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Gush Shalom - August Update


GUSH SHALOM

http://www.gush-shalom.org/

International release Tel-Aviv, August 1, 2004

[] Introduction by Adam Keller: Chaos and devastation in Gaza - the army speaks of 'failure' [] "Refusal not a choice - a duty" CO Daniel Tsal imprisoned for fifth consecutive time [] Rebuilding the Kabu'ah family’s home – work camp August 8 to 22 [] Walking against the Wall -- July 30 - August 19 [] Physicians for Human Rights petition High Court: "End dire situation at Rafah Crossing"

from the Israeli press [] Scorched earth in Gaza (Haaretz Editorial, July 27) [] The army's kashrut stamp - Nehemia Strasler (Haaretz, July 30) [] I’m jealous - Tali Lipkin-Shahak (Ma'ariv, August 1) on settler chain & Gush ad of this week - on same subject

###

[] Introduction by Adam Keller: Chaos and devastation, the real Gaza Plan; army speaks of 'failure' Sometimes, when one bites one's nails, the voice of sense comes from the army - though, alas, not from its responsible Minister. This morning, the mass-circulation Ma'ariv carried two banner headlines:

IDF: Gaza Operation has no effect against Qassam Rockets, We Should Get Out

Defence Minister: Extend the Beit Hanoun Operation

The army invaded Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip more then a month ago, and embarked on a harsh series of collective punishments - defoliation and destruction of fields, orange groves and houses. This was supposed to intimidate the local population, so that it would turn on the militias and stop the firing of missiles. But unnamed "senior army officers" told Amir Rapaport of Ma'ariv and his colleague Yossi Yehoshua in Yediot Aharonot that the result had been the opposite: "In the month before the entry of Israeli forces into Beit Hanoun, five rockets were shot from there into Israel. In the month that the army is there, no less than fifty-five. The army presence is increasing the Palestinian motivation to shoot them, out of defiance and the friction (sic) between soldiers and local population is increasing the civilian population's willingness to help the terrorists. The army's prolonged presence in this town of 20,000 is causing humanitarian problems and increases international criticism of Israel.".

The officers further criticized Defence Minister Mofaz's directive for the army to penetrate deeper into the Gaza Strip in chase of the elusive rockets. "This would require occupying Jabaliya and other very thickly inhabited areas, where some 100,000 people live. This would require large forces which will get involved in heavy fighting, increasing the international criticism. Also, more soldiers would be exposed to the Palestinian anti-tank missiles, which have already shown their ability to penetrate armored cars and kill those inside." Instead, the army proposes withdrawing forces now and keep the option of coming back for "short-term, pinpoint raids" if necessary. What nobody seems to propose, in either the political or the military establishment, is what should have been the obvious solution: to negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, so as to ensure a smooth transition of power when (and if) Sharon carries out his vaunted Gaza Disengagement Plan. In fact, the Egyptians and Europeans have been trying for months to broker such a cease-fire, only to be rebuffed by Sharon.

A cease-fire would not serve the purposes of Sharon, who stoutly maintains that "there is no Palestinian partner" and does all he can to make it true, by fomenting chaos in the to-be-evacuated Gaza Strip. That, it now seems, is a major objective of the entire disengagement plan - indeed, Sharon and his associates could hardly hide their glee at various recent manifestations of discord among the Palestinians. With the government of Israel undertaking such policies, both peoples seem headed for increased suffering and bloodshed. ~~~

[] "Refusal not a choice - a duty" CO Daniel Tsal imprisoned for fifth consecutive time

[Refusnik Parents' Forum - Press Release, August 1, 2004]

Refusnik Daniel Tsal was last week imprisoned for the fifth consecutive time and sent to a 28-day term in the military prison, due to his continuing refusal to enlist in an army of occupation. Before being imprisoned Tsal was summoned to a meeting with the commandant of the Army's Induction Centre at Tel Ha'shomer, who implored him to recant and join the army - and threatened that, since Tsal was "a political refuser", his continued refusal would result in "a long prison term". As he did on previous occasions, Tsal answered that he regards opposition to the occupation not as choice but as moral duty - and was sent off to Military Prison-4, following an "instant trial" lasting about five minutes. The 19-year old Tsal, inhabitant of Tel-Aviv, is spending repeated terms in the military prison system since April 13, the date when he was supposed to join the army. At the end of each term he was again ordered to enlist and refused again. In every conversation with army officers he reiterated the points he had made in an Open Letter to the Minister of Defence, back in March: "The principles of 'the only democracy in the Middle-East' have been steadily eroded and rendered void, with the rights of three million people being daily trampled underfoot, destroying the foundations upon which the state of Israel was supposed to be founded... In historical times such as the present, a sane person must confront the system which enables the oppression to go on. I have a moral obligation - not a choice, but a duty - to refuse to take part in the occupation, to reject institutes which which try to abolish the most elementary of human rights. A sane person, who has not yet been overcome fear and racism, ows it to basic humanity to refuse participation in such an instrument of occupation and oppression as the IDF has become."

