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Heading towards the disengagement bang

Heading towards the disengagement bang

TOI-Billboard - June 22, 2005

(This is the first billboard after June 5; sorry for the delay because of computer crash.)

--This week...

--Recommended reports and articles

The fence, non-violent activists targeted, and the children of Bil'in

Four draft refusers in prison

Addressing the Israeli street

Silwan demolition threat halted for the time being, or...

Death sentence to Refaim valley

"I had to apologize in front of everybody for Israeli policies"

A one-man protection force, by Nir Hasson in Ha'aretz

An ill wind is blowing - Akiva Eldar

Is Bush getting serious about the peace process? Henry Siegman in IHT

Withdrawal is a prelude to annexation, Avi Shalim
"We Must Try Harder", Shamai Leibowitz and Yehudith Harel on why boycott is a needed tool

This week...

This week, the occasion of the first Sharon-Abbas "work meeting", the awareness breaks through that we may after all be heading towards confrontation. With disengagement day approaching it is difficult to continue not believing what Sharon has said all the time but hoping against hope that "he talks tough in order to deceive the settlers, but in reality he works on his place as peacemaker in the history books."

This is of course not what the Palestinians in Bil'in and Marda ever believed nor those in the many other villages whose sources of sustenance are being bulldozed and taken away. Nor are the young Israelis who daily assist them fooled into thinking that Sharon doesn't mean it.

After an interruption of nearly three weeks (we had to rebuild our data after a computer crash) we will only give you the most important reports and articles which you may not have received otherwise.

Recommended reports & articles

The fence, non-violent activists targeted, and the children of Bil'in

While the joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle against the Fence is daily taking place and often in more than one location, we get used to hear that activists were arrested or got wounded. Two leading Anarchists (if such a thing exists) were targeted especially: Yonatan Polak is no longer allowed to enter the occupied territories (for three months), and Leiser Palas was beaten up and spent a day in hospital with a head wound and is still limping.

Update on detained Bil'in community leaders

A few days ago supporters worldwide were asked to send protests to the Israeli authorities at the detention of the brothers Abdullah and Rateb Abu Rahma, community leaders of Bil'in, on trumped up charges of "stone-throwing" during the anti-wall protest last Friday. As we heard from Adv. Tamar Peleg of the Ha'Moked legal aid center, the deliberations of the Yehuda Military Court yesterday ended with Abdullah being released with a 5000 Shekels (a bit more than a $1000) bail being posted, while Rateb will remain at least until next Tuesday at the Ofer Detention Camp. The judge, Captain Kfir Yehudah, needs this extra week in order to make up his mind about the testimony of a border guard who claims to have been assaulted by Rateb Abu Rahma. In fact, that guard was the one who threw a shock grenade at Rateb while he was lying on the ground, which exploded between Rateb's thighs and wounded him. Next week, video footage taken at the demo and clearly proving Rateb's case will be presented as evidence. Hopefully also he will then be allowed to await trial at home, not in detention.

For further details contact Adv. Tamar Peleg, +972-507-308199

As we are again and again faced with prisoners needing to be bailed out - Palestinian, Israeli or international - please help us create a "bail fund" for the non-violent struggle against the Fence. Send donations earmarked for "Anti-Fence Bail fund" to The Other Israel (TOI), pob 2542, Holon 58125, Israel, or send it to "TOI" via Paypal using the address

Meanwhile, the children of Bil'in were the only ones to be allowed into Israel proper on the day that the village's fate was sealed in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Read the translated Yediot article

and follow the link to photos

[The lastest from Bil'in came to us by email and phone: at 6 in the morning today, June 22, ten people - villagers, as well as international and Israeli activists and ... a sheep, locked themselves into a cage on the planned route of the annexation wall. Of course there followed arrests, but today the untiring advocate Peleg succeeded in getting all out...]
Four draft refusers in prison


Objectors Misha Hadar and Eyal Brami have both made a decision to refuse from now on to wear a military uniform and follow orders while in prison. Misha Hadar has formulated this decision in the following letter:

June 2005 - It is now two months since my first refusal to serve in the Israeli army and since I made my request to be heard by a "conscience committee" – a right which I have so far been denied. After several terms in jail I have come to the conclusion that sooner or later, any dialogue with the military follows the logic of the military - a way of thinking which is fundamentally lacking in conscience, which bases itself in brute force, and which, since 1967 leads to the consistent abuse of the Palestinian people and their rights.(...)

As a result, I feel that any attempt on my part to speak has become wholly superfluous. In fact, it only creates strange types of co-operation with what is lacking in conscience. (...)

full update + what you can do

Addressing the Israeli street

Scroll down on to see photos and some explanation of two events - one in Lod (Activism Festival) and one in Tel-Aviv (Democracy Day Against the Occupation)

More on the Activism Festival

Background of the Democracy Day Against the Occupation

Meanwhile, others try to debate trough the use of coloured ribbons, now that orange has become the settlers' symbol.

Silwan demolition threat halted for the time being, or...

The Jerusalem municipality said Tuesday it has postponed plans to demolish 88 Arab homes in East Jerusalem and was trying to negotiate a compromise with local residents.

But a representative of the residents, lawyer Sami Ershied, said tenants in the neighborhood of Silwan continue to receive demolition orders and he denied that a committee to work out a compromise was formed.

read more

Death sentence to Refaim valley
By Zafrir Rinat

June 15, 2005

The green organizations fought for years to save the Refaim Valley, which
meanders its way to Jerusalem from the south. They persuaded the planners
of a major road to route it through tunnels below the valley, and
succeeded in fending off the construction of a new Jerusalem
neighborhood. Yet now they are virtually powerless to prevent the
separation fence, which will destroy the southern reaches of the valley
and wreak havoc on the quality of life of the Palestinian villages near

read more

"I had to apologize in front of everybody for Israeli policies"

"It's important for me to explain that Israel isn't all tanks and soldiers running after small children. Israel isn't just the army. There are law-abiding citizens who are concerned about human rights in Israel. That's very important for me to clarify."

Yafit Gamila Biso immigrated to Israel from Syria in 1985. She is active in many joint Israeli-Palestinian peace and human rights groups. Her activities include being a translator and contact person for Palestinian children and families getting treatment in Israeli hospitals, organizing humanitarian aid for Palestinian children in the West Bank, and assisting Palestinians with the olive harvest. (...)

I worked in international brokerage. I was the liaison between business representatives from Israel and the Arab countries. I worked with Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, people from the Gulf. I simply had to apologize in front of everybody for Israeli policies. They saw Israel sealing up houses, demolishing houses; our Israeli soldier is depicted all over the world as a soldier with a tank pursuing a child with a rock in hand.


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