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Thus, thou shalt steal

Last week, a human rights activist stopped her car on the roadside in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley. With her cell phone camera, for many minutes she documented a criminal act that took place in plain strong sunlight. At the middle of the day, on a main highway crossing occupied territory, a group of colonists steal the cattle of Palestinian farmers.

The patient video filmed by Neta Ben-Porat shows all those taking part in this event, happening in effective slow-motion: colonists, Palestinians, and the third group of actors in this play: soldiers of the Israeli armed forces. The role of the last group is to enable this robbery to proceed unhampered. Their weapons make sure that Palestinians would not resist.

Video and documentation: Neta Ben-Porat

Thus, the colonists transfer the cows with pushes and goading shouts from the Palestinian truck to the corral carts connected to pickup trucks. These go on their way with the live, stolen property.

It is a quiet play, exposed and relaxed like some obvious routine. Not a moment of deliberation, hesitation, recoil or fear. Even the fact that Neta filmed the happening did not bother the looters.

Shame? Embarrassment? Respect for Jewish laws? Or at least for laws of the occupying state? Not there, not on the colonist road. Not there, far from the eyes of the blind media and the Israeli public that refuses to see. There, in the uncompromising sunlight, the horrible injustice towards occupied people takes place. Look, they do not even resist the robbery of their own cattle. They silently fill their surrendering role opposite the soldiers’ rifles.


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