Friday, 9 July 2010

Bil'in villager imprisoned for two years after protesting against apartheid wall

In a major escalation against the non-violent movement to smash the apartheid wall, Israel has sent Bil'in villager Adeeb Abu Rahma to prison for two years.
Israeli courts criminalize protest: Adeeb Abu Rahma sentenced to two years

Israeli repression of Palestinian non-violent resistance against the Wall and the Occupation takes a distubring turn: Adeeb Abu Rahma, from Bil’in Village, sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

On 30 June 2010, grassroots activist Adeeb Abu Rahma, member of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, was sentenced by Israeli military court to two years’ imprisonment, after being arrested on 10 July 2009 during a weekly demonstration in Bil’in, and after spending 11 months of detention in the Ofer military complex in the Occupied Territories.

Adeeb Abu Rahma is a taxi-driver and he has 11 children, he’s well known for his generosity and constant presence at village of Bil’in’s weekly demonstrations against Israel’s wall and for his commitment to popular nonviolent resistance, and the sentence is part of Israeli strategy to repress and criminalize popular nonviolent struggle against the Occupation and the Wall.

The sentence that condemned Adeeb states that he is guilty of “encourage violence”, “activity against public order” and of being “present in a closed military area”, as Bil’in has been declared every Friday from 8am to 8pm, in order to prevent the weekly demonstration. Adeeb lives in the village, and always has; so he has been convicted of being present in his own home. more at the International Solidarity Movement

Six years since West Bank apartheid wall ruled illegal protesters step up action

From stopthewall.orgStop the Wall is stepping up activities to mark the anniversary
July 9 marks the sixth anniversary of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which confirmed Israel’s construction of the Apartheid Wall a flagrant violation of international law and reminded the international community about their obligation to ensure the Wall is torn down and not to aid or abet its construction and associated regime.

As part of a broader organizing committee to mark the anniversary, Stop the Wall is organizing a series of events to denounce Wall’s continuous expansion. The events will take place on and in the days surrounding the anniversary. Demonstrations will take place throughout the Palestinian communities to draw attention to how Israel has perpetually ignored the ICJ decision. In addition, these events will include talks analyzing the failure of the Palestinian Authority and the international community to apply sufficient pressure to implement the ICJ ruling. Finally, these activities will seek more effective ways to force Israel to uphold the ICJ decision.


1. Program of demonstrations across the Palestinian villages:

• July 9th, 2010:

Bethlehem District: Wadi Rahal, al-Ma’sara, al-Walaja
Ramallah District: Bi’lin, Ni’lin, Nabi Saleh, Beitin checkpoint
Hebron District: Center of Hebron
Nablus District: Iraq Burin, Burin
Tulkarem District: In front of Geshury Industrial Zone
Jenin District: Jalama
Qalqilya District: Jayyous

• July 11th, 2010:

Bethlehem District: Beit Jala

Media activities:

July 8 2010, 8:15 pm: Palestine TV: interview with the organizing committee of the events to mark the 6th anniversary of the ICJ decision

July 10 2010, 11 am: Public meeting in the Al Bireh Municipality hall to discuss the ICJ decision, its meaning and ways of implementation in the presence of national personalities, such as Nasser al Khudwa (Head of Arafat Institution and former minister of foreign affairs), Shawan Jabbarin (director of Al-Haq, Palestinian human rights organization), Dr. Mustafa Barghouti (PLC member, Palestinian National Initiative)

July 11 2010, 8 – 9pm: Palestine TV dedicates their live program “Within the event” to the discussion of the of the ICJ decision under the title “Where does it lead us to? What next?” Invitees to the discussion: Minister of the Wall, Maher Ghneim, and other Palestinian leading figures.

July 8 – 11 2010: screening of TV spots to underline the urgency to fight for the immediate implementation of the ICJ decision on the illegality of the Wall and the settlements.

