaves, so that simple routines like going to school, work, or visiting family are impossible. There’s the unceasing expropriation of land for roads and security fences for settlements; the trees uprooted by the army, livelihoods that are cut off daily, and the insult of that; the army’s prohibition, on security grounds, against accessing farm and grazing lands; the break-ins to houses in the middle of the night, which the Israeli public rarely if ever hears about; the hours of waiting at checkpoints; the frightened children; the aimed rifles.

The personal urge for vengeance and the understanding that people have for the avengers intensifies the more it becomes clear that there is no unified Palestinian plan against the occupation, and the more it becomes apparent that the Palestinian organizations and the leadership have failed to lead their people out of Israeli control.

Revenge is the word in the background

By Amira Hass