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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Popular lies

Ma'an reports, with little fear of contradiction:
Israeli forces violently broke up a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of Nil'in, near Ramallah, on Sunday, shooting a foreign cameraman with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Three protesters were injured. The coordinator of Ni'lin's popular committee against the wall, Salah Al-Khawaja identified the arrestees as 'Ahid Al-Khawaja, Ibrahim 'Amira and an unnamed foreign solidarity activist.

Al-Khawaja explained that his committee organized the rally in attempt to stop work on the wall. Farmers from the town lied on the ground in their fields to stop Israeli bulldozers from digging up the fields and erecting the wall. According to Al-Khawaja, the farmers succeeded to stop the work for one hour. He said bulldozers have uprooted 90 trees in the village in just three days.

He added that the foreign and Israeli solidarity activists participated in the rally along with local residents using mirrors to reflect sunlight at the Israeli soldiers who in return fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors.
This vision of heartless Israelis building an "apartheid wall" and uprooting hundreds of olive trees while Palestinian Arabs protest peacefully has turned into a news cliche, a meme that has entered the world's consciousness as accepted fact.

Yet if one digs a little, one can see that things in Nilin are not quite as reported.

Here is a photo from today's demonstration:
A Palestinian demonstrator uses a sling shot to hurl stones as tear gas fired by Israeli troops can be seen during a protest against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank village of Nilin, near Modin, Sunday, June 8, 2008

So much for the "peaceful demonstrator" part.

As far as the "bulldozing olive trees" part, guess what the IDF is doing in Nilin?
The Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration have decided to relocate some 440 olive trees belonging to Naalin residents to a nearby area, due to the construction of the separation fence in the area.
The Palestinians have protested this decision, claiming that it would badly harm their livelihood.

The IDF plans to relocate the olive trees under the supervision of a Civil Administration officer, but Naalin's residents do not intend to cooperate with the move, as they reject any act related to the construction of the fence.

Security sources told Ynet that the separation fence was being built according to law and that the State was doing all it could to minimize the damage caused to the Palestinian life fabric. The defense establishment is coordinating the entire construction process with the local population, they stated.

"There are always those who will not approve of the State's decisions, including Israeli citizens, and will do all in their power to break the law and stop the fence construction," a security official said.

"The handling of the olive trees, for example, shows how things could be done differently," the source added. "The proof is that the defense establishment, on all levels, knows how to collect all the trees in a professional manner and move them somewhere else, in a way that will not harm the Palestinian farmers."
Israel is spending untold amounts of time and money in order to minimize any damage done to the tree and Palestinian Arabs' livelihoods while still maintaining security. This is hardly what one would expect from the brutal IDF than is being portrayed day in and day out by both the Arabs and the major media who are only too happy to echo the lies.