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(en) Israel-Palestine, Media, the main procapitalist daily protest settler collonialism

Date Tue, 06 Sep 2005 10:48:07 +0300

The weekly Friday noon demonstration against the separation fence draw lot of attention
to the use of the separation fence in the service of annexing more Palestinian lands.
The regular participation of Israelis from the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative
and the coalition against the fence, prevent the harsh repression of the Palestinian
villagers. As a desperate step, the army tried last Friday to escalate its harassment
both against the Bil'in villagers and the Israelis - testing the israeli public opinion
tolerance for infringement of "democracy for Israeli Jews". The following editorial is
in the context of widespread distribution of the reports from Bil'in in the Israeli
media and the escalation of conflicts within the ruling elite between the pro
globalization and the pro settler colonialism.

Where's the restraint in Bil'in? By Haaretz Editorial

After proving their sensitivity and intelligence in dispersing the
demonstrations in Gush Katif, the Israel Defense Forces and police
could have been expected to apply the same policy in handling the
demonstrators against the separation fence in the village of Bil'in.

The IDF and police did not fire at the protesters on the roof in Kfar
Darom, even when the latter threw dangerous substances at them,
and they refrained from using force even against violent protesters.
Similarly, it could have been hoped that the soldiers would hold their
fire when facing left-wing and Palestinian protesters.

Instead, outrageous images are published week after week of soldiers
kicking left-wing demonstrators and firing salt or rubber-coated
bullets - showing their general contempt for the right to legitimate

Three different judges have recently castigated the defense forces for
the excessive use of force in Bil'in. Despite this, they once again
fired at the demonstrators, this time - last Friday - even before they
had left the village area toward the fence.

The demonstrations of the West Bank villagers, whose lands have
been confiscated for the construction of the separation fence, have
been taking place for the past two years. Together with the petitions
to the High Court of Justice, they are a legitimate and sometimes
effective means of protest against the annexation of land intended to
expand settlements, under the pretense of building the fence. The
lands taken from the residents of Bil'in, some of which are privately
owned, are mostly intended to expand existing settlements, but also
to build a new settlement called Nahlat Heftziba.

Expropriating more than half the village's lands for nonsecurity
purposes arouses unnecessary anger, and it is doubtful whether such
measures are necessary or wise. The flexible building plans of the
settlements are in dispute. In Bil'in's case, it is doubtful whether
there are even confirmed plans.

Demonstrations that took place in other villages have been effective
in getting the fence line moved closer to the Green Line. In Bil'in,
the residents still hope their protest will reduce the scope of the

The demonstrations in Bil'in and the adjacent villages have become
the Palestinians' main protest against the continued expansion of the
settlements, and they are even dubbed the "fence intifada." If the
authorities are thinking of putting an end to these demonstrations
forcibly, and taking protesters into preventive detention, they should
also consider the alternative. There is a fear that the suppression of
the legitimate and very restricted "fence intifada" will lead to the
eruption of another armed intifada.

The separation fence is a means to stop terror, but all the sides know
that its line marks, to a large extent, the future border between Israel
and the Palestinian state. The attempt to annex more territories, to
build more settlements and to arouse more hatred among those
whose land is confiscated is superfluous.

The most obvious lesson from the dismantling of the Gaza
settlements is that they should never have been set up in the first
place. One day's settlement success became another day's political
and security millstone. The injustice imposed on Bil'in residents
could still be fixed. But, in any case, the village's legitimate right to
protest must not be tampered with.

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