The dialogue of bombs & the underreported nonviolent resistance
un articulo por GUSH SHALOM
The bombings in Madrid and Ashdod have served to distract attention from a highly significant
development: the dramatic increase in mass, unarmed Palestinian acts of resistance, specifically in the West Bank villages which strand to lose their land to Sharon's "Separation Wall". In village after village, hundreds of people stand together to block the ulldozers.
Israeli peace activists are a welcome part of such protests, as are internationals. "We stood four hours, and were treated to repeated barrages of tear gas. The soldiers were extremely trigger-happy, though they had no pretext. Nobody threw stones, there was nothing but men and women, young and old, trying to defend their olive groves with their bare hands. Twelve were wounded and needed medical treatment, and the others just stood their ground" was what we heard this morning from Shai Pollak, Tel-Avivian activist of "Anachists Against The Wall". Of course, a single suicide bomber gets enormously more air time on the international media than a dozen mass unarmed actions...
In the midst of all this, March 16 is coming around this Tuesday - the sad anniversary of Rachel Corrie, American ISM activist crushed to death at Rafah while trying to stop an Israeli military bulldozer destroying a Palestinian house. On Tuesday, March 16, there will be several events of commemoration and protest at the ongoing bloodshed and oppression: GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - www.gush-shalom.org
At 12:00 noon,there will be a gathering of ISM activists together with Israeli peace activists at the Erez Checkpoint between the Gaza Strip and Israel (further information from ISM: Gabe +972.55.725.958 or Flo +972.64.309.753 - transportation available from Jerusalem); At 10 am, the community of Rafah - where rachel Corrie was killed - will commemorate her with a march starting at the main square of Rafah (info: Adwan +972.59.304.628).
Finally, at 6:00 pm the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People (GIPPP) will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Rachel Corrie at Manara Square in Ramallah, attended by internationals of the ISM and GIPPP, Palestinians and Israelis (info: Bahia of GIPPP +972.67.907.492).
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The tragic crisis in the Middle East continues to exact heavy human tolls. Something needs to be done in attempt to promote a peaceful resolution for this terrible situation.
In the past 4 years, over 1000 Israelis have been killed by suicide bombings. Two thirds of the Israelis killed have been civilians. Over 3,000 Palestinian lives have been lost at the hands of the Israeli Military. These killings are senseless because they do not address the human costs for the future generation of Israelis and Palestinians who must live together for the next millennium, unless total catastrophe befalls either of the warring parties.
Moreover, the casualty figures do not tell the whole truth about the scene of this human tragedy, as they do not include the terrible cost to the communities. For the Palestinians, about a fifth killed are under the age of 18, and that out of the 2.2 million Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank 50 percent live below the poverty line. In the Gaza the situation is even worse with 68 percent of the 1.3 million people living below the poverty line.