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Bil'in Conference: Academics, Prisoners, International Support

Bil’in Conference usually has a panel of academics. Jonathan Cook (http://www.jkcook.net/) British journalist and author of several books on the Palestine/Israel conflict, related the complicated situation of ghettoization and the lack of real Israeli citizenship for Palestinian-Israelis in a Jewish = citizenship country. This perspective is very important if there is consideration of a one state solution.

The other academics were two women: Noura Erakat, Human Rights attorney and GeorgetownUniversity professor and Hind Awward, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)BDS coordinator .

Next, internationals shared the efforts of their countries. David Bondia, presented the Barcelona conclusion of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. This case used with Vietnamconflict would draw on a UN resolution that would reaffirm the primacy of international law as the basis for the settlement of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It would bring the weight of international law and the attention of international public opinion on the situation in Palestine. http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.net/pages/The_call-1153313.html

Persons from Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Great Britain shared the experience of their Palestine solidarity work. Much work is being done for BDS in all countries and in twinning in Britain.

The daughter of one of the prisoners’ spoke of the difficulties for her family of nine with the arrest and almost year-long imprisonment of her father.

Israeli “refusenik”, Sahar Vardi, presented her story of rejecting service in the Israeli military.

Israeli peace activist, Jonathan Pollack, told of increased violent repression by the Israeli army – high-velocity tear gas projectiles which has injured and killed protestors, the use of real bullets, and the covering up of crimes. The increased strength of the tear gas was evident at the Friday demonstration.

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