Saturday, August 19, 2006


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08/10/04 Heroism in the Holy Land: Chris Brown beaten for walking children to school.

Anyway here are a couple of articles which I came across on the net which are petinent to what is happenning now in the Middle East . These articles are about Peace Activists in Israel / Palestine who put their lives at risk to help protect innocent Palisinian / Arab children by walking them to school to protect them from fanatical Israeli Settlers who see nothing wrong with beating up children or even killing them & often seem to do so with impunity as the Israeli government & its allies turn a blind eye . I have to confess I did not know til recently how big of a problem this has become .

San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
article by Alison Weir

San Franciscan Chris Brown was beaten by Israeli settlers with a bat and chains and his head smashed with a rock simply for walking Palestinian children to school.

There are a small number of people around the world who exhibit extraordinary courage. An even smaller number commit repeated acts of heroism. San Francisco resident Chris Brown is one of them.

On Wednesday morning, Brown, with his colleague Kim Lamberty, was on the other side of the world walking children to school. The children were like any other children - except for one thing. They were scared. Not that they would fail a test, not that their teacher would call on them with a difficult question, not that they would lose a schoolyard game. These children were scared that adults would physically try to attack them.

They were right.

Chris and Kim are volunteers with an organization called Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), which provides nonviolent intercession in areas of violence. They serve in the West Bank city of Hebron, where Palestinian civilians are frequently attacked and harassed by Israeli settlers. The presence of such international witnesses often reduces this violence.

The nation of Israel was created only a little over 50 years ago, and its purpose was to be a Jewish state. While people throughout the world were profoundly sympathetic to this goal, there was one major problem: two-thirds of the inhabitants were Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

As a result, Israel's creation entailed the forcible expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians. Many of these people ended up in the West Bank and Gaza.

In 1967, the situation worsened, when Israel expanded its borders in the Six-Day War, capturing the West Bank and Gaza. Immediately, the Israeli government began confiscating Palestinian land in these newly occupied areas to build Jewish-only settlements.

As might be expected, such actions are illegal - both because a government cannot just take other people's land, and also because the acquisition of territory by conquest has been deemed illegal by the international community. The United States cannot decide - simply because we have the military might - to kick Canadian farmers off rich farmland and give the farmers' land to Americans - and then say that this is American land for all eternity. Yet, this is what Israel is doing to Palestinians.

Many Israelis oppose these settlements, considering them illegal, immoral and bad for Israel. Many of those who go to live in them are economically disadvantaged Israelis simply availing themselves of subsidized homes.

A significant portion of these settlers, however, are a far different story, and these are the settlers that the villagers around Hebron, in particular, are facing. This group is made up of religious fanatics who believe that only Jews have the right to live in "Eretz Israel ". They move onto Palestinian land, they say openly, to 'redeem' it and to 'cleanse' it of Christians and Muslims. These settlers are notorious in Israel for their extremism, violence and deeply racist religious beliefs.

For Palestinians around Hebron, it is like living next to KKK members who can kill you with impunity. Murders of Palestinians are rarely prosecuted, and when they are, little results. For example, three years ago, when a settler was found guilty of killing an 14-year-old boy by breaking his neck, the punishment meted out was a fine and six months community service.

"It's just like South Africa," Chris Brown says, "only worse." South Africa, many point out, didn't use F-16s against its Bantustans.

Brown should know, having spent the first eight years of his life under South African apartheid, and then returning to fight apartheid as an adult, being imprisoned, largely in solitary confinement, for a year and a half.

Brown went to Palestine to oppose such a system and to reduce the violence costing so many lives - both Israeli and Palestinian. From the very beginning of the current uprising, Palestinians called for an international presence that would reduce the violence. While the U.S. government, at Israel's behest, blocked United Nations efforts to provide this, nonviolent activists from around the world, including Israel, have tried to fill this need.

The attack on Chris, Kim and the children is a case in point. While the BBC, Agence France Presse, Israeli newspapers and a wide variety of other international media reported this attack on American citizens immediately, the Associated Press, inexplicably, sent out no report on it for a day and a half - and this only after numerous people had called complaining.

A six-month study of the San Francisco Chronicle's coverage of children's deaths reveals a similar pattern of omission. Analysis of their headline stories found that the paper had reported prominently on Israeli children's deaths at a rate 30 times greater than Palestinian ones. While 150 percent of Israeli children's deaths had resulted in headline coverage - some deaths generated multiple stories - only 5 percent of Palestinian children's deaths received parallel coverage.

