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Gush Shalom: Some Court Successes


Some successes in the court - comments, reports & action alerts

# Gaza - words and deeds (an introduction) [] Three cheers for the Judges! (Gush Shalom special ad in several Israeli poapers, July 16) [] Documentary on the Separation Wall screened on the Wall itself [] After The Hague, the popular struggle must step forward activist meeting Tuesday [] The terms of five imprisoned refusniks reduced by a third [] Saturday, solidarity vigil with refusniks [] Peace Now Jerusalem calls for balcony campaign & Friday demo Qalqilya / Kfar Saba [] KM Bronfman supports struggle of international activists against deportation; new court session Sunday [] Why did I come to Israel - by Ann Petter

# Gaza - words and deeds (an introduction)

Yesterday, PM Sharon called upon Labor Party leader Shimon Peres to join the government so as to facilitate "disengagement from Gaza". At the same time - and in that same Gaza Strip - Sharon is engaging in the razing of fields and orange groves and the massive destruction of houses - in one case, crushing a seventy-year old man in a wheel chair who was unable to get out of his house before the bulldozers started. Also, the town of Beit Khanoun is under tight siege for the second consecutive week, and the army shot on the UN convoy bringing supplies to its inhabitants. Still, the decision of the international court invigorated the anti- occupation forces. And exactly this week the five occupation refusers who spent nearly two years behind bars were surprisingly vindicated at the parole board.

[] Three cheers for the Judges! (Gush Shalom special ad in several Israeli poapers, July 16)

Both the Israeli and the international judges have completely rejected the present path of the wall.

The International Court of Justice has decided that if Israel wants to build a wall at all, it can build one on the pre-1967 Green Line.

The Supreme Court of Israel has decided to reject most of the present path and to bring the wall much closer to the Green Line.

Both courts have ruled that the present path violates international law and imposes immense and unnecessary suffering on the Palestinian population.

The path fixed by the Sharon government undermines the basic security of Israel because it engenders hatred, prevents peace, separates us from the world and prolongs the war forever.

Our thanks to the judges in Jerusalem! Our thanks to the judges in The Hague!

GUSH SHALOM P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 69133 www.gush-shalom.org, info@gush-shalom.org ~~~

[] Documentary on the Separation Wall screened on the Wall itself

From: Dalia Hatuqa Under the auspices of the Ramallah International Film Festival, the Palestinian premiere of the film “Wall” by the renowned director Simone Bitton was held today (Thursday July 15) at the wall in Ras Kubsa, Abu Dis, with the wall itself used to screen the film. The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center is also inviting all those interested to the screening of the same film on Friday July 16th at 6pm at Al- Kasabah Theater in Ramallah. This film was part of the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at the 2004 Cannes film festival, and won the Grand Prize at the 2004 Pezzaro Film Festival, as well as the Grand Prize at the Marseilles International Documentary Film Festival in 2004. Simone Bitton is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, born in 1955 in Morocco, who has directed about15 documentary films for television, about varied topics as Mahmoud Darwish (The Language as the Land), about Azmi Bishara (Citizen Bishara), about Moroccan opposition figure Mehdi Ben Barka (Ben Barka: L’equation marocaine), about Oum Kalthoum, Farid el Atrash, & AbdeWahab, about the history of Palestine (Palestine, Story of a Land), and about Palestinian bombers and their victims (Bombing). “Wall” is her first feature-length documentary produced for the big screen, and has been called “sensational” by the French daily Libération, “an eye opener” by the US entertainment industry bible Variety, and “An hour and a half of sadness, transparency & beauty” by Al Hayat.

The film shows that the wall is in fact crossable, and thus the aim behind it is to humiliate and break people’s spirits and livelihoods, rather than to achieve security goals. It is a film of images not of ideas, there is no narration or voice over, it shows the daily life of the people around the Wall, Palestinian inhabitants, Israeli settlers, the Arab migrant workers building it, passers by, and an Israeli general who tells the camera that “we view both sides as ours".

