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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

here are your Gandhis

For Durban, visit Antony Loewenstein, he has a lot, and Mondoweiss. Visit the blogroll.

The video halfway down this post is old in the current affairs scale of things, it being shot on April 17, but it is a video of Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahme who died last week after being hit in the stomach by a teargas canister. I blogged about it here and here.
The Israeli news, Ynet, reports Bassem's relative, Abdullah, who was near Bassem when he was fatally wounded, as saying (my emphasis):
"I can say for certain that there was no violence or provocation on the part of the protestors... The casualty's last words were to the soldiers and police officers: 'Stop firing, stop firing.' And then the grenade hit him and he was critically injured."
Bassem was wearing a bright green shirt and was shot directly by a soldier from some thirty metres away. The teargas canisters are huge.
Abdullah follows up his above statements with the words below, which should be given close attention by all the people who are crying out for the Palestinians to get themselves a Gandhi (my emphasis):
Abdullah claims that the increasing incidents of firing on demonstrators in recent weeks, and the growing number of protestors injured and killed in anti-fence rallies, show that the Israelis don't know how to handle the non-violent protests.

"When the struggle is armed, the Israelis like it," he says. "They know that with their weapon, with one aircraft, one bombing, they can handle the struggle. But when the struggle is non-violent, and when peace activists from Israel and the entire world are taking part in the demonstrations, it's harder to conceal the truth, to hide the robbery and violence.

"We're noticing that they're losing their senses, and this why, over time, they run wilder and become more violent."

According to Abdullah, "We know that what worries the Israelis more is that this style of a non-violent struggle might spread from Bilin, Naalin and other numbered centers and become a wide model. So they are seeking to suppress this model before it spreads even more, because they know our struggle is justified and that they are losing.

"Moreover, Bassem was killed when we were trying to enter land which an Israeli court ruled we are allowed to enter."
I have blogged a little about this fear of non-violent protest in this post where the Israeli forces have described peaceful protest as being "...a smart way to trigger Israeli violence and thus incite the uprising''

Apparently the soldiers asked the Palestinians who were protesting against the apartheid wall if they wanted more 'gas' (read the Mondoweiss article below). As this 'incident' was actually filmed, it made the news in Israel, and there will be a self-investigation and so on and so on.

This text is from Mondoweiss. The shorter video he refers to has been removed due to violating terms of use... whatever that means...considering it was apparently distributed by Reuters.

This is a fuller video than the short, shocking video we posted last night depicting the killing of Bassem Ibrahim Abu Ramah yesterday at the weekly protest of the confiscatory wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in. The video shows plainly that the demonstrators were not violent. Here is a rough translation of the words on the video, supplied by an anonymous friend:
The demonstrators are telling the soldiers in Hebrew that there are children and Israelis present and they are asking them not to shoot. Bassem is shouting "listen, wait a minute, wait a minute" before he falls to the ground. The soldiers then fire another round of tear gas as the demonstrators yell that he is injured and needs an ambulance.

In the longer video, as [Mohammed] Khatib is arguing with the soldier, I can't make out all of it because they're talking over each other, but you can clearly hear the soldier say, "do you want more gas?" They can see someone is on the ground and bleeding and because they know it's a Palestinian, they don't care.

And the soldier is telling Khatib "Are you going to shut up?" as Khatib pleads with him to stop shooting. The Israeli who's next to Bassem right after the shooting is just saying, there's an injured man, bring an ambulance quickly. He asks Bassem where he was hit. The demonstrators also repeat throughout, this is a non-violent demonstration. The soldiers merely respond with teargas.
This is what Bassem looked like not even one year ago:

From the active stills group.

An archive photo, taken on 25/7/2008, shows Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahme (ElFeel) during a protest against the wall in the village of Bilin.

And also, thanks to Mondoweiss, this is the Full Text of President Ahmadinejad’s Remarks at U.N. Conference on Racism for anyone who is interested.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr