Palestine/Israel News and Information
The Other Israel-Billboard April 16, 2005 – Between summit and excavation drill
—The week that was, summits, protests & information about imprisoned activists
—An interview with Jonathan Pollak, recovering from his headwound, by Pat O’Connor for ISM
—Protestors prevent trucks from unloading garbage in West Bank dump
—Demolition threats in Lud (Lydda) – Ta’ayush mobilizing solidarity
—A year after release from prison, Vanunu still punished for nuclear whistleblowing
—A Palestinian prison-state? Jeff Halper in The Boston Globe
—To Call a Spade – Meir Margalit
—Is Abbas on the verge of collapsing? By Ghassan Andoni
—Who will investigate? Gush Shalom in an ad in Ha’aretz
—A night at Budrus – by Adar Grayevsky
—The toll to Palestinian daily life of the ongoing occupation, PCHR week report
—Behind the smoke screen of the Gaza pullout – Tanya Reinhart in Yediot Aharonot
—Why talk to the Israelis? – by Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz, April 11
—The borders were marked in Texas – says Ha’aretz editorial, April 14
—No one to talk to (again) – by Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz, April 15
—Who has the time to hear of hunger in the Gaza Strip? Akiva Eldar, April 15
—The Eyes that See All – Chen Kotas-Bar’s “Breaking the Silence” series, Ma’ariv 12 April
—Israeli, Palestinian mayors meet for “civilian truce”
The week that was, summits, protests & information about imprisoned activists
With the Gaza disengagement date drawing closer peace activists put aside their doubts as to whether settlements will really be removed – rather prepare for the day after. Rumours that after the Gaza disengagement there may follow a disengagement-2 should not put sand in anybody’s eyes: only when there is enough determination from enough directions is there a chance that the disengagement which seems now imminent will not be turned into an excuse to sit for many years on the laurels while settlements spread further in the West Bank. In this sense it may be a hopeful sign that Sharon and Bush in Texas hid behind their smiles some points of disagreement.
Right now that other rapidly spreading growth, the separation wall, threatens to split the village of Jabal Mukabber (East Jerusalem), with the Sheikh Sa‚ed neighborhood being cut off. Over 1,000 Israelis petitioned the authorities to prevent splitting the village. The residents say that if Israel insists on surrounding Jerusalem with a wall, at least all of the villagers should be on the same side. (Peace Now, contact Hillel Bardin firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two more homes were razed by Caterpillar excavation drills in the West Bank village of Anata, just hours before the start of the international Caterpillar boycott campaign – and they won’t be the last ones. This information was produced by ICAHD email@example.com, and spread further by Gush Shalom firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on imprisoned COs – by New Profile, April 12
Yahel held in limbo, Eyal transfered to military prison-6, Misha was already there but Alex still in prison-4; how you can send them letters.
For updates about Tali Fahima (and how to support her)
Protestors prevent trucks from unloading garbage in West Bank dump
By Arnon Regular and David Ratner, Haaretz April 11
Haaretz revealed last week that Israel has decided to transfer garbage beyond the Green Line and dump it in the West Bank for the first time since 1967. The dump was in its final stages of construction. [But Monday, some 200 Israeli and Palestinian] protestors activists, members of the Anarchists Against the Fence movement, Green movements, as well as Palestinians from the West Bank, arrived at the dump to prevent the trucks from unloading garbage in the site.
Demolition threats in Lud (Lydda) – Ta’ayush mobilizing solidarity
The protest tent is going strong. Every night guests drop by from near and far. For some this is a first encounter with the blatant inequity in planning for Arabs, as compared to Jews. Every night, some visitors spend the night, in case the bulldozers show up at dawn.
A year after release from prison, Vanunu still punished for nuclear whistleblowing
– campaign against prolongation of the restrictions on his freedom of speech & movement –
A two-week campaign started with Israeli and international supporters accompaniying Mordechai Vanunu to the Magistrates’ Court in Jerusalem on April 12, for a hearing on charges of violating the restrictions. Signs in Hebrew and English read: Free Vanunu, Close Dimona Reactor; Restrict [security boss] Horev, Free Vanunu.
An activist from Hiroshima, Japan told the media: “The people of Hiroshima know very well, what nuclear weapons are. There can never be true peace with nuclear weapons. That is why I am here.” And Israeli activist Ofra Ben-Artzi: “I am the mother of draft refuser Jonathan Ben-Artzi, who is a pacifist and lead our whole family to pacifism. I know how the system treats people who refuse to be part of the machine, and that is why I’m here to support Vanunu”.
The authorities by prosecuting him are making a mistake as it confirms Vanunu’s information on Israel’s nuclear capacity (Dan Izenberg quoting Vanunu, Jerusalem Post, April 12)
Read also the very touching hommage to Vanunu by poet/activist Mary La Rosa http://www.geocities.com/toi_billboard/vanunu_poem.htm
For more information on Mordechai Vanunu and the campaign against the restrictions, see: www.vanunu.co.uk>www.vanunu.co.uk
A Palestinian prison-state? Jeff Halper in The Boston Globe
Viability, a term found in the road map, is not a secondary issue. After almost four decades of deliberate Israeli de-development of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the Palestinians are left today with scorched earth. No functioning economy (the Palestinians, 70 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, are being kept alive by international relief agencies); no agriculture (since 1967 Israel has uprooted or cut down a million olive and fruit trees); no homes for the young generation (Israel has demolished 12,000 Palestinian homes since the occupation began, and refuses to issue permits to build new ones).