Court releases protesters as jury sees nothing wrong with attack on arms company supplying Israel

Great result from the EDO trial. Totally ignored by the mainstream media but see below a report from a barrister writing in this week's Socialist Worker (UK). Similar outcome to the Raytheon 9 action in Ireland, where ordinary people of the jury thought trying to prevent war crimes by destroying equipment belonging to the military industrial complex was perfectly justified.
Jury: It’s right to destroy weapons

A jury at Hove Crown Court last week acquitted seven activists who last year broke into an arms manufacturer and damaged equipment.

The judge earlier threw out the case of an eighth activist.

The Smash EDO activists broke into the premises of EDO MBM in Brighton, a subsidiary of the huge US corporation ITT, in the early hours of 17 January 2009.

This was the 22nd day of Operation Cast Lead—the Israeli Defence Forces’ assault on Gaza.

The defendants caused £180,000 worth of damage to equipment and put the factory out of action for several weeks.

They were acquitted of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.

The activists said they were “decommissioning” the factory to prevent war crimes and protect the people of Gaza.

They were inspired by the Raytheon Nine, who had carried out a similar action in Derry in August 2006, at the time of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

The Raytheon Nine admitted breaking into the Raytheon site in Derry and damaging equipment—and argued that they were justified in doing so to stop Israeli war crimes.

They were acquitted in 2008.

Last week’s verdict is another enormous victory for all those fighting against imperialist wars and the arms companies that profit from them.

There has been a campaign in Brighton against EDO MBM since 2004. The company manufactures specialised parts for missile systems.


According to its website, this includes an integral part of the bomb-release mechanism used by F16 jets—the attack aircraft of choice of the Israeli Air Force.

The activists explained that by manufacturing this component, the company was itself committing the offence of aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes by the Israelis.

They argued that because the international community had completely failed to take any action to rein in the Israelis, even in the face of direct attacks on United Nations premises in Gaza, ordinary people had to take the law into their own hands.

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, gave evidence at the trial.

She spoke about her failed attempts to get information out of EDO MBM management about what they were producing and about her own experience of witnessing the devastation wrought on Gaza by Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead”.

Once again a jury has delivered a verdict in which justice has triumphed. The courage of those prepared to risk imprisonment for their beliefs has been vindicated.

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein speaks out against Zionist crimes in Palestine

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, a stalwart of the fight to break the siege, is interviewed at Intifada Palestine about Zionism and anti-Zionism, her optimism about the future for Palestine and much more...
Ms. Epstein, your critics claim that because you are a Holocaust survivor you should be especially sensitive to the survival of Israel. How do you reconcile that with your advocacy for Palestinian rights?

In some ways my being a Holocaust survivor has nothing to do with my criticism of Israel’s policies and practices. On the other hand, it is this very experience that has sensitized me to the suffering of others, especially of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government and military. What is the lesson to be learned from the Holocaust? It is that the victims and their descendants should not become victimizers of “the other,” in this case, the Palestinians.

You describe yourself as “anti-Zionist.” What is the origin of that philosophy?

I was born in Freiburg, a village in the Black Forest. All the Jewish children belonged to a Zionist youth organization — I was the only one who didn’t belong, because my parents were anti-Zionist. When Hitler came to power in 1933, I was 8 years old. My parents very quickly realized that they had to leave Germany. They were willing to go anywhere in the world: “nur raus!” — just get out!

But they would not go to Palestine because they did not believe in Zionism. As a young child I did not completely understand Zionism or anti-Zionism — but if my parents were anti-Zionist, I was too. more

2,000 ton cargo ship 'Hope' latest to join Gaza flotilla

Yet another vessel will be joining the September flotilla to Gaza, this time with the aid of a Libyan-based charity headed by Gadaffi's second son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (pictured above, left).
ATHENS — A charity headed by the son of Libyan leader Moamar Kadhafi is sending an aid boat from Greece to Gaza to break the Israeli "siege," the organisers said on Friday.

The cargo ship Hope will depart from Lavrio, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Athens, the Libyan embassy said.

"This is a humanitarian mission expected to sail later on Friday," an embassy official told AFP.

The Tripoli-based Gaddafi International Charity and Development Association said it was sending a cargo ship "loaded with about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid in the form of foodstuff and medications". more