Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Une nouvelle colonie a ete planifiee en plein coeur du quartier arabe de la vieille ville de Jerusalem!/
A new settlement has been planned at the heart of the Arab quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem!
Dimanche 25 septembre. je retourne a Jerusalem, a la frontiere (sans cesse modifiee illegalement et unilateralement par le gouvernement israelien) avec Abu Dis. a cet endroit les habitants de Abu Dis passent pour aller a jerusalem. les soldats surveillent le passage d'une maniere aleatoire. des gens qui avaient la permission de rentrer a jerusalem ont ete refoules ce jour la pour raisons de securite.
le Mur separe ici aussi familles et amis.
la face de Jerusalem est en train d'etre changee sans que personne ne dise rien.
Sunday 45 September, i go back to Jerusalem, to its boundaries (constantly illegally and unilaterally modified by the israeli government) with Abu Dis. at this location, the inhabitants of Abu Dis can sneak into Jerusalem. the Israeli soldoers randomly check them. That day Palestininans that had permits to go to Jerusalem could not go through for "security reasons". Walls here also separates families and friends.
Without anybody saying anything, the face of Jerusalem is being changed everyday.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Photos d'une demonstration du Hamas et du festival de films sur les femmes/ Pics of a Hamas demonstration and of the first women film festival
Etrange que cette journee ou j ai assiste le matin a une demonstration de foce du Hamas a Ramallah avec des armes. Le soir c etait l'ouverture du premier festival de films sur les femmes. Le public n'etait pas vraiment le meme, dans ces soirees culturelles de ramallah on retrouve toujours les memes personnes, des consulats des Organisations, des gens plutot aisees. a la demonstration du hamas, on retrouve les gens de la rue.la societe palestinienne n'est pas une et il me semble que les lignes de fractures se creusent.
Thursday 22 September.
What a strange day. in the morning i was watching a big demonstration of Hamas in Ramallah, with a display of arms and strength. At night it was the opening of the first women film festival in the new Ramallah cultural centre. the public was quite different. in tose cultural events in Ramallah you always see the same people, from teh consulates and NGOs, the quite wealthy upper class. at the hamas demonstration there are really the people from the street. The Palestinian society is not one but the gaps seem widening.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Les Gandhis Palestiniens de Bi'lin continuent leur resistance non-violente/ The Palestinian gandhis continue to resist in Bi'lin
Alors que le mois dernier les medias n'ont parlé que du désengagement de la bande de Gaza, la construction du Mur et l'expansion des colonies continue en Cisjordanie.
Depuis des mois un petit village de Cisjordanie, Bi’lin, situé à l’Ouest de Ramallah, organise chaque vendredi des manifestations non-violentes contre la construction du Mur autour de leur village. La première fois que j’ai entendu de ce village, c’est par l’intermédiaire d’une famille palestinienne qui m’ont invitée chez eux à Ramallah mais qui sont originaires de Bi’lin. Le patriarche de la famille était riche par toutes les terres qu’il possédait. Il a tout perdu aujourd’hui et il ne lui reste plus que sa maison. Ses terres ont disparu derrière le site de la construction du Mur, comme la moitié des terres du village.
Bi’lin est un village traditionnel entouré de belles montagnes mais aussi de colonies. Nous sommes à une dizaine de kilometres de la Ligne verte, le Mur rentre donc ici profondément dans les terres palestiniennes. Avec le Mur il est clair qu'ici il s'agit de prendre plus de territoires afin de faciliter l'expansion de la nouvelle colonie appelée Nahlat Heftziba.
Les villageois ont décidé de se mobiliser et de ne pas accepter cette injustice.
Ils ont crée un comité populaire contre le Mur. Un des membres fondateurs de ce comité, Mohammed Khatib a déclaré:
"Bilin est en train d'etre étranglé par le Mur...Apres que les courts israéliennes aient refusé notre appel pour empecher la construction du Mur, nous avons commence a manifester pacifiquement avec des Israeliens et des gens du monde entier contre la confiscation de nos terres. Nous avons choisi de resister d'une maniere non violentee car nous sommes des personnes paisibles qui sommes victimes de l'occupation. Nous avons ouvert nos maisons aux Israeliens qui nous ont rejoints. Ils sont devenus nos partenaires dans la lutte. Ensemble nous envoyons le message fort que nous pouvons coexister dans la paix et la securite. Nous souhaitons la bienvenue a tous ceux qui viennent en invites et pour travailler pour la paix pour els deux peuples mais nous resisterons tous ceux qui viennent en occupants." Leur approche non-violente les a fait surnommes les Gandhis Palestiniens.
