Monday, April 26, 2010

Rajmohan Gandhi: Bil'in a model for nonviolent resistance

Rajmohan Gandhi: Bil'in a model for nonviolent resistance


Arab News


By MOHAMMED MAR'I, Apr 5, 2010


RAMALLAH: Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of the notable Indian leader and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, on Monday said that the West Bank village of Bil'in became an international model for the nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation and separation wall.


Gandhi said during a visit to Bil'in, to the west of Ramallah, that the "Bil'in news and activities became known in the world" adding that "what happens in the village is a model for contemporary nonviolent popular resistance." He stressed that the Israeli settlements and separation wall "will disappear." "It is our duty to awaken the international community from its slumber, and I will contribute in this effort to support the Palestinian people's just cause,” Gandhi said.


The Palestinian National Initiative said that is visiting the Palestinian territories to reconfirm his solidarity with the Palestinian people and the legitimate resistance to the unjust occupation.


It added in a press statement that Gandhi will visit several areas and engage in many meetings in the cities and villages of the West Bank to witness first hand some of the most important signs of the Israeli policies of racism and apartheid.


The statement added that the Gandhi's presence in Palestinian territories would support the Palestinian steadfastness and facilitate in establishing an independent and democratic national state on its own territory.


The Bil'in resistance style is taking place also in the West Bank villages of Ni'lin, Deir Nizam and Al-Nabi Saleh, to the west of Ramallah, Om Salamonah and Al-Mi'sarah, to the south of Bethlehem However, Bil'in has become a symbol: Since 2005 residents of Bil'in responded in fact with a peaceful and nonviolent resistance to the separation wall, that far from the Green line, snakes deeply inside the West Bank annexing 1,968 of 4,040 dunums of Bil'in lands.


Israel started the construction of the eight-meter-height cement wall in 2002. It said that the wall is to prevent Palestinian militants from infiltrating into Israel and carry out deadly bombing attacks.


Two Palestinian activists have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces since regular Friday demonstrations began in 2005 in Bil'in and Ni'lin. Hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli and foreign activists were wounded and arrested in the protests. Several foreign activists were arrested and expelled for their participation in the anti-wall protests.


Israeli Supreme Court decided in September 2007 that the construction of the wall causes severe damages to residents of the village and demanded the government map out alternative route for the wall.


In 2004, the international court in The Hague ruled the wall "illegal" and called on Israel to demolish it. Israel rejected the decision.


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


No comments: