“. . . nonviolence is a mix of the pragmatic and principled, tragic, and comic styles . . .” (Matthew Eddy)

Protesters in Bil’in, the West Bank, mark Palestinian Prisoners Day, Friday April 17, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger, Mondoweiss)

❶ Israeli forces detain Palestinian, Israeli activist during Bilin protest

  • Background: “‘We Have To Bring Something Different To This Place’: Principled And Pragmatic Nonviolence Among Accompaniment Workers.” Social Movement Studies.

❷ Israeli forces raid home of slain Palestinian, clash with youth in Beit Ummar
❸ Take Action: Demand release of detained Palestinian human rights defender and BDS leader Salah Khawaja
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 4, 2016
Israeli forces detained a Palestinian and an Israeli activist during the weekly protests in the Ramallah-area village of Bilin in the central occupied West Bank on Friday.   ___Protesters marched in condemnation of the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration — the first ever explicit commitment made by Britain, and the West in general, to establish a Jewish homeland in historic Palestine.
___Israeli forces detained Ahmad Abu Rahmeh, a member of the popular committee in the town, and Israeli activist Mikha Rachman.
[. . . .] Bilin is one of the most active Palestinian villages in peaceful organized opposition against Israeli policies, as residents have protested every Friday for 11 consecutive years, and have often been met with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades from Israeli forces.        More . . .      

  • Eddy, Matthew P. “‘We Have To Bring Something Different To This Place’: Principled And Pragmatic Nonviolence Among Accompaniment Workers.” Social Movement Studies 13.4 (2014): 443-464.  Full article.

[. . . . ] As an ISM [International Solidarity Movement] volunteer in the summer of 2006, I joined the weekly protest in Bilin, a village in the Israeli-occupied territory of the West Bank, Palestine. Most of Bilin’s protests follow a theme chosen by Bilin’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. At times, Bilin activists have carried large pictures of Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and King, conferring a ‘universal character upon their struggle over the barrier.’
[. . . .]    Arriving at the wall, we were confronted by about 25 Israeli Border Police and Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers. Village elders asked for permission to pass through the gate . . . . The commander stood above us on the hood of a jeep, surveying the protest. He quickly denied the request. Drumming, traditional Palestinian chants, and hand clapping ensued, as the bridal party engaged in circle dances. ___Suddenly, four Palestinian boys under the age of 12 years, standing far to the side, began throwing stones at the soldiers from a distance of about 30 yards. One of the stones struck the commander in the face. Immediately, the commander issued an order and his soldiers began firing rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and tear gas into the throng of nonviolent protesters, while ignoring the boys now running away.
[. . . .]   [One of ISM’s Palestinian leaders] Mansour admitted, ‘That boy will be a hero in the village tonight.’ Mansour’s commitment to pragmatic nonviolence (confirmed in interviews), rather than the principled nonviolence of a Gandhi and King who invoked love for the enemy, is illustrated by the ambiguity in his final comment at the debriefing:

“We don’t like throwing stones, but somehow, we are happy that this commander
gets hit. Since he was humiliating us, was insulting us, was trying to disrupt the
demonstration by any means. This commander has been with us for at least three
months and – his craziness or his madness about the power and authority he has
enforcing his orders! He was showing his power, that he was the man of the
situation here.”

[. . . .]   Such is the complexity of stone throwing and nonviolence in a place like Bilin, suggesting that the performance of nonviolence is a mix of the pragmatic and principled, tragic, and comic styles.
[. . . .]   A few thousand pragmatic nonviolent adherents from a handful of Western nations – primarily young ISMers – have been virtually the only members of the international community willing to risk engaging in accompaniment in this context. They deserve to be commended for their courage and their solidarity activism, which by even the strictest measures, has been relatively nonviolent. Of course, the courage and creativity of Palestinian nonviolent activists in places like Bilin is even more worthy of recognition and analysis.

A demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag during the weekly protest against the wall  in the West Bank village of Bil’in, January 4, 2012. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma/ Activestills.org)

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 5, 2016
Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youth during a predawn raid in the village of Beit Ummar in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.
___Local activist Muhammad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the family home of Khalid Ahmad Elayyan Ikhlayyil, 23, who was killed by Israeli forces on Sunday after he allegedly attempted to commit a car-ramming attack near the village.
___Soldiers searched Ikhlayyil’s home and questioned his father before leaving.   ___Awad highlighted that Ikhlayyil’s body remained in Israeli custody in accordance with the Israeli government’s practice of holding the bodies of slain Palestinians accused of committing attacks against Israelis.
[. . . . ]   According to Awad, clashes broke out between local youth and Israeli soldiers after the soldiers removed and stepped on a memorial poster of Ikhlayyil.   More . . .

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
Nov. 5, 2016
Human rights defender and Secretary of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee Salah Khawaja remains imprisoned and denied access to a lawyer at the Petah Tikva interrogation center.
___Khawaja, 46, a leading member of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) and BDS leader, has been detained under interrogation since 26 October, when he was seized in a violent pre-dawn military raid on his home. As occupation forces raided his home, they sprayed tear gas in the area entering many neighborhood homes in an attempt to quell protests against the seizure of this popular activist. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, of which Khawaja serves as secretary, is the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition that works to lead and support the BDS movement, the growing international movement for the boycott of Israel.      More . . .   

International Solidarity Movement activists, Bilin, April 2, 2016 (Photo: ISM)

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