A Colonel Admits His Crimes / Children of Bil'in
A Colonel Admits His Crimes (JVP action alert)/ Children of Bil'in / weekly ad
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We pass on to you a Ha'aretz article which one shouldn't miss - about the heroic and tragic non-violent struggle in Bil'in and other villages against the ruining of their future because of the wall - but the author (Meron Rapaport) also talked with the army. Nor should you miss the comment of JVP on the interviewed colonel who rather incriminates himself, including a call for letter writing.
After that links to reports in Ha'aretz and Y-net of a demonstration in which we took part but it was the children of Bil'in who stole the show.
Last but not least, the weekly Gush Shalom statement - criticizing Israel's total dependence on the US which is right now an issue because of the confronation over Israel's arms sales to China and the AIPAC espionage case.
1) June 14 message of Jewish Voice for Peace (US-based)
--A Colonel Admits His Crimes (suggesting you send a letter)
--Gandhi Redux, Meron Rapaport in Ha'aretz
2) Children of Bil`in Village demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court
3) All on one pillar, Gush Shalom's weekly ad.
From: Jewish Voice for Peace
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 1:48 AM
A Colonel Admits His Crimes
June 14, 2005 - Ghandi Redux (Ha'aretz)
Including how you can take action on Israeli commanders giving illegal orders
JPN Commentary: The following article appeared in Ha’aretz last week. It paints a most disturbing picture of the kind of attitude the Israeli military takes regarding demonstrations. The article does point out that there have been stone-throwers at otherwise non-violent demonstrations against the wall. But the attitude of the Israeli soldiers is that the action of one such individual justifies the punishment of the entire gathering.
This sort of thinking easily translates from a demonstration into the treatment of the “other”, the Palestinians, en masse. Lt. Colonel Tzachi Segev essentially makes such a case in the article. Some years back, Israelis took up a campaign to hold commanders accountable for procedures and orders that blatantly violate international law by threatening to bring the cases before the International Court of Justice. This seemed to concern the Israeli leadership.
As Lt. Col. Segev brazenly admits to acts of collective punishment, which are illegal under international law, we would all be well advised to echo this action. Send a letter to Lt. Col. Segev. Tell him that he admitted to giving the order to implement collective punishment on villagers who protest the building of the wall on their land. This violates international law in two ways: by supporting the building of the separation wall at the expense of Palestinian lands, in contravention of the decision of the Criminal Court in The Hague 0f June 2004, and by violating the Geneva Conventions, which forbid collective punishment. Warn him that on this basis a case can be built against him in an international court - either in the International War Crime Court in The Hague or in the international courts of various countries which may lead to his being detained, arrested and/or facing judicial charges upon traveling abroad, even after his retirement.
Send such letters to:
Lieutenant Colonel Tzachi
Israeli Defence Forces
By Meron Rapaport
(...) Lieutenant Colonel Tzachi Segev, commander of the 25th Battalion of the Armored Corps, became a television star against his will. Almost every week, he commands the force that is responsible for dispersing the demonstrations at Bilin. The cameras of the Arab television networks, not to mention the cameras of Anarchists Against the Fence, document his somewhat childlike features, incongruous beneath the helmet in which he issues orders to his soldiers. He was born in Givatayim, reads Haaretz and even "understands the Palestinians at the personal level" in terms of their anger at the loss of their lands. To reduce friction with the Palestinians, he even ordered a halt to the work on the fence on Friday, to prevent the possibility that the demonstrators would approach the construction equipment. The result is that on the past few Fridays, the demonstrations have been taking place opposite a route of earth, without a fence and without construction equipment: solely against a symbol.
However, Segev has no hesitations about the assignment he has been charged with. "The state has the right to protect itself with the help of a fence, even if that right harms these people," he says. "In general," Segev explains, he gives the order to use riot dispersal means after the Palestinians start to throw stones, because "stones can kill." His definition of violence in Palestinian demonstrations - disturbances, he calls them - is quite broad. Soldiers being pushed is also considered violence that justifies the use of stun grenades or gas bombs. So is the fact that the demonstrators get close to the fence route or even cross the imaginary line the army demarcates for them at the start of every demonstration.
From Segev's point of view, activity against a village that demonstrates against the fence does not end with the dispersal of the demonstrators and the stone throwers. "If no terrorist activity and no interference with the fence works come out of the village, we do not interfere with it," Segev says. "If they interfere with the fence, we harass it in its daily routine."
What form does that harassment take?
harassment is not a good word. The stronger the activity
against the fence, the stronger our operations will be. We
reserve the right to enter the village at any hour ...
Sometimes there is no escaping collective punishment, even
if it has a negative impact. Collective punishment is
closure, prohibiting people from entering a certain
village, blocking the Bilin-Safa road [referring to the
neighboring village] as a lever of pressure if the village
does not behave properly."
Against the Fence: Children of Bil`in Village demonstrate in
the Supreme Court
(containing an interview with Adam Keller of Gush
3) This weeks Gush Shalom statement of Ha'aretz Friday June 17
For more than 40 years, all our governments have based the security of Israel on one single pillar: the alliance with the United States.
Israel is now totally dependent on American support in all fields: political, economic and military.
Only the complete reliance on America enables the Israeli government to keep up the occupation, annex territories, trample on international law and spit in the eye of world public opinion.
The present crisis between Israel and the United States shows just how dangerous this existential dependence is. Some arms deals with China and a quite negligible espionage case suffice to silence the most voluble "Friends of Israel" in Washington.
Israel must restore its freedom of maneuver, acquire friends throughout the world, make peace and integrate itself in our region.
English also on http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/he
For access to a lot of interesting material:
--The brochure Truth Against Truth (available in many languages)
--Boycott list of settlement products
--video footage of hot spots
--Archive of articles and documents
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