Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Peaceful Resistance in Bethlehem City
posted by: Frubious Bandersnatch at 9:01 AM
Popular Resistance against the Apartheid Wall: Al Khadr
By Odog

Al Khadr is yet another example of a peaceful village bearing the brunt of the Israeli occupation's policies to annex land while undermining the social and economic viability of the Bethlehem governorate. The soon to be built Apartheid wall near Al Khadr will isolate 95% of the village's lands behind the wall. The result will be to push the people of Al Khadr further towards economic ruin and poverty.

Demonstrations against the Apartheid wall have been organized and are picking up momentum. The event which was first organized two weeks ago is gathering an increasing crowd of locals and internationals. The foreigners who are present come from various NGOs including some Christian organizations. Community leaders are hoping this process will continue so that when construction begins, there will be a critical mass in order to pressure the Occupation Authorities to at least re-route the wall further from the village.

Like the majority of resistance in Palestine, demonstrations have been non-violent. In the last event, following Friday prayers demonstrators marched through the village to the Israeli controlled road. Approximately fifteen minutes later two Israeli jeeps arrived with armed soldiers. A short speech was held commending those present and thanking the internationals for their solidarity. Later a group of Palestinian youths arrived in a car blasting Arabic music and the entire crowed broke out into spontaneous clapping and dancing. The soldiers stood on watching apparently not enjoying themselves.

Despite being a peaceful gathering the soldiers eventually demanded that the people vacate the area. When the crowd refused they began taking vantage positions and threatened to fire tear gas unless the crowd moved. A large proportion of those present in the demonstration were young children and for their safety parents and community leaders agreed to leave vowing to return next week.

Israel's plan to build the Apartheid wall through the lands of Al Khadr provides a powerful insight into the true purpose behind the wall which is to annex land while controlling Palestinian demographics by fencing them into ghettos. Israel's disengagement is not about handing over genuine sovereignty but a re-organization of military occupation aimed at increasing the efficiency of its exploitation and control.

Events in Al khadr also indicate how the majority of Palestinians protest against Israel's unjust policies non-violently but due to the media's interest in sensationalism such behavior receives little attention. The power disparity between Palestinians and the state of Israel will probably ensure Israel will continue its crimes against the Palestinian people. Nevertheless, events in Al Khadr shows where there is repression one always finds resistance and despite the odds against them the people will always chose resistance over giving up their freedom.

[Bethlehemghetto would like to thank Odog for the submission of this story. Submissions are always welcome.]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Separation Wall Divides Neighborhood in Bethlehem
posted by: Frubious Bandersnatch at 12:42 PM

The comments that will be posted by Zionists after this blog entry will possibly try and argue that "the wall is to stop the terrorists" and "if the terrorists stopped bombing Israel, there would be no need for this" and "the Palestinians bomb us because they hate us." or sometimes even "we won the war fair and square - therefore we won the land." All of these comments have been posted in responce to previous blog articles before.

Non of these comments have anything whatsoever to do with the above pictures. This 'tunnel' was driven through a previously prosperous area of Bethlehem in order to create a 'safe passage' so that Jewish Orthodox settlers could visit Rachel's Tomb.

To clarify this further, this entire area has been economically and infastructurally devastated - distrupting and destroying the day to day lives of thousands of Christian and Muslim Palestinians - so that a small number of Israeli citizens can continue to visit a holy site in a city which they have no entitlement to under international law.

This sort of action does not demonstrate that the Israeli state feels hatred towards the Palestinians. Nor does it demonstrate that they are intimidated by the Palestinians and wish to secure themselves against attack. It proves that the Israeli state is willing to entirely ignore the very existence of the Palestinians. It proves that they are willing to place the religous 'right to worship' of their own people above the very infastructural viability of a Palestinian city.

It is for this reason that the Palestinians are angry. It is for this reason that some in Palestine choose to respond with violence. For every street that is carved in half, for every civilian that is 'accidentally' killed in a raid, for every field that is destroyed to make way for a new settler road, for every house that is demolished to build a new settlement; hundreds more Palestinians are over come with anger. If you want peace, the first move must be yours Israel, and you know what it is; LEAVE US ALONE, WIThDRAW FROM THE ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND STOP DESTROYING OUR INFASTRUCTURE. TREAT US AS EQUALS AND WE WILL TREAT YOU AS NEIGHBORS.