I’ve posted this truly ugly video because it tells you everything you need to know about the power relations between Israelis and Palestinians – and more about the peace process than you will get from any commentary you read.
Here an off-duty Israeli soldier savagely beats a group of Palestinian workers waiting for a lift by the side of the road, deep in the West Bank (not Israel). He uses his gun to beat them not because he needs the weapon for protection but because it gives him a better way to hurt the Palestinians.
You’ll see the workers trying to reason with him as he attacks one after another. None raises a finger against him, though collectively they could probably overpower him. Most keep their hands deeply in their pockets. The off-duty soldier knows only too well that they will let him beat them; that’s why he’s doing it.
Were anyone to retaliate, one of two things would happen. The soldier or a passing armed settler or another soldier would shoot them dead. Or if they succeeded, the army would hunt them down and all the members of the group, even those not involved in the retaliation, would serve decades in jail.
The soldier was eventually prosecuted only because this video exists, and proves who he is and what he did. He got two months for a prolonged assault that left one victim with eight teeth missing. The Israeli probably ended up serving a few days.
When you watch this, think of that soldier as Netanyahu and the beaten Palestinians – well, not exactly as Abbas – but as the Palestinian people about to get abused yet again.