Monday, July 30, 2007

Media*, Anarchists under fire - A battle is being waged in the Israeli courts against anarchists who help Palestinian villagers. 30 Jul 2007

Over the past five years the Israeli peace camp has dwindled. Last month marked the occupation's 40th anniversary, and no more than 4,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv to protest against Israel's longstanding military rule. Of the demonstrators who did show up, only a few hundred are what one could call ardent activists - people who have dedicated their life to peace and justice

Among the most committed of these are Israel's anarchists. Yet, over the past two years they have been under attack, and it is becoming more and more difficult for them to continue their struggle.

Established in 2003, the anarchists are made up of young Israelis, mostly in their twenties, who work closely with the Palestinian popular village committees in order to resist Israel's occupation. They have no official leaders, no office, and no paid staff, and yet they have managed to accomplish more than many well-oiled NGOs and social movements. They are perhaps best known for their efforts in the small village of Bil'in, where for more than two years weekly demonstrations have been staged against the wall that Israel is building on Palestinian land.

The anarchists are active in numerous other villages and towns as well. Day in and day out, they travel in small groups through the West Bank, supporting non-violent direct action that helps Palestinian farmers gain access to their fields and crops, while opposing the construction of the separation barrier and the confiscation of occupied land.

One of the most remarkable qualities of these young Israelis is their subversive use of their own privilege, employing it not for self-interested social, economic or political gain - as most people do - but rather in order to stand up to power. The anarchists, in other words, exploit the privilege that comes with their Jewish identity and use it as a strategic asset against the brutal policies of the Jewish state.

As Jewish activists they are well aware that the Israeli military behaves very differently when Israeli Jews are present during a protest in the West Bank and that the level of violence, while still severe, is much less intense. Indeed, according to Israeli soldiers the military has more stringent open fire regulations for demonstrations in which non-Palestinians participate. So when a village's public committee decides to carry out non-violent protests against the occupying power, the anarchists mingle with the demonstrating villagers, thus becoming a human shield for all of those Palestinians who have chosen to follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Even though the anarchists are frequently beaten and arrested, they do not desist. To date, about 10 Palestinians have been killed in demonstrations against the separation barrier and thousands have been wounded, a number that would no doubt have been much greater had it not been for the fearless dedication of the anarchists.

These unsung heroes are currently regarded in Israel as a fifth column. And when the Israeli police began to realise that beating and detaining them would not stop their stubborn resistance, a different strategy was adopted. Scores of legal indictments were issued by the state prosecutor.

The anarchists took this as a new challenge. They have launched a legal campaign, whose aim is to defend the basic civil right of all Israelis to resist their government's rights-abusive policies. Leading this battle is Gabi Lasky, an energetic lawyer, who spends many of her weekends releasing anarchists from detention and her weekdays representing them in court.

Unlike the struggle inside the Occupied Territories, the legal battle to protect civil liberties requires financial resources, which the anarchists do not have. The state knows this is the anarchists' Achilles heel and has been trying to undermine their peace-building activities by making them pay hefty legal fees. Although Lasky is working for little more than minimum wage, the anarchists' struggle cannot be sustained without help from concerned individuals around the world. Click here to find out how you can help.
* By Neve Gordon, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University. For more information on Anti-Israel Israeli academics, go to:
and click on the university's name.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Palestine-Israel, The joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation continues both in Bil'in and the south of Bethlehem 27 Jul 2007

The weekend actions started a bit early. It started with a Thursday action of cutting the fence where they least expect it. Every one of the hundreds of kilometers of the fence/wall is hated and despised by the people on whose land it is built and who are imprisoned by it. Yesterday, on the lands of the village of Surif, Palestinians internationals and Israelis (of the AATW initiative) demonstrated what this resentment means: At any moment any part of the hated wall might be dismantled when an opportunity arises. In an Isolated point along the path of the separation fence, south of Bethlehem such an opportunity presented itself. A small number of people were able to cut through the fence in two minutes and disappear before the army knew what has happened. When soldiers did arrive, the only thing left for them to do was to explain to their superiors how their patrols can not possibly prevent this from happening again.

