Not feeling at home @ tent's protest #j14

#14J protests arouse  mixed emotions in me :
This protest goals are targeting issues that concern me as a private person.
The cause of the protest is about conditions I've  dealt and dealing with,
me among many other young people who struggle for living.
Living in Tel Aviv is very expensive-
even if you work very hard and stick with a very humble living style.
(that is why I had to leave)
Another thing is,
I am filled with joy as I watch masses of
Israeli people taking to the streets, demand social justice.
this comes after such a long period of numb apathy, and it makes happy.
The moment where people are standing up for their rights,
taking responsibility for their lives rather discharge it to the hands of opportunist politicians is a beautiful thing.
(See Gideon Levy's piece on it here.
On the other hand, there's the feeling inside of me that
any protest that does not demand directly to end the occupation is wrong.
I don't know much about economy,
if anything at all,
but I feel that the economic policy of Israel reflects its  human-right policy
and national security policy:
And I until that won't change,
poverty in my opinion will remain as a side affect.
(see here for more)
Another thing is that if I come,
I will be carrying a political agenda that does not correspond well with this protests' manifest.
I don't want to feel or be accused of hitching or protest-jacking,
although many of my fellow activists do not share  my feeling and are engaged with grassroots project  like the tent in south Tel Aviv, at Levinsky Garden that includes asylum seekers as well as drug addicts, more discriminated sectors in the society. There is also a disputed arab-jewish tent in Rotschild boulevard that had been attacked, as well as 1 in Yaffa
(standing out against gentrification of Ajami neighborhood as  well) and Ramle.
I say this on behalf of my fellow activists that have managed to add that "political" content to the protest and promote awareness to the Palestinian/arab housing rights.
The housing problem in the Palestinian-Arab sector is worse for several reasons: first, many were evicted from their homes either in 1949 or 1967 wars and was not compensated. Second of all, they are subjected to Legislative violence that confisticates their lands, demolish their homes and denies building permits from them, leaving them with no master plan for developing their towns.
Personally, I am not feeling very comfortable with this renewed unity based on nationality- this solidarity, so far, despite the encouraging sparks of Yaffa, 1948 tent & Ramle remains mostly a Jewish Israeli thing so far but I am following and may join if I feel that's right for me.

Nabi Saleh terrorized. Again

Last week I was arrested when I was trying to get into the village,
which is subjected to a closed military zone that starts every friday morning.
That warrant is unreasonable: how can one declare that an entire village,
owned by its people, is practically confiscated for hours just to prevent people from gathering.
That is one of the privileges the martial laws grants the army: they have the ability to disrupt any aspect of people's daily living according to their judjement.
So this week I came the day before and stayed the night over.
I came to be with the kind, warm, friendly, generous, brave, formidable, great hospitality, noble people of Nabi Saleh.
I was so happy when people recognized me from
past times I've been in the village and called me by my Arabic name, Kibrita (match).

I am sitting at my home, wondering what good it is to write about one of the most highly-covered conflict ,
after so many has been written already.
 Than I have the feeling that I am writing things done out of my own selfish need to be heard.

Right now I don't feel I have something big or important to tell the word about myself and my personal life.I'm nobody,
but I got the chance to be around great people,
and witness certain events that are greater than me,
so I use it as an opportunity to form my own opinion,
my own view, my course about them.
*Back to where I was*

Staying the night over in Nabi Saleh was an overwhelming experience for me. Sometimes people touch my heart so every gesture they make towards me make me so happy. I felt welcomed.
We arrived at the night of Tawjih, celebration of the end of school term.
The village held two parties, separated between boys and girls.
I saw firecrackers in the skies. People was sitting outside their houses, smoking Nargilas (hubbly Bubbly they called it).
I discovered that I can speak Arabic better than I thought and even managed to run several conversations with people.
They have shared with me some of their suffering from the occupation, telling me which person of their family was arrested and who was shot.
A 6 years old girl showed me an empty shell of a live bullet.
I've heard about a person who went to Jordan and that was the first time his children saw the sea, that is so close to them, but they are forbidden (mamnou3in) for coming in.
I think in Nabi Saleh everyone either spent time in prison/ have a relative that's currently arrested. ): Sijan (jail) is a word heard ofter.
Everytime I've heard about a person that was arrested,
the only reaction I could think of: I wish they'd taken me instead of them.
I am single, those people have families to provide, and I also felt guilty and ashamed, coming from the occupying side.

