How I dealt with masked men with guns pounding on my door | +972 Magazine – Deja vu of you know who…

Late one night last month I was shaken from my bed by Israeli riot police pounding on the door to our house. At first, I thought the noise was from people in the building fighting over a parking spot again. But when I heard shouting in Hebrew and the neighbor screaming, and when I felt my room shaking from the blows to the door, I realized it was serious — another terrible incursion by black-clad, masked invaders.I leapt out of bed in a panic, opened the door and was faced with around 20 masked riot police, armed with assault rifles and terrifying expressions. I was scared to death. One of them asked me, in Arabic: “What’s your name?” Using my most Ashkenazi accent, I responded: “My name is Sulimmm… Suliman. Who are you looking for, sir?”He fixed his eyes on me intimidatingly, and asked whether I know someone by the name of Mohammed (the officer mentioned a family name as well, although I’ve forgotten it). I answered cautiously, “Sir, I’m new to the area, I don’t know anyone in the neighborhood or even in the building, and I don’t speak to anyone.” I tried talking without an Arabic accent and emphasized certain consonants, so that he would know I speak Hebrew well.Unfortunately, my answers didn’t convince anyone. The masked cop invited himself into my apartment, pushed me against the wall and glanced toward my room. Two more officers accompanied him and asked me for my ID, as if it weren’t enough that I have to identify myself to them every day at the checkpoint.I showed them my identity card and prayed to God that they’d leave. One of them scrutinized me to make sure that I was indeed the person on the identity card, then gave it back to me. I have no idea how he came to the conclusion that it was me, given that it was the middle of the night, I’d just been asleep, and looked somewhat like The Joker from “The Dark Knight.”Eventually they left and continued on their way to intimidate the neighbors. I’ve actually gotten used to these monthly invasions, but this time it was different. It was so serious that I was afraid I’d lose control and react to the humiliation, which in turn brought the terrifying thought that protesting even a little would lead them to put a bullet in my head and tell the world that I had tried to snatch one of their weapons. Who knows? Anything is possible in this country.

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