Our Work

CPT places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world at the invitation of local peace and human rights workers. CPT embraces the vision of unarmed intervention waged by committed peacemakers ready to risk injury and death in bold attempts to transform lethal conflict through the nonviolent power of God’s truth and love.

 

Violence Reduction Projects

Aboriginal Justice

a period presence since February 1999.  Team members help reduce violence directed at First Nations communities resisting industrial activity (i.e. logging, mining, fishing) in their territories without their consent.

Colombia

a continuing presence since February 2001. Through fasting, public prayer, and nonviolent action, team members support threatened communities, primarily in the Magdalena Medio region, working for a peaceful end to Colombia’s 50-year-old civil war.

Iraq

a continuing presence since October 2002. Team members accompanied the Iraqi people in the period leading up to the U.S.-led invasion, during the “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad, and throughout the occupation.  Following the 2005 Baghdad kidnapping of four CPTers, in which full-time worker Tom Fox was killed, the team's focus shifted to the northern Kurdish region where members continue to expose abuses and support Iraqis committed to nonviolent resistance.

Palestine

a continuing presence in the Hebron District (West Bank) since June 1995. Team members stand with Palestinians and Israeli peace groups engaged in nonviolent opposition to Israeli military occupation, collective punishment, settler harassment, home demolitions and land confiscation.

Periodic Projects

CPT has sent peacemaker delegations and small teams on a seasonal or periodic basis to: Democratic Republic of Congo - supporting human rights workers and victims of violence in the world's deadliest conflict since WWII; US/Mexico Borderlands - addressing the violence of immigration policies which result in hundreds of migrant deaths in the desert each summer; Kenora, Ontario, Canada - supporting local groups confronting racist violence against Aboriginal people

Previous Work

CPT has maintained violence-reduction teams in:
• Gaza (1993) • Haiti (1993-1997) • Washington, DC (1994-1996) • Bosnia (1996) • Chechnya (1996) • Richmond, VA (1997-1999) • Chiapas, Mexico (1998-2001) • Pierre, South Dakota (1999-2000) • Esgenoôpetitj First Nation [Burnt Church, NB] (2000-2002) • Vieques, Puerto Rico (2000-2003) • Indian Brook, NS (2001) • Oneida, NY (2002-2003) • Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation [Grassy Narrows, ON] (2002-2005)  • Bear Butte, SD (2006)

Colombia Project

About CPT Colombia

Magdalena Medio Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia works together on grassroots initiatives to expose and transform structures of domination and oppression through active nonviolence in order to make possible the reign of God -a world grounded in respect, justice and love, even of enemies.

The Team is based in and has a long history of working in the Magdalena Medio region, although in recent years we have also begun to do occasional accompaniment in other parts of the country.

[READ MORE]

Latest Update: 

Visit the Colombia Project Website

 

Las Pavas Wins the National Peace Prize 2013

 

Most recent CPTnet story: 

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 15, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 15, 2014

Pray for all who stand up for human rights in Colombia.  The leading Colombian newspaper, El Espectador, says that aggressions against human rights defenders are up 170% from last year.

 

                                                               Epixel* for Sunday, October 12, 2014
JUDICIAL 9 OCT 2014 - 10:49 AM

En tercer trimestre

Aumentan en 170% agresiones a defensores de derechos humanos

Mientras que el número de amenazas en el tercer trimestre de 2014 supone un incremento del 234 % con respecto al mismo período de 2013.

For [The Lord] is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. Psalm 96: 13b
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.
 

COLOMBIA: In spite of trauma, a smile


[Note: The following has been adapted for CPTnet.  The original is available on CPT Colombia’s website.]

As we arrived at the meeting with the people of Bella Union, a village neighboring El Guayabo, I saw a woman sitting under a green tree with a big smile.  I immediately thought it would be interesting to know more about her.

Our task was very specific: to document cases of human rights violations from 1990 to 2014.  Soon it was time for the woman with the beautiful smile to share.  She was a bit tired because she had given her statement many times without seeing results, so I paid close attention to what she was saying.

As she told me step by step what she had suffered at the hands of violent actors, her smile grew more radiant.  She did not seem weighed down by sadness, despite the fact that over ten years ago, violence in the region put out a light in their lives.  She continued recounting the events that ended the lives of her family: first the story of her father’s death, then her brother’s, and then she took a break, saying that the story of her son was the most painful. 

COLOMBIA VIDEO: “The chocolate process”--a cup of hot chocolate truly made from scratch

CPT Colombia has a new video out showing how the community of Garzal makes a cup of hot chocolate—from the time the cacao fruit is picked, to the preparation and husking of cocoa beans, to the cup of sweet deliciousness. 

Watch here 

Cup of Chocolate // Una Taza de Chocolate from CPT/ECAP Colombia on Vimeo.