I discovered that I can speak/ understand arabic better than I thought
; spent some time with the Tamimis, hearing  so many heart breaking stories.
I made the kids laugh out loud hiding my face and showing them again.
How could those kids be enemies?

I am not feeling comfortable to write about people I've visited because I did not ask for permission. Another thing, I that those people might get into trouble for allowing an Israeli citizen in.


In the morning, we couldn't even get from where we were staying into the village without having tear gas shot at us. They wouldn't even let us move quietly inside the village, let alone gather and march. When we tried to make several steps, we were met with high velocity tear gas canisters shot in direct aiming towards us. We were showered with tear gas.
At some point I found myself against a wall,
canisters flying over my head, between my legs & arms.

I was choking and couldn't see anything. 

Seth took my hand, and than a local man showed us to safety.
I came there to be in solidarity with the Palestinians and ended up being supported by them.
My skin was burning..
" Murderers" my friend shouted at them,
for this method of shooting is forbidden even according to the IOF's code.

At that point I felt sheer terror: helpless
, not knowing what will happen next,
facing random outbursts of brutality.
I was afraid that if the soldiers see me, I'll be arrested once again.
I was even too scared to leave the house I was staying at.
I felt a huge frustration, facing the denial of people's right to non- violent protest.

As we regrouped in a yard,
some people were singing Palestinian freedom songs

The soldiers went inside the village.
Last time I've heard they pointed pistols at people as they raided houses.
They arrested David, the photographer.
I saw them beating him and tearing his shirt off.
They also broke his camera. 
I heard that two other Palestinians were arrested, 
as well as three international solidarity activists.
 I also heard that an International activist was injured.
One of the Palestinians that were arrested was told he is being taken for having people from outside the village in his home. This is my house and I can have anyone I want as a guest, the man replied. 
Later on  during the day  he was released.
There was not a shred of violence coming from the villagers during the day.
Yet occasionally there were flares of violence coming from the soldiers,unprovoked.
Every once in a while they threw stun grenades & tear gas canisters.
 Finally I was given some  evidence to the "hostility" of the village's people: it occurred to me that 4 people in the village are serving life time verdicts in prison for their actions during the past intifada. 
Even so, those people are already jailed- what's
the point of  violently grow the hatred?


| a letter to an IOF soldier מכתב לחייל

Hello Sahlo, you seem like a nice guy and that is why I can't hate you, although you are part of the occupation forces and god knows what war crimes you've already committed and what you might do in the future. I wanted to go back to the conversation we  had while you were assigned as my guard  during detention. 

You kept saying you are feeling sorry for me,  that I bring suffering upon myself in vain, and that's a shame. I must tell you that I think I felt more sorry for you than you did for me. I asked you what are you doing in Nabi Salekh, the same question you asked me. You said you were serving your country. I asked you how?
The village of Nabi Saleh is populated by un-armed people, many of them are women and children. 
This is not an "extremist" village. You couldn't tell me about one case that those people ever harmed any Israeli, save for the stone-throwing that is provoked by the soldiers' invasion to the village that occur every friday.
 You said that those people might poses illegal weapons. If so, I said, why can't the Palestinian local police handle them?
You had no answer. I continued to tell you that that if those people are not extremist yet, they might be, being subjected to such brutal oppression.
You said that the village hostile. That is such bullshit. You said you are protecting me from being hurt by the villagers. None of us was ever hurt by any of them. In fact, they are most formidable, warm, welcoming people. And that is part of the reason we keep coming every week: because we like being there. Those are REGULAR PEOPLE LIVING THERE. Not malicious guerrillas,no terrorist shells. Just normal people that are trying to live their life despite the occupation and maintain their dignity. You said  IDF sent you there, and that the army makes no mistakes.
What about Bilin annexation fence,that cost the lives of 2 palestinians and so many injuries ?that cost 18 million NIS to dismantle Do you see terror attacks coming and you still have the wall.
 What about Hebron (Al Halil) with its closed Shuhada street. Didn't 4 generals determined  that the old city can be secure without segregation of  the merchant's sect? 
These are not their lands you said. Those are our  lands. Look around you, I replied- see those ancient terraces? See how much effort people made to cultivate those lands? Those people have been living here for 300 years. In what right you confiscate their property?
(You should know i think because you weren't born here. Or at least, your parents didn't. I wonder if you serve in the army because that is a way to merge within the Israeli racist society that will discriminate you for the different colour of your skin and that is why I feel twice as sorry for you).
One more thing  I will tell you Sahlo. They are saying NOW is the time to choose. If you want a JEWISH state to exist- you should support retreat to 49' truce boarders, because that is what international law demands. How long do you think a weakened America keep Israel as its most sponsored asset without this?
How long will the IOF last without the american military aid?DO you think it will last long? and yes, 49 truce borders exclude Nabi Salekh  from Israel's territory, and really, you have no reason to be here.

