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Hunger Strike against Wall 4 generals & 1 pacifist

Hunger Strike against A-Ram Wall 4 generals & 1 pacifist

action news [] Hunger strike at A-Ram - the destructive construction continues [] How many generals does it take to judge one pacifist? Friday - Ben Artzi appeal [] Wednesday demonstration at Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem

analysis [] Foreseeing the future - Uzi Benziman on Wall and Supreme Court

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[] Hunger strike at A-Ram - the destructive construction continues

In spite of the Supreme Court ruling of last week the army is continuing with the "preparatory work" for the Wall in A-Ram, which includes destruction of the main Jerusalem-Ramallah Highway in total disregard of the fact that it is a major artery for a whole region. Therefore, the struggle continues.

On Saturday July 3, Palestinian, Israeli and International women peace activists marched together from the municipality of Al-Ram, and stood for an hour in a silent vigil in front of (and some upon) the huge cement blocks, ready to be erected for the Wall.

The women's vigil was followed by a hunger strike, initiated by the locals' Popular Committee Against the Separation Barrier in A-Ram. They have raised a hunger strike tent near the A-Ram checkpoint - which was the scene of extreme police violence on June 26. Well-known Palestinian leaders of the Jerusalem area are joined by Knesset Member Azmi Bishara and veteran Israeli activist Michael ("Mikado") Warshawski. Everybody who can is asked to join in.

For details: Sirhan Salaymeh, A-Ram Mayor 067-893194 Warshawski 064-733453 or Sirhan from A-Ram at: KM Bishara 054-290729 ~~~

[] How many generals does it take to judge one pacifist? Friday - Ben Artzi appeal

From: Ram Rahat, Yesh Gvul

On Friday July 9, 2004 the High Military Court of Appeals will hear Yonatan Ben-Artzi's appeal contesting his sentence of two months in jail for refusing to be drafted. There will be a special panel of five judges, of whom four are Major Generals: Ishai Bar (President of the Court); Ilan Shiff (former Judge- Advocate General); Gideon Sheffer (former commander of the IDF Manpower Division) and Yitzchak Eitan (former commander of the Central Command). Is the army so scared of one pacifist that it needs this line-up? The Court session will be held at the IDF Headquarters (9, Ein Dor St., Hakirya, Tel Aviv), beginning at 9 a.m. It's open to the public and it's very important that all supporters of the Refusal Movement be present. ~~~ [] Wednesday demonstration at Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem

From: "rabbis for human rights" The Forum of Organizations Against Unemployment

On Wednesday, July 7, at 3:30 pm, we will gather at the Mahane Yehuda MarketplaceSHUCK in Jerusalem to protest vis-a-vis the "Caesarea Conference" - a conference which brings together politicians, central figures in the economy and academics. What are we demanding? Basic human rights: employment, a roof over everybody's head, education, healthcare and welfare. At 5:00 pm we will march towards the Prime Minister's residence and hold a protest rally in front of it.

For details: Sigal 067-333018, Miki 067-202378, Chaya 065-345930 Transportation: North: Haifa - Solel Bone Plaza at 1:00pm/ Nazareth - Commercial Center 1:00 pm South: Dimona - Commercial Center 1:00pm/ Beer-Sheva - Egged Bus Station 1:45pm/ Plugot Junction 2:30pm Tel Aviv - Arlozorov Railway Station 2:00pm

[] Foreseeing the future - Uzi Benziman on Wall and Supreme Court

Forseeing the Future

By Uzi Benziman, Ha'aretz, July 4


Ariel Sharon should be reminded of his statements: Three days ago, he warned the heads of the defense establishment not to criticize the High Court of Justice ruling and he promised to abide by it. As is appropriate for a prime minister in a properly functioning country, Sharon urged his subordinates to reach the necessary conclusions from the court's decision on the security fence, and to complete its planning and construction along the permissible route. He even told them to take into consideration the needs of the Palestinian villagers.

Sharon was so generous in his approach that he told the senior officials in his office, "I don't know how many among them [Palestinians] are farmers, but it is a very hard thing to take lands from these people, who invested their lives in these fields." Cut this bit out and save it!

As opposed to the impression created in the media, and among the right- wing ministers and MKs, the High Court of Justice decision last Wednesday grants the government a great deal of leeway for constructing the fence along a route that it sees fit. The justices accepted the position of the state as being self-evident, that the fence was initiated purely as a result of security needs, and that its route was not influenced by political considerations. In addition, the High Court gave utmost weight to the professional considerations of the state's security experts over those of senior retired officers, and over those of the justices themselves.

The reason for the High Court's involvement in the fence issue was diluted to a single element in the decision-making process: excessive arrogance among the planners and the officers, which led them to blatantly ignore the rights of the Palestinian residents. One may conclude that the minute the defense establishment restrains a bit the indifference of those in its ranks dealing with the setting up of the fence, the minute it proves that it shows some consideration to the complaints of the victimized Palestinian population, the High Court will lift the gates and allow it to complete the fence on the basis of its fundamental guiding principles.

In order to prevent a mere cosmetic correction to the fence's route, it is important to emphasize an afterthought statement by the High Court of Justice, and attach to it the prime minister's declaration regarding the government's commitment to accept the decision of the judicial authority. Justices Aharon Barak, Eliahu Mazza and Mishael Cheshin included the following statement in their decision: "The fence should not be built for political reasons. It cannot come about by motives for annexation. Its purpose cannot be the setting of a political border." The justices then ruled that in the cases brought before them there was no political motive behind the construction of the fence.

This will not necessarily be the case when petitions are filed against the building of the fence in the area of Ariel. The security justification for the route of the fence in this part is less convincing than the section between Mevasseret Zion and Beit Surik. The political motivation in building the obstacle deep to the east of Kfar Sava is much more obvious than the strip of land along Route 443, against which petitions were filed and on which the High Court ruled last week. If and when the court deliberates the circuit of the fence that is meant to annex the settlements in central Samaria, it will be bound by its statement that the fence is not a legitimate means for establishing a political border. Then, there will be great significance in the prime minister's commitment to abide by the High Court's ruling.

Before the government becomes mired in contradictions to its commitment to the High Court's decision, or before it forces the court into a corner from which it will be difficult to pull back from its statement that a fence should not be built for the purpose of annexation, it is advisable that it reconsider its decision to push the fence deep into Palestinian territory in the Ariel area.

At the Defense Ministry, they argue that 50,000 Israelis live in the area in question, and only one Palestinian family, but this is their way of absolving the act. However, even here they admit that the fence, along its planned circuit, will include large agricultural plots owned by Palestinians.

The government will have a hard task in persuading the public that the motive behind the building of the fence in this area is solely security based, and the prime minister will find it difficult to shake off his expression of understanding to the suffering of the peasants who must be cut off from their lands. It is worthwhile to foresee the future and return the route of the fence close to the Green Line.

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