The moment I heard Rose say that on his PBS show, I did begin to imagine the power and potential of the Internet to unite we the people of the world to challenge the powers and principalities of the world via the world wide web nonviolently by using words of truth sharper than a two-edged sword.
There are no borders on the Internet and "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine
Without the Internet I would not have known about or met Jonathan Pollak, an intense young Israeli and committed activist and organizer for Anarchist's Against the Wall/AAtW who spoke throughout major cities in America last Fall.
In November 2005, I attended the Anarchist's Against the Wall Power Point Lecture in Gainesville, Florida. Some of what Jonathan and Palestinian Ayed Morrar said:
"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with President Bush last week while we were in Washington, D.C. speaking on nonviolent resistance in Palestine. Though we wish Mr. Abbas success in his discussions with the US and Israel, history shows that negotiations alone will not secure freedom for the Palestinian people.
"During the negotiations of the so-called Oslo Peace Process from 1993-2000, Israel simply imposed its will on the Palestinians, using its overwhelming military and economic power, and US support. During seven years of supposed peace, Palestinians saw 200,000 new Israeli settlers arrive in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the same number of settlers that had arrived there in the previous 26 years.
"However, the recent grassroots struggle against Israel's Wall has demonstrated that it may be possible to counter Israel's overwhelming power, and its exploitation of negotiations, through nonviolent resistance. The Wall, one blatant recent Israeli attempt to impose its will, has become a focus for civilian resistance.
"Although Israel marketed the Wall as a security barrier, logic suggests such a barrier would be as short and straight as possible. Instead, it snakes deep inside the West Bank, resulting in a route that is twice as long as the Green Line, the internationally recognized border. Israel chose the Wall's path in order to dispossess Palestinians of the maximum land and water, to preserve as many Israeli settlements as possible, and to unilaterally determine a border.
"In order to build the Wall Israel is uprooting tens of thousands of ancient olive trees that for many Palestinians are also the last resource to provide food for their children.
"The Palestinian aspiration for an independent state is also threatened by the Wall, as it isolates villages from their mother cities and divides the West Bank into disconnected cantons. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem conservatively estimates that 500,000 Palestinians are negatively impacted by the Wall.
"Faced with a history of suffering, Palestinians have no alternative but to struggle. The only question is how? Killing diminishes our humanity, and Israel's occupation, which has killed thousands of Palestinians, shouldn't be our teacher. It is time for both sides to refuse killing.
"Though Palestinians have employed nonviolence since 1929, they have seen little evidence that it will help them to achieve freedom. In 2003-2004, the West Bank village of Budrus decided to set an example for how nonviolence can defeat the Wall.
"All the people of Budrus mobilized, and were joined by Israeli and international activists. In 55 nonviolent marches, Israeli soldiers injured more than 300 people, arrested 33 and killed one, as the villagers, with their bodies alone, attempted to stop the destruction of their land. Faced with Budrus' determined protests, the Israeli government eventually moved the Wall to the Green Line. The village saved 300 acres of its land and 3000 olive trees. Children, women and old people were among the heroes of Budrus' nonviolent struggle.
"Throughout the West Bank, nine protesters were killed in marches against the Wall, thousands were injured and hundreds arrested. Hundreds of civilian protests throughout the West Bank are the reason the world learned of the injustice of the Wall. As a direct result, the International Court of Justice at the Hague ruled in 2004 that Israel's construction of the Wall violated international law.
"Budrus and the ICJ ruling represent victories for nonviolent resistance. Another success of the joint struggle was the connection forged between Palestinians and the Israelis who joined them in their resistance. This connection, stronger than anything that ideas could create, was unwittingly forged by the Israeli army, through their beatings, the joint arrests and the bullets. Joining Palestinians in nonviolent struggle has allowed some Israelis to voice very clearly that the struggle against occupation and for freedom is not a Palestinian struggle alone, but is their struggle as well.
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