[] After The Hague, the popular struggle must step forward activist meeting Tuesday

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "Ivy Sichel" Date sent: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 21:07:16 +0300

In light of the recent Supreme court ruling and the decision in the Hague this is the time to increase our involvement in non violent demonstrations against the building of the wall.

Aa’ed Murrar, a Palestinian activist from Budrus sait it best:

"The popular struggle is only in its early stages. The decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court and of the International Court of Justice in The Hague are milestones – which undoubtedly help promoting the struggle – but in no way do they announce its end. The popular struggle must step forward more forcefully. We must not count on the fact that the courts’ decisions will bring about the change on the ground. A continuous popular struggle is the only guarantee that the judicial decisions will be actually implicated".

Starting next Tuesday, regular planning and preparation meetings for Israelis wishing to support the Palestinian struggle will begin in Tel Aviv. Those interested in joining the popular struggle are invited. The idea is to not deal with ideology but to concentrate on activity. meetings will be dedicated to coordination and preparation of demonstrations that take place along the route of the fence with a concentration on actions that carry low physical and legal risks.

Tuesday July 20 8 pm salon mazal, simta almonit 3 tel aviv more details from Kobi 03-528-3767 noa 064-659-706 neta 054-598-1248

[] The terms of five imprisoned refusniks reduced by a third By Lily Galili, Haaretz Corrspondent, Ha'aretz July 14

A military appeals committee Wednesday decided to reduce the sentences of five men who refused to s erve in the Israel Defense Forces by one-third, defying the military prosecution's recommendation.

The military prosecution had demanded that the five express regret as a condition for commuting the ir one-year sentences.

The five - Hagai Matar, Adam Ma'or, Matan Kaminer, Noam Bahat and Shimri Tzameret - are serving the ir sentences in civilian prisons. Following the committee's decision, they will be released on Sept ember 15.

The committee also recommended that they be allowed to appear before a board that determines (un)su itability for serving in the army, thus providing them with the possibility of being released from service altogether.

The committee had received letters from the prison authorities and from other inmates expressing ad miration for the young men's behavior in prison. Members of the committee also noted that the five had made attempts to se rve the community before their imprisonment, and expressed confidence in their statements that they planned to continue to do so.

"The committee has recognized that the refuseniks' loyalty to their consciences is an expression of their strong desire to contribute to Israeli society," said their lawyer, Dov Khenin.

[] Saturday, solidarity vigil with refusniks

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "ram & michaela rahat" Date sent: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 23:29:43 +0200 Because of the continuing heat wave, Saturday's Solidarity Vigil for the imprisoned refuseniks will take place at Prison 6 at 6pm (instead of 12:30pm) Transportation: Jerusalem - 4pm - Binyanei Ha'uma Tel Aviv - 5pm - Namir and Arlozorov

[] Peace Now Jerusalem calls for balcony campaign & Friday demo Qalqilya / Kfar Saba

------- Forwarded message follows ------- From: "Daniel Ofir" Date sent: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 23:19:40 +0200

Balcony campaign in Jerusalem continues

The settlers are fighting against any possibility of settlement evacuation. Let us show them that t he majority thinks otherwise, also in Jerusalem!

Peace Now is getting many calls for joining the Balcony Campaign. Thanks a lot to all the volunteer s.

Your balcony can also have an impact! If you live in a central street (King George, Gaza, Sderot Be n Zvi, etc) Peace Now team will be happy to hang on your balcony a banner with the slogan

Removing Settlements –Choosing Life

It is a small effort that carries a big reward!

Please call Daniel 054 – 4556052; daniel@peacenow.org.il

Shalom Aleinu,

Daniel Ofir

[In the same message was given a comment on the ruling in The Hague]

It is sad to see and hear how Israel is regarded (again) as a State breaking International Law an d Human Rights of the residents in the occupied territories. All this would have been avoided if Israel had built the separation fence on the place it must be – on the Green Line. ICJ ruling abstained from condemning any part of the fence that was built on or inside the Green Lin e. A fence on the Green Line could have also prevented the attack in Tel Aviv. If the Sharon government would not have taken advantage of the public demand for a security fence in order to build an annexation wall, Israel could have had a security fence as well as preserving its ethical strength.

