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Home arrow Blog arrow June 2008 arrow June 13, 2008

June 13, 2008
WAWA Blog June 13, 2008: The Beat from Bil'in and Belfast UPDATE 9:30 PM EST and June 14 @ 8AM

UPDATE:

 Israeli army uses live rounds in peacefull protest video link and Ibrahim bleeds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF1ibN40FJE

Update June 14, 2008: Email report from Israel Palestine: "Ibrahim, Wageeh's 26 years old son was shot with live ammo in the thigh yesterday during the demo, and was evacuated to the hospital in critical condition due to massive blood loss. The bullets, apparently 3, who pierced through his leg ripped an artery, a vein and cause some yet uncertain nerve damage. After being operated on for about three or four hours, Ibrahim was moved back into the intensive care unit at Sheikh Zeid hospital. It is still uncertain if he will be able to walk on the leg again."


June 13 2008- Today a young man from Bilin was shot with live rounds during the weekly Bilin Protest. Ibrahim Burnat who was shot in his right thigh was taken directly to Sheik Zaid Hospital in Ramallah and was described by doctors as being in critical condition.  Ibrahim posed no threat to Israeli soldiers who shot him with live rounds simply for attempting to scale the Apartheid Wall as a symbolic gesture against the ongoing illegal occupation.

The protestors were shot with tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets, and finally live ammunition as the protest wound down. The Israeli peace activist Lee Lorian was injured with a rubber bullet in the chest and another more seriously injured from rubber coated steal bullets.  In addition dozens were treated for tear gas inhalation.

Locals where joined by International activists this week to protest against the Apartheid Wall and the expansion of Israeli Settlements. The weekly protestors raised the Palestinian flag and slogans against the occupation.  The signs demanded the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall, land confiscation, and the expansion of Israeli Settlements.

The protesters also demanded an end to Israel's killing of unarmed Palestinian civilians, the closure of roads in the West Bank, and large scale imprisonment as a form of collective punishment.

Also earlier in the week, the Israel Occupation Army arrested Bil'in resident Ashraf Mohammed Al-Jamal Tafwik Al-Khatib.  Ashraf was passing through one of the many checkpoints on his way to work in Jericho when he was arrested.  No reason was given for his arrest.  Ashraf was active in the weekly Bi'in peaceful protests and villagers believe this was the reason he was targeted in a continued effort by the army to silence the people of Bilin.

Thank you for you continued support,

Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
Head of Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin

Email-
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Fax- (00972) (2) 2489129

http://www.bilin-ffj.org




"If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present."
-Maried Corrigan Maguire


On June 6, 2008, Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Maried Corrigan-Maguire were assaulted by Israeli Forces with tear gas during the weekly Friday afternoon nonviolent protest against the route of the wall and military occupation in Bil'in. Julio Toscano, an Italian judge, suffered head wounds when he was hit by one of the tear-gas grenades. The incidents came on the last day of Bil'in's third annual international conference supporting nonviolent protests against the route of the wall and military occupation of the West Bank agricultural village.

June 6, 2008 VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23ul33taRtY

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKcSnysC0O8


At the conclusion of the second annual Bil'in conference, on April 21st, 2007, Mairead Maguire, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli Forces an hour after a press conference where she stated:

"Thanks to the media here for telling the truth…Bring this truth to whatever country you come from. Non-violence will solve the problems here in Israel and Palestine. Often, the world sees only violence. But Palestinians are a good people, working towards non-violence. This Wall must fall! It is an insult to the human family and to the world– that we are building Apartheid Walls in the 21st Century! More than forty years of Occupation and Land Appropriation."



In 1976, in Belfast, thousands of ordinary people throughout Northern Ireland, led by mostly women, demonstrated for an end to the killings known as "The Troubles" which began in 1969. By 1998, over thirty-four hundred people were killed in the crossfire of a brutal war against British colonial interests, revolutionary republicanism, and a revolt against the age-old, oppressive bigotry and fanaticism of religious ideologies.


