I know I have to write about what happened in Malha mall, but where can I find the words? Right in front of Aldo shoes, near the H&M where my daughters hold blouses up and ask, “How does this look on me?” and steps away from Lalushka where they buy pointe shoes and leotards – there was a mob riot. Sports fans from the nearby stadium streamed in shouting. They worked themselves into a frenzy chanting “Death to Arabs.” According to the reports, they attacked three Palestinian women with children eating in the food court!
Bad things happen every day here. Every single day someone is kidnapped from his bed in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers, devastating his wife and children who look on helplessly. Every single day soldiers fire on peaceful protesters, sometimes knocking an eye out, or worse. Every single day soldiers stop young men in the street and frisk them against a wall, shaming them in front of neighbors and making them late for work. And of course there is “nonviolent” violence like revoking people’s residency rights, arbitrarily closing cultural institutions, and the like. It’s sad and scary and infuriating and unacceptable.
But the riot at Malha mall crossed a line. It erased a line! It’s a line that Israel tries to maintain to delude us into thinking that if we behave, everything will be fine, and that only “bad” people are at risk. No! Racism is an attack on all human beings.
PLEASE watch the video of the riot and read the short story and click on the links at this post of Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-emerges-israeli-mob-shouting-death-arabs-attacked-palestinians-jerusalem#comment-4006. Watch it from beginning to end. Keep watching when it’s upsetting, and when you think it couldn’t possibly go on. Keep watching.
Imagine that this happened at the mall where your kids hang out, or on the bus that your kids take to school, or at a restaurant that you frequent as a family. Imagine the hatred was aimed at you. Imagine that mall security didn’t intervene. Imagine that your local police decided not to arrest anyone. Would you feel safe?