Commentary :: Protest Activity
The cruelest choice
Author kobi snitz
13 Aug 2008
villages are forced to make the cruelest possible choice. A choice between facing the gradual destruction of their lives and the future of their society and facing the risk of a loss of life or crippling injuries at the demonstrations.
No one can ever tell how the struggle in a particular village will develop. Some villages have a short series of intense demonstrations before they are violently repressed. Some might have regular small demonstrations but only a few manage to overcome the violent repression and isolation imposed by the Israeli occupation to mount an intense long lasting struggle. In every such case the villages are forced to make the cruelest possible choice. A choice between facing the gradual destruction of their lives and the future of their society and facing the risk of a loss of life or crippling injuries at the demonstrations.
The village of Nilin has withstood all the violence the army has used against it so far. That included the murders of 17 years old Youssef Amireh a 10 years old Ahmed Mousa, a siege and a curfew. It mounts mass actions which manage to halt the construction of the wall time and time again. However, two weeks ago after the two murders the village was faced with the cruelest choice. Every participant in the demonstrations had to struggle with this dilemma and the decision to continue the demonstrations is one which is being made collectively as each demonstration sets out.
Asked about the mood on the popular committee, A. H. one of its members says that “After the killings I did not know how the people will react, but they were only more determined to fight on. We feel strong and united, we can continue”
The last week is an indication of the strength of the popular struggle at Nilin. Starting Thursday Aug 7 a large demonstration managed to reach the bulldozers and the next day a mass prayer and demonstration was held. Much media attention was paid to the new anti demonstration weapon used by the Border Police. The weapon is a chemical spray designed to have an unbearable smell and the Border Police congratulated themselves on using a safer weapon. However, what was considered more relevant in the village is the fact that the use of the lethal weapons has not decreased.
Saturday evening a noise demonstration was held within earshot of the settlement built on the village's land and parts of the razor wire were dismantled and used to block the Border Police from reaching the demonstration. Sunday saw another evening noise demonstration and Monday another large demonstration. During the Monday demonstration a security guard used live shots to threaten the unarmed demonstrators who marched with their hands up.
After having withstood so much it seems like it will be very hard for the army to crush Nilin. Judging by the last week the resistance in Nilin is showing no signs of weakening. The longer the struggle continues there the stronger the support the village receives from the outside and the more confident it becomes of its ability to struggle.