Roof knocking on Lewis – a warning from Israel
– By Duncan Harley
Steeped in history and with a culture ranging back thousands of years. The Isle of Lewis is not far off the size of Gaza.
A PHONECALL AT 3AM … THE KNOCK ON THE ROOF …
– This is the Israeli Defence Force calling to advise you of protective measures designed to ensure your family’s safety. We are warning all citizens in Northern Lewis that they have 10 minutes to leave for safety before we bombard the area which we believe is under the control of the Hamas.
– My children and my grandmother who is ill live in my house …
– You have 9 minutes to abandon the area before we begin to bombard.
– But my mother is sick and needs her porridge …
– You now have 8 minutes to leave.
– What about our children sir …
– You now have 6 minutes to leave. This is a recorded message sent to you by the IDF.
– What is the IDF?
– You now have 3 minutes to leave.
– You now have 1 minute to leave.
We cannot comply …
– CLICK …
– Short sound of screams …
It’s a sad state of affairs when the extreme right are seen as politically correct, or at least that’s how many folk in Europe and the UK feel about the sad state of Israel.
– They bombarded us with rockets.
– Did anyone die?
– Not as yet.
– What did you expect?
– How do you mean?
– These folk have no humanity.
– You are not allowed to say that.
– These folk have no humanity.
– You risk being accused of the crime that cannot be defended against.
– Yep, that’s the one. You are either with us or against us. You choose.
At the risk of arrest, or even having legs broken just over the knee, many yet again call on all fair and right minded folk to desist from buying into the old lie which roughly reads “We were here first and here we are staying, expletive you all, we are the chosen few, plus we are rich. What are you sad f***ers going to do about it, eh?”
At the risk of confusion perhaps, a respected Palestinian writer has abandoned his home in Jerusalem after living there with his family for over 25 years.
A column in Hebrew for a leading Tel Aviv news group made all seem rosy until the right of the promised land clocked onto the fact that Sayed was not quite kosher.
Sayed Kashua writes:
“The lawyer has a flourishing office in West Jerusalem where he has two fellow Arabs jurists working for him: Tariq and Samaah. Tariq also works as a criminal attorney, Samaah works as his secretary. Although Samaah studied law, her diploma from the University of Jordan is not recognized in Israel. Furthermore, the lawyer thought it would be useful to have the daughter of a high ranking Fatah member working for him.
In an effort to sustain his image as a sophisticated Israeli Arab, the lawyer visits a local bookstore every Thursday to buy novels that he read about in the literary supplement of his newspaper. On one evening, he buys a second-hand copy of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata. His wife once asked him about this book, because it was mentioned all the time during her psychology lectures on Freud. Inside he finds a small white note in Arabic in his wife’s handwriting that looks like a love letter. In a blind rage over the presumed betrayal the lawyer decides to hunt down the previous owner of th is now off to live in the US after that few decades of trying to educate the educated folk in the State of Israel about human rights and stuff.”
In the past few decades as a writer, Sayed has made some enemies. After neighbours seemingly threatened his children and following calls by those of a Hebrew persuasion to break his legs, Sayed has abandoned Israel forever as a pariah state and who can blame him?
Many fear Israel. Either because they live next to its boundaries, many because they live in the shadow of those who accuse them of anti-Semitism.
Many hate injustice. But who today in Israel would know the meaning of the word …
Here perhaps is the sale schedule for houses such as Sayed’s.
66 Gaza Court North Africa
We are pleased to offer for sale this traditional partially destroyed dwelling house. The property has great development potential and after extensive modernisation and refurbishment, would make an ideal family home. There are several rooms in the basement that would require upgrading following bomb damage and the killing of the previous inhabitants.
VESTIBULE: Cupboard housing electric meter. Some bomb damage to housing and surrounds.
HALLWAY: Provides access to the downstairs accommodation. Door to rear garden. Some bomb damage to walls and floor. Minimal staining.
LOUNGE: 15’10” x 13’5” approx. Window to front. Broken glass to front elevation. Some bullet holes. No blood stains.
SITTING ROOM: 15’8” x 13’0” approx. Window to front. Minimal bomb damage. Some human remains.
KITCHEN: 14’5” x 6’10” approx. Window to rear. Evidence of bomb damage.
DINING ROOM: 13’0” x 11’2” approx. Window to rear. Broken glass.
BEDROOM: 13’0” x 11’3” approx. Window to rear. Some human remains.
BEDROOM: 22’8 x 10’6” approx. Windows to front and rear. Large cupboard. Damage and burning to rear. Some blood streaks.
BEDROOM: 20’10” x 10’1” approx. Front facing room. A clean room.
BATHROOM: 11’1” x 4’11” approx. Some signs of blood streaks.
DIRECTIONS: From the east end of King David Street and at the first set of traffic lights turn right. Take the first exit off the roundabout on to Constitution Street then left on to Park Street.
Turn right into Gaza avoiding the pools of blood. The area is well served for leisure, recreation and shopping facilities with Tel Aviv Sports Village, Tel Aviv Aquatic Centre and the Beach just off Gaza front located nearby. The city centre and all its amenities are within walking distance and a regular bus service provides transport to many ethnically cleansed areas within and beyond the city centre.
END OF SCHEDULE – ALL HUMAN RIGHTS RESERVED
Roof knocking is the practice of warning inhabitants of a building before it is bombed to give the inhabitants time to flee the attack. The practice has been used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) before attacking buildings that they suspect contain weapons The term “roof knocking” (Hebrew: הקש בגג or “a knock on the roof” has also been used to describe the IDF practice of firing a non-explosive missile at a roof to get people there to leave. However, the practice has been shown to be extremely controversial, as many human rights and news organizations have shown that the ‘roof knocks’ kill families indescrimatly.
Typically the recorded message gives a maximum of 10 minutes warning:
“This is the Israeli Army calling you. Due to the fact that you are about to be attacked we urgently ask that you leave the premises. We can take no responsibility for you and your family safety should you decide not to comply with this warning.” – This is a recorded warning courtesy of the IDF.
Typically, if during the 10 minute warning you are too confused or bloody minded to abandon your house, an Israeli missile kills both you, your wife and your children instantly.
You were after all warned.
The Kreutzer Sonata is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, named after Beethoven’s Opus 47 and recommended to me by an ex-Israeli tank commander its known as – Kreutzer Sonata https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COGcCBJAC6I .
The Tolstoy novella was published in 1889 and promptly censored by the Russian authorities.
© Duncan Harley
Duncan Harley is a freelance feature writer and photographer specialising in local history throughout Scotland and beyond.