One child’s detention in Hebron embodies the sickness of an entire regime

It takes a racist regime to produce images like this. Nothing less.

I urge readers to look closely at the pictures and videos posted today by Mairav Zonszein, which show the detention of a five-year-old in Hebron. As Mairav correctly points out, the whole process is very calm. Very routine.

I’d add one more adjective: very racist.

Look at those smug soldiers, not even flinching once or thinking twice about detaining a five-year-old. As if there’s no other way for the most powerful army in the region to handle a child who threw a stone.

Look at them, surrounding him, four or five soldiers armed to their teeth with shiny black assault weapons, his parents nowhere in sight. (Here’s where the hasbara folks go: “Well what kind of parents let a kid bla bla bla bla?” Go on, do it. Let’s just get it out of the way early.)

One of my kids is the exact same age. I’m trying to think what this kind of event would do to her, and I shudder. (Hasbara: “Ami, it wouldn’t happen because you’re more responsible than typical Palestinian parents.” Shut up, racists – who aren’t under occupation, by the way.)

It takes a racist regime to produce specimens of masculinity such as these – to not care one bit about the huge stress this child is in. One has to be in an extreme state of apathy toward that child in order to treat him like that. And apathy like that can only be the product of racism.

The nerve, to put a child so young in an army jeep.

To handcuff and blindfold his father, right in front of his eyes.

And, to make things worse, it takes a racist lieutenant colonel to reprimand his soldiers for doing that to the father and his son.

But not because of the mental damage to the child! Oh no!

Not because their actions were illegal to begin with (only children 12 and above can be detained in the West Bank according to military law)! God forbid, no!

No, this officer was angry (are you sitting down?) because they were doing “damage to hasbara!” Yup. He was angry they didn’t pay attention that there were cameras documenting the whole detention.

Stones can be dangerous, yes. Even with the amazing velocity a five-year-old’s arm can conjure up. I’m sure it must have been quite a fastball.

But if this event, a daily occurrence all over the West Bank for 46 years now, doesn’t show you how sick this whole thing is, it’s hopeless.

Totally, utterly hopeless.

Correction:
This article’s headline and text has been corrected to reflect that the child was detained and not arrested.

Related:
WATCH: IDF detains 5-year-old Palestinian in Hebron, blindfolds and handcuffs father
Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel
WATCH: IDF detains Palestinian children and foreign citizen in Hebron
IDF soldiers to West Bank children: ‘We are the army, be careful if we see you’