Following his most recent imprisonment, Tsal added: "Since I first expressed my refusal, the army of occupation committed many additional violations of human rights: the destruction of houses and defoliation of fields, mistreatment of inhabitants at road-blocks, and also the killing of innocents, including children. Whenever I hear of such things I feel sorry and ashamed that the army of my country is doing such things - and happy that I am in prison rather then being part of that army."

Tsal told that the first two days of his present term were spent in extremely difficult conditions: "Forty detainees held together, crowded in a single small, dirty and stinking cell. The toilet is inside the cell, and it is overflowing all the time, filling the entire cell with a strong smell of excrement. All around, there are piles of garbage which nobody cleans away, and at night mice and other animals roam the cell " Tsal told his parents. Only after two and half days was he transferred to another part of the prison, where conditions are more reasonable. "Let there be no mistake, I don't say that I was put there because of my political stand. This is a standard part of the military prison, and most of those imprisoned there are people who got in trouble with the military authorities for non-political reasons. And in fact, many of them are held in that hell for much longer then I was, sometimes for several weeks at a time. That place, officially designated as Mahlaka 5 of Pluga Gimel at Military Prison 4, is a place of infamy which must be closed down. But I am not surprised that an army which behaves cruelly to people under occupation ends up being cruel also to its own soldiers" says Tsal.

"It seems that the army command has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They did not learn the lesson from the affair of the five refusers who had been detained and imprisoned, sentenced by a court martial and are imprisoned already for more then two years. The IDF command has not yet learned that you can't end or break the human conscience" say the refusers' parents.

For more information call Yehoshua and Esti Tsal, Daniel's parents, at 972-3-5184586 or 972-58-797378. Solidarity messages via Jehoshua@freud.tau.ac.il. ~~~

[] Rebuilding the Kabu'ah family’s home – work camp August 8 to 22

>From August 8 to 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is coordinating a summer work camp to rebuild the house of Musa Kabu’ah and his family at Anata Village, on the West Bank northeast of Jerusalem . The Kabu'ah Family are Beduins of the Jahalin tribe - uprooted in 1950 from their original homes in the Negev village of Tel Arad, expelled into the then Jordanian-ruled West Bank, and eventually settling down in the mostly arid area east and northeast of Jerusalem. In the 1980’s and 1990’s many of them were expelled again, the new homes they found being destroyed to make room for the growth of the Israeli settlement Ma’aleh Adumim. The Kabu’ah family consists of seven adults - Musa, his two wives, his two sons and their respective wives - and fourteen children ranging in age between two and sixteen. In 1980 they purchased a plot of land in Anata on which they eventually started building a house, which was finished in 1998 and moved into in 1999. The house had four flats, one for each of Musa’s wives and her children and one for each married son and his family. With the help of a lawyer, the family applied for a building permit in 1999, but it was rejected on the grounds that the land was not zoned for building, but rather as “agricultural land.” In fact, there are some 200 other homes in Anata alone under threat of being demolished for the same reason. (When agricultural land is required for creation of Israeli settlements, the process of re-zoning is almost instantaneous; for the housing of Palestinians, such a change is almost impossible to achieve). On May 2, 2004 the family was given a demolition order. They appealed to the District Court, but to no avail. On the morning of June 2 some 100 soldiers, 20 police officers and four bulldozers arrived to enforce the order. Family members refused to leave their home and were dragged out by force, many of them – including some of the women and children - being beaten up in the process. Journalists from Reuters, BBC, and AP were present, though unable to come near the site, and interviewed ICAHD’s field coordinator Salim Shawamre (himself a victim of house demoition). By midday, the Kabu’ah house was leveled into a pile of rubble. Since then the famly members are scattered, some staying at the nearby house of an uncle, other in makeshift aluminium huts. They feel angry and embittered, the children waking up at night with nightmares. . ICAHD decided to undertake rebuilding the Kabu’ah home, as an act of solidarity with the family and the entire community of Anata. The international work camp will take place from August 8th to August 22nd. ICAHD activists will be joined by Israeli, Palestinian and international volunteers. In addition to building the house, participants will join artists in renovating and painting an Anata kindergarten, as well as take part in cultural and social events. Tours of Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Negev desert, and the area of the “Triangle” in northern Israel will be offered to volunteers discussing “facts on the ground” in respect to both the Occupation of the Palestinian territories and the consequences of the wall on each side. Discussions, dialogue, lectures and panels by leading Palestinian and Israeli NGO representatives will also take place at the Beit Arabiya Peace Center in Anata – itself located in a house demolished by the army and rebuilt last year in ICAHD’s previous summer work camp, and… still standing.

