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I hope this appears with formatting, I'm new to posting. I thought we should also have another view from the scene. I have found nothing about peaceful protests in our media. This was sent to me by a friend in response to an article (from GICC) I forwarded to her. She has spent many years visiting and writing about the Mid-East and especially Israel and Palestine. I am taking no position but thought this might be enlightening.

A letter from Ramallah from Tsipporah Ryter, a former TIKKUN intern whose Israeli Jewish family lives only a few miles away--but in a very different world

Peaceful marches are continuing to grow in the Occupied Territories. As well, there have been grassroots efforts to invite and involve not only internationals but also Israelis in these demonstrations. The mixture of the crowd is beginning to grow. However, it is difficult to brave such participation for everyone, as the Israeli soldiers regardless throw sound bombs directly at the demonstrators(the burning shards of which puncture skin and burn and scar people and I always fear will blind me), throw tear gas and then shoot rubber bullets and live ammunition.

What seems to be the pattern is that the Israeli soldiers instigate violence and injury, and once a few people are rushed into ambulances, it becomes difficult to contain the throwing of stones, as the reaction here is not be humiliated--Just as many speak of the Holocaust asking "why did not the Jews fight back " Throwing stones is a symbolic resistance to go marching silently to death, which results whether or not people throw stones.

Still, the turn in the tide an efforts to innovate the tactics of this intifada are growing. As far as media or communications about this goes I feel three things are absolutely crucial to gaining momentum in international solidarity.

1) the end of all focus on condemning "the violence by Palestinians"(as even if we are opposed to car bombs, lynchings and the like--- it is becoming a distraction to our collective efforts to give this stream much attention.We should save our breath at the moment to applaud non-violent demonstrations which continue at severe risk to civilain lives by Israeli violence. we cant split up our message-- what happens is that what doesnt get talked about is the Israeli settlers attacks on villagers and their lynching techniques which are not simply shooting but kidnapping and torturing to death, what you find is that the drive by shootings on settlers occur after the lynching of a villager--the death of the villager never makes CNN. So, then we have a retaliation shooting of a settler, see how that is working? I do not feel that at this point we can count on CNN to cover the kidnap and torture and pograms utilized by the settlers, there has been so much and it never makes the news... so lets not give attention to the drive bys and bombs or what n! ot, the mention increases the tipping of the balance, which provokes more of the cycle of violence in general. We are in a media war, we cannot forget that. )

2) condemn more loudly and spread the word about Israeli human rights violations --the firing on peaceful protestors, the closure, the restriction of movement to hospitals , all the elements of this seige in general. We must re-emphasize Sharon's involvement in Sabra and Shatila, doing special articles and publishing remebrance photos designed to wake up the public to who is at the steering wheel and what a danger this man is--holocaust remembrance day would be a great time to do so...

3) we must applaud and encourage all forms of non-violent demonstration with every ounce of breath available, to make sure that the people here know who are struggling for this that the international community is witness to and in unwavering solidarity with this brave step

4) in light of all of this we must quickly alter our terminology and attempt to affect this new language into the public ... CNN continues to call peaceful demonstrations "CLASHES" this confuses the public and undermines all progress.

If somehow we can get "peaceful demonstrations" or "non-violent marches" as a terminolgy into the mainstream media--that would be a phenomenal affect.

Although these demonstrations do taper off at the last half hour into stone throwing, it is an amazing accomplishment that these non-violent marches are occuring all over the O.T. with thousands of people, including women with babies attending.

(As I wrote above, the stone throwing is resulting after provocations have begun by the Israeli soldiers. We have to break this cycle by doing our job to let the masses know that the peaceful marches are witnessed and thus successful. I think that would be quite possible, but it weighs on the international shoulders to make this happen, ands in so doing, it will save more Palestinian lives and lives of inter-nationals attending, while increasing the gains of struggle of Palestinians and the internationals and Israelis who are in 24 hour working solidarity with them).

Much of the CNN footage is captured by those on the Israeli side, you can see this as evident by checking out the camera angles. After amazing non-violent marches, what we get on CNN and international press is clips of Palestinians throwing stones...the stones appear to be thrown in the direction of the camera, or going past the side of the camera, making these stones, which do not even hit the soldiers, appear terrifying when they are in fact not terrifying at all. As I said I can walk thru them. Also, I have over and over again witnessed stones being thrown and landing actually purposefully just before the soldiers or on their vehicles, not even on the soldiers--this seems intentional.

As I described above, the footage is being sent by press allowed to be standing next to Israeli soldiers, or behind them. At every demonstration I see these cameras postioned there. It is impossible to approach them if you are not working with them. Yesterday, Arab Reuters was trying as well as ambulances to cross a new road block checkpoint which gave access to the demonstration. That is the soldiers were trying to prevent press and medical relief to the area.

We had, after an hour figured out how to drive thru some farmers fields to get there. The alternative was quite well-hidden, so nobody could find it. We showed the camera man the way to the alternative road after we left the demonstration where live ammunition was fired upon the crowd and Israeli snipers were shooting onto the adjacent fields, targeting children,as well as directly at us, where our car was parked marked TV TV next to a row of ambulances.

Press have been increasingly targeted, their footage doesnt reach CNN or anywhere other than some Arabic stations. One woman journalist was recently shot thru the stomach.

The day before yesterday I was at another peaceful demonstration, which ended up with a dozen wounded at least ( the wounded within ten feet of me were to old women at least in their 70's) one man is in critical condition after being shot thru the stomach. Eye witness reports on that road say that passengers were being pulled out of their cars and beaten. It was at the Al-Ram checkpoint in Ramallah.

There is heavy traffic there and when the Israeli soldiers began shooting and throwing sound bombs, this left the people in vehicles trapped in their cars, unable to move forward or back. This also caused the traffic to attempt to turn around and drive all over everywhere with people running, causing a vehicular and human stampede which was very frightening and dangerous.

Collective punishment and more collective punishment. The beauty within that demonstration is that we stood off the soldiers for two hours, sitting down directly in front of them and singing, a tight sit-down circle of women was composed of Palestinians, Israelis and international women.People chanted "No More Apartheid, No more Racism"

Three days ago, the Rabbis for Human Rights along with other Israeli activists went to Rantis, a small village under total closure in the north west of the Ramallah. They had to enter thru the Israeli road, as there is no other way in or out by vehicle. Of course villagers were not allowed to travel these roads. The Israelis have "moved the green line" into this village. One man died there from a heart attack, and another woman gave birth at the 4th of a series of checkpoints leading out, she had the baby on her stomach in the car, and the soldiers made her get out and stand with the newborn in the rain for about 40 minutes, endangering both her life and the life of the newborn who was still attached by the umbical cord.

The Rabbis for Human Rights and demonstrators moved the road block with their bare hands. After they went home, the villagers were tragically retaliated against. One man was pulled out of his car and severly beaten the next morning. this has led to a move by Israeli activists to do repeated protests in one area and to leave behind a group of activists to remain in the village with cameras after any demonstration.

That's my news.. peace, justice and solidarity, ******tziporah *****

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 11:43:44 -0800 From: Michael Lerner Subject: A note from Ramallah--from a former TIKKUN intern whose Israeli Jewish family lives only a few miles away--but in a different world

-- poconojo (, March 30, 2001

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