With every cruel and unusual punishment meted out against West Bank villagers, Israel is fomenting more and more hate against its own people.
"When Israel was first created, I had a lot of admiration and respect for the Jews; now I want to throw them all into the sea." The choice of phraseology was no accident on the part of the speaker, who wanted to make crystal clear the effects that more than 40 years of Israeli occupation have had on him and his family.
We were sitting in his tent in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir, situated just outside the perimeter fence of the West Bank settlement of Karmel. Thanks to Karmel's proximity, the Bedouins suffer almost daily harassment at the hands of the settlers and their security team, resulting in the vitriolic volte-face performed by the head of the family in terms of his feelings towards Israelis.
The residents of Umm al-Kheir, and several other villages in the area, are prevented from building on their own land, or from grazing their flocks in the pastures nearby, due to the severe restrictions imposed on them by the army and police. In order to protect the ever-expanding settlements, more and more land is annexed under the guise of erecting "security zones", effectively strangling the natural growth of the Palestinian communities, and destroying their livelihoods in one fell swoop.