Monday, August 15, 2011

5-6-7-8--Stop the Suffering, Stop the Hate!

Watching news of the "Arab Spring" moving across the region--in Syria, Libya and Yemen--we are tempted to forget that the struggle of Palestinians continues.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, who traveled from Beit Sahour (Bethlehem) to speak in Denver in March, updates us on the struggle of the people of Al-Walaja, a small village near Bethlehem, where Israel is continuing the building of the wall, which will soon completely surround the village.

When the people of Al-Walaja were forced out of their village in 1948, they moved east and built homes on their agricultural lands, which ended up on the Palestinian side of the "Green Line" armistice line in 1949 (administered by Jordan until Israel took the land in the 1967 war).

Today, the people of Al-Walaja are again being forced off their land to make way for Israel's "security" wall being built--NOT on the land Israel already took, but on the remnant of land where the people of Al-Walaja live today. During all these years, the people of Al-Walaja have engaged in non-violent resistance to Israel's confiscation of their lands--never violence.

Watch one of the non-violent demonstrations against the wall in Al-Walaja, where Israeli and international demonstrators join with the people of the village to confront the bulldozers that are uprooting olive trees and destroying the village lands to build the wall. Five Israelis were taken away by the soldiers. Take four minutes to watch Dr. Qumsiyeh's video:

After bullying the demonstrators, the Israeli soldiers entered the village and harrassed residents who had not even participated in the demonstration. Watch a seven-minute video of the harrassment.
This is only one example of the reality of daily life in Palestinian towns and villages all over the West Bank.

If you would like to understand the history of Al-Walaja's struggle, watch a video of Dr. Qumsiyeh's talk at Yale University earlier this year, where he shows how the village lands were taken from them and how, after their 1967 conquest, Israel annexed more village land, and today is building a wall to take more of this valuable real estate adjacent to West Jerusalem:

Keep reading below for more of Dr. Qumsiyeh's news about what you can do.

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