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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow September 2007 arrow September 6, 2007

September 6, 2007
WAWA BLOG   September 6, 2007

And the Beat Goes on from Bili'in…

I have been to Bili'in three times; January, March and November 2006.

What wraps up today's blog is my [slightly edited] report of my first visit there. But, I begin with an article from yesterday's Ha'aretz, forwarded by a most altruistic Jew named Dorothy from Jerusalem. A typical day for Dorothy includes attending seminars on Gender and Militarism and deciding which of the 2,000 emails a day that she receives, she should open and read and then disseminate to the justice and peace activists on her email list. She also spends about five hours a day driving Palestinian kids home from hospitals. She wrote the following commentary [emphasis mine!]:

Dear All,
The Israeli high court now takes away with the left hand what it gave with the right just yesterday! Bil'in has the judgment, but Israel has the land. True, it's not all the land, but it nevertheless should be Bil'ins. This is having one's cake and eating it too.  Whether or not it is moral is another question.  But then, whoever claimed that a supreme court that oks assassinations and an apartheid wall at all is moral!  -Dorothy

Ha'aretz Update Wednesday, September 05, 2007

High Court: Controversial settlement neighborhood to remain in place

By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

The High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that dozens of existing buildings built in a controversial neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Modi'in Ilit will not be demolished, despite the fact that they were built illegally and partially on private Palestinian land.

The High Court thus rejected a petition filed against the Matityahu-East neighborhood a year and a half ago by Peace Now and Bili'in Council. Residents of the West Bank village of Bili'in own some of the property on which the neighborhood was built.

In part, the court based its decision on the fact that the petitions should have been filed several years earlier.

Nonetheless, the High Court ordered settlers, the state, and construction companies to pay the petitioners' court fees, totaling NIS 160,000.

As a result of the ruling, the state will not remove the hundreds of settlers who stormed apartments they had purchased, after it became clear that construction company Heftsiba had collapsed.

Wednesday's ruling effectively seals the fate of the controversial settlement neighborhood, after on Tuesday the court ordered the state to alter the route of a 1.7-kilometer section of the West Bank fence, which had been designed to encircle the area on which additional parts of the neighborhood were to be constructed.

As a result, the court apparently has given approval to the existing status quo in the area - the existing part of the neighborhood will remain in place, but plans to expand the neighborhood will not be carried out.

For nearly three years, the fence has been the focus of weekly demonstrations at Bil'in, punctuated at times by violent confrontations between protesters, soldiers and police deployed at the site.

My Blog from January 5, 2006

My last day in the West Bank I traveled the potholed unpaved road to Bili'in, a village near Ramallah where villagers and Internationals have been nonviolently and creatively resisting The Wall, The Occupation and the fact that more than half of their land has been illegally annexed by the Israeli government.

In Bili'in, the Green Line is five miles from the electric fence being erected with sensors and cameras upon Palestinian land. The fence runs out a few yards from our van and we easily make our way over the rocky land to the Billin outpost.

The indigenous peoples began nonviolently resisting The Wall/Fence over one year ago. Thus far, 300 nonviolently resisting locals have been injured by the IDF more than three times and return for more.

Two weeks ago Internationals, Israeli's and locals implemented a creative challenge to the status quo imposed by the Israel government and the times they have a' changed: the Bili'iner's  have erected their own outpost.

International, Israelis and the oppressed indigenous people of Bili'in, constructed a 10x10 brick edifice just yards from where the illegal settlement of 700 upscale apartments are being built.

The indigenous people of Bili'in brought their case against the settlers/colonists to the Municipal Court and that Court agreed the building of the settlement dwellings was illegal and ordered construction to cease. The case is now pending the Supreme Court decision.

About a half dozen Caterpillar tractors were moving earth for the anticipated paved road that only Jewish settlers/colonists, many from Brooklyn, New York, will be allowed to travel upon.

Eyad, landowner and leader of The Popular Committee in Bili'in explained, "A few weeks ago we brought in a caravan [trailer] on our land close to where the settlers apartments are being built. While we were inside the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] sawed the door open and pulled us out and roughed us up.

"So, we brought in another caravan and during the night we built a concrete brick building within four hours. All day and all night people stay here to resist the wall and occupation. People come and go; they are from all over the world. They support our nonviolently resisting the wall that is clearly stealing our land. This electric wall and the IDF are not allowing us onto our land to care for our olive trees. They confiscated our land and impose military law upon us and claim we are trespassing on our legally owned land."

Abdullah, Coordinator of Against The Wall in Bili'in informed me that there are 1,600 people who call home Billin and legally own 4,000 dunums of property. The Israeli government confiscated 2,003 dunums of agricultural land and is building apartments that Palestinians are forbidden to approach. The Israeli government continues the building of the illegal electric fence that prevents the indigenous land owners from accessing what is legally theirs.

During my visit I spoke with a few of two dozen Israelis and Internationals who were hanging around the brick house. Some stay for days while others sleep inside sleeping bags on the dirt floor of the cramped shelter for weeks at a time.

Soft spoken and intense twenty year old Suneela from New York stated boldly, "We are fighting an important struggle. If America would only learn the truth about what is happening here, they would stop their blind support of the Israeli government that denies people basic human rights."

Twenty year old Israeli born Yuval who has actively resisted the injustice in Billin for the past five months added, "This cause is very important to me because this is the only way to struggle. This is our only chance to bring back the popular Intifada: a chance for women and children to nonviolently resist the wall and occupation."

Elizabeth a pretty and waspy looking twenty year old from Indiana studying Middle East Foreign Policy in Jerusalem has lived every weekend at the outpost in Billin since its birth.

Forty year old Ratebaburabeme, a member of the Popular Committee, Stop The Wall Campaign and a delegate with Seeds of Peace in 2003 told me about when he was shot and jailed for two weeks because of his nonviolent resistant activities.

"The Judge said he would investigate the soldier who shot me, but the soldier lied and denied he shot. The matter was quickly forgotten by the Israelis...I teach Social Work and Psychology at El Quds Open University...Three weeks ago we could not come in here, but when the court admitted the settlement buildings were illegal we put the caravan on the property and when the IDF destroyed that, we built this room. Ever since, more and more Israelis, Lawyers, Sheiks, women and children come and stand with us in solidarity for human rights. Rachel Corrie's family has been here too."

This weekend I will be attending the 6th annual End the Occupation Conference and one of the speakers is Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother; another woman who like Dorothy-fill me with awe and help me feel like I should be doing so much more.

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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright

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