Depuis des mois, chaque vendredi les habitants de Bi'lin utilisent leur droit de manifester. Ils se rendent sur le site de la construction du Mur faire face aux soldats. Ils ont fait preuve à chaque fois de créativité en usant de différents symboles et formes de protestation. Il y a eu une manifestation composée uniquement de femmes puis d’enfants. A d’autres occasions les manifestants se sont enchaînés aux oliviers, ou encore se sont menottés eux-mêmes afin de bien montrer qu’il s’agit avant tout de manifestations non-violentes. Ils ont aussi prié et chanté devant les soldats. Au fur et à mesure les médias ont de plus en plus couvert ces manifestations auxquelles participent désormais des Israéliens et des internationaux. Chaque vendredi on pense qu’il s’agit d’un scénario bien huilé et pourtant on ne sait jamais ce qui peut arriver. Tout peut basculer très vite. En effet en face, l’armée israélienne n’hésite pas à employer la force, d’une manière le plus souvent violente et excessive. On est loin des images du désengagement de Gaza de soldats compatissants ou compréhensifs. Il faut le savoir, quand on manifeste en Palestine on peut être arrêté mais aussi blessé ou tué. En Juillet 2005, un jeune de 16 ans de Bi'lin, Muheeb Assi, a ete tue par l'armee israelienne. Combien il y a eu de personnes blessées et arrêtées depuis le debut des manifestations à Bi’lin? A la première manifestation à laquelle j’ai assisté, il y avait eu une trentaine de blessés, notamment par des balles en caoutchouc. Cette semaine je suis donc retournée assister à la manifestation avec je dois dire une petite boule dans le ventre.
La journée a commencé par un concert au piano par un Israélien survivant de l’holocauste, tandis qu’un chanteur américain folk a sorti sa guitare et a chanté devant les soldats. Les manifestants ont fait face aux soldats puis ont essayé de contourner le barrage. Deux internationaux ont tenté de se rendre sur le site de la construction du Mur. Ils ont été rattrapé par les soldats, et arrêté d’une manière très violente, traînés par terre et avaient les poignets lacérés par les liens trop serrés. Les soldats se sont ensuite rapprochés des jeunes de Bi'lin qui commençaient à jeter des pierres. Les soldats israéliens ont répondu en utilisant des gaz lacrymogènes et en tirant des balles en caoutchouc. A ce stade je suis partie mais alors que je m’éloignais en taxi collectif du village, un des enfants a soudainement fait signe de fermer la fenêtre en criant « gaz gaz ! ». En effet le gaz a envahi le véhicule et nous nous sommes tous mis à tousser et pleurer. Nous étions pourtant à deux ou trois kilomètres du site de la manifestation. Le gaz pénètre ainsi dans le village, dans les maisons et je dois dire que le respirer ne serait-ce que quelques secondes est une expérience horrible, alors qu’en est-il pour les personnes âgées, les enfants et bébés, les personnes malades? Au total, huit personnes ont été blessées, par balles en caoutchouc ou inhalation de gaz lacrymogènes et six ont été arrêtées.
L’armée israélienne ne se contente pas de réprimer durement de telles manifestations, elle essaye aussi de les empêcher. La semaine dernière l’armée avait imposé un couvre-feu le jour de la manifestation à Bi’lin. Les civils Israéliens qui venaient participer ont trouvé des barrages leur interdisant l’accès au village. Les soldats sont aussi rentrés à Bi’lin pour exiger des Israéliens qui y séjournent en solidarité de partir. Quand ils ont refusé ils ont été arrêtés. Mais les villageois ont bravé le couvre-feu et sont sortis en cognant sur des casseroles. Ils ont été finalement rejoints par 300 Israéliens qui ont réussi à rejoindre Bi’lin en passant par une colonie et en marchant des kilomètres. Cette semaine des activistes israéliens ont été également empêchés d’atteindre le village.
