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Walls Won't Help -- TOI-Billboard Sept.4, 2004

Walls Won't Help -- TOI-Billboard Sept.4, 2004

Action reports & must read articles


-- Chronicles of the week -- {} Aharon Barak Saves the Middle East's Only Democracy Once Again! a report by Eric and Jonathan (Yoni) Ben-Artzi {} Re picking grapes / supporting cave dwellers in court and more {} Drainage of sewage flow of Hebron Stream damaging Bedouins {} Gush Shalom statement in the paper: Walls can be crossed from above and below {} The ongoing fighting with the pen by human rights organizations {} Eyal Nahum, reservist in the artillerly corps, sentenced to 28 days for refusing to serve in Samaria region

-- Selected articles --

{} How Are You, Non-Violence? -- Uri Avnery, Sept. 4, 2004 {} State to buy the houses of the to-be-evacuated settlers {} No answer to the Qassam, Ze'ev Schiff {} Shelling civilians is war crime [The warning comes from the mouth of Israel's Attorney General] {} Israel killed 436 Palestinians in past 'quiet' six months Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, 31 August 2004 {} Israel raises wall in A-Ram {} ACRI files suit over refusal to sell land to Arabs {} Arafat Stronger than Sharon {} 'One Voice': Israelis, Palestinians want Palestinian state {} Israel's 'Bulldozer' makes his move (Globe & Mail editorial) {} Checkpoint behavior - by Amira Hass, Sept. 2 {} Disengaging from illusions By Yossi Klein Halevi, Sep. 2 {} Shlomo Gazit, “Writing on the Wall”

N.B: Sign the cave dwellers petition



This weeks topics on the minds of Israelis were: --The resignation of Minister of Internal Security, Tzahi Hanegbi, but NOT over his "let them starve to death" soundbite; --The bloody double attack in Be'er Sheba -- was it really the revenge for the double assassination of Hamas leaders Yasin and Rantisi? -- But soon also here media attention was captured by that other too terrible news, the Russian schoolchildren --The prisoners' hunger strike was not helped by the Hamas terrorist act and ended with only partially achieving some improvements in the harsh prison conditions. --Also in the aftermath of Be'er Sheva, the government overcame its hesitations and started the building of the Wall cutting through the middle the A-Ram main street. ~~~

-- Chronicles of the week --

{} Aharon Barak Saves the Middle East's Only Democracy Once Again! a report by Eric and Jonathan (Yoni) Ben-Artzi

[Yoni's appeal to the Supreme Court, contesting his release from the army as an "incompatible", rather than a Pacifist, is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2004.]

After listening to secret evidence, available only to the Israeli state prosecution and to the Shin Bet
intelligence service, at a hearing on Sep. 1, 2004, Israel's Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak, ordered the deportation of the dangerous British terrorist Ewa Jasciewicz.

Miss Jasciewicz, whom we met
at the Court
for the first time, clearly does not belong in Israel. After three weeks of detention in Israel's airport, she displayed nothing but goodwill and kindness towards all those surrounding her, including the two prison guards, who never let this dangerous terrorist out of their sight. Even worse, she believes in various anti Israeli - indeed anti Semitic - ideologies, such as human rights and civil disobedience. And last, but not least, she has! in the past put Israeli soldiers in harm's way, by witnessing the killing of a 14 year old Palestinian.

Though the highly skilled intelligence work of the
Shin Bet
was sealed, our sources tell us that this wonderful organization has uncovered a secret document detailing Miss Jasciewicz's vile plans, which was leaked to The Guardian:,3604,1290869,00.html

Thank you Shin Bet. Thank you Barak.

Let us summarize the scores of today's Israeli Supreme Court matches: Aharon Barak: 1 , Freedom of Speech: 0 Aharon Barak: 1 , Non Violent Direct Action: 0 Ewa Jasciewicz: 1 , Aharon Barak: 0


On a less sarcastic note, the supreme court's deportation of Ewa Jasciewicz should be viewed as a major victory for Ewa and the ISM (International Solidarity Movement). Aharon Barak's true face is not revealed every day. Clearly, Gandhi's message, heard last Friday in front of the Wall ! a couple of miles to the east of Israel's Hall of Injustice, is not welcome here.

A suggestion for action: Barak's favorite college hangout is none other than W's almamater. Can ISM teach Yale's law school a course in applied democracy?

Jonathan and Eric Ben-Artzi ~~~

{} Re picking grapes / supporting cave dwellers in court and more

1) On Friday September 3rd we are going out to pick grapes. Talsa can not sell his grapes. He is inviting us to help picking and buy as many grapes at as high a price as everyone wants.

2) On Wednesday, 8.9.04, 9:00 am, there will be a Supreme Court hearing on the case the cave dwellers of South Hebron area. Their existing buildings face demolition. This demolition has been prevented until now due to a temporary decree issued after the 2001 deportation. This hearing is of great importance, and the decision may be pivotal for the possibility of the Palestinians residence to continue living there.

