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(en) Israe-Palestine, amendments by Raz to previous interview between a British ISM activist and him on 'anarchists against the wall'

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 23 Aug 2004 07:09:00 +0200 (CEST)


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It would be wrong to call 'anarchists against the wall' an
organization in the formal sense, and they themselves would
probably prefer not to have this label. The label was assumed by
and for the Israeli media once their actions came to its attention.
It was clear from the interview that they would prefer just to be
seen as anarchists, and as anarchists opposition to the wall would
automatically follow. Shortly after the interview was conducted
two of them initiated a direct action at the wall and smashed
through two gates, one of which was electrified (its electrified for
warning purposes its not mortal) . The action was given the
encouragement and consent of the local Palestinians, and had
Palestinian participation, but nevertheless demonstrated the
special role the Israeli anarchists play in the unarmed struggle.
As Israeli citizens they are in far more danger from the IDF and
the legal system than international activists, but then again, as
Israeli citizens they are more passionate in their opposition too.

1) what size is the organization and what are its main
functions?

Raz - We are at demonstrations and actions once or twice a
week, and on these demo's there are generally 10 to 15 of us.
The organization is really more of a network for anarchists who
want to do direct actions, and we have about 100 active people
the contact list. As for our functions, they change with the
Palestinians. Up until december last year we concentrated on
direct actions against the wall - cutting and force opening gates ,
but we have slowly changed slightly after two big events: after the
end of the Masha peace camp which lead to a redicalization of
people and for the fance cutting and force opening gates actions,
and the popular uprising in Budrus. In Budrus we moved towards
popular uprising happily; we were invited to take part in daily
demonstrations and resistance by the community themselves,
and it was really cool to see the community rising up together.
Since then we have tried to combine this sort of work with our
direct action - this march could be considered part of this.

2)How has the state reacted since your creation?

EIn the first two actions we had, in Zubaba and Anin,
there was no state intervention. Then in Masha on the 26th of
september the army shot an anarchist in both legs. One activist
was arrested after a demo and another one had to sign a contract
promising not to damage the wall again (interviewers note: the
Israeli security forces are fond such contracts, and are a useful
propaganda tool for the Israeli public. The have the dual purpose
of making the IDF seem calm and reasonable and the prisoner,
normally uncharged, seem guilty by association.). A few activists
have been interrogated by the Shabak (THE secret service). On
demo's the police are always trying to arrest the Israelis now. It
won't be too long before someone gets a serious prison sentence.
We are under surveillance as well, which we know from
experience. The Shabak are really on our back with monitoring
and stopping actions before they happen Eif they know where
and when we will cross through the wall into Palestine, all they
have to do is notify the checkpoint or get the taxi we are in
stopped on the way. When the International Court of Justice trial
of the wall began in the Hague on the 23rd of February we got
stopped on our way to a demo 2 times using different routes. We
ended up going back to Tel Aviv and doing the demo outside the
defance minister building there, which is basically like a massive
military compound in the middle of town. A few people blocked
the road and stop their cars coming out. 12 people were arrested
for this. Many have been charged with assaulting police for
passive resistance. The trial will be in September and I think this
is where the legal system will catch up with us.

) How much support - if any - do you have within Israel?

Actually we do have some support from individuals in Israel.
We do not have the official support of any groups, but individuals
within different Israeli peace groups and also some
journalists.(forgot to mantion - after the mas'ha shooting incident
,where gil na'amati was shoot in both legs by an i.d.f snipper,
there was a few big demo's soppurting us and against the
treatment of the i.d.f to israeli demonstrators in one demo road
number 5 leading to the settlement of Ariel was blocked by
hundreds of activists from all sorts of israeli peace groups for
about 2 hours)

Internationally? There was a benefit gig organized for us in
Amsterdam 2 months ago. a few months ago two of us toured
Europe giving lectures and were able to collect some donations
too.

) Was this tour within the anarchist community in the
countries visited?

No, it was not explicitly anarchist. It was more about telling
people the realities, about the wall and the occupation.

) How do you see the situation developing?

With continuing land confiscations, and continued extension
to the fences, I do not see it getting any better. It looks like the
resistance in Israel (especially in the government) to removing
any settlements means the fence will go up, and go up where it is
now. That means well into the green line(the so called
palestinian side - for those who chose to take one...). Er... don't
get me wrong I don't want the wall anywhere at all... For the
situation in general, it won't come anywhere near peace whilst
there are still settlements, and government

) Have you considered doing actions at settlements then?

No. The settler security would probably shoot us, and what
would be the point if they didn't? The residents wouldn't listen to
what we have to say. These people think what they are doing is
the will of god. The army are reasonable in comparison.

What are the groups intentions for the future? Is there a
particular direction the group is moving in or would like to move
in?

No. We initiate together or at least agree on the same
principles even though at the end its always their call 'coz its
their life and they are the ones to suffer mostly from the
occupation Palestinian initiatives basically. (Interviewers NB
like the ISM in this respect) We participate in their
initiatives, but we always try to be involved in the planning and
decision making too.

) Do you expect to grow in size?

Not really. We have really just united anarchists interested in
direct action in Israel/palestine, I don't think that we have created
any new ones!

) This brings me to my next question; for you personally, what
came first - opposition to the occupation or anarchism?

Opposition to the occupation.

) Do you see it as natural that anarchists would support the
struggle and your participation then? I'm playing devil's
advocate, but isn't this a national liberation struggle, with a lot of
religious and nationalistic dominance?

I expect anarchists to support the struggle. This is not a
national liberation struggle it is a human rights struggle.( well, it
is a national liberation struggle, but, first of all its a human rights
struggle for freedom and equality and thats what matters to me)

) The right answer! In that case would you like to extend an
invitation to anarchists to come out and work with you?

Sure. Its not something we actively do, but we have houses
and places for people to stay. Its definitely a possibility.

) Do you have a message for the international anarchist
community they all read Freedom of course!

If they see this struggle as part of their struggle they are
welcome here. We would like to have more contact with other
organizations internationally. I know itfs a bit shitty, but
money always helps too. We have a website I think, but I can't
remember the address there's a link to it off
onestruggle.org, an Israeli animal rights and anarchist website.
It's probably best to email me at barvazduck@yahoo.com And
thatfs for anything, not just if you want to give some money.

) Final question then. Are there any Palestinian anarchists?

Apparently yes! Some people said they met Palestinian
anarchists in Balata refugee camp.(nablus) Some people we work
with are secretly anarchists though they won't admit it! Perhaps
you should ask them?
================================
raz: writes on infosop.org: ]
"the above article is basicly the same one with just some minor
changes basicly facts that were not realy right. i took the liberty to
post it without asking anyone since i was the one interviewed!!!
peace raz"



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