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Thursday, June 01, 2006

 

'In small places, close to home--'

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13: Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to that country.

In small places, close to home--so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world: In 1953 Kfar Bir'im was ethnically cleansed of its 710 Palestinian residents and the village was demolished with only its church left standing.

Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in
:

Give thanks, and lift up your voice
Your people, Bir'im have not died
And will not forsake a grain of sand from you
As long as you have men like these
As long as you have men like these
Who continually strive for justice
they do not care what others may say
And they always say to the oppressor
Our Bir'im is more precious than money.
And the return will never disappear
We will return contented
We will forget the bitter days

the school or college he attends:Whereas, the number of the school
and university students prisoners reached 1389
, and 319 children out of
this number are held in custody.

205 prisoners are from the teachers and employees of the Ministry of
High Education.

the factory, farm, or office where he works:The number of the farmers who sustained loses because of the Israeli
aggressions reached 61195

Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination:The checkpoints that were set up by the Israeli occupation forces reached 3775.

The total number of the lands that were confiscated for the use of the
apartheid wall since 29-3-2002 reached 244494 dunums

Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere:

On Tuesday 30th of May, Occupation bulldozers attacked the southwest of al-Walaja demolishing two sheds. The destruction comes at the same time as a demolition order for the local school, preparing the path for the Apartheid Wall. The Wall will ghettoize villagers, stealing their lands for the expansion of the settlements.

Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world:

One of the Zionists was putting his weapon on my shoulder I told him to move it away, but he ignored me, he was stepping on my dress while I was sitting on the ground. As you see we used all kinds of "talking" with them, sometimes we chanted slogans against them and sometimes we tried talking to them, we would tell them: "we have no weapons we did not come here to fight just stay away from our lands, you took our country and killed our children" … my son is a martyr … "you destroyed our houses and bulldozed our fields and built your settlements, what more do you want? Why the Wall? … you want to trap us like mice you want to put a prison gate for us and start counting us as if we were some animals?!" Ghariba Daouud

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