To Call a Spade – Meir Margalit
Translated from Hebrew by Leora Gal
Attorney Talia Sasson missed the point. It isn`t a question of sound administration; it is a matter of Jewish racism which draws on religious fundamentalism and right-wing nationalism, the two basic elements in any fascist regime. The settlers bear the flag of nationalist ideology that include typical fascist content; the governmental mechanisms that support the settlers, the military, the government and the agencies, have become the servants of that ideology. As long as the state does not shake off the grip of the extreme right-wing, the process of becoming fascist is unavoidable. The state of Israel is afflicted with cancerous racism; this must be spelled out incessantly as part of the healing process. If we don`t call a spade a spade, if we do not cry out our pain publicly, the public will fail to open its eyes to the extent of the deterioration, and it will not be resisted.
Translation published in Occupation Magazine
Hebrew original in Hagada HaSmalit:
Is Abbas on the verge of collapsing? By Ghassan Andoni
Walking through the thorny passage of running reforms in all directions, Abbas is standing alone. Hamas is increasingly seeking more power; Sharon is pressing for a Palestinian civil war; Mofaz is threatening, and the world is shaking shoulders and turning back.
Who will investigate?
On the eve of Sharon’s Texas visit, three unarmed Palestinian boys were killed by the Israeli army.
In retaliation of the killing, which violated the cease-fire, dozens of mortar shells and Qassam rockets were fired, as expected, at Gush Kativ.
Sharon used this shelling in order to convince President Bush that the Palestinian leadership has collapsed and that Abu Mazen should not be supported. He failed.
Remain the questions: Why were the boys killed? Who is responsible? Who will investigate?
Gush Shalom in an ad in Ha’aretz, April 15
A night at Budrus – by Adar Grayevsky
English translation – TOI-staff.
[An] army officer had visited the house. He had shouted at Ahmad, the 14-year old son of A’ed, and accused him of having participated in pulling down the “Separation Fence”. When Ahmad denied it, the officer said: “Don’t get fresh with me, we have photos of you in action. Get ready, on Saturday we are coming for you!”. So, this was Saturday, and we activists were going to spend the night with Ahmad and his family…
The toll to Palestinian daily life of the ongoing occupation, PCHR week report
When Israelis are attacked by Palestinians it is usually getting into the news. For who wants to know also about the toll to Palestinian daily life of the ongoing occupation, weekly reports are being published by PCHR (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights):
Behind the smoke screen of the Gaza pullout – Tanya Reinhart in Yediot Aharonot
Sharon travelled to the USA as a hero of peace, as if he had already evacuated Gaza and only the follow-up remained to be worked out. What has completely disappeared from the public agenda is what is happening meanwhile in the West Bank.
Why talk to the Israelis? – by Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz, April 11
Coordination between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority with regard to the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from the Gaza Strip and the dismantling of the settlements doesn’t really interest the Palestinians. The government of Israel does want to speak to the PA representatives about the withdrawal arrangements, the fate of the homes and greenhouses, but as far as the Palestinians are concerned, these are matters of procedure, not of essence. What the Palestinians would much more like to talk about is, for example, mapping out the exact borders of the Gaza Strip, the new locations of the border crossings, and of course the Philadelphi route on the Strip’s border with Egypt. But this Sharon prefers to discuss with Egypt – without including the Palestinians.
The borders were marked in Texas – says Ha’aretz editorial, April 14
“It’s doubtful Israel will ever find a friendlier president than Bush, and one more combative toward its enemies. If he drew that line, for his guest Sharon and the world watching them, it means that any campaign to save dozens of settlements and tens of thousands of settlers who are outside that line is doomed from the start.”
No one to talk to (again) – by Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz, April 15
On his way to a meeting with journalists at the airport in the district capital of Waco, Sharon heard bad news from his aides: Israeli television reports about the visit were not good. They emphasized his public debate with Bush, instead of the president’s generous praise for the disengagement plan. Sharon was furious. Why had he bothered to go all the way to Texas, if at home they were reporting a failure?
Who has the time to hear of hunger in the Gaza Strip? Akiva Eldar, April 15
(…) who has the time for unemployment and idleness among the Arabs, or talk of hunger that is driving the Strip youth to acts of despair? This is the hunger that, according to the IDF, pushed the youths into the hands of the arms smugglers, or, according to the Palestinians, enticed them into stealing the cameras positioned on the fence despite fear of the soldiers (according to the story told by the two youths who came through the ordeal by the skin of their teeth). Maybe someone would toss them a few shekels for the cameras.
The Eyes that See All – Chen Kotas-Bar’s “Breaking the Silence” series, Ma’ariv 12 April
‘Sitting in a niche in one of the stinking alleys, waiting with guns cocked for footsteps that might be heard. I run scenarios in my head of what will happen if it’s an armed person, what will happen if it’s just a boy, and what will happen if it’s a man going to get food for his family after long months of curfew.’
Translation by Occupation Magazine: http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=1781
Hebrew original: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART/920/599.html
Israeli, Palestinian mayors meet for “civilian truce”
The two-hour gathering was hosted by Jericho mayor Hassan Saleh, who said “we have both paid a heavy price… good neighbors will not come with occupation, it will not come with checkpoints, it will not come with killing or rockets or bombings.” He stressed that it is time to take a more peaceful path to the Palestinian statehood.
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