Archives for February 2006

An Inhuman Sport

Is there a uniquely Israeli sport? Well, Israelis like soccer and basketball, but until recently I really didn’t understand that there is a uniquely Israeli sport. It is on a par with the US World Series and the European World Cup. Before the event they interview players on both sides. People in the country take sides and root for their team. During the event there is excitement and movement, and of course, the commentary. It is a sport that the TV networks cover with blow by blow descriptions.

Our sport is throwing people out of their homes. Jews, to be sure. Israel certainly couldn’t, wouldn’t even think of doing such brutal things to Arabs. And they do it with such enthusiasm! This past summer, 7000 people were thrown out of their homes. For the 1000 people in Amona today, residents and protestors, there are 6000 police. A recent comment on the action that I am watching at the moment (who ever said I wasn’t a sports enthusiast?) was about the police mounting the roof of one of the homes (the homes are all conveniently numbered, so we can follow the action) and the picture showed the police all taking out their bats and striking people repeatedly. The reporter (most of them root for the police) asked someone on the scene, “Why are the police beating the people on the roof? Weren’t they just sitting there?” The person on the scene said, “Well, yes, they were just sitting there, but this is what the police do in these circumstances” – as if this standard operating procedure was perfectly legal and understandable.

Interim score: In the last hour and a half, three of the nine homes have been destroyed. I’ll bet those rooting for the police are very proud. The injured have been numbered between 40 and 70. Many have been taken away to the hospital. A helicopter is leaving for the hospital now. It’s an exciting scene—fires, horses, water hoses spraying huge amounts of water on the protestors. Police taking rods and smashing in the shutters and windows of the homes where the residents are. Who needs baseball? Who needs soccer? We Israelis really know how to put on a show.

If God cries, he must be crying now. I am.