Israeli activists’ messages from Khan al-Ahmar

RAMALLAH, For days, Israeli peace activists have been present at the solidarity tent in the village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of occupied Jerusalem, to convey a message to their government that what is being plotted against the village is a war crime and that the Palestinians have the right to establish an independent state.

Peace activists from Combatants for Peace decided to send a different message this time to the settlers of nearby Kfar Adumim, who yesterday pumped waste water into the village.

The message was delivered by filling bottles with the waste water collected next to the homes of the village residents and to go to the settlement and give the bottles to the settlers, which was what they did.

Avner Vicnister, an Israeli specializing in the history of the Middle East, told WAFA that he believes that peace will be achieved one day between the Palestinians and the Israelis even though Israelis today do not have faith in the possibility of peace as the last 10 years witnessed a set back to the peace camp and rise in hatred of the Palestinians.

He added: “There are many reasons for this, all connected to several factors, including the policy of the Israeli government.”

He appealed to Israeli society and politicians to pursue the path of peace, renounce hatred, racism and house demolitions.

Israeli activist Toly Flink said, “I am here because I believe in the importance of strengthening human rights everywhere, and I, as a Jew, if my government wants to demolish a school and houses in Khan al-Ahmar, I have to stand against it because it is a war crime. My presence here is more than contributing to stop this crime; it is my duty.”

He expressed concern about the future of the Israeli people as a result of the policies of their right-wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. I fear that this violence against the Palestinians will one day be practiced against the Jewish citizens themselves in Israel,” he said.

Flink stressed that the Palestinians have the right to establish their independent state, and that Netanyahu is exploiting the current extremism for personal gains.

Michal Hokerberg, an Israeli activist, said that she believes that her presence at Khan al-Ahmar is important, particularly since it will give the Palestinians hope in a life with dignity and good relations between the two peoples once their state is established next to the state of Israel.

“I am happy that there are Jews here who believe in what I believe in, because this is the true support for peace and the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people,” she said.

“In his years as prime minister, Netanyahu used intimidation, political and intellectual terrorism against the citizens, and this has made many of those who believe in peace in Israel hesitate in putting forward their ideas or express their opinions and engage in activities that support peace between the two peoples. Any person who does not think like the right wing camp, they accuse that person of treason and hostility to the state.”

Hokerberg said that she believes that the Palestinian leadership and President Mahmoud Abbas are making great efforts to achieve peace, but that Israel constantly responds with settlement construction and imposing a policy of fait accompli on the ground.

She pointed out that she and other peace activists are seeking to get as many peace and anti-occupation activists as possible to stand by the village of Khan al-Ahmar.

“I am here because my heart hurts as a result of what is being planned against the people of Khan al-Ahmar, and I want to make a positive change given the rise of the extreme right in Israel and the lack of humanity,” said artist Odel Dotish.

“I consider myself a Palestinian Jew and there must be a Palestinian state where Palestinians would live freely,” she said.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency