All the eyes are on the spectacle – The Other Israel-Billboard


Feb. 6, 2005

 web version & access to billboard archive:

 All the eyes are on the spectacle:
The match between the new Palestinian President who must prove his “impeccability” and the Israeli PM who must let him stumble. The winner takes the territories. Arbiters: Bush and Rice.

 Meanwhile behind the scenes this week, business as usual:

 Chronicle of actions, the attorney general intervention, a report on settlement construction, a correspondence with Downing Street, links to Ha’aretz articles and more.

[] Sunday, the settlers gathered by the tens of thousands in Jerusalem – playing “Ukraina” but failing to attract other than their own committed supporters who were bused in straight from the settlements. Activists of “Courage To Refuse” made a counter vigil under the slogan “Take from them their rifles.” www.seruv.org.il>www.seruv.org.il (Peace now announced a mass anti-anti-rally in Tel-Aviv for Feb. 19.)

[] Tuesday: In the village of Khallet Al-Dar in the Qalqas area of Hebron, West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians with the support of Israeli and international activists obstructed the bulldozers paving the ground for yet another “settlers-only-bypass road”.

The Feb. 1 protest was an effort to plant trees in the location where over 300 trees had been uprooted already. Two Palestinians got injured, one of whom had to be hospitalized. A Canadian activist with the ISM was hit by Israeli soldiers in the head with the butt of a rifle and then punched in the face. The soldiers launched tear gas and sound bombs. Two ISM volunteers from Britain and Canada and five Israelis from the Anarchists against the Wall were arrested and spent some time in the Hebron central police station. Matan Cohen, 16, has been charged with “assaulting a police officer” and is under house arrest until the end of his trial.
Anarchists: Kobi Snitz mailto:snitz@cs.bgu.ac.il
ISM: www.palsolidarity.org

[] Haifa’s Halisa neighborhood – a rare example of Arabs and Jews living together as neighbors. The day before the visit of Germany’s president a group of Jews and Arabs sit in a cold, dripping protest tent working on tactics to delay demolition orders…

 President Koehler may have had with him the letter sent to him by the Berlin Jewish peace group “Juedische Stimme fuer gerechten Frieden in Nahost (EJJP Deutschland)” telling him about this struggle against the demolition of mostly Arab-owned houses.

Whether or not there was a relation: on the very day of the visit the demolition orders were canceled (for the time being), and the demonstration planned for that day turned into a celebration.

 Ha’aretz article of the day before:

Halisa campaign: Haggai Katriel mailto:haggaika@yahoo.com

 [] A very bad decision overturned, and also Sharansky’s pedestal.

 Israel’s Attorney General Menny Mazuz this week intervened, overturning the governmental land theft in East Jerusalem – as exposed by Ha’aretz’ Meron Rappaport. Mazuz said he couldn’t defend internationally the taking from the cupboard of the darkest law in Israel’s history, the “absentee-property law applied to absentee-presentees”. The ministerial committee’s decision to embark on mass confiscation of East Jerusalem lands (with no compensation) had been a secret one. The chair of that committee was none other than Nathan Sharansky, who loudly protested the Mazuz accusations. After taking part in a dirty decision the “Champion of Democracy” as which Sharansky poses could at least have lowered his head in shame.

 See the article “Ministers defend right to confiscate East Jerusalem property”  by Gideon Alon and Zvi Zrahiya  www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/535735.html

See also Gush Shalom’s weekly statement www.gush-shalom.org/english/index.html

 [] A Jan, 18 press release of the Right to Education Campaign is still relevant as it is a rare instance of focussing on a forgotten group – the hundreds of Palestinian students imprisoned without trial.

Student Prisoners in Administrative Detention on Strike

 Over 800 Palestinian administrative detainees, held in Israeli military detention centers, are on strike against the illegality of prolonged detentions without charge or trial.

 The strike against the Israeli Occupation’s military legal system began 1 month ago, on 19 December 2004. The striking prisoners are refusing to take part in any military court proceedings, until the Israeli military authorities meet their demand that prisoners should be either charged or released after the maximum 6 month period of ‘administrative detention’ has expired.

 read full text:

[] The new ‘Peace Now Settlements Watch’ report is out:

Construction in the Settlements – 2004

by Dror Etkes

 “In 21 settlements construction is in process outside the construction line. This despite of Dov Weisglass’ letter to Condoleezza Rice dated April 14, 2004, In which Israel agreed to restrict settlement growth to existing construction line.”

for more, including detailed statistics and air photos:

[] Optimism is one thing, bulldozers another

Amira Hass: “The problem arises when optimism acts as an anesthetic, and when the optimists make do with talk and take no interest in bulldozers.”

full text

[] In case you thought that only “the lunatic fringe” sees it this way

Jerusalem-based activist Angela Godfried sent a letter to Blair; following is part of the answer she got:

“Settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. Phase One of the Quartet Roadmap calls on Israel to freeze all settlement expansion, including “natural growth”, and to dismantle settlement outposts erected since Prime Minister Sharon’s election in March 2001. Further action on settlements will be required in subsequent phases of the Roadmap. Settlement activity, including road building, is breaking up Palestinian territorial contiguity throughout the West Bank. The continuing process of establishing settlements is encircling East Jerusalem. It makes it more and more difficult for there to be a viable and secure Palestinian State.”

full text of the correspondence


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