Four Israelis arrested in Susya for painting over anti-Arab graffiti

Sunday, July 8 2012|Mairav Zonszein +972

Israeli activists went to the Palestinian village to replace the vandalism committed by settlers with a message of nonviolence and solidarity – and were subsequently arrested for damaging property.


 While tens of thousands of people were demonstrating last night (Saturday) in Tel Aviv for the mandatory military enlistment of all Israeli citizens, four other citizens were sitting in jail after being arrested for painting over hate speech graffitied on a rock by settlers in Susya and proceeding to write “Stop the Violence” and “Free Susya” next to it.

The charge: damage to property. The four were brought Sunday morning before a Jerusalem judge, who ruled that they indeed damaged property and are prohibited from entering the entire Hebron area for the next 30 days. They plan to appeal the decision.

Last week, on July 2, just a few days after a large protest in solidarity with Susya, which is under threat of destruction by Israel, graffiti was found on a rock reading: “Price Tag” and “Avenge the Arabs!”

‘Price Tag’ graffiti in Susya (photo: Israeli Ta’ayush activist)

Another one says: “Price tag forever” and “Greetings from the goat!” referring to a goat that settlers stole from Palestinian residents a few days ago.

‘Price Tag’ graffiti in Susya (photo: Israeli Ta’ayush activist)

Ta’ayush activists went to Susya on Saturday to show solidarity with the residents and protest the hateful graffiti. No legal action was taken against the perpetrators.

In the video below shot by activist and filmmaker Nissim Mossek, you can see an Israeli Ta’ayush activist painting over the graffiti with black spray-paint, and then get taken away by military police.  Watch as he hands them over his I.D. card more than willingly, and tells the police officer plainly: “I very much want you to arrest me for the fact that I wiped out this graffiti,” then turns to the other officer who is filming and says: “You documented the whole thing, right, before I erased as well?” and then turns back to the officer arresting him and says: “I made sure this was documented, and I would be very pleased for you to detain me for this.”

Afterwards, three more activists were arrested after spraying “Stop the Violence” and “Free Susya” on a nearby rock (two are caught on this film). When the last one of them is arrested, he says to the officers, “I’m doing this to prove that when settlers come in the middle of the night and graffiti ‘Death to Arabs’ you do nothing. So I am here to prove whose side you are on. I am proof.”