Tuesday, June 30, 2009


An Israeli peace activist who has been protesting the continued encroachment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land will be sentenced tomorrow by an Israeli court, probably to several months incarceration, writes Rory McCarthy for guardian.com.uk.

Reports McCarthy:

"A prominent Israeli peace activist is expected to be sentenced to several months in jail tomorrow in a high-profile prosecution which began after he tried to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes near a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank."

The activist is a plumber, Ezra Nawi, 50, who has been organizing protests against what he considers illegal seizure of Palestinian lands for Israeli settlements. He was arrested and charged for assaulting a policeman when the Israeli Army sent bulldozers to destroy Palestinian shacks on land that Israeli settlers wanted to expropriate.

"His trial has sparked a broad campaign of support from academics, musicians and artists. "You have here the whole misery and cruelty of the occupation in a nutshell," David Shulman, a Hebrew University professor and activist with the Israeli-Palestinian peace group Ta'ayush, wrote in the Ha'aretz newspaper.

""Inside the occupied Palestinian territories is a shadow state where the only real law is the law of the gun, where land is being taken away from its rightful owners every day, and where the very few who stand up to protest, without violence, like Ezra Nawi, are sent to prison."

"Another Hebrew University academic and peace activist, Amiel Vardi, who teaches classics, said: "I don't know of anyone as dedicated as Ezra." Vardi, too, said Nawi was different from most. "We are others. Even for those who work with us for years and perhaps understand more or less what we are doing, we are still others," he said. "Not Ezra. Ezra is accepted as a human being, meaning they both belong to the same group. He is not so much of an other.""

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