Wednesday, December 23, 2009


In September 1967 Palestinian leaders declared a general school strike
Israel's response to that first strike was to label
  • all forms of resistance as insurgency – including
  • protests and
  • political meetings,
  • raising flags or other national symbols,
  • publishing or distributing articles or pictures with political connotations,
  • and even singing or listening to nationalist songs.
any act of resistance would result in a disproportionate response. After a few weeks of
  • nightly curfews,
  • cutting off telephone lines,
  • detaining leaders, and
  • increasing the level of harassment,
Israel managed to break the strike. This was the Palestinians first attempt to resist using "civil disobedience" tactics,

The past five decades Palestinians have continuously deployed nonviolent forms opposition. The second intifada began as a popular nonviolent uprising. Haaretz journalist Akiva Eldar - Israeli security strategy was to "fan the flames". The military fired 1.3m bullets to intensify the levels of violence

Over the past five years new forms of pro-peace resistance have developed. Israel, in turn begun a well-orchestrated campaign that targets the local leaders

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, co-ordinator of Bil'in's Popular Committee Against the Wall. At 2am on 10 December Israeli soldiers blindfolded him and took him into custody. Charged with inciting fellow Palestinians, which, translated, means
  • organising demonstrations against the occupation.
Wa'el al-Faqeeh Abu as-Sabe, on the day before,
  • charged with incitement.

Mayasar Itiany, Nablus Women's Union and is a campaigner for prisoners' rights
Mussa Salama, Labour Committee of Medical Relief for Workers
Jamal Juma, director of an NGO called Stop the Wall, is now behind bars.

Targeted night arrests of community leaders in the village of Bil'in, 31 residents have been arrested for their
  • involvement in the demonstrations against the wall
Adeeb Abu Rahmah, prominent activist, held in detention for almost five months

Arrest all of the leaders and
  • charge them with incitement
  • for organising protests against the subjugation of the Palestinian people.

The objective is to put an end to the pro-peace popular resistance in the villages and to crush, once and for all, the Palestinian peace movement.

Neve Gordon is chair of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and author of Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press, 2008).

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