Asked whether he worries that next time he may be killed, he thinks it over and then replies:

"Yeah, probably one day they'll succeed, if I keep going on the path that I will go." He explains that he's not looking for martyrdom" and insists that he'll take as many precautions as possible while he's in Palestine, but finally concludes, "If I have to die to see this country free, I'll do it "

"I like to quote Archbishop Oscar Romero, " Chris says: "If I die, my spirit will rise up in the lives of the other people, and they'll keep going on."

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew,

And further see:
From International Solidarity Movement
Israeli Army Causes Two Serious Head Injuries to Protestors in Bil�in
August 11th, 2006

and about Rachel Corrie see:

By Alison Weir
Counter Punch
April 3, 2003

Peacekeepers Attacked while Accompanying Palestinian Children near Israeli Settlement By Sebi Brown Silver Chips: Correspondent
JERUSALEM: September 30, 2004

Published on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 by the Jerusalem Post (Israel)
American Aid Workers Attacked in Hebron
by Matthew Gutman

Oregon Peace Works

Amnesty International October 25, 2004
Israel/Occupied Territories: Israeli settlers wage campaign of intimidation on Palestinians and internationals alike:

Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories have stepped up attacks against Palestinians and are waging a campaign of intimidation against international and Israeli human rights activists. Their aim is to eliminate the presence of witnesses to their attacks, thereby depriving the local Palestinian population of this only form of limited protection.

Two US citizens, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), were assaulted on 29 September by masked Israeli settlers who beat them with clubs and chains as they accompanied Palestinian children to school near the Tuwani village, South of Hebron. Kim Lamberty sustained a broken arm and knee and bruising to her face, while Chris Brown was left with a punctured lung and multiple bruises. Members of the CPT and other Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been escorting Palestinian children to school to protect them from attacks by Israeli settlers.

A group of hooded Israeli settlers attacked Amnesty International delegates and members of the CPT and the Operation Dove NGO on 9 October as they returned from accompanying Palestinian primary schoolchildren back to their home. The attackers first threw stones at the five internationals and then attacked three of them with wooden clubs. An Amnesty International delegate sustained multiple bruises on her back, arm and leg and the Operation Dove member collapsed and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. On both occasions, the attackers came from the nearby Israeli settlement of Havat Ma'on and returned there after the attacks.

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Attacks on International Peace Workers
The Death of Tom Hurndall

Anyway I wonder how many beatings & killings of innocent Palestinians including children will need to happen before the International Community & Israel's Neo-Con supporters are finally shamed into taking action ?
The article quoted below is from the website : if american knew

"Tom Hurndall moments before joining the nonviolent demonstration where he was shot by an Israeli sniper.
Tom Hurndall was in a coma for nine months after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.
He died January 13, 2004.

It is with great sadness that If Americans Knew shares with you the news of the passing away of Tom Hurndall.

Tom, 22, died Tuesday night in a London hospital due to complications with pneumonia. He had spent the past nine months in a vegetative state after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper on April 11, 2003, while trying to escort children to safety in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine.

Tom was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led effort to bring internationals to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to aid the civilian population in non-violent resistance to the occupation.

At a hearing on Monday, a soldier arrested last week in connection with the shooting of Tom Hurndall, has finally been indicted on six charges : Aggravated Assault; two counts of Obstruction of Justice; Incitement to False Testimony; False Testimony; and Improper Conduct. A second soldier has been detained and is expected to be indicted on charges of Obstructing Justice and False Testimony.

As we grieve the death of Tom, let us not forget the ongoing catastrophic situation in Palestine that he was working to end. In fact, since he was shot, 407 Palestinians have been murdered and 1,990 have been injured. As Tom�s mother, Jocelyn, wrote recently in the UK Guardian, �It seems that life is cheap in the occupied territories. Different value attached to life depends on whether the victim happens to be Israeli, international or Palestinian.� "


Sunday, October 03, 2004
More from the Team in Hebron

Also see:
Washington Report on The Middle East
December 2004

Action Alert: Hebron/At-Tuwani
24 February 2005

HEBRON/AT-TUWANI. — "Help protect Christian Peacemaker Teams from extremist Israeli settler violence; urge Israeli and your authorities to halt settler attacks."


" On 16 February 2005, a pair of Israeli settlers attacked international peace team workers from Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and the Italian-based Operation Dove (OD), breaking the jaw of one Italian and sending him to the hospital with a concussion and memory loss.

