SEATTLE — Christian, Jewish and Muslim voices joined together to call for the Israeli wall that is choking life out of Palestine to come down. Most also signed petitions demanding that no US taxpayer dollars be used to finance the construction of the wall and that our government do everything in its power to pressure Israel to dismantle parts of the wall already built, return all lands confiscated by the wall and compensate for all losses.
Westlake Park was transformed into a Seam Zonewith a full scale model of the wall guarded by soldiers who issued everyone an Announcement of Closure, not unlike those issued in the areas between the Green Line and the Wall within the West Bank. Street theater began before the formal program: A wall puppet smashed homes, trampled olive trees and demolished ambulances, schools and hospitals and a group in white masks crying red tears remembered Al Nakba and decried the deplorable conditions of the illegal Israeli Occupation and the walls devastation.
During the program, John Boonstra with the Washington Association of Churches said, “The Israeli governments preoccupation with the so-called wall-of-protection may seem protectively defensive but it is perilous annexation. Stopping the wall is about peace and justice in the neighborhood.”
Actress and activist Meg Savlov stated, I am also an American and a Jew and I don’t want my tax dollars or my country supporting this wall… and I know I’m not alone. Professor Nada Elia described ways in which the wall is compromising Palestinian access to life-sustaining water resources.
Speaker Joe Martin, a low income and housing advocate for people here in Seattle, focused on how U.S. tax dollars are needed at home and questioned use of our tax dollars for building walls and gave the following 8 reasons for why this wall must fall: It separates farmers from their farmlands and water, families from their loved ones and the sick from medical care, children from schools; it imprisons people in their own homes; it destroys the environment and demolishedS homes; it destroys communities and it ignores existing Internationally agreed-upon borders. It will not increase security for either Israeli or Palestinians; it steals land and water; it precludes any chance of a two-state solution and it is paid for by US tax dollars.
A second model of the wall (half-sized) was toppled as the crowd chanted, bring the wall down! During the program, Jim Page and the Raging Grannies performed songs written specifically for this issue and, as a finale, the crowd joined hands and learned a Debkeh dance to celebrate communities that will be saved when we stop the wall and truly bring it down.
The following groups sponsored the event and many more participated in the activities of the day: American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC) Seattle Chapter, American Friends Service Committee, Arab-American Community Coalition, Churches for Middle East Peace, Community Action Network, Hayaat - UW , Kadima, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Not In Our Name, Nonviolent Action Community of Cascadia, Palestine Solidarity Committee, Seattle Chapter Fellowship of Reconciliation, Seattle International Human Rights Coalition, Seattle Tikkun, Seattle Women in Black, Stop the Wall Campaign - US, Voices of Palestine, Washington Association of Churches.