La violence dont fait preuve l’armée commence à être questionnée. Comme souvent ce sont des images choquantes d’activistes battus par les soldats qui ont fait réagir l’opinion. Trois juges israéliens ont ainsi récemment fustigé l'armée pour un usage excessif et non justifié de la force contre les manifestants. Je ne parle cependant que de l’opinion israélienne car de tels actes, alors que le conflit est tellement médiatisé, ne trouve curieusement pas d’écho dans les médias internationaux. Pourquoi ces actes de résistance non-violente ne sont pas médiatisés tandis que les confrontations entre soldats israéliens et colons à gaza ont donné lieu à un grand tapage médiatique ? La résistance non-violente existe en Palestine, elle commence aussi par le simple fait pour les Palestiniens de ne pas partir. Bi’lin n’est par ailleurs pas le premier village à organiser de telles manifestations qui se sont multipliées depuis deux ans. Avant il y a eu Marda, Budros, Jayyus, Biddu ou Beit Surik. Mais qui en a entendu parler ?
Si l’armée réprime si durement de telles manifestations, c’est qu’elle sait le potentiel que pourrait représenter une multiplication de telles évènements en Palestine, notamment aux yeux de l’opinion internationale. Nous en sommes encore loin. A la manifestation de vendredi, il n’y avait que 50 manifestants, et presque autant de soldats et photographes. Les internationaux et activistes Israéliens étaient plus nombreux que les habitants du village. Beaucoup de Palestiniens sont las de ces manifestations qui ne semblent rien changer, alors à quoi bon prendre le risque de se faire tuer ? Le caractère non-violent n’a aussi duré qu’un temps et finalement une fois que la manifestation s’est dispersée, les jeunes du village ont commencer à lancer des pierres car c’est ainsi qu’ils expriment leur colère et frustration.
Pourtant semaine après semaine, la manifestation a le mérite d’exister et représente en tant que telle un symbole et une lueur d’espoir : une autre manière de résister, qui si elle se développe et si elle n’est pas asphyxiée par les gaz lacrymogènes ou tuée par les balles, pourrait représenter une force motrice dans le conflit et changer les perceptions sur les protagonistes.
Saturday 17 September .
While all the media attention has been devoted to the desengagement of the Gaza Strip in the last few months, the construction of the Wall and the expansion of settlements continues in the West Bank.
On Friday, I decided to go back to Bi’lin. Since months, the inhabitants of Bi’lin together with Israeli peace activists and internationals organize every Friday a demonstration against the construction of the Wall around the village. Bi’lin is a beautiful village surrounded by mountains but also settlements, located West of Ramallah. The first time I heard about it was through a Palestinian family I stayed with in Ramallah. They are originated from this village and told me how the Patriarch of the family has lost all his lands because of the Wall. Once considered as quite wealthy, he is left with nothing but his house. The construction of the Wall, which stands in Bi’lin far from the Green Line, has indeed resulted in the loss of more than half of the village’s land. Most of the income of the 1,600 inhabitants from Bi'lin depend on these lands. When we see the construction of the site and the settlement nearby, it appears clear that the construction of the Wall inside Palestinian territories aims at annexing more Palestinian lands and facilitates the expansion of the new settlement called Nahlat Heftziba.
But the inhabitants of Bi’lin have decided to fight this injustice in their way, by using non-violent means of resistance. Thus every Friday, they use their right to protest and go to the construction site and face the soldiers. They organised themselves in a Popular Committee Against the Wall. One of the leading members, Mohammed Khatib declared:
"...Bilin is being strangled by Israel's wall... After Israeli courts refused our appeals to prevent wall construction, we, along with Israelis and people from around the world, began peacefully protesting the confiscation of our land. We chose to resist non-violently because we are peace-loving people who are victims of occupation. We have opened our homes to the Israelis who have joined us. They have become our partners in struggle. Together we send a strong message - that we can coexist in peace and security. We welcome anyone who comes to us as a guest and who works for peace and justice for both peoples, but we will resist anyone who comes as an occupier."
Because their approach is non-violent, they are now called the Palestinian Gandhis.They have used their creativity and every Friday is different. Once there were only women, then only children. They tied themselves to their Olive trees. They also handcuffed themselves to show that they do not intend to use violence. They sang and prayed in front of the Israeli soldiers. Sometimes they were numerous, sometimes only a few but the consistency of the weekly protest is beginning to find some echoes in the medias. Every Friday the storyboard seems to be the same. However everybody is aware that anything can rapidly change and that one can be arrested, injured or even killed. The Israeli army does not hesitate to repress them by using a disproportionate use of force. Protesting is simply a very dangerous act in Palestine, where one put his life at risk. On July 2005, a a 16-year-old from Bilin, Muheeb Assi, was shot to death by the Israeli army during one of the demonstrations. How many people- Palestinians, Israelis and internationals have been arrested, injured, or killed during such demonstrations? Nobody knows.
