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GuShalomThe Other Israel

Liebe Freunde,

Auf Grund des beträchtlichen Interesses an Erklärungen zu unterschiedlichen Entwicklungen, werden wir einen mehr oder weniger regelmäßigen on-line-Service wöchentlicher Berichte und Stellungnahmen einrichten. Wir hoffen, daß Sie dies schätzen werden. Wie in unserer Printausgabe, welche alle zwei Monate erscheint (und zu deren Abonnement wir Sie einladen möchten) werden wir versuchen mit Nachrichten und Analysen, die "kleinen" Tatsachen vor Ort zu schildern, ihnen auf den Grund zu gehen und Ihnen näher zu bringen.

Vor zwei Tagen, nahmen wir an einem Beileidbesuch der Friedensbewegung bei der Familie von Abd-el-Majed Abu-Turki, im kleinen Dorf Hirbat Kilkas, südl. v. Hebron, teil. Abu-Turki war jener Palaestinenser, der zu Tode kam durch einen Stock, welchen ein Jungen aus dem Fenster eines beschleunigen Autos von der nahe gelegenen Siedlung Beit Hagai heraus gehalten wurde.

Sollte jemand in der Lage sein diese 'Nachrichten und Analyse' zu uebersetzen, so wuerden wir uns sehr freuen. Bitte melden Sie sich: Wir selbst sind dazu leider nicht in der Lage.

Abu Turki was the Palestinan hit to death with a stick held by boys out of the window of a speeding car from the nearby settlement Beit Hagai. "A schoolboy prank gone out of hand" was the comment of the principal of the settlement's "Educational Institute", placed in charge of Israeli problematic youths, who are sent by the government to be "educated" at this nationalist-religious settlement...

Sitting crowded in the Abu Turkis' small living room, we listened to the astonishingly coherent monologue of the eight-year old daughter Nur: "We have to walk four kilometres every morning to school in Hebron. They don't allow a school to be built here in the village. We have to pass the settlement fences every morning, and they insult and threaten us when we pass. They already killed Papa, who was a big strong man. What will happen to us?"

Zerstörung & Säuberung

Just in the middle of this, a Palestinian came in with the news that at that very moment the army was demolishing homes near Yatta, twenty kilometres to the south. After the emotional parting from the bereaved family, the eight members of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), among them Uri and Rachel Avnery, decided to get to the demolition site.

The radio in the car quoted the terse army communique: "illegal Beduin dwellings demolished in the southern Hebron Disrict." However, at the end of a quick drive over the hot road we didn't find the remnants of ramshackle huts, but what was left of a solid modern farmhouse - which had been the home of an extended family of twenty five, constructed in the midst of their own fields. Two kilometres away were visible the rooftops of the expanding settlement Carmel. Palestinian houses constructed near a settlement are defined "a security risk."

When we arrived, the soldiers had already departed, having done their job. There was little we could do beyond telling the dazed Ali Hasan Ibrahim (father of the family) how ashamed we were as Israelis, and that we would tell it to the world.

According to the grim statisitics kept by our friends in LAW, the Palestinian human rights organization, this was the 81st house demolished this year.

The "Second Redeployment", which according to Oslo should have taken place already on September 1997, would have affected at least 13% of the West Bank, placing tens of thousands of Palestinian inhabitants out of the occupation's reach. Moreover, the Americans are reportedly demanding of Netanyahu to agree, as part of the to-be-signed deal, to a complete halt to house demolitions in all parts of the West Bank. Exactly this may help explain the mad demolition spree of the past weeks: the occupation apparatus trying to create as many facts as possible while they still have a free hand. And meanwhile, Netanyahu is buying time with ever-new tricks, such as the new proprosal for a referendum on the West Bank withdrawal...

Netanjahu & Atereth Cohanim

Those of you who can be in Jerusalem on the evening of next Monday, June 29, should try to make that evening free. Ateret Kohanim, the settler association busily taking over Palestinian houses in the Old City of Jerusalem will be holding a big celebration at "Brechat HaSultan" in Jerusalem, and Netanyahu will come in person to greet them. We will be there, too - shouting and protesting and telling Netanyahu and the settlers what we think of them. Gush Shalom will join with Peace Now and other groups in a torchlight march, starting at 7.30 PM on the 29th from the Prime Minister's Residence near France Square. A demonstration bus will leave at 5.45 from the El-Al Terminal at the Arlozorov Railway Station, Tel-Aviv.

Those of you who are more far away could at least write to Netanyahu (please send us a copy too). You can use our text (in the box below) or write your own.

To Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu

I call upon you to cease immediately the inhuman policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. I do not accept your government's claim that these houses are "illegal". It is your policy of forbidding Palestinians to build on their own land while providing Israeli settlers with government-subsidised housing which is manifestly illegal and immoral.

Pazifismus & Verzweiflung

Another note: last week, the 19-year old conscientious objector (Gewissensverweigerer) Andy Hare went through "an instant trial" of five minutes, and was sent to a month behind bars.
The state of Israel yearly grants exemption from military service to literally tens of thousands of "religious scholars" - most of them nationalists who delight in the idea of war and conquest, so long as the fighting would be done by somebody else.
But our country seems unable to give a decent treatment to a single genuine young pacifist...

Andy is reported to be depressed in his cell, and would appreciate a message from you. (Ordinary "snail mail" at the address:
Andy Hare
ID 5615590, Military Prison 6, Military Post 03734, Israeli Defence Forces

For further details ask Amos Gvirtz

This has become as long as could be sent conveniently by e-mail - and in the meantime, news had come of the death of two soldiers in the never-ending guerilla war in Lebanon. We are now off to a hastily- organised "Bring back the Soldiers" vigil outside the Defence Ministry, and will be with you next week.

Adam Keller and Beate Zilversmidt

Tel-Aviv, 25.6.98

Please note:

Gal hadash baResheth

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