The protest "game"

There is an online game I play a lot called Ministry of War.
In this game, you are building an army, recruit troops of all kinds (peltasts, cavalier, bowmen) and you assign them to battle enemies. You can enter the battle interface, operate your forces and view the battle's progress, in real time. You will see frequent alerts about your status: if you are using a special skill, if a unit have been destroyed, etc.Now, for a second I close my eyes and I can simulate an ordinary course of a weekly demonstration in the west bank. "our troops" would be few- to- a dozen, shabab- what MoW would call " elite oriental infantry" ( in real life their ages may vary, starting from very young kids to young men in their early 20's).
They are equipped with a skill of stone hurling.
They have some other attributes, such as speed- how fast they can run, dodge, hide.
They get some bonus for being familiar with the location and
therefor  they get around easily.
Your forces also include villagers. They provide solidarity and moral.
They will usualy chant  anti occupation slogans and carry Palestinian flags, or posters.
Another unit is the international activists. They are armed with cameras and enthusiasm. Occasionally they can have themselves arrested rather lose a villager. Their documentation increase the protest's affect -which is an ingredient to make the protest successful.  Any unit may rarely succeed using a negotiation skill to release those who were arrested.
On the enemy's side, aka IOF you will fully equipped, armed and trained soldiers. Their motivation and moral may  not be as high as yours, (you better hope so) because it's friday and they're probably eager to be somewhere else.
BUT they get compensation that comes in many forms. They are armed wit h tear gas canister- resulting asphyxia and dis-orientation affect as well as panic and intimidation. They have stun grenades, although they have limited affect. They have rubber coated bullets able to cause lethal damage and injuries. They also have live ammunition. They can arrest protesters, what will decrease the number of your troops, they can beat protesters with batons , they also have intelligence skill- mistara'avim, troops that can disguise themselves as protesters and launch an attack by surprise or gather information about high profile participants that might be targeted. They can call for re-enforcement, and  so long.
Their major flaw is the amount of resources they consume, and the bad branding affect that results from publishing their actions.
Can I calculate what the duration of the protest will be, based on those variables?
Can I measure the success or failure of either side?
Not accurately, of-course. But I think each time the villagers go out to protest they win their pride, they are standing up for their rights, and each time the army loses prestige. Each time, children that attend the protests sustain mental damage and also risk themselves with traumatic i , that might include torture. Each time, all the Israelis suffer loss of valuable resources. Each time the soldiers lose some of their humanity.
Every arrest  might decrease the ability of the people to provide for themselves – a crucial ability for people that have children.
Least I can say is that any interception/ intervention  between civil population is a bad idea, drawing more and more people into the course of bloody violence. The more ppeople drawn to that circle, we lose hope and a chance to change the wrongs and make things better

