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Jun-22-2010 18:47printcomments

Popular Resistance Continues at Home and Abroad

If all goes according to Israeli plans, Al-Walaja will be a small version of Gaza: an open-air prison with one gate out controlled by Israel.

Welcome To al-Walaja, District of Jerusalem, الولجة, Ethnically cleansed 22,524 days ago. Learn more, visit: PalestineRemembered.com

(AL-MA'SARA, Palestine) - We managed to attend two demonstrations organized by residents of Wad Rahhal and Al-Ma’sara. In the former, the military ‘intelligence” officer named ‘Fadi’ came to check things out.

This is the same guy who told me before my trip to the US last March that I should not leave. The morning after I left, Israeli army came in the middle of the night and surrounded my house ostensibly looking to arrest me.

In today’s demonstration he first tried to discredit me by claiming ‘friendship’ and ‘closeness’ (those in attendance knew this tactic).

Then he tried verbal threats and intimidation. While his soldiers prevented us from getting to where my car was parked, he made a point of driving to it within view of us and “checking it out” (we have video).

When the demonstration was finished, we saw that what he scribbled was the world ‘Hamas’ on the car (I guess he did not realize I am not Muslim).

As we drove to the other demonstration he followed.

Unlike in Wad Rahhal, the people of Al-Ma’sara were allowed to march to their lands on this day. ‘Fadi’ kept a close watch on us. He pulled his jeep in front of my car as soon as we got in and were ready to leave at the end of this second demonstration.

I backed up and got on the road and he then followed us in an intimidating fashion for two miles. Never-the-less, we were thrilled with the success of both demonstrations and that no one was arrested. They are still holding our friend Hassan Breijiya and likely to charge him with serious charges from last week. There is no ‘justice’ system here.

There are Israeli military courts with Israeli military judges who always choose the Israeli soldier’s version and apply random ‘sentences’ on us (for being Palestinians in Palestine). Even Israeli activists like our friend Yotam face tough ‘sentencing’ for merely engaging in nonviolent protest of Israeli colonial land theft and land destruction.

In this land of apartheid, there are still some surreal moments.

Today, I witnessed no less than 6 acts of kindness and generosity. I also stopped by Talitha Kumi school to visit with a friend (who donated a box of books to us) and we saw their groups of Israelis and Palestinians engaged in singing for peace and eating together.

The normalization activity was happening less than a kilometer away from Al-Walaja, the village which is slated to join hundreds of other villages ethnically cleansed since 1947. The remaining 2000 residents watch (and occasionally demonstrate and get arrested and jailed) as the apartheid wall is being built around their houses and separating them from their lands. Just two days earlier, I was with eth lawyer for the village as we say that the destruction of agricultural lands even extended beyond the areas mapped by the Israeli authorities for ‘closed military zones’ around the projected wall.

The contractor took the lawyer (and I tagged along) to the ‘operations room’ to show him the map. The room was an amazing record of planned destruction in the Bethlehem district. On all four sides of the walls, there were maps showing the projected stages of the apartheid wall completion.

I was not allowed to bring my camera but it was a horrific scene. Some 20 minutes into this, the contractor talks to the Israeli military command who tell him to get us out of their and not show us any maps (too late though!).

If all goes according to Israeli plans, Al-Walaja will be a small version of Gaza: an open-air prison with one gate out controlled by Israel.

The wall comes very close to Palestinian homes to separate them from their front or back yard and all their agricultural lands. In 1948 Alwalaja lost 63,000 of its 70,000 dunums of land.

The remaining 7000 while now shrink to about 1000 and eventually to nothing.

Palestinians were once 95% of the population and in control of 95% of the land and now mostly refugees and displaced people while the five million who remain in Palestine have access to 2.9% of the land.

Israeli army destroys children’s playground in Beit Jala and drag children away youtube.com/watch?v=NH5KAvkgoDE

Jewish challenges to Zionism on the rise in the US; Gabriel Ash, Emily Katz Kashawi, Mich Levy, Sara Kershnar, The Electronic Intifada, 14 June 2010 electronicintifada.net/v2/article11337.shtml

Shooting and sobbing, by Gilad Atzmon gilad.co.uk - Shooting and Sobbing by Gilad Atzmon

Volvo Equipment: Effective tools of the Israeli occupation corporateoccupation.wordpress.com - http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/

Standing Up to the Bulldozers in Palestine huffingtonpost.com - Standing Up to the Bulldozers in Palestine

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD - Popular Committee to Defend Ush Ghrab (PCDUG) "A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home. Mazin has been an Associate Professor of Genetics; Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine since 1999. He previously held a similar position at Duke University. Professor Qumsiyeh has authored over 110 scientific papers in areas of mammalogy, biology, and medicine including mammalian biology and evolution, clinical genetics, and cancer research. He has published over 100 letters to the editor and 30 op-ed pieces in International, national, regional and local papers on issues ranging from politics to environmental issues. His appearances in national media included the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNBC, C-Span, and ABC, among others. He is the founder and president of the Holy Land Conservation Foundation and ex-President of the Middle East Genetics Association, and Prof. Qumsiyeh won the Jallow activism award from the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee in 1998. Those are just a small list, visit Mazin Qumsiyeh's amazing and informative Website to learn more: qumsiyeh.org.

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