Monday, October 3rd, 2011
The high Bedouin popular committee of the Negev
Demonstration and General strike
The October 6 Demonstration
No to Praver Plan
Thursday, 6.10.2011, 11:00 am
Be’er Sheva, in front of the “Authority for the settlement of the Negev Bedouins”
Buses to the demonstration and back will leave from Tel Aviv (9:00 Arlozorov train station, Masof El Al) and Jerusalem (9:00 Gan Hapa’amon)Registration at: Mumtaz – 0507701118, Ilan – 0542895000
Sunday, September 18th, 2011
International recognition of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is an important and vital step in the process of internationalization of the Palestinians struggle for independence, freedom and equality. It may possibly strengthen the Palestinians struggle against the occupation and hand over the responsibility for ending the occupation and eliminating racial discrimination to the international community.
Nevertheless, mere declaration of statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is incapable of ending decades of occupation and racial discrimination based on legal mechanisms that match the UN definition of apartheid, to solve the refugee problem or to lead to civil equality between Jews and Palestinians citizens of Israel. These issues can only be resolved in a just agreement to end the occupation while maintaining the basic individual and collective rights of Palestinians, wherever they reside.
The Palestinian people has inalienable rights, including the right of return, right to self determination and national independence. The right to self-determination is a collective right of all Palestinians, regardless of geographic location. These rights have been previously recognized by the UN as immutable. In order that the initiative succeed in producing a significant transformation in the Palestinian struggle and create new political alliances, it must demand the right of return of refugees and the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
CWP accentuates that any diplomatic initiative must maintain the status of the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people in the UN and in other international institutions; to protect and promote the rights of the Palestinian people as a whole. The PLO is recognized as representing the Palestinians in the international arena, and draws its legitimacy from the Palestinians in exile, in Israel and in the occupied territories, as well as from recognition by the Arab League and the UN itself. We stress that any appeal to ratify the right of self determination of the Palestinians must not undermine the status of the PLO as the representative of all Palestinians. In particular, we are concerned with the representation of Palestinian women and men who do not live in the West Bank and Gaza.
We call for ending the occupation, maintaining the Palestinians right of return and the right to resist the occupation by all legitimate and popular forms of resistance acceptable by international norms. We maintain and reiterate our call upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel until it meets obligations under international law and end the occupation.
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Following the Killing of protestor in Bil’in 30 Israeli women’s organizations sent an urgent call to the government, protesting the use of weapons to disperse popular demonstrations in the West Bank
Women’s organizations accuse the Israeli army of trying to plaster and disseminate false information regarding the circumstances of the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah last Friday in Bil’in.
The organizations will join the weekly demonstration against the Wall this Friday in Bili’in.
According to the organizations, “the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah is the result of repeated attacks of the army on non-violent protestors demonstrating against the theft of their land.” The organizations expressed a firm position of support for the protesters and family, according to which Abu-Rahmah’s death was caused as a result of tear gas inhalation, in contrast to versions circulated in recent days by the IDF spokesperson.
The weekly demonstration in Bil’in this Friday (7.1.2011), is expected to be larger than the usual, as women from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and south of the country, are planned to come to express solidarity with the struggle of women, children and men
against the Wall. Among the participating organizations: Coalition of Women for Peace, Progressive Women’s Front, TANDI, Machsom Watch, Aswat, Kayan and New Profile.
Dr. Dalit Baum, member of the Coalition of Women for Peace, who initiated the petition stated: “Abu-Rahmah’s murder is a form of violence against women, and it is plastered in the exact same way as other forms of violence against women are. As in all such cases, we, women’s organizations, will not silence until those responsible will be held accountable. “
Mahasen Rabous, Coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace: “nearly thirty women’s organizations have expressed today support for the struggle in Bil’in, and for the Palestinian struggle for liberation from occupation. In this brave move, these organizations prove that solidarity between women does not stop at the checkpoint”
The sense of accomplishment in the Israeli women’s movement following the conviction of ex-president Moshe Katzav gave way during the weekend to shock and outrage following the killing Jawaher Abu-Rahmah. Abu Rahmah, a resident of the village of Bil’in, participated in the village’s weekly protest against the wall and died after suffering from severe tear gas poisoning.
Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, 36, a sister to Bassem Abu-Rahmah, who was killed in April 2009 from a high-velocity tear gas canister shot directly towards him, was an active and appreciated figure in the village and used to organize conferences and workshops on feminist issues. During a demonstration Friday, 31.12.10, Abu-Rahmah inhaled large amounts of tear gas, was rushed to the hospital suffering from severe poisoning. Doctors at the Ramallah hospital fought for her life during the night. She died on early Saturday morning.
The Declaration Reads:
We, the undersigned women’s organizations, express deep shock over the death of Jawaher Abu-Rahmah, 36, a resident of the village of Bil’in, who was killed as a result of tear gas poisoning fired by the Israeli army during a demonstration against the Wall.
Her death is a result of repeated attacks on behalf of the Israeli army, against unarmed civilians who are struggling against the theft of their lands. These attacks have led so far to the death of 21 demonstrators, and the injury of thousands.
We call upon the Israeli government to immediately cease the use of weapons against demonstrators: women, children and men.