The attack occurred near the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani and the Israeli settler outpost of Havat Ma'on, a location of repeated settler harassment. CPT and OD have turned over videotape of the settlers to the Israeli police and the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

Since the Ma'on settlement was established in 1982, settlers have confiscated more than 350 acres of At-Tuwani land. For years, settlers and Israeli soldiers have harassed the At-Tuwani Palestinian community with relative impunity.

In an effort to reduce this violence and harassment, CPT and OD have maintained a presence in the At-Tuwani region in the southern West Bank for over six months, accompanying Palestinian school children and farmers who experience repeated attacks from Israeli settlers.

Pattern of Settler Violence:

The 16 February attack is the latest in a pattern of attacks by extremist settlers on international peace-builders and local Palestinians. In September 2004, a group of masked settlers attacked and beat CPTers Kim Lamberty and Chris Brown with chains, breaking Lamberty's arm and puncturing Brown's lung.

In October 2004, masked settlers attacked a group of five internationals, including CPTers Diana Zimmerman and Dianne Janzen, and severely beat an OD member, nearly rupturing his kidney and injuring his wrist. In December 2004 and January 2005, settlers attacked Palestinian shepherds numerous times and repeatedly threatened violence against school children.

It is important to recognise that action by Palestinian extremists, Israel extremists and military forces jeopardise the possibility of peace."


Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
Settler attacks ecumenical accompanier in Hebron

" A member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was attacked by a woman settler in the Tel Rumeida district of Hebron on Friday, 23 June.

Whilst in the area of the Cordoba school, where Christian volunteers accompany children to school, Duduzile Masango, a South African ecumenical accompanier was attacked by an elderly settler woman, who pulled a towel tightly around her head.

It is not known if the woman intended to suffocate her, but the accompanier had difficulty breathing. Stones were also thrown at Masango and four other internationals who were with her. The incident left her shaken, although she did not need to receive medical treatment.

Although a soldier was standing next to the group of volunteers, he did not act to stop the attack. After the incident, members of the international solidarity movement and the Tel Rumeida project who had witnessed the incident filed a complaint with the police. However, Masango was told by the police that they did not believe her testimony.

Rifat Kassis, EAPPI international programme coordinator, stated: "This is just one in a long line of incidents targeting internationals in Hebron. The WCC continues to advocate that all settlers in Hebron be withdrawn and settler-occupied properties be returned to their Palestinian owners. A letter was sent to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland in April, following similar incidents. It requested appropriate actions by the Israeli authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop this behaviour toward Palestinians and internationals. The WCC has so far received no response."

On 1 April, a Swiss lawyer was stoned by a young Israeli settler in the same Hebron district, and on 20 April still in Tel Rumeida, a German social worker and a Norwegian sociologist were attacked by some 15 young settlers. The Swiss lawyer needed seven stitches for a head wound as a result.

In both cases, the Christian volunteers were escorting Palestinian pupils of the Cordoba Girls School to protect them from harassment by settlers. The WCC presented a formal protest to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland over these two incidents on 25 April.

and more from same website:

Volunteers from Operation Dove and CPT attacked by Israeli Settlers - One Hospitalized in Serious Condition

February 16th, 2005

Members of the Italian organization Operazione Colomba (Operation Dove) and the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) were attacked by Israeli settlers today near Hebron, with one volunteer still in the hospital in Beer Sheva in serious condition with head injuries.

The most seriously injured of the volunteers is from Operazione Colomba – a nonviolent peace corps of the Pope John XXIII Community. He was bloodied during the beating and is said to have lost consciousness. He is suffering from short-term memory loss and blurred vision.

At approximately 11 a.m., three volunteers from Operazione Colomba and two from CPT were attacked by a group of five Israeli settlers who came from the nearby
illegal settlement of Ma’on, which is situated near the West Bank city of Hebron. The volunteers were accompanying Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their sheep. One of the settlers fired some rounds from a rifle towards the volunteers. He was followed by other settlers who run up and heavily beat three of the volunteers.

The area of the Palestinian Occupied Territories where this occurred is not subject to any restriction from the Israeli military authority, which, under the Oslo Agreements, must administer it. For some time now, settlers in this area, referred to as the South Hebron Hills, have been preventing Palestinian shepherds from grazing their sheep. The Israeli military has done nothing to protect the right of the shepherds to use their fields. "


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