Sharon Praised While Wall Construction Continues

Published: Mon 14 Jun 2004 10:47 AM
Wall construction in high gear - while world praises Sharon
GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 -
International release, Tel-Aviv June 12
[] Azawiya joint struggle against the Wall Palestinian farmers, Israelis, Internationals + link to video footage + request for alerting media & politicians blinded by Sharon's Gaza Plan
[] HAWK IN DOVE'S FEATHERS - Gush' Friday ad [] In short: struggle news, reminders and links
[] Azawiya joint struggle against the Wall Palestinian farmers, Israelis, Internationals + link to video footage + request for alerting media & politicians blinded by Sharon's Gaza Plan
âéøñà áòáøéú úùìç ìôé á÷ùä / Hebrew version at request
June 11 - "What the army used here yesterday was not tear gas. We know what tear gas is, what it feels like. That was something totally different." We are being briefed by A., a middle-aged villager speaking Hebrew in a calm and unemotional way, while standing under the scorching sun in the fields of Zawiya Village, on Friday morning.
"When we were still a long way off from where the bulldozers were working, they started shooting things like this one" (holding up a dark green metal tube with the inscription "Hand and rifle grenade no.400" - in English).
"Black smoke came out. Anyone who breathed it lost consciousness immediately, more than a hundred people. They remained unconscious for nearly 24 hours. One is still unconscious, at Rapidiya Hospital in Nablus. They had high fever and their muscles became rigid. Some needed urgent blood transfusion. Now, is this a way of dispersing a demonstration, or is it chemical warfare?"
"But if they think this will stop us, they should think again!" burst in a younger man standing behind - F., one of the organizers of today's march. "Without our land, what are we? Seven thousand people with no livelihood. Five kilometres it is from here to the Green Line, five kilometres all our fields and olive groves. The fence will come right up the village houses, it will leave us nothing. What will we eat? Better to die on our land, we will not give up!"
While we were talking, more and more villagers were arriving, from Zawiya itself and its neighbours Rafat and Dir Balut - the three of which are bound, once the Fence/Wall is complete, to become an almost completely enclosed enclave. There were also more Israelis and internationals arriving,several dozen in all - the anarchists who had already been here on the previous days, and also members of Gush Shalom and Ta'ayush and the ISM and the IWPS women (the latter who are based in nearby Hares had made the rest of us aware). Some had come all the way in their private cars, dodging the army and police road-blocks. Others had used the settler bus line from Tel-Aviv and then the yellow Palestinian taxis nimbly plying the labyrinth of blocked West Bank roads.
Close to noon, the march set out. At the head an enormous Palestinian national flag was carried, and the youths burst out with "Long live Palestine" and "National Unity - Fatah, Hamas, Popular Front!". Whatever their party affiliation, they were invariably kind and welcoming to the Israelis marching at their side. Boys were going around,offering icicles and firmly refusing payment. An elderly woman in traditional clothes, a megaphone in one hand and gas mask in the other, was directing the chanting. Behind her walked two young Icelanders, who had come from Reykjavik to work as volunteers for the Palestinian Medical Relief Committees.
Many Palestinians had gas masks, as did the international TV crews accompanying the march. Those who did not have them made do with a kind of shallow carton cups with a string to keep them over mouth and nose, or with cloth tied over the face. Tension rose as the march wound though the fields, passing the broken olive trees destroyed in earlier days, and up to the point where yesterday's confrontation took place. And then a feeling of relief - the soldiers and bulldozers had gone away, during the hour before we got to the spot. There remained only a single jeep, observing from a distance. Finished for the weekend or avoiding another confrontation?
Right on the spot from which the soldiers shot yesterday, strewn with empty cartridges, the Palestinian flag went upon the pole. A young man planted a green Islamic flag beside it, getting some frowns from members of other factions. Under the pole, speakers took up the megaphone and made fiery addresses: "Listen, Sharon! Listen, Bush! Zawiya is steadfast! We hold on to our land, to our olive trees!" Then the Friday prayers, thousands of villagers kneeling in unison in the direction of distant Mecca.
The rally and prayer over, the column was about to set out back. But many of the youngsters were not yet done. They ran ahead, to the recently-carved track by which soldiers and bulldozers have come, and started piling rocks along it. Israelis and internationals joined them in shifting and rolling huge rocks, some needing the work of twelve people to move.
"I know this will not stop the bulldozers by itself, but we will sure make life difficult for them every way we can" said a youth.
Video footage of the protests of Thursday and Friday
[Gush Shalom contacted Israeli human rights organizations about the strange gas used Thursday, June 10, in Zawiya village.]
