Address before the crowed of demonstrators protesting against the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, 9 April 2010
We came early, a group of people, and visited one of the homes here in Sheikh Jarrah . . . at 1 P.M. The owner told us about the long history of abuse by the settlers, the police, and the army that has been going on for years, about how they are being effectively forced out, about how their lives are being made intolerable day and night, that they are being told how to live, harassed incessantly, violently attacked. Then we went out, the same group, about 30 people, and stood quietly with signs protesting what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah, condemning the persistent, planned takeover of this place and other places by settlers, by right-wing elements.
After all, what’s happening here is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s only one example of what has been happening in the Occupied Territories for more than 40 years. I think that we are all beginning to grasp — even those who maybe don’t really want to — how 43 years ago, by turning a blind eye, by actively or passively cooperating, we actually cultivated a kind of carnivorous plant that is slowly devouring us, consuming every good part within us, making the country we live in a place that is not good to live in. Not good not only if you are an Arab citizen of Israel, and certainly not if you are a Palestinian resident of the Territories — but not good either for any Jewish Israeli person who wants to live here, who cherishes some hope to be in a place where human beings are respected as humans beings, where your rights are treated as a given, where humanity, morality, and civil rights are not dirty words. . . .
David Grossman, born in Jerusalem on 25 January 1954, is an Israeli writer. The text above the video is an excerpt from a translation of his speech. Click here for the full text of the translation.