The Jerusalem Post story showed photographer Oded Balilty celebrating his Pulitzer Prize win by gleefully opening up a bottle of champagne. The Jerusalem Post, which in the post-Lord Black era, has come to serve as an uncritical mouthpiece for the Kadima party and which repeatedly published lies and distortions about the police riot at Amona, focuses on Balilty's achievement.
There is no doubt that Balilty took some extraordinary and important photographs at Amona. Many of the photos I have showcased in the Amona section of this blog come from him. But there is no understanding either from him that the photo is not an occasion for celebration, but for mourning. That is entirely absent in the cheerful tone of the Jpost article.
Nili herself, the 15 year old girl in the photo states, "In the press they wrote proudly of this award to the photographer that allegedly has brought honor to Israel. But this is not honor, the picture is an embarrassment to the nation of Israel. Instead of defending the people and land of Israel, security forces destroy Jewish homes. A picture like this one is a mark of disgrace for the state of Israel and is nothing to be proud of.
"When the Jewish state, which in the name of morals tries to preserve "the cleanliness of weapons" so as not to damage innocents when the discussion deals with our enemies, gives out iron bludgeons to thousands of policemen and orders them to beat and to inflict severe injuries on adolescents - adolescents! We are not enemies, we are altogether only adolescents. And the result - hundreds of injured and tens crippled, some for life. This is not honor, this is a disgrace!
"When the State of Israel acts against the Land of Israel, and its soldiers and policemen are sent on missions of violence and destruction and expulsion of Jewish life from Gush Katif and northern Shomron and Amona - this is not a badge of honor, but rather a badge of shame.
"When the state Israel does not give Jews the right to build homes in Eretz Yisrael' and destroys houses - sometimes under the pretext that they are illegally built, when they are lawfully built - as now in Hevron - that devise new laws to destroy the right of Jews to live in Erets Yisrael' - this is not honor, this is a disgrace.
Cruelty and violence in Amona did not break us, on the contrary, they tempered us. Policemen in black do not frighten us. They can break to us heads, but they will not break our spirit.
What force exists in these policemen? What power after them?
The force of order, the power of the bludgeons, behind which stands the force of hatred and the power of destruction. Anyone who looks today at the ruins of the houses in Amona - understands that in this operation there was no sense whatever, except destruction and the creation of hatred for itself.
"I saw this long line of policemen and I thought to myself, 'Behind them is one man - Olmert, but behind me is G-d."
Only one Ynet article describes what happened to Nili afterward, but unlike the Arutz Sheva article, does not actually show it.
"Nili's mother, Devorah, described what happened after the snapshot was taken. "What happened afterwards was completely different, and there are pictures documenting that too. The police pulled Nili by the hair and beat her with clubs. It was simply horrifying."
At the actual conference in Amona, Orit Struk stated, "You know Nili to only from the photograph but we know her from many photographs, which were not honored with a Pulltizer Price. But these photographs reflect the assault on the girl immediately after that sequence, when the officers in black decided to punish any opposition to them, even of the symbolic kind. And we also know that she was far from alone. The officers wounded hundreds of adolescents, ten received mutilations, some remain invalids for life. Over 120 complaints have been filed against the policemen, but only four have resulted in criminal case. These numbers speak they themselves for itself and do not require further commentary."
These are the photos Orit Struk mentioned, which are not being shown by any media organization, even though they are decidedly relevant to the case.
Nili made reference to the pictures taken immediately after the Pulitzer-winner, "in which the policemen are 'punishing' me for daring to stand against them. But I have news for them: They did not succeed. What I did in Amona, I am willing, if necessary, to do again."
The name Nili is an acronym of four words. Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker. The hope of Israel is not lost. As long as there are people willing to stand up for what's right, hope is not lost. While Nili may have become immortalized in a single photo, she represents thousands of men and women, who have maintained the struggle for the Torah and the Land of Israel.