LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK AND JOE QUINN
Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out - until now.
And during this time I am discovering something amazing. The more I go in looking for occupation, the more I find money. And I don't understand, so I am going deeper and deeper and then in 2010 I am getting into a very interesting story about how the Israeli government and Israeli army was selling a new tear gas canister to the police and government of Singapore people. They are buying tear canisters to fight their own protests in their country. And during this time I am looking and I am saying, "Israel is selling tear gas canisters?!"He goes on to say how an interaction with a Maryland police officer gives him more perspective. When Eran says he is from Israel, the police officer replies:
So I am going into the website of this minister of security in Israel and I am finding out that they are saying that, "Israel just concluded a deal with the Singapore government of selling the best tear gas canister ever produced and tried by the Israeli army". And it mentioned there a few lines later that this tear gas canister was proven to be "the deadliest ever".
And I am going back and I am saying, "Wait... Tried the tear gas canister? Who would agree to try...?"
And then I understand. They are trying their weapons every day. Not in labs, down there in the field. I was trying their weapons in Biilin, in Ni'lin, in Hebron, in East Jerusalem [and other Palestinian communities], we are trying the weapons every day, and then we are selling them outside. And I can't believe the things that I am seeing, so I am going deeper and deeper and then I realized... You remember these guys, the young guys who threw stones at the beginning of the protests? They were not Palestinians. They were actually an undercover unit of the Israeli army, looking like me, Arab-Jews, disguised as Palestinians inside these villages starting a riot, starting something, so that the Israeli army will have a good excuse to start shooting the place up and testing the weapons!
And the more I go deeper the more I can't understand. Is this for real? How long is this going for? How much money are we making? I am going in and in and then I discovered. In the last 30-40 years - and this is a very, very partial list - this is the list of the dictatorships and regimes that the Israeli government, the Israeli army, is trading weapons with: trading knowledge with, trading technology or training their soldiers by themselves in those countries. The last 40 years we were involved in the worst dictatorships and regimes in the world. And we are making a killing out of it. Literally. We are making so much money out of it.
And then I understand. This is not an occupation. It's a laboratory. Sometimes as a soldier I would infuse poison to Palestinians. Sometimes as a protestor I would run away with Palestinians and be a lab rat. But all this time, we are trying weapons out and selling them out there. It's the source of everything. It's not the religion, it's not the land, there's a lot, a lot of money, and I understand that I am standing in the wrong place. And I am moving to New York City, from Jerusalem, it's a big change. And for the last 3 years in NYC I am researching the relationship between our army and your [U.S.] army. Our government and your government and all the money that flows in the middle.
"Oh men, you guys are bad asses, you know how to silence the one that opposes you, you know how to come down, nobody disobeys you, you guys are the best!"
And I am saying, "I don't think you know a lot about the Israeli army, so, you know, never mind..."
He says, "Oh no no, I just came back from there."
I say, "What? As a tourist?"
He says, "No, with the Maryland police, we just came back from training with your military and your police.
I say, "What?"
He says, "You know all of our police force here in the U.S. is going few weeks to Israel and train with your army and your police."
Then before I leave his [police officer] car I am asking, "Is there a chance you know Mr Efrati? My father, the head of the investigation of Jerusalem police?"
And the guy takes out his cell phone and flips his pictures, and he got a picture with my dad, in the middle of the night, in Washington DC. and I am just blown away, I am going out of the car and I am calling my dad in Jerusalem and I am saying "Dad, what the hell?!" And my dad is telling me, "Oh come on Eran, don't be naive! You know when NYPD got an office in Tel Aviv, right? You know we got an office in NYC, right? Come on, we are working together to protect you."
And then I understand. It wasn't the first time, but that was my closure.
For years we are doing these kind of lectures, very different kinds of lectures and talking with communities here in the U.S. telling them that all they need to do is take care of their community and it's going to be fine. Every one of us will take care of our community, but you should know that what's going on in Palestine is a humanitarian crisis. And I am going around and I am telling them, I learned something growing up. All of us want to be on the right place at the right time when history is knocking on the door. And history is knocking right now. Really loud in Palestine, and all of you need to be on the right side in this humanitarian case. But if you don't care about Palestinians after these lectures, I don't care. And if you don't care about us Israelis asking for your help to stop the apartheid regime in Israel, I am fine with that also.
But you guys should know: you are next in line. The next one who will die from a tear gas canister, it will be in Denver, it will be in Oakland, in San Francisco... It is happening here already. It's happening to different people, to people of color, to immigrants, it's already happening, you guys are next in line. The next one who will die out of police brutality will be one of your sons, or your daughters, in a protest. Because they are training together: your police training with our army. Our army is training them on how to take care of the "enemy". Because Palestinians are our "enemy". But when they come back, you are their enemy. All this time, when we are taking care of our community - I was taking care of mine, and you were trying to take care of yours - they (the government, the police) are organizing together, globally, to oppress us. We need to start organizing globally to resist them. And that starts in Palestine, right now. Stopping the training there, we'll stop it here. That's why I joined in 2005 the Civil Society Call for the Palestinians for Boycott Divestment and Sanction on the state of Israel, taking it out from the source. Non-violently. Taking the money out of the equation.
How many lives can we save?