Thursday, October 15, 2015
A Primer on Avoiding Mis-Identification
I read with deep concern this morning that many Palestinians are "scared of being mistaken for a terrorist".
This fear is mentioned in a New York Times article entitled 'Jerusalem Grows More Grim And Polarized With Clampdown', which anyone accidentally reading the body of the article might discover is actually not about unilateral Israeli oppression of the poor Palestinians, but rather about a direct Israeli reaction to the scores of murderous attacks that have taken place every day for the past couple of weeks.
But I digress.
The fear described in the article; specifically that the Palestinian population is frightened that they may be mistaken for terrorists, and as a result be targeted by Israeli security forces, can't be easily be dismissed.
Let's leave aside the inconvenient fact that in armed conflicts, international law requires that combatants wear uniforms and insignia and civilians not be targeted in attacks. I say leave it aside because it is the terrorists who are ignoring international law and sowing all this potential confusion, not the entire population... so the larger Palestinian community should not be collectively punished (or exposed to additional danger), just because of a few bad actors.
Therefore, as a public service I would like to lay out three simple rules which, if followed, should protect any innocent civilian from attack by Israel's security forces (or legally armed civilians):
Rule # 1. Do not attack anyone.
Rule # 2. Do not hold or brandish a weapon (gun, knife, machete, etc), in a public place unless you are licensed/authorized to do so.
Rule # 3. Do not scream 'Allahu Akbar' in public while doing the things mentioned in Rules # 1 & 2.
I get that sometimes misunderstandings can happen. Family feuds, honor killings, settling of scores between criminals, all might appear to a soldier or policeman to be a terror attack. After all, not everyone is sensitive to the nuances of daily life in the Arab world or the cultural penchant for exuberant physical and religious expression therein.
Therefore, I would suggest that, for the time being anyway, any public gun/knife-play and shouted declarations of religious faith, be confined to areas not frequented by Israelis, tourists or the security forces tasked with protecting them.
This has been a Public Service Bulletin provided by the editorial staff of this site. Don't thank us... we're givers.
Posted by David Bogner on October 15, 2015 | Permalink
Just oozing cynicism today aren't we?
Posted by: Quietusleo | Oct 15, 2015 10:03:31 AM
Hope all those Arabs reposted this amongst their various social media outlets.
Posted by: SaraK | Oct 22, 2015 3:21:12 PM
Thank you. 👍🏼
Posted by: Dina | Nov 1, 2015 4:55:53 AM