…or who knows what might have happened to Tina Hannouneh?
This is an interview with Tina Hannouneh, an American of Palestinian origin who was beaten by Israeli border guards, along with her son, at the Israeli-controlled Allenby Bridge border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.
Q: I’m speaking with Tina Hannouneh, an American citizen. Could you tell me about your experience at the Allenby Bridge border crossing?
A: Well, you know what, it was really terrible because as soon as we got in they jumped my son and they wanted to take his iPod and they didn’t even ask, ‘Can you give me this?’ He said to him in Arabic ‘give me this.’ My son, he doesn’t understand any Arabic. And he said ‘no’ and as soon as he said ‘no,’ they started hitting him. He hit him, dropped him on the floor and started punching him.
I started to interfere, I told him ‘you know, he doesn’t speak Arabic. Can you speak to him in English?’ I told my son to give him what he wants. He hit my face, hit my nose, and broke my nose. I fell down, I hit my nose and head, and have stitches, like deep ones on my left eye. I started bleeding. Another guy had his gun in my face, pointed between my eyes, and he said, ‘ if you say one word I will shoot you.’ I just stayed quiet. And it was really terrible. My son was so excited to come over here, and now he is not. He was so disappointed and he didn’t even go to a doctor because he is scared. So I don’t know what to tell you. It’s really awful.
Q: Did the men who assaulted your son identify themselves as officers?
A: No. Not at all. If they did none of this would have happened. If he did my son would have gave it to him. He thought that any guy wanted to take his iPod and he paid for it from his own pocket. He worked hard for it and he’s not going to let anybody take it. If that guy had identified himself as a police officer or security, my son would have given it to him.
Q: He thought it was someone trying to steal the device?
Q: Why do you think that the security guards at Allenby pounced on your son in such an aggressive way? Why did they target him?
A: I really don’t know. I look like an Arab and he’s a young kid. As soon as they heard me speaking English to my son, they came from inside running outside, and they said ‘Arab-American.’ They knew that I’m Arab and my son is American. I think at that time they stopped and they started apologizing and they cleaned up my face.
He was hitting my son real bad. And I was yelling at him until that guy came who said he was going to shoot me if I said one more word. I have dark skin and I look like an Arab, because I was born here in Bethlehem.
Q: You are from Beit Sahour?
Q: Are you Christian?
A: Yes, I am Christian. I have a Christian family. All of us are Christian.
Q: I think many Americans are not aware of the Palestinian Christian population.
A: Yes that’s true. I work in Arizona and I have a lot of people who are surprised to hear that there are Christians in Bethlehem. I tell them that this is the land of Christ and a lot of people are Christian over there. But Most of them, they flee the country because they want to live. They fear for their families, their kids. There are still a lot of them there and they are still suffering.
I find it amazing that a Christian woman was treated this way. I thought the Israelis welcomed the Christians.
That’s just the crazy fundie rapturists who support these gangsters because they think it’ll bring on the Second Coming when the entire Middle East goes up in flames. (What a Great Disappointment they are in for!)
Meanwhile, this woman got the shit beat out of her because she is PALESTINIAN. I’m guessing she’s not a rapturist. And undoubtedly, that’s the wrong kind of Christian.
Lucky for her she’s also an Arab-AMERICAN–otherwise, who knows what might’ve happened to her?