The tragic death of a young woman, one that should have been investigated properly, in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday February 7th has ended showing more light on Israeli racism and official Apartheid. What exactly happened to her has remained more clouded.
19-year-old Ori Ansbacher from the illegal Israeli colony of Tekoa near the village of Taqqou / Tekoa / Tuqu in the Bethlehem district of the occupied West Bank was found dead, her body naked, in a forest in East Jerusalem near the threatened West Bank village of al-Walaja. Ansbacher had been stabbed ‘multiple times’.
29-year-old Arafat Irfayia was arrested by notorious Israeli internal secret service Shin Bet in al-Bireh on the occupied West Bank on Saturday February 9th and was immediately accused of killing her. In non- racist law system there would be investigation, charges and trial and if found guilty, conviction. Under Israel’s Apartheid rule that is not the case. Irfayia is very likely to be tortured, so any ‘confession’ will be under a cloud of suspicion.
Immediately after Irfayia’s arrest Israeli occupation took measurements of his home for its destruction – a collective punishment that usually takes place before a trial has ended, or even began; Irfayia became guilty in the eyes of Israel’s regime the moment he was arrested because he is Palestinian.
Whether he is really guilty and how strong the evidence (material evidence and former criminal record have been hinted at) is, doesn’t matter. According to Israeli authorities “no confession is necessary”.
The possibility that he could be innocent and a real killer still free doesn’t exist for Israel – or parts of the Israeli majority, hundreds of which demonstrated in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square later on Saturday, with one of them demanding that ‘Israel need to deport the Palestinians to Syria, or hang them in Rabin Square’.
If Irfayia is guilty, question would be what was the motivation? Criminal or political? In this case too, the end result will not be based on facts but political convenience: It will almost certainly be treated as terrorism, because it will fit the needs of Israeli occupation, it will make the victim a martyr the illegal settler movement wants for its own purposes and if Irfayia is guilty, he himself is likely to claim political motive to justify the homicide.
Prime minister Netanyahu, president Rivlin and Yisrael Beitenu’s Avigdor Lieberman, former minister, all have already used Ansbacher’s death for political goals, with Lieberman using her fate to push for death penalty for occupied Palestinians, claiming that Ansbacher was ‘killed only because she was a Jew’.
RACISM, GENDER AND SEXUALITY
The death of Ansbacher and reaction to it reminds us of the Jim Crow in the United States, where too the violation of a white woman or a mere claim of it by an African-American man left no chance for the accused to be found not guilty in a trial – if he survived as long and was not lynched. Any real, proper criminal investigation is impossible in such a situation.
The attempted rape of a white woman by a black man used to excuse the Klu Klux Klan and the lynching of black men in D. W. Griffith(1875-1948) notorious “The Birth of a Nation”(1915), so liked by then president Woodrow Wilson(1856-1924) that he had it shown in the White House. An official seal for the idea that a black man who is seen threatening the chastity of a white woman must be killed immediately – or any black male, as all black men are collectively guilty in the eyes of white men like Liam Neeson, just like the demonstrator in Rabin Square saw all Palestinians guilty for the alleged crime of one Palestinian.
At the heart of racism like in Jim Crow and Israeli Apartheid is often sexuality and Patriarchy; women are seen as property of their own group and willing or unwilling sexual contact with the oppressed group’s males are seen as a threat to the entire group and its purity. The oppressed group is thus seen in exaggeratedly sexual terms. This is the case with Israel with its ‘anti-miscegenation’ organizations trying to stop romantic affairs and marriages between Jews and Palestinians.
In an effort to ‘protect’ the females of their group, the oppressors claim ‘their’ women and the sexuality of their women as a collective property of the males of their group. The threat from the beastly, sub-human ‘Other’ who needs to be kept at bay with violence is used to construct a cage not only for the oppressed, but also women of the oppressing group also.
HUMAN SHIELD IN LIFE AND DEATH
In the case of Ansbacher’s tragic death Irfayia is already treated as guilty. A trial will be just a formality, his home destroyed perhaps in the coming days. Whether he killed Ansbacher is, for Israeli regime and majority, not the question – how to protect the purity of their women from the beastly Palestinian males is. Truth and justice for the dead victim will be lost because of racism and the occupation.
The ongoing election campaign will only make the Israeli reaction even worse than usual – Ansbacher was buried in the illegal Israeli colony of Tekoa as martyr for the illegal colony movement and extremist politicians and parties, now the mainstream in Israeli politics, will use her death in their election propaganda to compete who will do worse things to Palestinians to keep Jewish women safe – in already brutally occupied land where they are being used as human shields.
In death Ori Ansbacher is already serving and will continue serve the Israeli occupation and the illegal settler movement – and their mostly male leaders. What they won’t ever mention is that without the occupation she would still be alive.
Instead they will point at her grave in an illegal colony and use it to ‘justify’ the occupation and increased illegal colony building activity.
PHOTO: Reshet.tv via 10.tv.