For joining the camp contact Lucia Pizzaro at lucia@icahd.org ph: +972-2-6245560. More information at www.icahd.org ~~~

[] Walking against the Wall -- July 30 - August 19 ISM (International Solidarity Movement) is calling upon Israelis and Internationals to join with Palestinian villagers in a joint three week march along the route of the "separation" walls and fences cutting through the West Bank. Despite the policy of deporting any "suspected ISMer" upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, several dozen internationals made it into the country and will be taking part in the march.

The march began last Friday (July 30) at Zbuba village, near Jenin and will continue, with participants walking 10 to 12 kilometers a day - to culminate on August 19 at the outskirts of Jerusalem. At night marchers are hosted by Palestinian communities affected by the wall. In each village, community members explain the impacts of the wall and other aspects of the occupation. In some villages marchers intend to carry out non-violent direct actions against the wall.

On Wednesday August 18, a Gush Shalom bus will be taking participants to join in the march. On that day, the march is scheduled to pass along the length of the already-built high wall southeast of Ramallah, up to the notorious Qalandia Checkpoint. (To join, call 03-5221732 and leave your name and phone number; exact time and transportation details will be provided later).

This Tuesday, August 3, Rabbis for Human Rights are organizing a group to join the march (details from Arik 050-607034). For details on joining at other days call Raz of Ta'ayush 050-7946044. To contact directly the ISM organisers call ISM Media Office 972-2-277-4602 or 972-67-358-579. Updates and full march schedule from [Following is an exerpt from the ISM report on the first day of the march.] Today, Friday the 30th, the much anticipated March for Freedom began in Zububa, in the heartland of the northern West Bank. Participants set out on foot at 9:30, arriving in Taiba at approximately 11:30am and speeding two hours before continuing on to Anin.

Although the Israeli army was present, they did not interfere with the march. Only when entering Taiba there was a short-lived encounter with Israeli border police near the school which is close to the Israeli fence. Palestinian youth spontaneously began to shake the fence and hang Palestinian flags. The Israeli border police responded by throwing sound bombs but the situation did not escalate.

On the Palestinian side the march is sponsored by the Committee to Resist the Wall, The National and Islamic Forces, the Union of Palestine Medical Relief Committees, and popular committees and village councils of the 89 villages, towns and cities through which the march will pass. The International Solidarity Movement, the IWPS and Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall are participating in the march from the starting point in Zububa. Additional groups and organizations will join the march at different points along the route. Gush Shalom will be joining the march August 18 when it reaches Jerusalem.

Palestinians representing other areas in the West Bank also joined the march today (Friday). People from Budrus, Biddu and Tulkarem were present for the first day of the Freedom March and discussions took place in each village about the impact of the Wall on the lives of Palestinians and their communities. ~~~

[] Physicians for Human Rights petition High Court: "End dire situation at Rafah Crossing"

------forwarded message follos------ Date sent: Sun, 1 Aug 2004 12:52:24 +0200 From: "Shabtai Gold"

òáøéú ìôé á÷ùä // hebrew at request mailto:Shabtai@phr.org.il

Petition to High Court: End dire situation at Rafah Crossing

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, together with Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, and 12 residents of the Gaza Strip who are currently stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah Border Crossing, petitioned the Israeli High Court today demanding that the Israeli army immediately find an acceptable solution to the current crisis at the Rafah crossing.


