Monday, Mar 19th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Human Rights The price of resisting the occupation in Israel: "leftists aren't allowed..."

The price of resisting the occupation in Israel: "leftists aren't allowed..."

E-mail Print PDF

We've asked Rebecca Vilkomerson, a veteran JVP activist now living with her family in Israel, to give us regular updates about anti-occupation activism in Israel. Rebecca is also on staff with the Israeli environmental and social justice NGO Bustan, which works with Bedouin and Jewish communities in the Negev. Listen to what Rebecca has to say, from a place where "leftists aren't allowed."


Several weeks ago, while on a solidarity visit with Ta'ayush in the South Hebron hills region of the West Bank, we were stopped by a makeshift Israeli Army roadblock and told that we could not pass into a closed military zone.  Having all traveled that road many times before with no problem, and watching settlers whiz by us, we asked to see the military order.  Before producing it, the soldier said, "I am very happy for any Jew to visit the Land of Israel, but leftists aren't allowed."   

This provoked a great deal of incredulous laughter among us, but we never did get through that day.  And for me, it was one of the gentler reminders of the level of repression faced by Israeli activists specifically, the focus is on the Israeli side of the movement.  

There is a kind of conventional wisdom among anti-occupation activists, especially in the United States, that in Israel there is a wider and more honest range of viewpoints regarding the occupation.  This perspective is part of the strategy to sell Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East" to the rest of the world.  To a certain extent it is true. Activist NGOs receive coverage in the press and ideas are discussed on the Op-Ed pages here that are not yet acceptable in the U.S. For example, the word "apartheid" which is still anathema in the United States, has become common enough to be unremarkable when found on a front page here in Israel.




Most Recent Related Stories...

'Attacks and killings': human rights activists at growing risk, study claims

Human rights activists being attacked and killed Human rights defenders who challenge big corporations are being killed, assaulted, harassed and suppressed in growing...

Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem's Palestinians

Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri The Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the minister of interior to revoke the...

Forced to marry her rapist at 11, woman finally changes Florida marriage law

Forced to marry rapist at 11, woman gets childmarriage outlawed in FLA woman who was 11 when she was forced to marry her rapist has worked for...

UN: 12 million girls married during childhood annually

UN: 12 million girls married during childhood annually At least 12 million girls are married during childhood, under the age of 18, annually, according...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!