On August 10, 1976, Máiread Corrigan Maguire's two nephews and one of her nieces, all little children, were killed on a Belfast street corner. "A British army patrol shot and killed an IRA gunman, Danny Lennon, whose car then plowed into the sidewalk, killing the children, and severely injuring Mairead's sister Anne, who died several years later. In a land soaked with blood, their deaths came as a severe shock. Suddenly, thousands of people began to say, "Enough is enough. The killing and violence have to stop." [1]


Máiread, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, organized weekly peace marches and demonstrations were attended by over half a million people throughout Ireland and England.

Máiread has 'insisted "that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts."

Fueled by her faith, Maried, a lone voice of wisdom, compassion and common sense stood on the streets of Belfast and said "No -- No to the IRA, No to the UDA and LVF (the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force, unionist/ loyalist paramilitaries), No to the British government's emergency laws and interrogation centers and human rights abuses, No to injustice, bigotry, discrimination, No to any desecration of human life and dignity.' [2]


In Belfast during the 1980's and early 90's, Máiread's vision of non-violence was dismissed, ridiculed, and ignored, while those who called for retaliatory vengeance and violence were applauded. From the start, Maried understood that her dream had to reach beyond the narrow boundaries of North Ireland to embrace a non-violent future for all humanity.


After a year of political negotiations, a breakthrough settlement was reached on Good Friday 1998, bringing Northern Ireland to an Easter dawn of peace.

Maried and Betty were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for what had once been unimaginable became reality and Maried continues to envision the unimaginable: justice and peace in Israel Palestine.

At the third annual international conference in Bil'in that promotes non-violent actions against the route of the wall and military occupation of the West Bank agricultural village; Maried delivered this message:


Salaam Alikum,

I am very happy to be here and would like to thank Bil’in Friends of Freedom and Justice for their invitation.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to join in Solidarity with the Palestinian nonviolent Resistance Movement, with Politicians, Israeli, and International peace activists.

As you know this month is the 60th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, in l948, when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes, losing property, land, Everything they owned.

This suffering of the Palestinian people, at the hands of the Israeli Government, continues to this day.  In this village your land continues to be annexed and recently Israeli soldiers stood by as Israeli settlers moved their mobile homes onto your land.  When you rightly non-violently resisted, as you do at the wall each week, you are gassed and showered by rubber bullets. How can anyone take the Israeli Gov. peace talks serious whilst all the while they demolish Palestinian homes, build an apartheid wall, and deny basic human rights to the Palestinian people?

The Siege of Gaza where the IDF control l.4 million Gazans denying them food, energy, and freedom of movement is a Human Rights abuse for which the Israeli Government should be deeply ashamed, and for which it looses all right to call itself a  humane or democratic Government.  

The World was horrified when it watched on Television, the Israeli military on lst March, this year, kill over 120 people were killed, over 360 wounded, some 200 of which were children under l8 years of age. At least 10 of those injured were serious lower limb amputees, not simple wounds.  On this day 3 Israeli soldiers, were killed. 

The Siege of Gaza should be lifted immediately, and International Community meet its obligations by recognizing the democratically elected Hamas Government, and restoring economic aid and help to Gazans. 

The Palestinians should be given space to sort out their own Government and then serious peace negotiations instead of forcing them into desperate counter measures. 

This year the State of Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary. 

I recognize the right of all people including Jews to a peaceful existence.

I also recognize the State of Israel, but reject its domestic and foreign policies some of which are Racist and uphold an apartheid system. 

I believe Israel needs to move from a Jewish state to a power-sharing democratic state and in doing so there are many lessons to be learned from the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

If Israel wants peace it can have it, but it needs to reject military means and replace them with peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution to solve the Palestinian problem. 

There are obvious steps which require political courage and leaderships, such as:

End the Occupation; Uphold its obligations under UN and International Law and end all violence; open serious unconditional, all inclusive dialogue with all parties to the conflict;  and with their enemies (as in the Northern Ireland peace process the British Government talked with Representatives of Irish Republican Army).

The Palestinians need also to reject violence and armed struggle and use  non-violent  resistance, such as the inspirational grassroots peoples’ movement in Bil’in, and the pushing down of Raffah Barrier in Gaza.     