Over 2500 Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip- including patients, children and the elderly - are currently stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing - some have been waiting there for more than two weeks.


One of the petitioners is a pregnant woman- the situation is putting the fetus as well as the mother’s health at risk. According to various health sources there are approximately 1000, or more, patients returning from medical care who are stranded.


Since 10 July 2004, the crossing has been closed in both directions and has been open for only 2 days. This has created a situation in which people returning from Egypt to Gaza, many after having undergone medical treatment, are unable to return home. They are also unable to return to Egypt because of monetary problems. The Rafah crossing is essentially the only exit and entrance point for Palestinian residents of the strip. The Israeli authorities say they closed the crossing for security reasons.

These people severely lack basic supplies such as medicines, food and water. The people are waiting in a small confined waiting area. From testimonies received by Al-Mezan Center and Physicians for Human Rights- Israel, the situation is dire.
The petitioners claim that Israel, as decreed in previous Israeli High Court rulings and according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL), is required to care for the humanitarian needs of these people, even though, due to the Israeli restrictions, they are physically located at the moment in Egypt. In addition, the High Court has already stated on a previous occasion (Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, et. al. petition to the High Court during the incursion into Rafah in May 2004) that the army must actively concern itself with caring for the health and humanitarian needs of the Palestinian civil population before it implements military action.


Currently, the Israeli army has offered only symbolic solutions to solving the problem, such as having 5 Palestinian buses a day transfer the people back into Gaza, via the Nitsanim
crossing

(
70 km south of Rafah
). With over 2500 people stranded, this solution is not truly an option.


The petitioners demand that the crossing be opened, and if this is not possible, that the army supply viable alternative solutions.


The petitioners, who are represented by Adv. Ihab `Iraqi, demand that Israel care for the humanitarian needs of the people and find an immediate solution, with or without the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, as it is required to do by IHL [International Humanitarian Law] and its own court’s rulings.

For more information: Maskit Bendel, +972-54-7700477, or Shabtai Gold, +972-54-4860630 ~~~

[] Scorched earth in Gaza (Haaretz Editorial)

Tue., July 27, 2004 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/456498.html

The item was just another routine report: an update from the war of attrition Israel and the Palestinians are conducting in the occupied territories. Haaretz correspondent Nir Hason reported on Sunday that the IDF demolished a packing house in Beit Hanun in northern Gaza. Worse things have happened during the four year war: last week, as happens almost every week, Palestinians, including children, were killed in IDF operations. On Sunday night, Border Police killed six Palestinians in Tul Karm. Apparently, only three of them were armed. In Beit Hanun, at least, nobody was killed. But some harsh details emerge from the Beit Hanun report. The packing plant served about 1,000 farmers in Gaza. Their vegetables and fruit were packed for export to Europe, and helped provide a livelihood for thousands of residents of Gaza. Just two weeks ago, the Peres Center for Peace transferred funds to the packing plant for the purchase of new sorting machinery. That machinery was also destroyed in the IDF action, a half million shekel loss. The packing house is now expected to go bankrupt, and the farmers won't have any way to market their produce.

The IDF has been in Beit Hanun for several weeks, in the wake of Qassam rocket fire on Sderot that killed an adult and child. In effect, the army created a kind of "security zone," meant to prevent Qassam cells from reaching an area from which it is possible to shell Sderot. Asked, the Southern Command says that last week rockets were fired from the area of the packing plant. The officers on the ground decided to uproot the vegetation around the area, but no order was given to demolish the plant. Apparently, the army unit deviated from the orders it was given.

But the bulldozer driver who destroyed the building was not operating in a vacuum. With local, tactical rationales - like removing threats to Israeli settlements and roads - the IDF has for years been justifying collective punishment in the Gaza Strip. That's how hundreds of houses were demolished along the Philadelphi route in Rafah, and in February that's how some 100 Palestinian shops on the Palestinian side of Erez were destroyed after two terrorists tunneled into the Israeli side and managed to kill a soldier.

While in Jerusalem, in a decision about the route of the separation fence, the High Court of Justice is emphasizing the importance of proportionality of the harm done to Palestinian human rights as a basic principle for consideration of military actions, the IDF repeatedly violates the principle over and over in Gaza. There is no proportion between the limited military purpose of demolitions to the damage done to the farmers, who had nothing to do with the rocket launches. By destroying the packing plant, the IDF also violated another, far more ancient principle. Apparently, the army commanders forgot the Biblical principle from Deuteronomy 20, verse 19: "When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it, thou shalt not destroy the trees ... for the tree of the field is man's life."

