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Home arrow Blog arrow September 2007 arrow September 5, 2007

September 5, 2007
WAWA Blog  September 5, 2007

The Power of Nonviolent Persistent People and the Yin and Yang of Anarchy
*updated 8:00 AM EST



 [West Bank: Occupied Territory] In a verdict released on Sept 4, 2007, justice ruled in the Holy Land!

In the petition of the village of Bil'in against The Wall (HCJ 8414/05), which in that area of the occupied territory of the West Bank, is mostly an electrified fence with miles of rolled barbwire that prevents the indigenous landowners access to their olive groves, Judges Beinish, Prokachya and Rivlin, of the Supreme Court ruled against the current route of The Wall/separation barrier and ordered the State to prepare a proposal for an alternative route.


Due to the power of nonviolent persistent people the empire and military occupation of Israel  has now been justly ordered to leave the agricultural lands of Bil'in on the legally owned Palestinian side of the apartheid/separation barrier!


Dr. Barghouthi MP, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, explained that the steadfast peaceful resistance of the villagers of Bil'in resulted in the decision to partially remove the wall in the village. He also commended the heroic struggle of the people; local families and foreign sympathizers who maintained a peaceful popular struggle against the apartheid/separation wall that weekly occurred every Friday afternoon as a ritual over the last two and a half years. The persistence of nonviolent people forced the Israeli High Court of Justice to issue a just decision that ordered the removal of the wall from the village of Bil'in. Dr. Barghouthi added that the struggle must continue until the wall is fully removed from Bil'in and all legally owned Palestinian land.

 

Dr. Barghouthi explained that this decision of the Israeli High Court of Justice proves the effectiveness of the strategy of nonviolent resistance and international solidarity. Dr. Barghouthi has also called for all Palestinians to continue the struggle against The Wall, the settlements and the annexation of East Jerusalem; citing the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which has deemed them all illegal.
 
 
"Residents of the village of Bilin went to court arguing that the current route, built on village land, kept them from their fields and orchards, which remained on the other side of the barrier. Villagers and their Israeli and foreign supporters have protested at the barrier every Friday for the past 2½ years…The Israeli government argued that the route was necessary to protect residents of the nearby settlement of Modiin Illit, and completed the section of fence that cut through Bilin despite the protests. A three-judge Supreme Court panel unanimously rejected the government’s argument Tuesday, ordering defense planners to change the barrier’s route so it causes less harm to the village’s residents. [1]

“We were not convinced that it is necessary for security-military reasons to retain the current route that passes on Bilin’s lands,” Chief Justice Dorit Beinish wrote in the decision. The judges specified that “this will require destroying the existing fence in certain places and building a new one,” and ordered the government to come up with a new route in a “reasonable period of time.” [Ibid]

"Israel began building the 425-mile barrier along the West Bank in 2002, saying it was a necessary weapon in its war against Palestinian suicide bombers. But the barrier juts into West Bank territory, provoking Palestinian claims that Israel is using security arguments to mask a land grab." [Ibid]


This most embarrassing blow against the empire and military occupation of Palestine just may be the second domino to fall in the occupation and apartheid/separation policies of the ethnocracy [human rights for Jews, but nobody else] of Israel.

Now that the highest court in Israel; the Supreme Court has ordered the State to redraw the route of its West Bank, what happened in Budrus and now Bil'in is all due to the persistence of people power and anarchy.


Palestinian farmers, workers, mothers, and students, together with Israeli and international volunteers, have been braving teargas, beatings, bullets, arrest, and even death to block the construction of The Wall with nothing more than their bodies.


Two Anarchists Against the Wall, Palestinian Ayed Morrar and Israeli Jonathan Pollak toured the United States in 2005 to wake up Americans about the persistent struggle and nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation and their illegal actions in Palestine. This reporter attended their Gainesville, Florida session and learned from Ayed Morrar, a community leader from the West Bank village of Budrus, how a few committed, thoughtful, persistent and nonviolent citizens changed their part of the world.


In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that The Wall is a violation of international law because it cuts through the West Bank appropriating Palestinian land and destroying Palestinian villages to make way for further Israeli settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.


Soft-spoken and humble, Ayed Morrar, led his village of Budrus in a nonviolent David versus Goliath victory over the Israeli military in 2003-2004. Through a campaign of 50 protests, the village of Budrus pushed The Wall’s path off of the village's land and onto the Green Line. Day after day, the people of Budrus; men, women and children, with only their bodies resisting the might Israeli army, blocked the destruction of their homeland and the illegal construction of The Wall by marching onto their legally owned land. Despite the Israeli soldiers’ attempts to stop them, these few thoughtful, committed nonviolent activists placed their bodies in front of the Caterpillar/Caterkiller bulldozers and took the punishment.


Hundreds of residents were injured during the campaign by Israeli soldier's billy clubs, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Ayed was jailed for eight days by the Israeli authorities, but was released due to the international outcry that erupted because his only offense was organizing nonviolent protests.


The nonviolent resistance against the illegal actions of the Israeli government in Budrus was supported by justice and peace activists from ISM/International Solidarity Movement and from Israeli groups such as the Anarchists Against the Wall. The strategy implemented in Budrus served as a model for Bil'in and other Palestinian communities have joined in, to nonviolently resist Israel’s military occupation and the confiscation of their legally owned land.


