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The efficacy of violence January 21, 2009

Posted by Andreas in History, Israel and Palestine, Politics.
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A classic little extract from a recent Chomsky article called “Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009

…there is often a tendency to underestimate the efficacy of violence. It is particularly odd that such a belief should be held in the United States. Why are we here?


Israeli Anarchists August 21, 2007

Posted by Andreas in activism, anarchism, Israel and Palestine, Politics.
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Anarchists Against The Wall is a really courageous group of Israeli Jews trying to make a difference:

Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) is a direct action group that was established in 2003 in response to the construction of the wall Israel is building on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank. The group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint non violent struggle against the occupation.


Check out their website here and read a recent story about them here.

Solidarity with Palestinian women June 13, 2007

Posted by Andreas in activism, Cape Town, Film screening, Israel and Palestine, Politics.
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A few months ago, While You Were Sleeping organised a screening of The Iron Wall, a documentary about Palestine and Israel and the wall that divides them. ILRIG is showing it again as part of their efforts to build local women’s activism. Here are the details:

ILRIG (International Labour Research and Information Group) presents:

Building Women’s Activism 2007

Solidarity with Palestinian women

Women only

Thursday 21st June, 4:30pm-6:30pm

Elijah Loza Hall (next to cafeteria), Community House, Salt River

Draft agenda:

· Welcome & Introduction

· Films and discussion: The Iron Wall and Balata Refugee Camp films

· Input from women activists involved in Solidarity with Palestine

· Building Women’s Leadership Course Reportback

· Issues arising/planning for next forum

Snacks and transport home will be provided. Please contact us at least 2 days beforehand if you have transport or childcare concerns. We look forward to your participation at the public forum!

RSVP –Anna Davies-van Es

Tel: 021 4476375, Fax: 021 4482282, Cell: 0827828785 Email: anna@ilrig.org.za

Movie Review: The Iron Wall February 7, 2007

Posted by Andreas in Israel and Palestine, Movie Reviews, Politics.

I’m part of a small, Cape Town-based non-profit collective called While You Were Sleeping. We organise public screenings of progressive documentary films with topics that address what we think are important social, political and environmental issues.

The screenings are always followed by a facilitated audience discussion and the whole idea behind these events is to raise awareness in our communities, to encourage open and honest debate about these issues and to help people connect and “network”.

“Our” next movie is called The Iron Wall and it’ll be showing at the Bo-Kaap museum next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (see our website for details).

The Iron Wall documents the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, paying particular attention to the continued existence and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and the massive wall that is being build between the West Bank and Israel.

The movie was released last year and is therefore still quite current.

I found the The Iron Wall, which was directed by Mohammed Alatar who grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Jordan, surprisingly balanced. I had half expected shrill, passionate and irreconcilable viewpoints from two sides who will seemingly be separated by mutual animosity and hatred for eternity.

What the film does contain, apart from scenes of events happening on the ground, is a series of very insightful interviews in which Israeli and Palestinian commentators (including politicians, ex-soldiers, NGO workers and an Israeli woman living in a West Bank settlement) describe the situation in a very factual and level-headed fashion.

One of the things that struck me when I was watching The Iron Wall for the first time was the disjunction between my  own personal image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the realities as depicted in the film.

I consider myself a reasonably well-informed individual who is familiar with the issues at stake and felt that I was approaching media-overload as far as the Crisis in the Middle EastTM was concerned. Watching The Iron Wall, however, was quite an eye-opener.

If you are even vaguely interested in this long-standing conflict, no matter where your allegiances lie, I highly recommend that you watch this film – I guarantee that you will come away with a new understanding of the crisis.

(For loads of up to date reports and commentary on the Israel-Palestine conflict, check out ZNet’s Israel-Palestine Watch.)