Suicide Bombs, Qassam rockets into Israel, must be stopped as they are abuses of Human Rights of Israelis.   The Palestinians can build Palestinian Unity and use non-violent conflict resolution approaches.

 I believe, from our own experience in Northern Ireland, that women and civil community play an important role in building justice and peace, and the upholding of UN Resolution l325 would means Governments have to protect women and children during conflict, and women must be
given representation at the peace talk table.  The women in Northern Ireland when participating at the peace talks table, brought new insights into conflict resolution.

Also in our own experience people in conflict often need outside help in
Their peace processes. In N.Ireland we had Irish/British/American help.  

So too it will be important to build Middle East Community, i.e., Palestine/Israel/Syria/ Lebanon,/Jordan, and Iran.   

Building Economic/Cultural/Friendship links with all these countries will be Israel’s best form of security, and a more reliable one, than nuclear weapons, Militarism, and ongoing enmity.  Israel, (and USA) talking to enemies like Iran, is the only way to solve problems, as war, nuclear weapons and militarism no longer are acceptable and do not work.  

There is always an alternative to violence, and we the human Family must use the ways of nonkilling and nonviolence if we are to survive. When people enter into dialogue solutions will present themselves.

The question of Jerusalem can be solved. 

Why not share the City, or alternatively could it be a World City State? 

Three great religions Islam, Christianity, Judaism, who trace their roots to the prophet  Abraham, could be a light to the world, and give us all hope,  if they can begin to live together in peace, justice and reconciliation.

The question of Palestinian refugees is indeed painful and difficult. 

Sadly the wounds of  Nakba are wide open, and will not be healed until Israel apologies for the Nakba, and recognises the Right to Return of the Palestinian refugees.  Jewish society needs to do this, because in their heart of hearts they are a people who themselves suffered in the Holocaust and know the pain of injustice and the need for not only an apology but also restitution to allow healing and reconciliation to take place. 

I am hopeful for the future peace of Israel/Palestinian.  I take my hope from the resilience, patience, and courage I have witnessed in so many Jews and Arabs living and work for peace, and I encourage you to hold onto your hope and believe passionately peace will come in your day.

 Thank you.
God Bless you all.

Salaam, Shalom, Peace,
Mairead Maguire
www.peacepeople.com
4th June, 2008-05-31 Bil’in, Palestine.



Maried has also said, "Hope for the future depends on each of us taking non-violence into our hearts and minds and developing new and imaginative structures which are non-violent and life-giving for all. Some people will argue that this is too idealistic. I believe it is very realistic. I am convinced that humanity is fast evolving to this higher consciousness. For those who say it cannot be done, let us remember that humanity learned to abolish slavery. Our task now is no less than the abolition of violence and war.... We can rejoice and celebrate today because we are living in a miraculous time. Everything is changing and everything is possible.

"While Governments can make a difference, in the final analysis it is the individual – that is each one of us – that will bring the dream of a non-violent world to reality. We, the people must think and act non-violently. We must not get stuck in the past as to do so will destroy the imagination and creativity.

"To change our world we need a spiritual and a political evolution. The political steps are often very obvious: uphold Human rights, and International Laws, demand our Governments meet their obligations under these Laws, support and reform United Nations, etc., However, all the legislation, resolutions, and fine talk will be of no use, if we do not as men and women evolve and become transformed, so that we, the human family, achieve a more enlightened and humane way of living together, and solving conflicts." [4]



The change we all want to see in the world is the transformation from violent retaliation to non-violent solidarity. Our leaders who choose violence must be led to see that only justice; which requires equal human rights for all, as the only way to peace and security for any. We the people for justice and peace, fuelled by faith, ethics, morality, non-violence and wisdom are the ones to lead our leaders in the ways of peace.

Imagine if those politicians who claim to be Christian actually were on God's side; such as in understanding that all people are equal and sacred beings and thou shall not kill.

"Just think of what would happen if God's justice and peace were our heart's desire, and the dignity of every human being our deepest concern. There would be a revolution, which is precisely what God's work, God's mission, is all about."- Bishop Frank T. Griswold



1.    http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=128&Itemid=105
2.    Ibid
3.    http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=929&Itemid=201
4.    Ibid

 
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