Sunday, February 18, 2007

Israeli Anarchist Organizer Beaten at Bil’in

Report via Dennis Fox' excellent blog:

Here’s the headline from Ha’Aretz:

IDF soldier, three Israelis lightly hurt at Bil’in anti-fence protest

Here’s the story from Anarchists Against the Wall, a primary organizer of the weekly nonviolent protests at Bil’in:
Eleven people were injured today, after the army attacked the demonstration with a volley of teargas, concussion grenades and rubber coated steel bullets. An Israeli anarchist, Kobi Snitz, was repeatedly hit in the head with metal concussion grenades, used as brass knuckles. The scene took place as Snitz tried, together with others, to prevent a provocative arrest of a Palestinian demonstrator. He was later evacuated to Tel Hashomer hospital and had three of his wounds stitched….

Based in part on my own participation in a November Bil’in protest, I know the Israeli mainstream media routinely and seriously present a one-sided take on these protests, misrepresenting the sequence of events to make it appear hundreds of protestors attack Israeli soldiers. That’s a lie.

So I know there’s always more to the story than Ha’Aretz says. Even the background information is falsified:

The protestors claim the fence in the area is being built on land that belongs to Bil’in, and will cut off the village’s residents from their lands.

As anyone who has been to Bil’in knows, or anyone who has followed the court battles or the ruling of the World Court, the fence is indeed being built on land belonging to Bil’in and it does indeed separate village residents from their fields. The only policy question is whether Israel should build the wall on Bil’in land despite these consequences. Israel says yes. The villagers losing their land say no.

Today’s story bothers me more personally than usual because I’ve met Kobi, the injured Tel Aviv anarchist, several times. I was impressed by his commitment as well as by his level-headedness. I hope he’s okay.

Next Friday marks the two-year anniversary of these weekly Bil’in protests. It should draw a larger crowd than usual. I suspect Kobi will be among them.

~ Dennis Fox, 16 Feb 2007

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