Today there were demonstrations and confrontations in a number of locations in the occupied West Bank with three enduring particularly vicious Israeli attacks: Nilin, Bilin, Al-Ma’sara. It is impossible to be in many places at one time so I chose to go to Al-Ma’sara for their weekly demonstration. There, the demonstrators decided to go on the main street and as soon as we got there, the occupation army attacked the peaceful demonstrators. There were no warnings but immediate volley of concussion grenades and tear gas canisters. The soldiers chased people into the village and continued firing. I stayed close to the soldiers and tried to reason with them. In one instance they used a stun grenade to prevent me from talking to soldiers who are mindlessly obeying officers. I could not help think of Nazis and Apartheid soldiers. I persisted in trying to reason with them. As we were leaving, a higher ranking military intelligence officer stopped me and did get my name and coordinates.
Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzeaRzx8kDA
But I wish we were also in Nilin and Bilin where demonstrators actually succeeded in dismantling section of the apartheid barrier in both villages (Israelis call it in Hebrew Geder HaHafrada, segregation barrier). A few hundred demonstrated in Nilin and some injuries were reported (see report below in Arabic). Over a thousand demonstrated in Bilin and the army dispersed them with concussion grenades and tear gas (see misleading report in Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1151032.html ).
We hope you will join us in Beit Sahour on Sunday at Ush Ghrab on the eastern side of the town at 10:30 AM (till 12:30) to protest the Israeli military activities in the area. Here is where the International Solidarity Movement got its birth nearly 10 years ago and where a tax revolt in 1988 showed the way of civil resistance. Here is where people will once again show what it means to stand-up for peace and justice. Prayers will be offered and a peaceful vigil will occur on the spot.
As we always say: silence is complicity.
Quote of the day: Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren “The major concern with J Street [US Jewish Zionist lobby but not AIPAC] was their position on security issues, not the peace process. J Street has now come and supported Congressman [Howard] Berman’s Iran sanction bill; it has condemned the Goldstone report; it has denounced the British court’s decision to try Tzipi Livni for war crimes, which puts J Street much more into the mainstream.”