3) On Monday, September 13, 16:30-19:00, Kol Yehudi is organising an event to stop delays in salary payments before Yom Kippur. We need people to Tkiat Shofar - both people who have shofarim or people who know how to play them.

>From the untiring Rav Arik Asherman, Rabbis For Human Rights ~~~

{} Drainage of sewage flow of Hebron Stream damaging Bedouins On Monday (September 6th) at 11:30, the Supreme Court will discuss the flow of sewage in the Hebron Stream that runs through the unrecognized villages of Um Batin, Al-Garin and Amra and nearby Meitar, Omer and Tel-Sheva. The authorities plan to address the problem by draining the sewage into a cesspool close the Shoket junction and nearby the houses of the village of Un-Batin. This will cause dramatic sanitation, health and environmental hazards to the Bedouin residents who live in the area. The petition was filed on behalf of the Negev Coexistence Forum, the residents of Um-Batin and the Association of the 40. We need attendance in court! (Negev Coexistence Forum, 050-7701118).

[Received from Ariel Dloomy ]

{} Gush Shalom statement in the paper: Walls can be crossed from above and below

[ad in Ha'aretz, Sept 3rd}


After the appalling suicide attack in Beer Sheva, everybody discovered the cause: between Hebron and Beer Sheva there is no wall.

For bankrupt politicians and failed generals, this is the answer for everything: the wall. As the Minister for Internal Security pronounced, minutes before he was removed from office because of corruption charges: "No fence, terror. A fence: no terror."

In Abu-Dis a week ago, during the meeting with Arun Gandhi, while thousands looked on and in the presence of the media, eight young Palestinians scaled the wall at Abu-Dis, using only their hands and feet.

They proved that the wall can be crossed easily.

Not by pregnant women on their way to hospital nor by children on their way to school. But a suicide bomber on his way to another attack can do so after some training.

No fence, no wall, can put an end to attacks. They can be crossed from above and from below.

There is only one way to prevent attacks: political negotiations and a compromise peace. ~~~

{} The ongoing fighting with the pen by human rights organizations

We received this week a protest on behalf of the Palestinian detainees written by Public Committe Against Torture in Israel - and another one on behalf of the hungers strikers by the Physicians for Human Rights ~~~

{} Eyal Nahum, reservist in the artillerly corps, sentenced to 28 days for refusing to serve in Samaria region

From: Yesh Gvul

On Wednesday September 1, 2004 EYAL NAHUM,
a reservist in the artillerly corps was sentenced to 28 days in Prison 4 for refusing to do reserve duty in the Samaria region. You can give him a Happy New Year by sending e-mails of support
to: ~~~

-- Selected articles --

{} How Are You, Non-Violence? -- Uri Avnery, Sept. 4, 2004

At the mass meeting with Arun Gandhi, the grandson of the Mahatma, in Abu-Dis, I observed the faces of the participants. While Gandhi was preaching non-violence, I imagined a debate between two young Palestinians in the audience.

Yussuf: "He is right. The armed intifada has failed."

Hassan: "On the contrary. Without the actions of the martyrs, the world would have forgotten us long ago."

Yussuf: "For half a year there were no suicide attacks in Israel, and look what we have achieved!"

Hassan: "We have achieved nothing. On the contrary, the Israeli generals boast that they have defeated us with their targeted assassinations, incursions into our territories and all the other acts of oppression. And all this time they have been enlarging the settlements, putting up new 'outposts' and continuing to build the racist wall."

Yussuf: "You forget that the International Court has declared the wall illegal and the UN General Assembly has confirmed this with a huge majority. All of Europe voted in our favor. We are winning in the arena of world public opinion."

Hassan: "What is that worth, if in the meantime Sharon does what he wants, goes on keeping Arafat in a cage and spits in the face of Abu-Ala, while Abu-Ala is advocating non-violence?"

Yussuf: "Even the senior jurists in Israel itself warn Sharon that if he goes on like this, the United Nations will end up imposing sanctions on Israel."

Hassan: "But in the meantime, the opposite is happening. Because of the lull in suicide attacks, the Israeli economy is reviving. Tourism to Israel, that had stopped altogether because of our actions, is starting up again. If the Israelis feel comfortable and are no longer afraid of suicide bombers, why should they talk with us? Why should they give back any territories? Why should they stop enlarging the settlements? They don't give a damn."

Yussuf: "We have to win international public opinion. We can do this only by non-violence. I admire the martyrs who are ready to die for our people. I am proud that we have such heroes. But they don't get us anywhere. They only provide Sharon with pretexts to oppress us even more."

Hassan: "As if Sharon needs pretexts! He wants to break us, and world public opinion will not lift a finger for us. The treacherous Arab leaders will not do anything for us, either. Only our heroes will save us."

Yussuf: "But Gandhi argues that non-violent methods will be more successful. His grandfather proved this in India."

Hassan: "He doesn't know the Israelis. The Israeli army will open fire on any non-violent Palestinian demonstration that reaches serious proportions."

Yussuf: "Look at the brothers who scaled the wall. That is an example of successful non-violent action, breaking the law of the occupier openly and without fear!"

