Gush Shalom

Refusniks appear at the European Parliament

For the first time, Israeli refuseniks who reject service in a army of occupation will today attend a hearing in the European Parliament at Strasbourg, France - as will the parents of imprisoned refuseniks. The hearing will take place in the European Parliament Building at Strasbourg. The delegation includes Daniel Tsal, Alma Itshaky, Miri Maor, the mother of Adam Maor, one of the five refuseniks court martialed, and Doron Matar, the father of Haggai, another of the court-martialed refuseniks. 

British Airways removes billboards from settlements, following international campaign

This morning British Airways announced the removal of its advertising billboard placed at the entrance to the settlement of Ariel. These billboards had been at the focus of a short but intensive campaign. Gush Shalom (the Israeli Peace Bloc) had been alerted to the placing of the billboards by activists monitoring settlement activity. Thereupon, Gush Shalom sent a letter to the British Airways administration, asking for the billboards removal, and informing its network of international contacts of the addresses where they could add their voice. 

Gush Shalom protests British Airways advertising at Ariel settlement

A few days ago, an Israeli peace activist monitoring the situation on the West Bank noticed two large billboards placed at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Ariel, with a conspicuous British Airways logo. The ads bear mock London road signs with such place names as “Buckingham Palace”, “Hyde Park” etc. and underneath them an ad offering cheap flights to London. Gush Shalom’s Adam Keller wrote the following letter to the management of British Airways. 

The day after the shooting of peace activists: A lot of fury, a lot of attention

We just come back from a fiery demonstration — in protest at yesterday’s shooting at peace activists. The story of the seriously-wounded Gil Na’amati continues to make headlines. The 22-year-old kibbutznik had to be raced to hospital after he lost consciousness because of his heavy bleeding. Bothlegs were operated on to remove bullets. Two weeks ago Gil finished his three years of military service. His father reported on TV that what he had seen and had to participate in at the roadblocks in the West Bank had led him to protest. A Gush Shalom press release. 

Gush Shalom activist Uri Avnery to act as human shield for Arafat

“I am willing to put myself at risk and serve as a human shield, in order to foil Prime Minster Sharon’s intention to murder the leader of the Palestinian People. So are many of my my fellows in the Israeli peace movement” declared the veteran peace activist Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom (the Israeli Peace Bloc) upon his arrival at the Presidential Compound in Ramallah. “To a person like me, who deeply cares about Israel’s future, there is nothing more important to do at this moment than do everything — and I do mean everything — in my power to prevent such a calamity. PM Sharon, Defence Minster Mofaz and their generals should know that if they send their soldiers in here, there will be Israeli peace activists here to bar their way” said Avnery, who mentioned that already last year, a group of Gush Shalom activists had spent the night at this compound, during a previous round of threats by Sharon against Arafat. 

"They have decided upon cold-blooded murder"

“The government of Israel has tonight resolved to commit a cold-blooded murder, with the implementation deferred — the cold blooded murder of the elected president of the Palestinians. Let there be no mistake about it. Let no one be fooled by the talk of ‘deportation’. There is no intention that Arafat will survive the encounter with Sharon’s soldiers. I know Sharon, I have followed his career for decades, ever since he was a young commando officer carrying out brutal cross-border raids. He has not changed in any essential, only in the amount of power held in his hands. He means to do it, he means to kill Arafat. He will watch for his chance, wait for a moment when the Amercians look elsewhere - and then he will pounce.” 

Objectors to military service in Israel go on hunger strike in prison

On Thursday, 16 January 2003, two imprisoned conscientious objectors to military service, Noam Bahat and Hillel Goral, went on hunger strike. Both are among the signatories of a letter signed last year by over 300 high school students, declaring their refusal to serve in the Israeli army. An alert from several Israeli activist groups outlines their opposition. 

From the square to the orchard

Veteran Israeli peace activist Adam Keller attended the Rabin Memorial Rally on November 2nd, and spent the following two days protesting the destruction of olive groves in Falami, a Palestinian village that will be drastically affected by the ongoing construction of Israel’s “Berlin Wall”. Meanwhile, news of the collapse of the Sharon government broke.