With the same ease, the same action can be repeated in other locations and just like at Surif, it will be virtually impossible for the army to prevent it. (see video at the link nice stills at:

Not that they could not do it for a while if they dedicated huge amount of resources and harsher repression... but the Israeli state have both limits on resources and conflicting trends in the ruling elite. (Expressed again and again in the change of policies about the weekly demonstrations in Bil'in - while new regional commanders tried again and again to put end to the weekly joint demonstrations by harsh repressions and soon Higher levels intervened to restrict the measures used.)

In Friday demonstration in Um Salmuna, the army failed to play its part... People suspect one of the reasons they did not come was that on the previous Friday, in which the usual demonstrations in the region were canceled because of the release of 250 FATAH prisoners, a handful of activists who did came to the site provoked the Israeli unit to lot of maneuvers with out any result...

The Israeli state forces just stayed far away in the near by colonialist settlement just keeping eye contact with the demonstration.

In Bil'in we had again a more "interesting" demonstration than the usual. This Friday we had a very big contingent of internationals who make the march more lively. when we were out of the built area of the village we left the road leading to the gate in the separation fence - where the state forces were waiting for us. We took a path leading to a northern part of the fence and a unit of the state forces rushed there to confront us. when the first demonstrators approached the fence, the state force started to shower us with tear gas... just to discover that the wind carry part of it towards them forcing them to regroup back a little. However, the direction change of the wind enable the small unit to use hand grenades of tear gas which are easier to aim, and they gradually forced us to return inside the village... alas, their stock of tear gas grenades ended so they had to stop the pursuit and return to the point near the gate where the main force stayed. The village comity decided at that point to end the demonstration at this point of tactical victory... promising to the exited and disappointed internationals that there will be more Friday demonstrations to attend to in the near future.

Video of previous Friday demonstration in Bil'in:


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Israel, the various struggles for roof over the head cross national borders 25 Jul 2007

As the anarchist against the wall (AATW) get more credit as serious activists, we are both invited to (and on our own initiative) join other struggles. Among the struggles within the Israeli border, there are lately four main struggles we were invited to participate. There is the gentrification project in the old Palestinian neighborhood of Jafa (now annexed as the southern district of Tel Aviv). About 500 Israeli citizens Palestinian families were issued court order of demolition (of the whole or part of their homes) - to clear the area for gentrification by the rich (mostly Jews from Tel Aviv). By few direct actions AATW people were involved some demolitions were already prevented for a while. Following that, in connection with the Jafa struggle, we were invited to participate in the struggle of 30 families of the Cfar Shalem who were issued the eviction order to make space to building project. (This is the old Salame village area immigrant Jews were placed in after the original Palestinian inhabitants were transfered out in the 1948 war.)

A third struggle is that of the Palestinian bedwins of the Negev - the south part of Israel. These are the indigenous semi nomad Palestinian dwellers of the arid lands in the region Beer Sheva city is located. Many of the original inhabitants were driven away to Egypt (Sinai) and Jordan at the 1948-1952 years at the beginning of Israel. Some were forced to relocate within that region. All the years, the Israeli state made efforts to confiscate their land used for marginal agriculture and villages, and concentrate them into few new towns. The last wave of suppression involve the demolition of more than 100 houses with court orders for the destruction of whole villages. Lately, as part of the struggle they and their Jewish supporters invited AATW activists to join them. A protest tent camp was built lately in Jerusalem - near the Parliament.

And the fourth, a bit different project is that of the homeless tent compound in the center of Jerusalem. They are the present tip of the iceberg of some tens of thousands of people who lost their homes due to the neoliberal policy of the Israeli state who privatized the public housing projects and refuse responsibility to the hosing problems of the very needy. The tent camp is organized by veteran social struggle activists with long time contacts with the out of parliament left and with the antiauthoritarian left. We were naturally invited to join them. Members of ours spent there days and nights. The struggle against homelessness in general and against the eviction of the camp in particular is on the agenda.