Hassan: Don't kid yourself. If Arun Gandhi and the Israelis hadn't been there, the soldiers would have shot and killed them. Later they would have announced that they were wanted terrorists. You remember the beginning of the al-Aksa intifada, when there were unarmed mass demonstrations? The Israeli army brought in snipers and killed the leaders. Please, this is not India, and the Israelis are not Englishmen. They understand only the language of force."

Yussuf: "But that is exactly what they say about us!" This kind of debate is now going on everywhere in Palestinian society, perhaps in every Palestinian family. The Yussufs have no success in convincing the Hassans, and I am afraid that Gandhi will not succeed either, because they lack the decisive argument. Abu-Mazen, who advocates non-violence, got nothing from Sharon. Half a year without suicide attacks inside Israel have not brought the Palestinians any achievements on the ground. Therefore, the suicide attack in Beer Sheva, just a week after the Gandhi rally, was to be expected.

As long as the Sharon government, with the active encouragement of President Bush, goes on enlarging the settlements, building the Wall and all the other actions of annexation, there is no way to convince Palestinian public opinion to turn its back on violence. And only a decisive change in Palestinian public opinion can put an end to suicide attacks. No wall will stop people who are ready to die in order to carry out attacks, and the Palestinians have already proved that they have any number of such people.

Ehud Barak, a very violent person, once said that if he had been a young Palestinian, he would have joined a terrorist organization. Obviously, he doesn't believe that non-violence will succeed against the Israeli army. And he should know.

I was impressed by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He was the greatest liberator of the 20th century, achieving freedom for the whole Indian subcontinent, including present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. (But Gandhi also said that Hitler should be opposed only by non-violent means, and even his most ardent admirers found it hard to accept that.)

In my youth I joined two very violent organizations (the Irgun and the Israeli army), but after I was wounded near the end of the 1948 war there were several months when the very thought of combat caused me physical nausea. I detest violence in all its forms, but how can it be stopped?

There are people amongst us who are ready for a compromise peace but have been led to believe that "there is no one we can talk with", because "they" don't want peace but seek to annihilate us. But we must understand that Palestinian violence, which causes so much bloodshed, is the predictable result of our cutting off every other road in front of them.

I am convinced that it is possible to put an end to violence in our country - if we offer the Palestinian people an alternative, non-violent way of achieving freedom and justice.

Anyone who believes that a wall will succeed in stopping suicide attacks might as well rely on the amulets of Kabbalist rabbis. ~~~

{} No answer to the Qassam, Ze'ev Schiff

Fri., Sept. 03

{} State to buy the houses of the to-be-evacuated settlers

After all, they aren't Palestinians... ~~~

{} Shelling civilians is war crime [The warning comes from the mouth of Israel's Attorney General]

Aluf Benn, Tue., August 31 ~~~

{} Israel killed 436 Palestinians in past 'quiet' six months Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, 31 August 2004 ~~~

{} Israel raises wall in A-Ram Cynthia Johnston, Reuters ~~~

{} ACRI files suit over refusal to sell land to Arabs Marwan Athamna in Ma'ariv - Sept. 2 ~~~

{} Arafat Stronger than Sharon

Aluf Benn on Thu., Sept.02 ~~~

{} 'One Voice': Israelis, Palestinians want Palestinian state Read how an extremely well-funded decision making games approach leads to this conclusion ~~~

{} Israel's 'Bulldozer' makes his move (Globe & Mail editorial)

Under this title, the Globe & Mail Editorial of Thursday, Sept. 2, states that Sharon at late age came to understand things differently ~~~

{} Checkpoint behavior - by Amira Hass, Sept. 2

"The soldiers can study appropriate behavior at dozens of seminars, but their objective will not change: to ensure the regime of excessive rights for the Jews - basically the sole right of the Jews to move from Tel Aviv and to live in the West Bank while the Palestinians are not permitted to move and live in Tel Aviv." ~~~

{} Disengaging from illusions By Yossi Klein Halevi, Sep. 2

"For some settlers, the notion of Israel as pariah is hardly disconcerting but, instead, confirms Jewish chosenness. Yet the vision of the biblical Balaam of "a nation that shall dwell alone" is the antithesis of Zionism, which intended to restore us not only to the Land of Israel but to the community of nations. For Zionists, Balaam's vision isn't a blessing but the curse he intended it to be."

This "mainstream point of view" makes worthwhile reading

{} Shlomo Gazit, “Writing on the Wall”

[with thanks to Eddy Keizer of the Dutch Jews for Peace group EAJG for bringing this less recent but important article, to the attention]

Retired General and former Head of the Israeli military intelligence, Shlomo Gazit discusses three regional Middle East and Israeli developments that are cause for alarm in Ma’ariv, August 5, 2004

N.B: Sign the cave dwellers petition ----------------------------------------------- Cave dwellers in the South-Hebron Hills again threatened with expulsion. Israeli groups launched a petition. Please sign: -----------------------------------------------

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