A few months before the beginning of the implementation of the disengagement plan, it is difficult to shake the impression that the IDF has undertaken a "scorched earth" policy in the Strip. The army is supposed to defend Israeli citizenry under difficult circumstances and in light of a growing threat. But when it is swept into actions such as these, the danger is not merely the loss of trees, homes or livelihood. The IDF is also uprooting the last shreds of hope that the withdrawal will also be the beginning of repairing relations between the two peoples. ~~~

[] The army's kashrut stamp - Nehemia Strasler Fri., July 30, 2004

Hebrew/òáøéú

A document dealing with the ethics of fighting terror recently reached the chief of staff's desk. The document was written by Professor Asa Kasher and a team of officers, lawyers and advisors.

The authors produced a remarkable document, which says that force should not be used against terror unless it is necessary to protect the citizens of the state. The document makes it the soldiers' responsibility to protect the security of Palestinians who are not involved in terror and to warn the Palestinians in advance when necessary so that they are not harmed.

The document states that the army may not exact vengeance or punishment; it may only defend the citizens of the state. Therefore, no closures or curfews should be imposed on civilian populations as punishment and no trees should be uprooted or houses demolished for the purpose of revenge. Furthermore, when deciding on a military action in the territories, the army must take into account the negative impact that killing and destruction will have on local and international public opinion.

Read it and weep. What army are they talking about? To which reality are they referring? How impervious can they be? A week does not go by without innocent Palestinians, whether men, women or children, being killed. Not a week goes by without houses being demolished, trees being uprooted, humiliation and abuse at the checkpoints. But the chief of staff is silent, and so is the prime minister. Do they need a document to tell them what is kosher and what is not?

The brutality of the occupation did not begin yesterday, but it sometimes escalates a level. The troubling images that emerged in mid-May from the miserable refugee camp of Rafah shocked anyone in the world with a conscience. That Israel Defense Forces operation killed 52 Palestinians - some of them innocent civilians, including two teens whose only crime was feeding their pigeons on the roof. If the public has grown used to the killing, it will evidently also grow used to the house demolitions: the little children leaving their homes with bags on their back, the shell- shocked old women searching in the rubble of their homes in an effort to save something - an old jacket, a notebook, a photo.

On July 12, Ibrahim Halfalla, a wheelchair-bound father of seven, was crushed to death under the rubble of his house. It happened when the IDF demolished his house in Khan Yunis in the middle of the night. The soldiers did not check to find out whether someone was at home - and the bulldozer buried the man alive. That same week, published photos taken at the Hawara checkpoint showed a soldier handcuffing a Palestinian and then beating him in front of his wife and two children. Their only crime was wanting to get home.

A week earlier, on July 6, Dr. Khaled Salah, a lecturer in electrical engineering at A-Najah University, was killed in his home by snipers. His 16-year-old son, Mohammed, was also shot and lay on the floor of the family apartment for hours before dying. When the mother shouted to the soldiers that her son was still alive and they should let an ambulance through, they laughed in her face while her son bled to death in front of her. Not only was the family not involved in terror, Khaled Salah was a member of the university's Palestine-Israel peace committee. And as if that were not enough, after the murder, the soldiers entered the house and destroyed what remained. They shot at clothing, towels, books, the television, the computer, the refrigerator and thoroughly vandalized the apartment. And these were not "problematic" soldiers, but the elite of the elite, the naval commandos, exacting vengeance on innocent civilians because one of their officers was killed in the operation. They apparently did not have time to read the document on ethics.

The IDF has rampaged through Beit Hanun over the past month. Soldiers march into residential apartments, turn them into forts and expel the tenants. Last Thursday, a bulldozer demolished a packing house that was used by 1,000 farmers, for no reason. Just like that, out of an evil desire for vengeance. Everything was demolished. The sorting machinery, the washing and packing machinery, the refrigerators, the packing material. A thousand farmers were left unemployed.

These acts of destruction (which are prohibited by the document) only raise the walls of hatred higher and make the conflict insoluble, because every teenager whose home has been demolished and whose parents have been humiliated will want to take his own vengeance - and then we will say there is nobody to talk to. An army and state that behave in such an immoral way - harming civilians, demolishing, taking vengeance on the innocent - do not deter the other side, but strengthen it, and particularly its extremists. Harming the innocent proves that it is not worthwhile to be moderate: Either way, the bullet or the bulldozer will get them.

