Hundreds of Palestinian villagers from Nilin adopted a creative means of protesting the Israeli occupation of their lands earlier this week when they managed to set up a counter settlement on an area designated for Israeli settlers. The activists fooled Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint into letting them pass by pretending to be a wedding party. They then set up tents and declared the piece of land near Jerusalem designated simply as E1 as the new Palestinian village of Bab Al-Shams. While the victory was short-lived with the 200 protesters being removed by 500 Israeli soldiers, the action has been hailed as part of another Intifada of Palestinians.
In fact, earlier this month an Israeli Colonel declared the third Intifada as having begun, referring to the two earlier waves of major Palestinian protest. The word “intifada” loosely translates from Arabic into the phrase, “shaking off.” Like the first intifada, it seems as though this third uprising, if it is indeed happening, may be largely non-violent in nature.
A pioneer of non-violent direct action in the West Bank is the 39 year old activist Iyad Burnat from the tiny village of Bil’in. Heading the Bil’in Popular Committee, Burnat has organized weekly demonstrations for years, against the so-called “separation wall” or “apartheid wall” built by Israel that has cut local villagers off from their lands. Featured in the new documentary, Five Broken Cameras, directed by his brother Emad Burnat, and which was just nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Iyad Burnat is currently touring the United States sharing his experiences as a non-violent Palestinian activist.
GUEST: Iyad Burnat, Chair of the Bil’in Popular Committee
Iyad Burnat will be speaking at the following events in Southern California:
– Fri, Jan 18th at 7pm Holiday Inn La Mirada 14299 Firestone Boulevard, La Mirada, CA 90638
– Sat, Jan 19th at 5pm 4550 Tierra Rejada Rd, Moorpark
– Sun, Jan 20th at 10:00 am at All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave, Pasadena