Jewish American Plans Put Israel's Wall On Trial
Jewish American Plans To Put Israel's Wall On Trial
Activist Kate Raphael Bender plans to put Israel's Wall on trial. Bender, a Jewish lesbian activist from the Bay Area in the United States, was arrested on December 14 at a protest against the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Bil'in village in the Ramallah district.
Bender and Kelly Minio-Paluetto, 23, of Madison Wisconsin were arrested while filming a group of Israeli border police severely beating a teenage Palestinian. The two women have been issued deportation orders and are being held in Tsohar Prison near Israel's border with Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Bender filed an appeal in Israeli Court Monday requesting that the order to deport her be revoked. She states in her appeal, "The Apartheid Wall has been held to be illegal by the International Court of Justice. Israel has been ordered to cease construction of the Wall. The International Court ruling requires foreign governments to take steps to force Israel to comply with the ruling. Foreign governments have not met this obligation."
The appeal goes on to point out that, "Israeli Occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza is illegal under UN Resolution 242. The U.S. government continues to fund the Occupation with 13 million dollars a day."
"Apartheid is defined by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights as a crime against humanity. Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid based on its legal discrimination between ethnic and religious groups in regard to ownership of land and property, immigration rights, citizenship rights, political freedoms, and access to benefits."
Bender argues that the Israeli government has no right to deport her for trying to prevent it from committing illegal acts. She cites the partisans in Nazi occupied Europe and the international brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War as examples of international citizens who intervened to prevent atrocities when their governments refused to act.
Bender has spent 12 of the last 15 months in the Occupied Palestinian Territories volunteering with Palestinian and international human rights groups. She will represent herself in the appeal process.
Israel has deported dozens of foreign activists in the last two years. This is the first time that someone has based their appeal on the responsibility of individuals to take action when governments do not. The appeal stays the deportation order, but bail has been denied, so Bender will await her court hearing in jail.
CONTACT Kate Raphael Bender: 972(0)547-870-198 Lisa Belenky: 415-863-8604 (USA)