נבי סאלח- תצהיר

 בסביבות השעה 12:00שמעתי את החיילים צועקים "עצרו". עצרתי והתיישבתי. החיילים שאלו אותי איפוא החברים שלי. אמרתי שאני לא יודעת. הם שאלו עוד שאלות ולא עניתי להם.
הם דרשו שאבוא איתם וכשלא נעניתי הם גררו אותי.
תוך כדי הגרירה התפתלתי והשתחררתי מהאזיקונים.
ניסיתי להשתחרר מהאזיקונים כי לא חשבתי שמוצדק לשים אותם עלי. 
לא הייתי אלימה כלפיהם וכל ההתנגדות שלי הייתה פסיבית. 
במהלך הגרירה המצלמה שלי נשברה.
אחרי ש-4 חיילים לא הצליחו לגרור אותי,
חייל אחד נשא אותי תוך שהוא מכופף לי את הראש בכוח. 
לקחו אותי למחסום בכניסה לכפר ושמו לי אזיקונים על הרגליים. 
בגלל שהתפתלתי גם בתוך האזיקונים האלה, הם אזקו אותי ביותר כוח . 
נשארתי כשעתיים עם האזיקונים שהרגשתי שהם עוצרים לי את  הדם. 
האזיקונים הכאיבו לי מאוד ופחדתי שאני אקבל נמק. 
אחר כך  חייל אתיופי בשם סהלו רופף את האזיקונים. נשארתי איתם עוד כ3-4 שעות. 
החיילים שמו לידי בקבוק מיים. הם לקחו את תעודת הזהות שלי ואת הסנדלים שלי. 
טענתי בפניהם שלמעשה לא הפרתי צו שטח צבאי סגור מאחר ועצרתי על פי ההוראה שלהם.
ניסיתי לרופף את האזיקונים עם מצית והם איימו עלי שהם יקחו את שאר התיק שלי.
חווית העיכוב הייתה משפילה ומביסה עבורי והרגשתי שלבקש מהחיילים הקלות,
כמו ללכת לשירותים או לרופף את האזיקונים זה מעשה שיחזק את תחושת השליטה
שלהם עלי. מבחינתי זה היה לשמור על הכבוד שלי בעיני עצמי.
לא הרגשתי בנוח ללכת לשירותים בחברת 5 גבריםם כשהרגליים שלי אזוקות.
לא עניתי לחיילים כשהם דברו אלי. מפעם לפעם שמעתי רצף של קולות ירי ופיצוצים מהכפר.
שלוש פעמים בערך החייל סהלו אמר לי שישחררו אותי תוך שעה וזה לא קרה…
בין שעה חמש לשש הגיעו 2 רכבים צבאיים ומתוכם יצאו שני פלסטינים כפותים ומכוסי עיניים.
החיילים הושיבו אותם עם הפנים  לסלע והיכו או דחפו להם קנה של רובה לראש.
במהלך הנסיעה החיילים התגרו בי מילולית, התעקשו לכנות את המעיין של הכפר 
בשם שהמתנחלים נתנו לו, עין מאיר והעירו על זה שהשם שלי הוא על שם מישהו שנהרג על ידי ערבים. 
במקרה ראיתי בדרך שני פעילים שחיכו שיחזירו להם תעודות זהות שנלקחו מהם. בקשתי שיתנו לי לחבור אליהם. החיילים הזהירו אותי לא לחזור לכפר.

ציפר שוב מגעיל | Take Action, Not Compassion


English version will  Follow the  Hebrew

יכולים לשאול אותי: "אז מה הפתרון שלך?" הפתרון שלי הוא לעשות חושבים מחדש ולחזור אל האנושיות. כי כפי שאמר דוסטויבסקי, כמה קל לאהוב את האנושות אבל כמה קשה לאהוב אדם אחד! ולהתנער מהשטחיות הגימיקית והפרסומאית, ובמקום לבזבז כספים על משטים ומטסי-סרק, לטלפן אל פלסטיני אחד, או פלסטינית אחת, וסתם לדרוש בשלומו. ולתת לו להרגיש שהוא נחשב ולא רק כלי משחק וירטואלי בידיהם של פרזיטי המחאה. 

מקור: הארץ, ציפרלנד, אתם מגעילים אותי, פרזיטי המחאה

שוב בני ציפר מעביר בי עווית של גועל. ההצעה החנפנית, המתחסדת, המזוייפת הזאת, שהיא בדיוק  בדיוק הגימיק הפרסומי שציפר יוצא כנגדו.