Twenty-three year old, secular Jew, Jonathan Pollack, was one of the first Israelis to begin protesting regularly in the West Bank with Palestinians and internationals against the construction of the Wall in 2002. Pollack is one of the founders of Anarchists Against the Wall which has played a vital role in supporting Palestinians in nonviolent protest. Jonathan has participated in hundreds of nonviolent West Bank protests and has mobilized hundreds of Israelis to join Palestinians in resisting The Wall and the Occupation. As a result, Jonathan has been arrested and jailed repeatedly by the Israeli authorities. In April 2005 during a quiet protest in the village of Bil’in he was shot in the head from 40 meters by an Israeli soldier with a tear gas canister fired from an M16 rifle. He suffered internal hemorrhaging and wounds requiring 23 stitches. He has endured much more since then and still persists.


Despite Israeli government efforts to stop them, Ayed, Jonathan and their Palestinian, Israeli and international colleagues remain determined to continue their joint, nonviolent campaign against Israeli occupation and the denial of rights of the Palestinian people.


In Ayeed's village of Budrus, the people chanted in English "WE CAN DO IT!"

And they did!


And so have they in Bil'in! Woman, children, farmers, just regular people have persistently stood up to the Caterpillar/Caterkiller bulldozers and the IDF who wield billy clubs and shoot off tear gas canisters that can cause spasticity for weeks and which have even caused death. Regular people fed up with injustice have stood up to guns that shoot rubber coated bullets and have proved that non-violent activism works against even one of the mightiest and most well equipped armies the world has ever known.


Regular people have risen up and have told the Israeli government to back off from their land, back off from their trees, and back off from denying food to their children. In Budrus-and soon to be in Bil'in-The WALL is now on the GREEN LINE because regular people stood up to military occupiers and said:

Enough! This was never a land without a people; this has always been our home. If you want an apartheid wall, put it on your property, quit stealing ours! Put yourself in the ghetto, we will stand firm for freedom for right is on our side and the Geneva Convention and International Law affirms that occupied people have every right to rise up militarily against their oppressors! We will not be ethnically cleansed from the land of our ancestors, and these olive trees you uproot are our family! Every little child knows the name of every tree and we will not allow your illegal apartheid/separation wall to tear our families apart.


Regular people in Budrus, chanted in English: "We can do it!" And they did it! And so have they in Bil'in!


When this reporter attended a ritual Friday afternoon in Bil'in, regular people chanted: "The wall fell in Berlin! The wall will fall in Bil'in!"

It once looked hopeless that apartheid would fall in South Africa, but that was before regular people persistently and nonviolently took direct action and only then, justice was served .

Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws. The Yang [male positive force] of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.

The Yin or feminine passive force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.


1- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070904/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_barrier


For more information, contact Dr Barghouthi: 0599201528

Other Sources:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20581935/from/ET/

October, November 2005, WAWA Blog http://www.wearewideawake.org/

Eye witness experience in Bil'in by this reporter, March and November 2006.




*Updated: From an email received from an Anarchist Against the Wall


Yesterday (4/9/07) the High Court released its verdict in the petition of the village of Bil'in against the separation barrier constructed on its land. More than two and a half years of joint struggle finally prevailed on the High-Court to deviate from its normal pattern of facilitating every move to dispossess Palestinians. The court decided that the present route of the fence is illegal and that the State must propose and alternative route within a reasonable period. According to the decision, the alternative route must retain Bil'in agricultural land on the Palestinian side of the barrier. Moreover, the court has decided that the benefits of the present route is disproportional to the benefit it provide, and ordered the state to consider refraining from including the planned eastern section of the "Matitiahu-Mizrah" neighborhood on the "Israeli" side of the fence.

In the words of the judges "The present route raises grave questions also in regards to the security advantages it was said to provide…and the selected route cannot be explained other then by the intention to include the eastern section of "Matitiahu-Mizrah" on the west side of the separation barrier". This means that the route cannot be rationalized except by the efforts to steal and confiscate the land, consideration forbidden even by the criterions endorsed by the court.

Even with the best legal representation the ruling could not have arrived at without the unrelenting struggle mounted by the village of Bil'in against the construction of the barrier. The residents of Bil'in had raised the flag of the joint non-violent struggle from the very beginning of construction on the barrier and did not forsake it for a moment. All of us, who shared the struggle, are fortunate to have participated in an event unprecedented in its importance. We were privileged to have formed very meaningful bonds as well a sense of empowerment that is the prize of those who persists in confronting violent oppression and overcome it. 

The journey is still long. The High-Court, failed to rule that the wall should be moved to the Green-Line, and of course did not abolish the separation it produces. The present ruling is indeed an achievement and reinforces the popular struggle against the wall. The common struggle against the occupation shall go on! Palestinians and Israelis shall join hands and shall behold, through their deeds, that the apartheid shall fail and the robbery shall not pass!

On this coming Friday We shall all arrive to Bil'in to show the occupation system that the struggle against the apartheid and theft, and for justice and equality is well alive!




   
 
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