The violence has begun to be questioned within Israeli society, notably following the release of some videos showing the beaten up of non-violent protestors. Even the Israeli Courts have used such video to order the release of some Palestinians that clearly were violently arrested without any justification other than the political aim to deter them to participate or organise such demonstrations. However these images do not go beyond the Israeli and Arab medias and I wonder why, as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict attracts so much media coverage. Why non-violent resistance of Palestinians is not shown while there was so much coverage of the confrontations between the Israeli soldiers and settlers in Gaza or on the demonstrations from settlers? Bi’lin is not the first case and other villages have been also protested such as Marda; Jayyus, Biddu and Beit Surik. But once again who have heard of them?
This Friday I did not go to the demonstration with a quiet mind.
Especially the last two demonstrations in Bi’lin have resulted in many injuries and arrests. Now the army seems not only to violently repress the demonstration but tries to prevent them even before they start. Last Friday the army tried to prevent the participation of Israeli peace activists to participate in the demonstration by setting up roadblocks around Bi’lin and declaring a curfew. They ordered the Israelis that stay in Bi’lin in solidarity to leave and when they refused they arrested them. Nevertheless some inhabitants of Bi’lin defied the curfew and went out, hitting on pots, a gesture that echoes what has been used in South America. They were joined by 300 Israeli activists who managed to reach the village through a settlement and after a walk of several kilometers. The violent response from the army resulted in many injuries.
This week the highlight of the day was the participation of an Israeli pianist, an holocaust survivor, who made a small concert and of an American folk singer who sang in front of the soldiers against the occupation. The protestors faced the soldiers and then some tried to bypass them to reach the construction of the site. Two internationals were then very violently arrested. They were dragged and the hands were so tightly tied that their wrists were red and cut. The soldiers then moved closer to the youth of the village who have begun to throw stones. The soldiers threw a lot of tear gas and began shooting rubber bullets. Usually this is at this moment, when most of the journalists left the site, that most injuries occur. I left and I finally could breathe without smelling that awful gas that burns your eyes and makes you cry. But in the collective taxi suddenly one of the child showed the open window and shouted “gas, gas!”. The gas invaded the car. We were nevertheless a few kilometers from the location of the demonstration. It means that the gas goes everywhere in the village and inside the houses, and it should be so bad for the children and babies, the sick and old people.
At the end of the day, eight injuries were reported, by rubber bullets and inhalation of tear gas and six people have been arrested. If the demonstrations are so severely and violently repressed, it is because the Israeli government knows the impact that could have the multiplication of such demonstrations on the international opinion. However we are far from a mass movement. At the demonstration on Friday, the protestors were only around 50 and there were as many as soldiers and photographers. Furthermore, among the protesters there were more internationals and Israelis than the inhabitants of the village. Many Palestinians are tired of these demonstrations which seem to have no result so why taking the risk of being killed? Nevertheless, week after week the demonstration has the merit to exist and Bi’lin represents a symbol and a glimpse of hope that, if it is not suffocated by tear gas or killed by rubber bullets, expands and becomes internationally covered by the media, could expand into a moving force in the conflict.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
je suis bien arrivee en Palestine apres un petit mois en Europe.
Ce petit sejour m'a encore montre combien le public ne sait pas ce qui se passe sur le terrain. Aucun probleme a l'aeroport, j'ai eu un petit choc quand meme en retournant a ramallah et en voyant a quel point la construction du nouveau terminal a qalandia a avance. Encore plus de Mur, de tours militaires et le chemin est plus long, j ai donc du traine ma valise dans les pierres sur 300 metres. Enfin voila je cherche a m'installer, je vais chercher un apart a ramallah, en attendant je reste chez une famille palestinienne. Je vais travailler dans une universite palestinienne tout en continuant mes photos et rapports de terrain.
Je vous tiens au courant.