פלאשבק, לעצמי של שנת 2009. קוראת את הדיווחים 
במקביל למהומות של אחרי הבחירות לנשיאות איראן.
ספינה שניסתה להגיע לחופי עזה. הפעילים צייצו בהיסטריה: "יורים עלינו".
הפעילים האיצו בגולשים לכתוב למארק רגב, 
להתקשר, להפעיל לחץ על מנת שיאפשרו לספינה שלהם לעבור.
לאחר מכם, סיפרו הם נחטפו לנמל אשדוד. ההסברה לעומת זאת,
הקפידה לציין שהסחורות שהיו על הספינה הועברו לעזה והפעילים נעצרו ושוחררו.
בזמנו, אכן ראיתי בפעילים סלאקטיביסטים,
שמנסים להפוך לסוג של סלב,
 ולמשוך תשומת לב לעצמם באותו יום שבו  נציג האו"ם
 החל לגבות עדויות מתושבי עזה בנוגע לזוועות מלחמת העופרת היצוקה.
לתומי, חשבתי שי היה דו"ח, ותהיה ועדה, ויוסקו מסקנות,
וישראל תשלם את המחיר הנדרש על הרג אזרחים חפים מפשע וירי חסר אבחנה. אלא שלא כך קרה.
 מדינת ישראל בחרה לתקוף את דו"ח גולדסטון ולאמץ מדיניות של "צה"ל יחקור את צה"ל".
כשמדינת ישראל מסרבת וממשיכה לסרב בראש זקוף לכללי המשחק של החוק הבינלאומי ,
צורות מחאה ופעילות "פרובוקטיבית"  
הצליחו להרגיז, לזעזע, לחרחר שערוריה-
אבל מעבר לכך,
הם הצליחו להביא למודעות תמונת מצב
שבה למרות שישראל וויתרה לכאורה על השליטה ברצועת עזה,  
עדיין היא נחושה בדעתה למנוע אפילו מסירה קטנה להגיע לשם.
שיח על זכויות אדם הופך להיות משפיל ומבזה
ברגע שהוא מצמצם את זכויות האדם ל"סיוע הומניטרי"
דהיינו, צדקה, הספקה של מוצרי יסוד ומתעלם מכבוד האדם וחירותו.
הזכות של אדם לחופש תנועה, לחופש עיסוק ופרנסה, 
לקיים קשר עם העולם החיצון. לא להיות מבודד.
המשט לעזה לא צריך לשאת עליו כיסאות גלגלים וצעצועים לילדים.
המשט לעזה נושא את עצמו כחוט מקשר , כקול : אתם לא לבד, כמסר המועבר דרך סורגי הכלא.
  כפי שתיארה נעמי קליין בעצרת התמיכה לאחר ההתקפה המאבי מארמרה.
ההצלחה של "משטי הסרק" בהעלאת המודעות לעוולות המבוצעות כלפי העם הפלסטינים.
לא חמלה  מצד הכובש היא שאמורה להעלות את ערכם של הפלסטינים בעיני עצמם.
השבת זכויותיהם של הפלסטינים היא שיכולה לעשות זאת,
והתהליך הזה לא יתבצע דרך שיחות אמפטתיות ,
אלא דרך הפגנה עקבית של סולידריות, בגיבוי אמצעי התקשורת, ,
לאו דווקא בניסיון ליצור נורמליזציה מזויפת בין הכובש לנכבש,
שישאל לשלומו, אלא באי-ציות אזרחי לחקיקה בלתי דמוקרטית , כאקט של סולידריות.
אי-ציות אזרחי לסירוב של ישראל להכיר בזכות השיבה של פלסטינים בעלי אזרחות זרה.
אי-ציות אזרחי לסירוב של ישראל לאפשר מחאה בלתי אלימה,
 ולמנוע את כניסתם של פעילים בינלאומיים לשטחי הגדה המערבית. 
ועוד משהו לציפר: ציפר טוען שממשתתפי המשט לא נדרש בעצם כלום, חוץ מלהיות שם,
כנ"ל לגבי משתתפי המטס. אני תוהה כמה פעמים ציפר גופו נתקל בכוחות הכיבוש.
האם הוא חווה מעצר? שהייה של שלושה ימים בסירה צפופה בלי אפשרות למקלחת?
עמיתתו עמירה הס מתארת את אשר עבר על הפעילים..
אני תוהה אם ציפר, חובב חיים טובים שכמותו, היה מוכן להתנסות 
לאו מילתא זוטרתא היא. במיוחד כשמדובר באנשים מבוגרים. 
אני ממליצה לבני ציפר לנסות , לפחות פעם אחת. 
סולידריות במקום חמלה.