We express solidarity with our sisters across the Palestine and Israel and support their inalienable right to non-violent protest.
The petiton was signed by:
Coalition of Women for Peace, Achoti – for Women in Israel, Itach-Ma’aki – Lawyers for Social Justice, Machsom Watch, New Profile, International Women’s Commission (IWC), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Isha L’Isha, Aswat, Kayan, Anwar – Arab-Jewish Women’s Leadership, Boycott: Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, Alliance of Progressive Women, Our Safe Home, Daughters of the Dessert, Dessert Princes, the Social Television, Yasmeen el-Naqab, Tmura Center, Laquiya Women, Women for Themselves, Women in Black, Women and their Bodies, Arus el-Bahar, Sidreh, FOR A: Feminist Organization of Russian Speaking Activists, Women’s Parliament, Women’s Equal Representation (WER), Movement of Democratic Women in Israel.
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Monday, May 31st, 2010
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Sunday, October 29th, 2006
The invitation said:
“Back to Bil’in – Mass Demo, Friday, October 27th”
“…It is already 20 months that the village Bil’in has been fighting for its life and future – a long, hard struggle, often frustrating. On Friday, 27th October 2006 a large demonstration will be held in Bil’in, for the first time in a long period. Please join us and come to support the people of Bil’in in their just struggle in this critical time.”
So… I went back to Bil’in.
After months of being away, speaking abroad about the demonstrations against the wall and their importance, showing pictures of the demonstrators’ creativity and courage, the army’s brutality, suddenly I did not really want to be there.
Maybe it was seeing Lymor in another demonstration the previous day (Lymor was shot in the head in Bil’in: http://mishtara.org/blog/?p=70), maybe it was the change of perspective – from afar, these demonstrations seem so much larger then life and less dusty… and maybe it was just what it felt it was – the dry mouth, the burn in the pit of my stomach the smell of tear gas in the air, and all that just from reading the invitation.
After a sleepless night, I took a sweater and a water bottle (the things that make us feel safer…) and joined about 200 other Israelis on different routes to Bil’in. So many people! and so many dear friends… some chatty, some somber. Maybe it was just me, but on our complicated way to Bil’in, all seemed to be focused on the same things – the smell, the sound, the future pain of violence. What is it about violence that catches our attention so fully, that touches us so deeply, that makes it so… so serious? Am I serious? how serious am I? I didn’t know I was that serious…
R, a good and wise friend, was my partner. Let’s take it slowly, I asked, let’s march in the back, maybe stay in the village… we stood while the men leaders of all Palestinian parties and Israeli groups marched by, followed by the organizers and the activists carrying ladders to be used to cross the wire fences, and the young men with flags and chants… I watched them in awe and admiration and envy and guilt, like a woman watching her champions going into battle, or a glorious anciet ceremony of sacrifice and victory.
We were climbing up the road towards the fence, in the tail of an impressive and colorful march, when we started hearing some blasts, coming from behind us. The soldiers. Behind us.
I stop. Suddenly I cannot breathe. I cannot go on, cannot go back. On both sides of the road there are ancient olive trees. I am amazed to see some women and children picking the olives. One woman, standing on a ladder over a tree near the road, is smiling at us, inviting us to join the children below, collecting the olives into bags. I take their picture. Feeling guilty again, for being a tourist, for stalling, for not helping at least with the picking.
The mass of the demonstration is before us, up on the hill just in front of a row of soldiers and a gate in the fence. To the side we can see a group of activists using the ladders to cross the barbed wire; they are being shot at, gassed, concussion grenades go off in blasts at their feet. The blasts make me very white and heavy. I tell R to go on. Leave me here, go on to the front. I do not want to shame her by my cowardice. You are missing the whole demonstration, I tell her, and she says, the demonstration is here too.
Finally she takes my hand and we go on. We go up the hill and join the rest of the demonstration. People are chatting and chanting and waving flags and interviewing and watching the soldiers and each other intently. The activists who crossed over the fence are being chased by the soldiers. I stand among friends on that hill, and they are all alert and alive and tense and now I can relax.
When the first round of tear gas reaches us, we are prepared for retreat. I keep calculating wind directions and shouting suggestions to whoever wants to hear them. But the wind keeps changing. The blasts get nearer. We go down the hill and down the road to the village. Slowly. And then faster, and finally, as usual, we run some. I am reminded of other demonstrations. Stumbling through stony fields, falling down, blinded by the gas, choking, being chased by guns and horses and batons and fear, running for my life. But not this time. This time, being more afraid then ever, I am not surprised by the attack, it is almost a relief to actually smell the foul thing. I am alive.
Some gas canisters shoot over our heads and explode on the road blocking our escape. We go into the olive grove to avoid them, and there they are, the olive picking family. The children have some cloth covering their mouths and noses from the gas. They are picking olives.
Later, when the rest of the demonstrators were chased off by more and more rounds of tear gas and concussion grenades and rubber-coated bullets, we could still hear the continuing blasts and shots aimed at some stone-throwing children. Some wounded, some arrested and I was shopping for really cheap Labane and Yogurt to take home for the weekend.
Only much much later, on the bus home, I realized that in all this time I used my camera only once, and that the only picture I took was of the woman picking olives.