-- Friday 16.7.04 at 15:00, a demonstration in favor of the Mifkad Haleumi (better known as "The Ayalo n-Nusseibeh Innitiative") will take place simultaneously in Qalqilya and Kfar Saba, at the first an niversary of its launch ing and after 340,000 Israelis and Palestinians signed the declaration of principles, including 5,0 00 from the Sharon Area and 3,000 from Qalqilya and its surroundings. For details 03 – 7538888.

[] KM Bronfman supports struggle of international activists against deportation; n ew court session Sunday

The govenment policy to deport or deny entry to international activists, especially members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), has come under close scrutiny in the past weeks. Ann Robinson-Petter, 44, a graphic artist from New York, arrived in Israel on June 23, among a grou p of 12 American women, led by the 79-year old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein. Petter had a video camera,with which seh i ntended to document the group's tour and in general the work of Palestinian, Israeli and internatio nal peace activists opposing the "Separation Wall". But upon arriving at Ben Gurion, she was seprat ed from the orthers, in terrogated and refused entry on charges of being a "security threat". Since then she is held at the airport detantion cell, in comapny with "illegal migrant workers" cau ght in the raids of Israel's notorious "Immigration Police", and conducting a persistant legal and public campaign. Last week she was joined at the cells by two more activists who are likewise denied entry to Israel : Christina Grafer, 46, a Dutch computer specialist, and 32-year-old Jamie Spector, an educational counselor from San Francisco. Spector's case is espeically emabassing to the authorities, as being Jewish and indeed active in the San Francisco Jewish community.A ccoridng to the sacred tenets of Zionist ide ology, enshrined in Isr ael's Law of Return, this should have confered not only the right to hold a short visit to Israel ( and to Israeli-held territories) but also an eligibility for Israeli citizenship... Earlier this week, Judge Oded Mudrik of the Tel-Aviv Disctict Court rejected Ann Petter's appeal an d upheld the deportation order, largely on the basis of "secret evidence"presented by the security services and whihc Pet ter and her lawyers were not allowed to see. During the proceedings, Adv.Yael Barda contended that the Interior Minister who issued the deportat ion order was in fact acting as a ruberstampfor the security sevice. Surprosingly, the state confir med that contention: "O n security issues we follow the advice of the security services". Adv. Barda and her colleague Sham i Leibovitz presented an appeal to the Supreme Court, contending that the minister is legally bound to exercise an indepen dent judgement and his failing todoso makes the deportation order invalid. Menawhile, the three detainess were visited by Knesset Member Roman Bronfman (Meretz-Yahad), after which he stated: ."I got the clear impression of the three's willingness to contribute their time and qualifications to e nd the bloody occupation. As far as I know, their actions and plans strickly follow the principle o f non-violence. I am troubled by the fact that the Ministry of Interior refuses entry to them, as w ell as to other humanit arian activists, due solely to their contact with the ISM. I believe that the presence of activists who report on severe human rights abuses in the Occupied Territories contributes to the morality a nd security of Israeli society, and counteracts the mutual demonization of both sides to the conflict. Not only should the y not be deported - they should be commended."

This morning (Thursday.) the Supreme Court ordered Ann Petter's case be returned for a further hear ing to the TA District Court. However, the judges ruled legitimate the method of the state showing the judge privately in his chambers "secret material" about Petter, which of course weighs the scales against her. All fair-minded people are invited to come to the new hearing, due on Sunday, July 18, at 08:30am, in the District Court of Tel Aviv, (1 Weitzman St., 3rd floor, Judge Oded Mudrik's Courtroom). For more information: Adv. Yael Berda 050 8743083 Adv. Shamai Leibowitz 052-4414505 Huwaida Arraf +972 54 747 3308 or +970-59-260-990 Dan Goldenblatt (Km Broinfman's helper)