Hi everybody, here I am, back to Palestine after one month in Europe. -- There was no problem to enter Israel. The morning of my arrival I was shocked when i saw the changes at Qalandia checkpoint. The new terminal is almost ready. The Wal is now on both sides of teh checkpint and there are more military watchtowers. The way also is longer so I had to walk with my heavy suitcase on a very rocky path for 300 meters. Now i am looking for a flat in Ramallah. in the meantime i stay with a Palestinian family. I will work in a Palestinian university and I will continue also to write reports and takes pictures. The issues are numerous. As everybody praise Sharon for the disengagement from the Gaza Strip,
Since arriving to the ceasefire deal between Israel and the Palestinians on February 8, 2005, Israeli soldiers conducted 12903 violations, 88 residents were killed, 767 were injured, and 2115 residents were arrested.
The violations also include mistreatments at military checkpoint, mistreatment at the gates of the Separation Wall, restrictions on movement of the residents, including restrictions on movement of medical teams.
Dozens of residents were detained and interrogated on border crossings, and were not allowed to leave the country.
Military checkpoints were installed 2725 times during this period, 1434 shooting attacks were carried out, and 34776 Dunams of farmlands were annexed.
Settlers carried out 432 attacks in several Palestinian areas; the attacks included breaking into homes, attacking school children and teacher, especially in Hebron, and fired at residents and homes in the Palestinian areas which are adjacent to the settlements.
The construction of the Wall has speeded up, especially around Jerusalem. Also more settlers in the West Bank have arrived (last year the number of new settlers in the West Bank is greater than the number of the settlers that were removed from the Gaza Strip). A new settlement has been planned at the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem, wheich represents not only a blatant violation of international law but also a grace act of provocation.
So continue to follow my blog. I will keep you updated.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
By Ilan Pappé *
There is an amazing gap between the global discourse on the Gaza Disengagement Plan of the
This imbalance between representation and reality makes it difficult to assess and discuss the significance of the
For instance, the removal of the provocative settlements from the Gaza Strip and from a small area in the north of the
Moreover, regardless of its real motives, the move could advance the Palestinian right to self-determination. This is a position argued by the Islamic forces in the OPTs, which see the pullout as the defeat of the occupying army, and there is indeed more than a modicum of truth in this representation. However, for these two positive aspects to materialize as a new reality, the withdrawal must mean a genuine Israeli detachment from the lives of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and northern parts of the
Unfortunately, there is very little evidence to suggest that this will in fact be the outcome of the disengagement. The first omen is the Israeli insistence that there will be no further territorial concessions. While this position is not always stated openly, it was spelled out clearly by Dov Weissglas, Ariel Sharon's senior aide, in an interview with Ha'aretz on
Furthermore, the Israelis have minimized, as far as possible, any cooperation with the Palestinian Authority on the withdrawal in order to avoid creating any domestic impression that the pullout is part of a peace dialogue, and not, as they wish to portray it, the redeployment of forces.
These declarations fit well with the overall strategy of the
Thus, the wider context for analyzing the impact of the Disengagement Plan on human rights is
At the very least, one can expect a similar level of resistance to that currently being attempted by the various Palestinian forces in their desperate struggle against the status quo (although one can even envisage far worse scenarios). Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the frustration in the Palestinian areas will not result in actions that exceed the known patterns of attacks against the army and settlers from both the Gaza Strip and the
Three senior Israelis—the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and Eival Giladi, the Director of the Strategic Coordination Staff in the Prime Minister's Office—have already explained what the Israeli retaliation would be against such a Palestinian reaction. Giladi told the printed and electronic press that, "Israel will act in a very resolute manner in order to prevent terror attacks and militant fire while the disengagement is being implemented … and if pinpoint response proves insufficient, we may have to use weaponry that causes collateral damage, including helicopters and planes, with mounting danger to surrounding people" (Ha'aretz, 22 June 2005).