Yesterday evening, we had a joint demonstration in Jerusalem of the three struggles: the homeless camp (which initiated this demo), The Cfar Shalem people who will soon be homeless too, and the bedwin activists. About 300 participated in the demonstration. We marched about an hour in the two main streets of center of Jerusalem towards the prime minister official house. The AATW drummers circle and team of clowns made the march livelier. The speeches carried by the activists of the three struggles stressed the joining of hands of Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians. Afterwards we marched to the homeless camp in the center of city and socialized there before dispersing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Israel, Anarchists* Against the Wall (AATW) initiative request support*1* 23 Jul 2007

Dear friend, The mounting legal cost of the joint Palestinian-Israeli struggle against the occupation is forcing us to send this urgent appeal for funds. We are asking for your support to continue the work of the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW). For the past four years*2*, the group has supported*3* the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and specifically against Israel's segregation wall. Week after week, AATW joins the Palestinian popular resistance against the wall, in diverse areas of the West Bank, including the villages of Bil'in west of Ramallah, al-Ma'asara, and Ertas, south of Bethlehem, and Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.*4* Activists have often been arrested and indicted for their participation in the struggle. Fortunately, the group is represented by a dedicated lawyer, Adv. Gaby Lasky. Adv. Lasky has tirelessly worked to defend activists arrested at demonstrations or direct actions in the West Bank and in Israel. Though the legal defense she provides AATW is almost a full-time job*5*, she has agreed to be paid only a token fee. However, the group has not managed to cover even this sum, and now owes approximately $40,000 in legal expenses for over 60 indictments. In addition to this enormous legal debt, AATW activists are forced to spend large sums on transportation and phone bills*6*.

Please make a donation that will enable us to continue this struggle*7*.

Thank you for your solidarity.

Anarchists Against the Wall

For more information about AATW, our actions and how to make a donation, visit our website: or contact us at .
I. S. Editor notes:
* The name Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) was adopted though the spectrum of activists most involved in it is a bit wider. (Not all of them will even define themselves as antiauthoritarian anticapitalists...) This name was a nick name to the direct action against the separation fence at Mas'ha about four years ago that got huge amount of media publicity and thus adopted as a permanent name.

*1* During the years, there was support in various ways: Like minded people and others who just sympathize our struggle did happenings all over the world and besides distribution of information did fund rising for us. Whenever possible, activists from AATW traveled too to these actions.

*2* After a workshop in Leiden conference of the PGA (Summer 2002) about the struggle in our region in which the idea of a joint camp was contemplated, such a camp materialized (Spring 2003) in Mas'ha - near the route of the separation fence. In this camp participated Israeli anarchists and other sympathizers of the idea of joint struggle, and local Palestinians. Gradually, joint actions started and the initiative collected momentum and media cover.

*3* It is more joining a common struggle than external support... Though as an Israeli citizens with "Israeli democratic privilege" we could do some services our Palestinian partners could not do.

*4* Our policy is to come when invited by local villagers initiatives to meet and coordinate and participate when we can. As our fame got momentum, we are invited to join struggles within the borders of Israel too - both by Israeli Palestinian citizens, and by social struggles of the most suppressed (victims of gentrification projects and homeless.) Lately, even a No Border initiative in support of the Darfur refugees is starting.

*5* Due to the internal conflicts within the Israeli system, the permanent availability of an attorney to pressure the various bureaucrats, enabled her to block lot of police harassments. Thus, during the years, thousands of less committed sympathizers and even many curious people of the Israeli left felt immune enough from police harassments and dared to participate in our actions that are nearly always declared illegal. Due to her efforts only few of us spent more than few hours in army or police detention. Very few spent a day till brought before a magistrate that always released them. Some got "work in the service of society". Only two comrades who preferred jail over service or fine served short period in jail.
(Due to her services, even Palestinian partners arrested in the joint demonstrations got less harsh treatment than what the Palestinians usually get.)

*6* As most of the participants are students and high school age with more willing to join the struggle than money to pay for the direct expenses money collected from various supporters is needed even for the subsidizing of transportation costs to the regular Friday demonstrations against the separation fence.

*7* As many more than our like minded comrades are interested in the joint struggle of Israeli Jews and Palestinians against the separation fence and occupation, recruiting their support in various fund rising activity is possible even when the like minded comrades are poor too.....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, The 128th Friday demo of joint struggle against the fence and occupation. 20 Jul 2007

It was a bigger demonstration than usual, as more than 50 internationals participated. At noon, Palestinians, Internationals, and Israelis of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative marched towards the route of the separation fence. When we were few hundred meters from it, we took a field road that runs in parallel to the fence. Before the people in the head of the march approached the foot of the hill the gate to the other side is located, the Israeli state forces started to shower us with canister of tear gas. Most of the people refused to disperse and tried again and again to come a bit nearer to the route of the fence. The state forces shoot again and again tear gas canisters directly to demonstrators. At one stage, they added to it shooting of metal bullets covered with rubber.

