Silencing the voices of truth? Now? In a period of relative calm after a historic opportunity for peace?

More of a picture of what’s going on during this historic opportunity for peace in Israel/Palestine. When they had their sham summit at Aqaba, you heard from ‘both sides’, right? Both of these warring factions that just can’t seem to get along without Condoleeza helping out?

The Palestinian Authority was finally able to get its message out. A message of peace. A message of hope. Right?

Well not *all* the PA’s messages get out. This one, for example, comes via the International Solidarity Movement. It’s about Israel’s blacklist of travelers to the Occupied Territories. You see, this ‘historic opportunity for peace’ doesn’t mean Israel has stopped utterly controlling who Palestinians can see and who gets to visit the areas Israel is occupying and devastating daily. Look for this quote in the mainstream media.

According to the Palestinian Minister of State, Qaddura Faris, “The Israeli government is trying to cover up its crimes against the Palestinian land and people, especially those crimes relating to the settlement project known as the Wall. They are doing this by following, arresting, and deporting members of international solidarity movements. The Israeli government is afraid that these people explain Israeli policies and reveal Israeli crimes to the public in their countries. The Palestinian government appreciates the position of all who stand in solidarity with legitimate Palestinian rights.”

Look for the fact that during the past few weeks of ‘relative calm’ that hold so much promise for peace, Israel has killed a few dozen Palestinians. Three disabled people. Ten children.

You won’t find it. Instead you’ll find out about all kinds of humanitarian programs the US-Israel has in store for the natives. They’ll be easing lives by making checkpoints easier to pass through.

1. The PA condemns Israeli measures to “silence the voices of truth”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2005

Anna Nillson from Sweden and Anna Lenna Di Govani from Italy are the latest in a growing number of human rights volunteers that Israel has denied entrance to as a way of preventing them from entering the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinian Government issued a statement early this week “condemning Israeli occupation measures which aim to silence the voices of truth”.

According to the Palestinian Minister of State, Qaddura Faris, “The Israeli government is trying to cover up its crimes against the Palestinian land and people, especially those crimes relating to the settlement project known as the Wall. They are doing this by following, arresting, and deporting members of international solidarity movements. The Israeli government is afraid that these people explain Israeli policies and reveal Israeli crimes to the public in their countries. The Palestinian government appreciates the position of all who stand in solidarity with legitimate Palestinian rights.”

Anna joined other internationals including Israelis, and Palestinians in a three week march last summer along the route of the Israeli Apartheid wall. The Freedom March was part of a campaign organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) a Palestinian led movement supporting nonviolent resistance to the Israeli Occupation. She was not arrested nor was she accused of doing anything illegal during her stay. Yesterday she attempted to reenter the country only to discover that she had been added to Israel’s Kafkaesque blacklist of people considered “security threats” by the state of Israel. Anna was denied entry and sent to Ethiopia. ISM has documented over one hundred such cases since April of 2002.

Pat O’Connor an ISM volunteer who is currently awaiting deportation in Maasiyahu Prison explains: “Israel denies access to the Occupied Territories to any international visitor who they feel takes a position in solidarity with the Palestinian people while internationals coming to support the settlers are welcomed”.

O’Connor was arrested on January 24 by Israeli security agents after planting olive seedlings in the village of Biddu with Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights supporters. During the arrest, the security agents claimed that he was carrying a false Irish passport. However, the Irish embassy has confirmed the validity of O’Connor’s passport. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority has issued a letter acknowledging Mr. O’Connor’s human rights work and inviting O’Connor to remain in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Still, Israel is deporting him.

Israeli attorney Gaby Lasky states that “Israel conveniently turns humanitarian activists into security threats with the cynical use of `security considerations’.” She is demanding that Israel declassify the blacklist and publish the criteria determining who should be denied entry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Pat O’Connor: +972.(0)545.539.079
Attorney Gaby Lasky: +972.(0)544.418.988
ISM Media: +972.(0)547.621.529
Tom Wallace (Boston, US): +1.617.323.9273 or +1.617.461.1041

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.