Such actions weaken Israel's position in the world and endanger the existence of the state. Israel depends on international public opinion, and certainly on American public opinion. Such actions erode the public's own resilience, increase emigration from Israel and weaken the army - because without a moral justification, even the most well-equipped army in the world cannot win. ~~~

[] I’m jealous - Tali Lipkin-Shahak (Ma'ariv, August 1) on settler chain & Gush ad of this week - on same subject

Why can’t the left make a human chain along the Green Line? Tali Lipkin-Shahak Hebrew/òáøéú http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART/760/624.html

I have a dream. In my dream, my Israeli brothers and sisters are joined in an Israeli chain, from Dan to Eilat, holding hands and using their joined bodies to outline the limited but sane borders of the State of Israel. They are woven into a human chain of protest, for a moment of solidarity against the shame and worry created by insensitive, aggressive Israeliness.

I’ll admit that I’m jealous. The organizational skill and commitment that brought approximately 100,000 opponents of disengagement out in the hot sun arouses admiration. They have what it takes. Even if they are only slightly more than one and half percent of the Israeli population, they manage to make their presence known and their voice heard, loud and clear.

The rest of Israel, not necessarily including the residents of the left’s tattered tent city, dissipates in the summer heat, shrinks in the winter’s cold, melts in the rain and evaporates in a heat wave. It forgoes its right to make another voice heard. It is not the left that has disappeared. It is the lazy majority that has lost its tongue. 'Israeliness' has become the private brand of those who oppose disengagement and dream of the “whole land of Israel”. Aggression, violence, scorn for human rights and human life are becoming typically Israeli traits. Wherever there is daily confrontation, “Mr. Israel” has become bitter or deaf, blind and speechless.

Three weeks ago, Israeli soldiers pursued wanted men in the city of Nablus. During the nighttime battle Captain Moran Vardi, an officer in the naval commando unit, was killed. While chasing his killers, who had taken cover in the yard of a quiet residential building, IDF snipers killed a father and son who were trapped in their bullet-ridden apartment. It had been damaged in the shelling and the lock was bent out of shape so they, and other family members, could not escape.

Prof. Halid Salah called on the soldiers to stop firing at them but the sniper caught him, and his 16 year-old son, Mohammed, who died on the living room floor. The house became a killing field. According to reports, some of the soldiers were insensitive and violent towards the survivors. Newspapers published this embarrassing story but it is easy to turn the page.

Itai Engel broadcast a story on Channel 2 television that ruined the viewers’ Sabbath mood. The IDF spokesman said, “the army has expressed is sorrow” and “they did not intend to injure them. It may be that one of the soldiers misidentified the source of fire aimed at them or they were forced to shot at suspicious movements”.

The Israel Defense Forces shoot and apologize, shoot and cry, and shoot again. This, too, is a type of Israeliness that is becoming ingrained in us, the result of a long series of embarrassing, dark incidents for which no one has been brought to justice. The corrupting occupation, from which a small percentage of the public has difficulty separating, has become the personification of the fighting, unembarrassed Israel that formed a chain along the roadsides.

If there is any point to disengagement, which wove a chain of opposition this week, it is possibility not matter how small, that it will be exactly what those who joined hands from the Western Wall to Gush Katif fear, the beginning of a return to another 'Israeliness'. We can only dream about the other chain. ~~~

-- Gush ad of this week - on same subject

A DEMONSTRATION OF WEAKNESS

The great “Israeli Chain” demonstration was a bluff.

According to the organizers, the demonstrators came in 1000 buses. A bus contains 52 seats. This means that the demonstrators numbered altogether 52,000 people and some thousands more who came in private cars.

This is less than a quarter of the settlers, who are a tiny minority in Israel. The demonstration would have hardly filled half of Tel-Aviv’s Rabin Square. They were strung out in a chain in order to make it look more impressive, but even the chain contained many large holes. Many of the other settlers were at the same time busy negotiating their evacuation and compensation.

The Israeli public was not there. They are simply fed up with the settlers. ~~~

# Visit the website of Mandela Institute and help children of Palestinian prisoners to buy a school bag: http://www.mandela-palestine.org

# 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

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