Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Palestine-Israel, billin 13-4-05: The jpint struggle and the "diplomatic" process by kobi snitz 13 Apr

A small demonstration was held today with a modest goal. To march to the northern end of the construction area where work is halted by a court order, and carry out a symbolic act such as writing on rocks or planting signs in the ground. The demonstration also marked the day that the Corrie family launches its civil case against the Caterpillar company which sold the Israeli army the bulldozer which was used to kill Rachel Corrie.
The commander of the Border Police unit which enables this part of the war crime which is the separation wall is named Oren Tibi. Tibi might not be of the social class which makes decisions in Israel but he has internalized their diplomatic posture and implements it in the domain which he controls. Tibi sets the boundaries of negotiation, Tibi decides that Palestinians are unworthy and Tibi congratulates himself before resorting to violence. The terms for negotiations this morning were whether or not a small group of Palestinians will be allowed to proceed further down the road and walk to their land. When some youth started throwing stones at a distance Tibi made an extended speech about his benevolence and the unworthiness of Palestinians before issuing a short deadline and ordering his troops to attack the demonstration.

The Border Police invaded deep into the village using tear gas shock grenades and arrested two Israeli activists*. The activists were dragged on the ground and beaten but further abuse awaits them at the police station in the form of more sermonizing. It turns out that many of the police officers are often eager use their captive audience for long heart to heart discussions. While to some, it might seem as if the police are being enlightened by the situation and are opening up to hear from the activists, in my opinion the more likely explanation is a wish to bond with the Israelis and thus separate them from the Palestinians and also a yearning for affirmation after facing angry people all day. Thus, in my opinion, in this context these dialogues offer more psychological support for the Border Police than they do political enlightenment as well as eroding the trust between Palestinians and their Israeli supporters.

Pictures at:

* [Ed. Note: Like most of the other cases, of this context, the "Israeli activists" stands for people from the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative who are in nearly daily involvement in struggle.]

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