As the people refused to disperse in spite of the tear gas, a unit of soldiers advanced till they arrived at the building of the village.

barrage of stones made them think better and they retreated.

two Israelis and one Palestinian were treated for injuries - one taken to hospital for bullet which hit his head.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

France: Debate in Paris - "Libertarian struggles in the Middle East?" [fr] 19 Jun 2007

LIBERTARIAN STRUGGLES IN THE MIDDLE EAST - the experiences of anarchist militants in Lebanon and in Israel There will be a debate organized by Alternative Libertaire in Paris on Wednesday June 27 at 8.00pm, at 92 Rue d'Aubervilliers, Paris 19ème, Métro Stalingrad or Riquet. The countries of the Middle East are not only synonymous with occupation, wars, internal struggles and imperialist chess moves. There are there struggles, resistance and alternative movement which go beyond the dominant political poles and borders both real and symbolic. Who do not avoid touching the social relations issues by hiding behind religous and ethnic motives. Who attempt, create, invent modes of direct action and social and political intervention.
RASH-Lebanon and Anarchists Against the Wall (Israel) are among these.
Militants from both of these, as well as a Palestinian activist, will share their objectives and experiences of struggle during the debate, describing them in their national and regional contexts and as part of the struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At a time when international solidarity with these movements is more than ever necessary, we will discuss with them the prospects for reinforcing political currents and a progressive, class-struggle and internationalist social movement in the Middle East.

Alternative Libertaire 18 June 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Britain-Israel, Make Humous Not War visits Bristol 13 Oct 2007

Check out the latest direct action films by Israeli anarchists and Palestinians resisting the occupation, get your latest diy patches and badges, and raise funds for the anarchist infoshop in Tel Aviv. With the non-stop bombing of Gaza, the Apartheid Wall closing in on the palestinians from all sides, the constant threats of war, and continuing racism and hatred- Israelis and Palestinians are still standing side by side fighting the evil forces of zionism, the army, the bulldozers and militaristic patriarchal society. Join us at an event including recent films of resistance in israel-palestine, a discussion with Israeli and UK anti-occupation activists, and lots of lovely mediterranean food!

Thursday 13th of September - 7pm @ Kebele Social Centre, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY

To support the continuing efforts of the anarchist infoshop in Tel Aviv, Salon Mazal, we are requesting a donation of £4.

Salon Mazal was established in 2001, in Tel Aviv, Israel, by a group of social-environmental activists. It serves as an information distribution centre for social, environmental and political change including anti-militarism, animal rights, feminism and gender, anarchism, anti-racism, ecological issues etc.

The place functions as a store (including books, magazines and fair-trade products), a radical lending library, an artist gallery, a vegan bar and a community centre. Also hosting movie screenings, lectures, workshops and meetings for groups such as Anarchists Against The Wall, Green Action, Indymedia, New Profile, Women Coalition for Peace, Queeruption.

Palestine-Israel, Friday joint struggle against separation fence and occupation continue - Bil'in, Um Salmuna, Wadi Nis, Artas 13 Jul 2007

This Friday we had the 127th demonstration in Bil'in. It was also the 30th week of persistent demonstrations and other actions in the south of Bethlehem (There are few villages that are involved in the struggle there and there are usually some actions and demonstrations each week.) As usual the activists of the anarchists against the wall participated this week in both Bil'in, south Bethlehem, Hebron, and within Israel (the single parents camp in Jerusalem, the resistance to expulsion of tenants in Tel Aviv, and the Darfur refugees. The demonstration in Bil'in was much more interesting than the usual ones of the last two months or so. Before the demonstration was a short meeting as we had bigger than the usual contingent of international activist and a bigger contingent of Palestinians from Ramalla.

After the meeting we choose the road and the unpaved paths towards the separation fence on the south side of the village. The state forces who expected us on the norther road to the route of the separation fence were not prepared.

After our change of road was seen by the state force they started to converge on the south side, but they were not fast enough. Many of us run the last few hundreds meters. We dispersed between the olive trees located near the route of the separation fence. This Friday the wind was favorable to us - frequently changing directions. The state force could not shower us freely with tear gas as many of us were too near to them and some times the wind even carried the gas towards them.

Part of the time few of us even stayed for a while just near the route of the separation fence exchanging non friendly verbal communication with the state forces.

