'Vice' witnesses Palestinian car thieves in action

"So if you just jacked a car in posh Emek Refaim," Vice writes, "you can usually count on the IDF cuties to wave you through to Kalandia."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 17, 2010 08:07
1 minute read.
Palestinian demonstrates stealing a car for 'Vice'

Palestinian car thief 311. (photo credit: Vice Magazine / MTV Productions)

A recent article on Vice Magazine's blog about an episode of its internet TV show, The Vice Guide to Everything, went into great detail on the ease of moving stolen Israeli cars into the West Bank where they are brought to "chop shops," where from "one Israeli car will come myriad parts to fill tons of illegal Palestinian vehicles."

The article claims that not much sneakiness is required to move a stolen car out of Israel, saying that the IDF's priorities are checking people exiting the West Bank than those entering it. "So if you just jacked a car in posh Emek Refaim," Vice writes, "you can usually count on the IDF cuties to wave you through to Kalandia."

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In this week's episode of the show, cameramen actually accompany a self-described retired car thief as he steals an Israeli car and brings it back to the West Bank. Speaking to the camera while breaking into and hot-wiring a car, the thief says that stealing cars is a way to make money. "Someone who stole our land, why shouldn't we steal his car," he adds.

However, Vice notes, it is not just the replacement parts market that drives Palestinian automobile theft. "It is surprising to find out that at least part of that demand comes from the West Bank’s thriving street racing scene," it says.

The magazine tells of a scene where drag races "are far more common than the stone-throwing skirmishes that make the evening news." The authors assure their readers they can find "spontaneous congregations of young Palestinians, racing anything from Toyotas to supercharged BMWs," outside of Area A where Palestinian police can do nothing to stop the illegal and unsafe, but "good fun" of the races.

Speaking to Palestinians at a drag race near Kalandia, one racer says that Israeli racers are probably better because of their more modern, faster cars. Palestinians, however, are "better drivers, because in our religion, everything dies, so our drivers don't fear to push the gas."


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