PS: Aside from Zawiya, a major confrontation is developing at A-Ram,the Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem where work on the Wall kicked off with the sudden destruction of a major artery, in complete disregard of the hundreds of thousands who use it every day. And today's radio news announced that in the coming week work is to begin on the Wall section linking the settlement of Ariel to those of Kdumim and Karney Shomron - which would have the effect of both seizing the land of a dozen hitherto unaffected villages and of driving a wedge deep into the West Bank as a whole, so as to preclude creation of a viable Palestinian state.
We would like you to approach whatever media and decision-makers are accessible to you in your environment, making clear that uncritical support for Sharon's "Gaza Disengagement" - such as expressed in this week's G-8 summit(!) - is serving as a smokesceen for massive land-grabbing on the West Bank and violent suppression of protesters.
SAMPLE TEXT for letters - to be used as is, or as inspiration
[feel free to add from the above report and/or from the text of the Gush advertisement which you find below]
Sharon's "Gaza Disengagement Plan" - to be implemented (maybe) more than a year from now - should not blind you for what is at present happening on the ground in the West Bank. Don't be misled by Sharon's confrontation with the extreme right and the rapprochement towards Israel's Labor Party. At least part of Sharon's intention is to let the world look elsewhere while he is fastening the pace of erecting the Wall on the West Bank. This Wall, and especially its route snaking through the West Bank, cutting of enormous bites of additional Palestinian land, is preempting any possibility of a viable Palestinian state, exacerbating the conflict for a long time to come.
We don't provide addresses this time; would like you to find yourself opinion leaders in your environment, but please send at least one copy to the nearest Israeli embassy
[] HAWK IN DOVE'S FEATHERS - Gush' Friday ad
[English after Hebrew]
============== ðõ áðåöåú éåðä
àåìé éôåø÷å ääúðçìåéåú áòæä áòåã ùðä, åàåìé âí ìà . úîåøú äáèçä æåìä æå ÷ðä ìòöîå ùøåï áæéì äæåì úãîéú éåðéú . àáì äùáåò - äåà äâáéø àú ÷öá áðééú äçåîä òì àãîä ôìñèéðéú - äåà ò÷ø îàåú òöé æéú ðåñôéí - äåà äøñ àú äëáéù äøàùé î÷ìðãéä ìà-øàí äîùøú îàåú àìôéí - äåà ðåúï ìáðåú áúéí çãùéí áäúðçìåéåú ìà çùåá îä ùøåï îáèéç. çùåá àê åø÷ îä äåà òåùä 03-5221732 òæøå ìðå áîéîåï äôòåìåú åäîåãòåú áö'÷éí ìâåù ùìåí, ú"ã 3322 úì-àáéá 61033 . ÷áìú îéãò ùåèó : A HAWK IN DOVE'S FEATHERS
Perhaps the settlements in the Gaza Strip will be dismantled in a year. And perhaps not.
So cheap it is for Sharon to buy himself a dovish image.
But this week:
- He stepped up the building of the wall on Palestinian farm land,
- He uprooted many more olive trees,
- He destroyed the main road from Qalandia to A-Ram which serves hundreds of thousands,
- He let the settlers build new houses.
Don't listen to what Sharon promises - look at what he does!
Gush Shalom, Donations to help us advertise P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033
[] In short: struggle news, reminders and links
# Former US Marine and initiator of the Human Shield Action to Iraq, Ken O'Keefe, was jailed Thursday attempting to enter the Gaza Strip via the beach Israeli lawyers Yael Barda and Gabi Laski are making efforts to get injunction against his deportation
More information
# Enormous interest in reenactment trial of The Five
On Thursday evening, the Tzavta Hall in central Tel-Aviv was packed to the point of bursting where was reenacted the court martial of Haggai Matar, Matan Kaminer, Shimri Tzameret, Adam Maor and Noam Bahat - the five young men imprisoned for refusing to enlist . The actors on the stage played the moving testimonies of the accused and their penetrating condemnation of the occupation; the ranting of the prosecutor and the defence lawyer's appeal to constitutional and moral arguments; and finally, the harsh sentence - a year behind bars. (Misha Hadar, the young actor playing Noam Bahat, is himself a refuser bound for a prison term in the near future).
# Arna's Children June schedule at:
# Truth against Truth - opposite views on the history of the conflict in 101 steps:
Hebrew / òáøéú
# Boycott List of Settlement Products (newly updated) Hebrew / òáøéú
# Eye-witness reports from the Occupied Territories: (Israeli women monitoring the checkpoints) (internationals throughout OT)
-- (òáøéú/Hebrew) (English)

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