Bi'ilin is an Arab village in the West Bank, near the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit (not to be confused with Modi'in, the main city which is inside the Green Line). Since the security fence in that area closed off close to 60% of Bi'ilin's land, weekly demonstrations have been held every Friday. The Bi'ilin residents are supported by some international activists and now, since the unfortunate death of Jawaher Abu Rahma, a 36 year old resident of Bi'ilin, I am pleased to say that Israelis are also protesting against this government's and the army's tactics against protests in the Occupied Territories.
The video above was taken at the Tel Aviv demonstration on the 1st January 2011, opposite the military base at HaKirya, protesting the death of Jawaher Abu Rahma, caused by teargas inhaled at Bil'in the previous day. The slightly heavy handed approach of those policing the demonstration is nothing compared to the regular use of force and tear gas when demonstrations take place at villages or checkpoints in the West Bank.
I would just like to say that it makes me very proud to see hundreds of Israelis protesting the actions of the government and army that is there to protect them. The thing that makes me saddest is the fact that hundreds simply isn't enough. Where are all the thousands upon thousands of Israelis who mourned Rabin? Where are all the Israelis who want peace??
Come on Israel! Can 2011 be a year when Israelis mobilise for peace?
to be continued...
also worth a read - Lisa Goldman's article on +972