[] Why did I come to fight Israel's Wall - by Ann Petter

by ANN PETTER The Nation [posted online on July 14, 2004]

The International Court of Justice has ruled Israel's "Separation Wall" illegal and has called on Israel to dismantle the wall. Nineteen days ago I came to Israel to protest that wall and to bear witness to its devastating effects on the Palesti nian population. Instead I was detained by Israel police upon arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airp ort and have since been held in immigration detention awaiting deportation. I have been labeled a threat to "security," an d the judge has called my camera a weapon. It seems to me the only threat I pose to Israel is a pub lic relations one.

I have been asked, Why did I come from outside Israel to participate in political activity here? The first and simplest answer is because it is the right thing to do. The international community needs to insist on justice for all, for the sake of all. Secondly, I came from outside Israel to engage in political activity here because my count ry, the United States, bears the greatest responsibility for perpetuating the violence here.

The United States gives more foreign aid to Israel than to all African countries combined and crucial political support for nearly all of its policies concerning Palestinians, even those that violate international law, as does construction of the wall. I came to Israel because my tax money pays for Apache helico pters and tank shells like the ones recently shot at a peaceful protest in Gaza, and because the la bels on the tear-gas co ntainers we pick up in demonstrations say "Made in Pennsylvania." My taxes are sent to Israel in vi olation of US laws. The US Foreign Military Assistance Act prohibits military assistance to any cou ntry that has a pattern of consistently violating human rights.

During a visit to the West Bank a year ago I saw that the wall is being built primarily inside the West Bank on Palestinian land, cutting off thousands of Palestinians fro m their farmland, trapping many in enclaves and devastating the Palestinian economy. With that know ledge, I returned here to say the exact same thing that the ICJ has now declared.

I intended to join a march organized by the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement working for Palestinian self- determination and to end the Israeli occupation. Through nonviolent actions, the ISM volunteers bear witness to the effects of military occupation. We act where our governments fail to act. We report what the international media fail to report.

For daring to witness and report the brutal effects the wall is taking on the Palestinian population, I have been deemed a "security threat" by the State of Israel, denied entry to both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and threaten ed with expulsion. My first appeal to challenge my deportation was denied yesterday. However, because I know that my efforts to stand against human rights violations like the construction of the wall are supported by international law, I am appealing this decision to the Israeli Supreme Co urt and will remain in prison until my case is reviewed there.

>From Ben Gurion's detention center I have experienced first-hand a scaled-down version of the syste m of injustice experienced daily by alestinians, who call on us to pay attention to the prison walls being built around them. In light of the decision made by the International Court of Justice, and in light of America' s ongoing support of Israel's defiance of international law, I urge people to answer the call and p articipate in bringing to the world the Palestinian voices calling for freedom and justice.

Copyright © 2004 The Nation # Truth against Truth - opposite views on the history of the conflict in 101 steps Hebrew / òáøéú http://www.gush-shalom.org/Docs/Truth_Heb.pdf

English http://www.gush-shalom.org/Docs/Truth_Eng.pdf

# Palestinians draw the map for understanding the Disengagement Plan http://www.nad-plo.org/images/maps/pdf/gaza.pdf

# Boycott List of Settlement Products (newly updated) Hebrew / òáøéú http://gush-shalom.org/Boycott/boycheb.htm

English http://gush-shalom.org/Boycott/boyceng.htm

# Eye-witness reports from the Occupied Territories: http://www.machsomwatch.org

(Israeli women monitoring the checkpoints)

http://www.palsolidarity.org/pressreleases/pressreleases.php

(internationals throughout OT)

- films, expositions, refusnik links

# The "Breaking the Silence" sold iers' exhibition photo gallery at: http://www.shovrimshtika.org/hebrew/modules.php?name=coppermine stories (Hebrew only) http://www.shovrimshtika.org/hebrew/modules.php?name=News article in English: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/440348.html

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