Dec 9, 2011

Shepherds' nights and more

I received many notes articles and announcements claiming anniversary of the start of the 1987 uprising on 8 or 9 December.  This uprising (not "the first intifada") did not start on those dates.  Below a section from "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment" to explain why.* Also below you will find news article about Israeli soldiers harassing the family of our friend Saher Alsous, invitation to join us for Shepherds' nights, a video of the repression in Nebi Saleh demonstration last week (a friend was injured today also in Nebi Saleh with a canister shot at his head from close range), follow-up on US police brutality linked to Israeli apartheid police tactics, good news on boycotts, articles etc.  Of course I know everyone is busy but you can pick those items to read that pique your interests.

Israeli troops break into the house of IMEMC's board member (our friend Saher Al-Sous) [he is OK and is considering legal action for harassment]

Invitation: Join us for Shepherds' Nights in Beit Sahour December 23-25 including lighting a candle for a free Palestine

Video: Nebi Saleh demonstration

In follow-up to my email about US police learning brutality from Israeli apartheid police, some readers sent me other links in "proof".  Here is one about Oakland police training
And here is Berkeley police in action including yanking hair of female professor and students

Good news: The City Council of Rho (Milan) voted a resolution to condemn Pizzarotti for their participation in the high speed rail project. It would be great if you could include this in one of your next mailings. We are collecting signatures/letters of support.
You can sign in support/appreciation:

Israel Stole Uranium from U.S., Report Will Show

New Book: False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine by TIKVA HONIG-PARNASS
False Prophets of Peace unearths the central role played by the Israeli Left in laying the foundation for the colonial settler project and its campaign of dispossession. Far from its professed radicalism, Honig-Parnass deftly exposes Left Zionism's contributions to Israel's exclusivist ideology and its participation in attempts to legitimize the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Its fervent support of a Jewish-only state not only undermined the “peace process” from the very start but continues to serve as a barrier to reaching a just peace that recognizes the national and human rights of the Palestinian people

Donate to Julian Assange defense fund

US Republican Presidential Candidates try to suck-up to the lobby and trip over each other in their mad dash to support apartheid Israel at the expense of US national interest

Excerpt from the book "popular Resistance in Palestine" on the 1987 uprising:
"A statistical analysis of monthly events that could be classified as popular resistance (demonstrations, strikes, petitions, flying flags, etc.) jumped from 933 in 1985 to 1,358 in 1986 to 2,882 in 1987 and novel forms of resistance were created.6 By the autumn of 1987, a number of events could be construed as initiating the uprising. On 3 October 1987, Palestinians demonstrated and engaged in a strike involving schools and colleges in the Gaza Strip to protest at the killing of three citizens near Al-Bureij refugee camp.7 These demonstrations were brutally attacked by Israeli soldiers and this led to more anger and demonstrations. On 8 October 1987, a number of demonstrations were held in cities, villages and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip after another four Palestinians were killed by the occupation forces.8 The marginalization of Palestine, the PLO and Arafat at the Arab summit in Amman on 8-11 November 1987 added to popular unrest. From these, other, more intense demonstrations spilled over and spread throughout both the occupied areas of 1967 and the 1948 areas. The characteristic pattern of these demonstrations soon became evident: youths (8-20 year olds) responded to Israeli brutality by throwing stones. This triggered massive reprisals - youths were killed and collective punishment was imposed. I am not sure why some authors try to date the start to when demonstrations were held after some Palestinian laborers were run over and killed by a truck driven by an Israeli (see below) - perhaps because this may have been an accident and the Israeli-influenced media could score a PR point by stating that Palestinians overreacted to a ‘traffic accident’. Clearly, using collective punishment in October and November 1987 were pivotal.
            On 10 October 1987, demonstrations were held in many locations accompanied by strikes; 25 Palestinians were shot.9 These demonstrations and strikes spread to the West Bank when a woman was killed and four injured in a peaceful demonstration in Al-Manara Square, Ramallah on 12 October 1987.10 Her murder prompted more demonstrations in the days that followed. Refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, Nablus and East Jerusalem (the Shufat refugee camp) played a leading role in these demonstrations.11 During the visit of US Secretary of State Shultz to Jerusalem, a general strike was declared and demonstrations were held in Jerusalem and Nablus, with one youth killed by the Israeli forces.12
            In one bloody incident the army attacked demonstrators at Bethlehem University on the morning of 28 October 1987, injuring three students. One (Ishaq Abusrour from Aida refugee camp) died two days later from his injuries.13 Subsequently, the occupying army ordered Bethlehem University to be closed for three months.14 Ishaq’s death sparked more demonstrations in the Bethlehem area and the cycle of demonstrations, Israeli killings of Palestinians and more demonstrations continued. Demonstrators and graffiti denounced the occupation, spoke of Palestinian rights, supported the PLO and honored the martyrs. Israel intensified the use of curfews, deportations, forced closures of schools and universities and forced opening of shops during the strikes. What was surprising was the Palestinians’ restraint. From 1982 to 1987, there were few armed attacks. While the Israeli forces used torture, targeted assassinations, home demolitions and other brutal tactics, few Palestinians resorted to arms.
            On 29 November 1987, on the fortieth anniversary of the partition resolution and the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, demonstrations were held throughout the occupied areas. Five youths were shot in Rafah and Balata refugee camp.15 Scattered demonstrations throughout Palestine occurred on 1 December 1987 and several youths were shot in Khan Younis.16 In 8 December 1987, in Gaza, when an Israeli truck ploughed through two cars carrying Palestinian laborers four were killed and five (some say nine) were injured. Rumors spread that the Israeli settler was related to an Israeli who had stabbed a Palestinian. On 9 December 1987 word went round to meet for a morning demonstration in the middle of Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. The location is known as Birket Abu Rashid (Abu Rashid pool, not a freshwater pool but a foetid mix of rain, dirt, sometimes sewage and lots of garbage). One 17 year old, Hatem Asisi, was killed instantly.17….."

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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