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The Only Democracy? » Featured, Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs » Teargassing the Na’vi in Bi’lin

Teargassing the Na’vi in Bi’lin

In the weekly demonstrations by Bi’lin residents against the Israeli barrier that separates them from their agricultural land, both sides are armed:  Israeli soldiers with an arsenal of ammunition and tear gas cannisters, and the demonstrators with relentlessly creative expressions of nonviolent resistance.  This Friday, the demonstrators marched to the barrier dressed up as the indigenous blue-skinned  Na’vi tribe, the heroes of  the blockbuster movie Avatar (More videos of the protest are available on Friends of Freedom and Justice Bil’in website).

The soldiers, for their part, dressed up as usual as if they were fighting a war, and lobbed tear gas cannisters at the Na’vi ,  Who should we be rooting for?

The Avatars’ presence in Bil’in today symbolizes the united resistance to imperialism of all kinds.
Today’s non-violent demonstration was again met with excessive violence by the Israeli army. Sound bombs and tear gas were used, leaving four people directly injured by the canisters. The canisters were shot directly at the protesters, which is in violation with the IOF’s firing regulations. Many other activists suffered from tear gas inhalation.

The “Avatar” protest comes a day after a partial victory for Bi’lin, when Israel began rerouting the barrier to take  up less village land, more than two years after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered it to do so.

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Carol Sanders was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is a retired legal services attorney and author of legal texts. She lived in Israel from 1963 to 1966, where she worked on a kibbutz, did graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as an assistant to the then-mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Carol is a long-time activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, and is the JVP representative to the Middle East Advisory Committee and a member of Bay Area Women in Black.

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