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Pre-2008 Posts

Something There Is That Resists a Wall: The Bil’in Friends of Justice and Freedom Society

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The wall in Bil’in, Palestine

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The barrier fence is in red. 

I’ve been receiving e-mails from an organization called the Bil’in Friends of Justice and Freedom together with links to their website.

Bil’in is a small, peaceful village surrounded by hills and valleys, lying halfway between Yaffa and Jerusalem. It is among a number of local villages that fall under the governorate of Ramallah, 16km west of Bil’in. It has a population of 1800 in an area approximately 4000 dunums in size. Its people are known for their simplicity, hospitality and their good nature. They love peace and freedom, and reject injustice and oppression.

The Bil’in residents depend on agriculture as their main source of their income. Traditionally such income has been generated by raising cattle and poultry, and collecting the produce of bees and olive trees.

Bil’in and its residents have stood up to confiscation time and time again. At the beginning of the 1980s, the Matityahu settlement was built on a portion of Bil’in land and, at the beginning of the 1990s, another portion of land was confiscated for the Kiryat Sefer settlement. At the start of the millennium, yet another new settlement (Matityahu East) was built on Bil’in’s land. In April 2004, Israel began construction of its illegal Apartheid Wall on the western side of the village, expropriating about 2300 dunums of the land of Bil’in.

The people of Bil’in actively participated in non-violent Friends of Freedom and Justice-Bilin resistance against the oppression of Israel throughout the years of the illegal occupation. Side-by-side with international and Israeli activists, the people of Bil’in managed to achieve the recognition of the Israel high court, which recently ruled that the route of the Apartheid Wall near in the village is illegal and must be changed.

In line with their love of freedom and justice, an active group of young men and women decided to initiate a new society in the village called “The Bil’in Friends of Justice and Freedom Society”. The society aims to build a wide network of people from all over the globe who support Justice and Freedom for all. It also aims to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and to transfer the experience of Bil’in across Palestine and beyond. Finally, the society aims to help and support the education of young Palestinian people at schools and universities throughout the region and beyond.

Here are some photos of  the people of Bil’in and of the peaceful, nonviolent resistance in Bil’in against the wall.

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Yesterday, I received an e-mail which said: 

The Society of Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin have been very active organizing many activities in Bilin and the surrounding communities, like the weekly Demonstration against the apartheid wall and planting trees on Bilin land on both sides of the illegal wall.

The society has been active meeting with many popular committees all over Palestine in order to transfer the non violent message of Bilin and the experience of Bilin to many localities in the west bank.

About two months ago, the Israeli army has broken the only available digital camera for our society, and due to the active role our society plays through our community, our society is seeking help from our friends and partners.

The society is in need for the following:

1- Three computers
2- Photocopy Machine
3- Stationary
4- T-Shirts and Hats
5- Brochure
6- Chairs
7- Office desk
8- LCD projector
9- High quality digital camera

For more information about how to donate to our society please do not hesitate
to contact us at:

Ffj.bilin@yahoo.com
Tel: +972 2 248 9129
Mobile: + 972 547 847 942

Your contributions are highly appreciated and will enable us to continue with our activities

Yours

Eyad Burnat

One thing that deeply disturbs me about the candidates leading the race for the presidential nomination in the U.S. is that every last one, to my knowledge, supports the building of a wall — a wall like the one the people of Bil’in are resisting, with all that means — along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The mural above, on a wall near Bethlehem, was the joint effort of Mexican and Palestinian activists engaged in ongoing nonviolent resistance against the walls, against apartheid, against oppression, against violence.

I hope many reading will consider the people of  Bil’in and their circumstances.  And I hope many will consider what it might mean should the U.S. construct this kind of a wall along our own border.

Israeli Friends of Bil’in Petition

Separate But Unequal in Palestine — the Road to Apartheid

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Something There Is That Resists a Wall: The Bil’in Friends of Justice and Freedom Society

  1. The pilot project high-tech virtual fence on the Mexican border south of Tucson has run into technical difficulties, so it will be delayed at least three years! Four million bucks a mile the physical fence costs, according to this Washington Post story, not to mention the damage to the local ecology.

    The Israeli fence is a land grab, pure and simple. AFAIK none of the mainstream Presidential candidates have taken any issue with it. Since Louis Farrakhan just endorsed Obama, he is scrambling to reassure Jews about his strong support for Israel and rejection of that endorsement.

    Posted by Aletha | February 28, 2008, 9:12 am
  2. What a coincidence that there should be a wall in a place called Bil’in. As far as I can figure the pronunciation of it it sounds a lot like Berlin!

    Posted by Branjor | February 28, 2008, 2:32 pm

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