In Ha'aretz article cited above, publicist Beny Tzifer denounces the efforts of the flotilla and flytilla activists as "protest parasites" who seek to gain fame and publicity over the Palestinian suffering. He calls the flotilla/ flytilla efforts "commercial gimmicks".
Instead, he suggests that  "Israelis will pick up the phone and call a Palestinian in the west bank to ask how he or she was doing, and make them feel they count".
This is so infuriating, I couldn't help to add my piece of comment, although Tzifer's annoying nature of writing is quite familiar to Hebrew readers. 
 from several reasons: 
First of all- what makes Beny Zifer assume that Palestinians will feel "that they count" by having their occupiers manifesting un-demanding sympathy  on  phone? 
What may help Palestinians feel that "they count" is having their rights retrieve
 And when I type "Rights" I do not mean basic needs provided by humanitarian aid.
 I am also speaking about freedom of movement, freedom of occupation, to earn and make their living, the right to own property, the right to return to their homeland that was taken from them. 
Not compassion, solidarity. 

 All of those can't happen without civil disobedience.
Without Media's intervention to raise awareness.

I think dialogue about  human rights,
 when narrows it  itself  to the limits of humanitarian aid and sympathy, actually degrades humans. The freedom Flotilla didn't need to carry "humanitarian aid" to justify its course.
What was on the Flotilla was best described  by Naomi Klein as "a message passed between the prison bars. You are not alone. You are still connected".

 to anti-democratic regulation imposed by the Israeli Government. 
Supposedly Sifer assumes that would be an easy thing to do, I therefor recommend him to read the report of his colleague,  a dignified Journalist Amira Hass, regarding the flotilla 2 sailing condition. I wonder if Sifer himself, rather attached to the "Good life" would or could endure such. I wonder if Sifer himself ever   arrested during protest against the occupation:
that is not a pleasant exprience, that I can tell you. 

On a personal note, I can say for myself, I remember following @freegazaorg twits during the summer of 2009. They hysterically twitted that shots were fired towards them, that thusyey were being kidnapped towards Ashdod's port by Israel's occupation troops. 
Back than, I was baurmoick than I was busy following the post  election turmoil in Iran, the videos and photos,as well as the reports that  flew seemed much more shocking than that group of "provoking slacktivists". The Boat's activists urged people to take action, press the Israeli Government to allow them into Gaza  un-hurmed.
On that day, UN delegation collected testimonials from Gazans about the atrocities of Gaza Strip war , testimonials that will later provide the basis for Goldstone report. I was naive enough to believe that Israel will co-operate and act according to the findings.
How wrong  I was. The way Goldstone report was accepted in Israel, and the way that the method of "IOF will inquire IOF" was implented made me realize that another course of action is needed, and that those "slacktivists" were indeed provoking- but not a negative way. 
Some insights, especially those unpleasant take time to  embed.  It took me some time to understand why those people were on they boat and that although they did not make it to Gaza- Gaza finally got to me, in a way that was different that before: I understood that sometimes it is time to breake the rules, especially when one side systematically ignores them. 

Bili'in Protester on his appearance in Press TV: hopes to inspire Iranians to non violent resistance

I was overwhelmed  watching this video.
Not because anything said, filmed or the way it portrayed the popular struggle. I was infuriated to see it on PressTV, iranian news network that is supported by the Iranian government.
While Ibrahim Housseiny, the reporter gave a fair and honest description of the demonstration, his employers, PressTV have failed to do the same for their home-ground protesters and non-violent resistance movement. PressTV portrayed the green movement activists as violent thugs that have ties to the terrorist organization Mojahedin-O-Khalek, brought to broadcast forced  confessions of opposition members, and systematically ignored major protest events, as well as the abuse of human rights of Kurdish and Baluchi people.
Much frustrated, I turned to Waji Burnat,  a most formidable man of Bili'in village whom I got familiar with during the protests and asked for his comment. I know Waji as a peaceful, moderate man who wouldn't tolerate injustice of any kind. His son, Rani became paralyzed in his upper body after being shot by an Israeli sniper during the demonstrations. Here is what Waji has said: first of all, he did not know he was being interviewed to this Iranian news network. second of all, he said he wishes the Iranian people will be inspired and join the non- violence resistance to any kind of oppression.
I got his permission to share his words on my blog, and so I do, joining his wishes.