Saturday, August 20, 2011

Palestine: A Village's Struggle Or A Third Intifada?

Palestinians have been calling for global support to help them tear down the wall which 'imprisons Bal'ein'

By As'ad Abdul Rahman

Six hard years of peaceful protests, but the Palestinian village of Bal'ein has never given up on its struggle against the Israeli ‘apartheid' wall. The tiny village in the occupied West Bank has been leading a peaceful resistance, in a highly civilised manner, to protest against the Israeli wall, every Friday.

The people of the village, joined by many international organisations including Israeli human rights groups, have been calling upon all people of conscience around the world to support them to tear down the wall which imprisoned the village and swallowed 2,300 dunums (one dunum equals 1,000 square metres) of its farms.
Rateb Abu Rahmeh, Bal'ein's information coordinator of the Committee of Resistance against the Wall and the Settlement [Colony] policy, said that during six years of demonstrations, 1,400 individuals out of 2,000 of the population of the village were injured (of whom 10 received very serious injuries) as a result of the Israeli brutality waged against peaceful demonstrators. A few years ago the people of Bal'ein went to the Israeli High Court to address the issue of the wall as the world watched its litigations.

On September 4, 2007, the High Court declared the wall to be illegal and ordered the Israeli government to tear part of it down and to change its direction. Israeli authorities removed the wall from the western side of the village and the rest was expected to be removed by the end of July, 2011. Only 1,200 dunums were returned and 1,100 dunums remained behind the wall under Israeli control. A vast majority of people around the world have by now become absolutely convinced that the Apartheid Wall is not really a wall of security, but a devious means to confiscate more Palestinian lands.
The Israeli colonial occupation is not only using the so-called security needs to steal Palestinian lands, but it is also abusing Judaism by falsely claiming divine entitlements to Palestinian lands. Indeed, this is the first time in human history when a sacred Book, the Torah, is being misused to steal lands in the name of God.

Confiscating lands
Adding insult to injury, the Israeli colonial authority is demanding that Palestinians accept such confiscations annulling their deeds of homes and farms as a religious act ordained by God. That is what the Judaisation of the Hebrew State and the confiscation of the Occupied Territories, including occupied Jerusalem, really mean.

Let us see whether anyone in the West or anywhere in the world would accept the demand of someone knocking on his door waving his holy book and claiming that it has rendered the deeds of the house and the farm void and worthless, as the Palestinians are being actually asked to accept the Judaisation of their homes, farms and their places of worship. The Israeli colonial rule is creating ‘accomplished facts' on the ground by confiscating Palestinian lands and literally stealing Palestinian water from under the feet of Palestinians. The wall is creating isolated Palestinian ghettos without water or farms in order to make life in occupied Palestine difficult, saturated with helplessness and nearly impossible to endure for long.
The whole aim is to confine Palestinians within the wall, in order to ‘achieve' their uprooting and displacement as Judaisation of the Hebrew State calls for the ‘purification' of the Jewish State from any presence that is non- Jewish.

The village of Bal'ein has removed a mask revealing the ugly face of colonial Israeli Zionism which is absolutely racist. It has thus managed to draw the ‘roadmap' for a peaceful Palestinian struggle to end the Israeli colonial rule. All Palestinian towns and villages are now being invited to adopt and peacefully execute the plan. Indeed, the Arab Spring, long thought as never seeing the light of day, has become a reality inspiring the whole world.
It is about time for ‘the Palestinian Spring' to peacefully rise and call for the end of Israeli colonial rule backed by a humungous number of supporters from all countries around including a great number of the followers of the Jewish faith who abhor the rule of colonial Zionism in occupied Palestinian lands. Bal'ein's struggle has actually ushered in a third peaceful intifada against the Israeli colonial rule and apartheid policy in the ‘West Bank' of Palestine. This "third intifada is an absolute certainty in case the United Nations recognises the Palestinian independent state" wrote Ben Alof in Haaretz as he and other Israeli writers predicted a ‘tsunami' in September 2011.

He said, "A mere UN resolution would not establish the state, but the Palestinians would rise to get rid of the Israeli army from their territories. The reasons for the third intifada are very well known and it is not certain that the Palestinians would wait till September.
"It is now too late for Israel" he added, while the world "looks at Netanyahu as a ‘refusenik' of peace and all wish that he falls". He reminded the Israeli prime minister whose policies brought peace negotiations with the Palestinians to a standstill that "he will never be able to stop the third intifada which would cost Israel many lives and in the end would force the Israeli army to withdraw which is the very thing Netanyahu tried to prevent".

-This commentary was published in The Gulf News on 20/08/2011
-Professor As'ad Abdul Rahman is the Chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia

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