Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

"Nakba Day" protest did more than stop traffic

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The recent "Nakba Day" protests in Sydney attracted some controversy due to a ruling by NSW Supreme Court Justice Christine Adamson allowing the protesters to block peak-hour traffic in the centre of Sydney's CBD. Adamson drew particular criticism for likening "Nakba Day" – a Palestinian commemoration of the establishment of Israel ("nabka" meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic) – to Australia Day, Christmas Day and ANZAC Day.

That said, something far more sinister took place at the protest. A video (below), posted anonymously on Youtube, depicts various scenes from the protest set to dramatic music. The video shows a number of protesters bearing Hezbollah flags, which are a common occurence at such events, despite their military wing being listed as a terrorist organisation in Australia. While the bulk of the video simply shows a few dozen people stopping traffic as expected, it takes a more concerning turn around the 8 minute mark.

At this point, an off-camera female voice begins reading what is alleged to be a "letter from a Palestinian female prisoner". A transcript is provided below, with the more shocking portions emphasised in bold.

Dear brothers, we are your sisters. Do you not hear our cries? Do you not hear our lamentations? Have the walls of our cells prevented our voices from reaching you? Or have the luxuries of your lives deafened you? Or has the pleasure of this world erased your Ghibtah [positive jealousy/ambition]? Your jealousy for your sisters from your hearts?

We are your sisters, captured in cages like animals, with zookeepers -- the Zionists. Our stomachs have been filled with children of zina [unlawful fornication] from daily rape. Our bodies are paraded naked in front of these animals while they drool over us. Our food is mixed with their faeces and our drink mixed with their urine.

Where are you, oh brothers? Where is your honour? Why have you not liberated us? Why have you not destroyed the walls of this hell we live in? Even if it means we will die with them. Wallahi [I swear to God]! Wallahi that's more honourable to us than living in there. Wallahi death to us is sweeter than being handled by them.


Crowd Members:

Khaybar Khaybar, ya Yahud! ["Khaybar Khaybar, oh Jews!" -- a reference to the Qoranic "Battle of Khaybar" -- where Mohammed conquered a Jewish town called Khaybar after a month-long siege]


Speaker:

No, not 'Khaybar Khaybar ya Yahud'.

By Allah my brothers, on the Day of Judgment, after we complain to God about the injustice we've suffered at the hands of the Zionists we will complain about our brothers who sat idle while their sisters were raped. Do not let any of us give birth to one more child of zina from the descendants of Zion. We would rather have our wombs torn out and fed to the dogs.

We beseech you by Allah to guard your honour and have Gibtah -- jealousy -- for your sisters. We are your sisters and we are calling to you to save us from this terror. May Allah [indistinct] and as-salaam aleikum [peace be upon you].

Despite the speaker's rather half-hearted attempt to curb what was overtly racial villification, there is absolutely no doubt that this "letter" contains severely vitriolic and racially charged sentiments that are inciting racist chants from the crowd.

The attempt to mask the word "Jew" with "Zionist" would be laughable if there were anything remotely funny taking place. Even putting aside the fact that the allegations of Israelis raping Palestinian prisoners are completely unfounded -- such accusations are not even made by the most hostile of the many NGOs for whom criticising Israel is their raison d'etre -- the "descendants of Zion" is clearly not intended to refer to people who choose to identify with a particular ideology.

The "letter" contains the imputation that it is worth killing Palestinian prisoners in order to kill "the descendants of Zion" -- a clear endorsement of terrorist attacks that kill innocent civilians, regardless of who the victims are, so long as some Jews are amongst their number.

Moreover, the word "rape" appears to be employed not to refer to sexual assault, but to the idea that Arabs should not breed with Jews. This is shown by the use of "zina", which is most commonly used to refer to unlawful extramarital fornication, and by such extreme imagery as "we would rather have our wombs torn out and fed to the dogs" than bear the children of Jews. The tone suggests that the speaker is referring more to the coupling of Jewish men and Arab women than to Israeli guards sexually assaulting Palestinian prisoners.

The organisers of these events always claim that their target is Israel's policies and not Jews in general; but time and time again, this claim is belied by what actually takes place. The footage here is a case in point.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

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