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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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Breaking Them Down: Walls that Block People and Walls that Block Words

un article par David Adams

Around the world people have admired the courage of the Palestinian people who broke down the wall at Rafah to get food and supplies and break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

One of the most moving descriptions on the Internet came from Gush-Shalom (Peace Now), an Israeli peace organization that works in solidarity with Palestinian peace activists. It was written by Uri Avery and is available on the Internet site of Gush-Shalom.

Avery's description is especially moving because it is written from the perspective of the peace movement inside Israel. He says, "It looked like the fall of the Berlin wall. And not only did it look like it. For a moment, the Rafah crossing was the Brandenburg Gate. It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of oppressed and hungry people break down the wall that is shutting them in, their eyes radiant, embracing everybody they meet - to feel so even when it is your own government that erected the wall in the first place. The Gaza Strip is the largest prison on earth. The breaking of the Rafah wall was an act of liberation. It proves that an inhuman policy is always a stupid policy: no power can stand up against a mass of people that has crossed the border of despair. That is the lesson of Gaza, January, 2008."

There is another wall that has been broken, the wall that has blocked words in the past. For in the past the news services of the West might well have ignored the event. Now they cannot, because, as Avery says, "Again and again, Aljazeera broadcast the pictures into millions of homes in the Arab world. TV stations all over the world showed them, too. From Casablanca to Amman angry mass protest broke out and frightened the authoritarian Arab regimes. Hosny Mubarak called Ehud Barak in panic. That evening Barak was compelled to cancel, at least temporarily, the fuel-blockade he had imposed in the morning."

Elsewhere on the Gush-Shalom website, one can read about the relief convoys being organized by peace organizations in Israeli that they are trying to send into Palestine. Click here for the story as of January 26. At that point in time, the Israeli army was blocking delivery of the convoys: "Since the Israeli army has not allowed the relief supplies into the Gaza strip, they were stored in a neighboring kibbutz. If the military will not permit their transfer to Gaza in the next two days, we shall apply to the High Court of Justice and start a legal fight until we succeed."

Stay tune to the Gush-Shalom website for further developments.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) liée(s) à cet article:


How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?,

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Commentaire le plus récent:

Here is another view of the Hamas/Fatah agreement, sent to CPNN by the Palestinian peace activist, Mazin Qumsiyeh:

People asked me about the latest "reconciliation" agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Most Palestinians here are skeptical of the sincerity of leadership in Fatah and Hamas and most still think these leaders are driven by narrow factional and personal interests than by interest of Palestine; noticeably absent was the popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the largest secular faction after Fatah. Women leaders also complained about the exclusion of women voices and youth were also absent as most of those politicians are my age or older. In my talks (and I give several every week to visiting delegations and local people), I emphasize that people must wake up and push politicians to do the right thing. That is how history changes: via people especially youth and women. Of course, many wish that politicians show some leadership for positive change but we the people have to act. Meanwhile, we have an ongoing slow genocide of the Palestinian people. 7.4 million are refugees/displaced people and that number keeps growing. Those of us who against all odds remain here are subjected to unspeakable restrictions and squeezed into ghettos/cantons by an apartheid regime worse than in Apartheid South Africa and the most profitable occupation in history (thanks partly to the Oslo accords). But I do see positive signs of people acting here and there regularly: so many internationals show so much solidarity because Palestine today is the lightning rod against western hypocrisy and racism in the same way that South Africa provided such a beacon in the 1980s

Editor's note.  Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu was already calling the situation of Israel/Palestine as a system of apartheid in 2003, as reported in CPNN  and now US Secretary of Foreign Affairs, John Kerry, is beginning to speak in the same terms, as reported further down in the same CPNN discussion


Cet article a été mis en ligne le January 29, 2008.

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