A month later, Tawfiq abu Husa, spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, notified the Israelis that the Ministry could not secure a peaceful pullout (www.walla.co.il,
According to the book, in order to 'rehabilitate' the loss of 'Arab respect' for the army, back in 2000 and 2001 Mofaz foiled any serious attempt made by the Palestinians and moderate Israelis to end the military escalation of the second Intifada. The book shows that the Disengagement Plan was concocted by Ariel Sharon, after learning that then-state prosecutor Edna Arbel was about to indict him on corruption charges. The army went along with the plan, although most of Mofaz's colleagues rejected it. The army's position is quite puzzling. All of its senior officers said openly and in internal debates that a unilateral withdrawal would be a disaster. Eventually, however, all, to a man, came out in its favor. Why did the IDF agree to a plan it thought was disastrous? According to the book, because it bent to heavy political pressure from a Prime Minister who was convinced he would be prosecuted for his political and financial corruption. Indeed, the army chiefs continue to argue that after the withdrawal there is likely to be more fire directed from the Strip at Jewish towns within pre-1967
The likelihood that the disengagement will not end the occupation, but rather perpetuate it, is in itself bad news for the future human and civil rights of the Palestinians. The possibility of brutal Israeli actions leading to massive killing within the Gaza Strip is also troubling, to say the least. Moreover, the Israeli insistence on disconnecting the Strip from any land contact to the east, north and south, and on continuing to blockade it from the sea to the west, raises genuine concerns about the economic standard of living and social welfare of its more than 1.4 million Palestinian residents.
It is quite likely, then, that Palestinians will pay for the 'national trauma,' in order that both the 'nation' and the army can feel healed after the crisis is over. However, far more important is the possible sense of success that will descend on the Israeli policy-making apparatus, should the withdrawal be implemented relatively smoothly. It would be considered a victory for 'unilateralism,' which is now the mantra of the consensual political center in the country.
‘Unilateralism' means that the Palestinians, wherever they are—inside Israel, in the refugee camps, in the Diaspora or in the OPTs—have no say in the future of Palestine and Israel. Hence, laws can be passed to prevent Palestinian marital partners from different sides of the Green Line from living together in Israel, with total disregard to the wishes of the Palestinians themselves (in July 2005, 59 members of Knesset voted to extend this law, with minor amendments, whilst only 13 voted against it, although in fact more than 100 out of 120 Israeli members of Knesset support this racist legislation). In addition, Israeli security arrangements in the form of the wall and other defensive means can be decided upon regardless of any concern for what the Israeli Supreme Court euphemistically calls "the comfort of the Palestinians." By now it has been well documented that these means have caused the transfer of people, the loss of their livelihood and their imprisonment between huge walls and army lookout towers.
After the withdrawal, which is portrayed domestically as a national trauma not to be repeated, and to the world at large as the bravest peace plan ever proposed to the Palestinians, 'unilateralism' is in danger of becoming sacrosanct. In terms of human rights, this means that in the aftermath of the disengagement the Israeli agencies dealing with the Palestinians under their control will pursue the same callous policies described above with even less regard to Palestinian opinion or rights. Against the mood and discourse of 'significant concessions'—as with the talk of 'the most generous offer' in the summer of 2000—the Israeli authorities will have no scruples in determining, with brutal force, who the Palestinians can marry, where they can live and work, when they can go out or for how long they have to stay imprisoned in their homes before curfews and closures are lifted. Worse, the army will be able to continue its policies of shooting and killing without any inhibitions.
However, the government and its agencies' overall treatment of the protest movement serves to highlight a different aspect of human and civil rights in Israel: the wide gap between the ways in which Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel engaged in protests against the government are dealt with. Some of the actions undertaken by the protestors were identical to those undertaken during the protest demonstrations held by Palestinian citizens of
Although the settlers and their supporters have been engaging in such activities for several months, the police have responded almost entirely through non-violent means resulting in almost no injuries. Detainees have been held for relatively short periods of time. In October 2000, 13 unarmed Palestinian citizens of
The discrimination evident in the means of dealing with these two cases is a portentous omen for the future. It suggests not only that Israel will attempt to evade withdrawal from any further occupied land and avoid conducting genuine peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but also that it will maintain the current regime of segregation and discrimination within Israel, allowing extreme right wingers to perpetuate Israeli intransigence and preventing Palestinian and non-Zionist political groups in Israel from enjoying their basic rights to freedom of _expression and political participation.
In short, the Disengagement Plan is a step toward consolidating an Israeli regime of discrimination inside the state, as well as the policies of occupation, colonization, and, potentially, massive killing in the OPTs. The regrettable misconception of the move in the international media will allow the Israeli government to continue to pursue its plans. As in the past, it remains the duty of the civil societies in the West to expose this distorted picture and to exert pressure on their governments to demand a total Israeli withdrawal from all of the territories it occupied in 1967 and the introduction of international peace-keeping forces in their place. These developments would bring relief to those living under occupation, after enduring almost 40 years of the systematic abuse of their human and civil rights. International protection should be provided for the Palestinians until all the outstanding problems—the refugee issue, the question of