Due to the shooting of the tear gas canisters, the dry grass and shrubs were ignited and demonstrators worked hard to prevent the fire from caching the olive trees. After about two hours of protracted action most of the demonstrators left the "battle field".

------------------- South of Bethlehem -------------------------

This Friday, there were two demonstrations in the region. The first one was late morning, at Wadi Nis near Um Salmuna. This week the state force at the region were more belligerent than usual. they prevented the demonstrators from marching along the route of the separation fence in building. They also arrested a Palestinian comrade - member of the popular comity of the struggle against the fence.

The second one was early afternoon at the part of the route of the fence on the lands of the village Artas. Here too the state forces prevented the march along the route of the separation fence in building.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Israel-Palestine, Media, Jewish democracy for Jews , Officer who beat protesters resigns 11 Jul 2007

An Israel Defense Forces company commander in the reserves is resigning his post after he was videotaped two months ago using what appears to be excessive Violence against Israeli anarchist protesters removing an IDF roadblock in the West Bank. --- The decision to resign was part of a deal with his battalion commander, who agreed not to dismiss him if the company commander quit. The company commander will be placed in a different reserve battalion. --- The incident took place in early May, when the protesters removed a cement roadblock near Route 60, the main road to Hebron, to allow Palestinians to travel along the road. The reservists called to the scene were recorded using violence and the company commander was taped pushing and kicking protesters and putting the barrel of a loaded gun to the body of one of the protesters.

The video footage which was screened in all Israeli TV channels again and again for nearly a week speaks for itself even when some times - like in this screening was accompanied with apologetic words.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in and south Bethlehem, the joint struggle against occupation and the separation fence persist 07 Jul 2007

The 126th Friday demonstration in Bilin and the about 30th in the south of Bethlehem were mainly the expression of the persistence of the joint struggle of Palestinians, internationals, and Israelis of the anarchists against the wall initiative. In Bil'in the only difference from the demos of the last few Fridays was the less friendly wind... It was changing direction very often but mostly it carried the clouds of tear gas Eastwards forcing us - forcing us to retreat faster and farther from the line marking the forbidden military zone. Many of us suffered from tear gas. Few were hit by rubber coated bullets and one was taken to hospital for leg injury.

In Um Salmuna (south Bethlehem) the Friday demonstration started at noon from the groove near the route of the separation fence towards the near by route. In spite of physical harassment by Israeli state force, the people marched for a while on the route and then went beyond it to the village lands and plantations. There some activist gave speeches before returning to the village.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Palestine-Israel, the persistence joint struggle against occupation and the separation fence - Bil'in + south Bethlehem 01 Jul 2007

The 125th Friday demonstration in Bil'in had no innovation. Palestinians, internationals and Israelis from the anarchists against the fence initiative, marched at noon towards the gate of the separation fence used to rob more than half the lands of the village. As usual last weeks, the Israeli state forces took position half the way up the hill the gate to the west of the fence is located on. When we approached the foot of the hill the commander declared the area beyond a spool of barbed wire crossing there the road as closed military zone. The commander threatened to attack any one crossing that mark but just when the head of the demonstration arrived near the spool of the barbed wire the state forces started to shower us with canisters of tear gas and detained two Israelis who tried to extinguish a fire ignited by it in the near by olive wood.

After the hundred or two retreat of the nonviolent demonstrators, the stone throwers engaged the state force and got in response tear gas and rubber coated bullets.

For about two hours, when there was a break in the tear gas shooting, the non violent demonstrators tried again to march on the road towards the gate in the separation fence... and got in response a shower of tear gas forcing us to retreat again.

After we left the confrontation zone, the two Israeli detainees were released.

-------------- South of Bethlehem ------------

In south of Bethlehem region the activists "celebrated" the completion of six months of persistent joint struggle there against the Israeli atrocities by Palestinians, internationals, and Israelis of the AATW. This Friday, there were planed 3 joint actions but only that of Artas did occur.

The aim of the action in Artas was to reach the lands where the trees were cut in order to enable a passage of a sewage pipe of the near by colonialist settlers village. When the demonstrators approached, there were lot of Israeli state force personnel already present - more than the number of demonstrators. However, due to the presence of a delegation of activists from abroad, and wise commander, after some communication the people were allowed to get to the destroyed orchard, after long weeks it was prevented.