The communities of Garzal and Nueva Esperanza have engaged in what is called a “social process” to resist displacement and stand up for their rights and their dignity for more than a decade.  They are among the primary communities that CPT Colombia accompanies.

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo calls for justice and transparency in Puerto Wilches

In his 1984 address at Mennonite World Conference that served as the catalyst for the formation of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Ron Sider described shalom as “being in right relationship with God, neighbor and the earth.”  Shalom, he says, “means not only the absence of war, but also…the fair division of land so that all families can earn their own way.  It…means the Jubilee and sabbatical release of debts so that great extremes of wealth and poverty do not develop among God’s people.”

 When I walk through the community of El Guayabo on a peaceful day, shalom is what I see.  People live together, worship together, farm together, and welcome strangers into their homes.  There is food for everyone, even a surplus to feed the neighboring towns.  The recent illegal eviction attempt that violently disrupted peace in this community was not only unethical, but also tainted a lifestyle that is holy, a lifestyle that I believe is pleasing to God.

 On 11 August 2014, the communities of El Guayabo and Bella Union gathered to pray publicly and call for political transparency in the town of Puerto Wilches.  They used songs, Bible verses, speeches, and a dramatic action to bring attention to the recent illegal eviction attempt made by riot police.  During the planning stage, El Guayabo leader Eric told the Christian Peacemaker Team delegation that the goal of the action was to spread awareness about the eviction attempt (the origins of which developed under suspicious circumstances) in Puerto Wilches, the largest town in their municipality. 

 

Edinson Garcia speaks during the laying down of the recent harvest

 

When they arrived at the Mayor’s office, the farmers knelt, each placing a different crop from the most recent harvest on the pavement outside the entrance.  CPTers moved forward with palm branches and symbolically covered the crops, as a delegate listed aloud the harmful consequences that a lack of transparency about the eviction process would have for the community.  The delegation then publicly stated their support for the community as the Mayor looked on.  At the conclusion of the action, a delegation leader gave a petition to the Mayor signed by 180 international partners.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: My hero


The first time I met my hero she was one of a dozen dusty, carefree children congregated like a school of fish on the edge of town as they dreamed up their next adventure.  Buenos Aires looked like of the best places on earth to be a kid: a small, quiet riverside town with a whole jungle out back to explore, where they were free to be queens and kings of their own destiny. 

It was a warning to me that singled her out from this mob of Indiana Joneses: “That one over there—the angelic, sweet, little girl with the springy curls and big smile?  She’s a handful.  Give her a foot and she’ll take a mile.” 

Jimena sure is a handful—a handful of spunk, spirit, and joy.  She’s nine years old and she wants to be a doctor when she grows up to help people with heart problems.  Her toothy grin and the way she snuggles up under my arm and into my heart leaves me no doubt that she’ll save many lives.   

event_view: 

There aren't any events planned in this region at this time.

About CPT Colombia

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia works together on grassroots initiatives to expose and transform structures of domination and oppression through active nonviolence in order to make possible the reign of God - a world grounded in respect, justice and love, even of enemies.

Christian Peacemaker Team in Colombia :

A combination of full-time and reservist trained volunteers staff the team. Four to eight Spanish-speaking members are serving in Colombia at any given time. A half-time Support Coordinator works in conjunction with CPT's international offices, and oversees participation in the Canadian Council for International Cooperation’s Americas Policy Group in Canada and the Colombia Steering Committee of the Latin America Working Group in the United States. We are here because we feel called to put our faith into action. We live, worship and work in community.   

At the invitation of the Mennonite Church of Colombia CPT began its work in Colombia in 2001 accompanying threatened communities in the Opon, organizations, and their leadership. As of today, CPT Colombia accompanies rural communities and human rights organizations on a regular basis in the Magdalena Medio region.  

The Team is based in and has a long history of working in the Magdalena Medio region (click here to see maps), although in recent years we have also begun to do occasional accompaniment in other parts of the country. Our home and office is located in Barrancabermeja, the unofficial capital of the region.  Many local nonviolent social and human rights organizations are active in the region.  We work to support these local peacemakers in building peace with justice. However, there are also Paramilitaries, the guerrilla, and  the state forces are present in this strategic area of Colombia and  many of the citizens of the region are the victims of violence perpetrated by right-wing armed actors (both paramilitary and military), and to a lesser extent, by the left-wing guerrilla groups. The Magdalena Medio region is typical of most of the country in that it is resource-rich while many of its citizens struggle against cycles of violence and poverty.

Much of the economic and physical violence benefits powerful national and international elites in their efforts to gain and retain control over valuable resources. Civilians are caught in the crossfire between the military and paramilitaries and their guerrilla opponents and civilians are also often directly targeted. These forces are most likely to target civilians if they are politically active and/or occupy land coveted by powerful legal and illegal business interests. For example, multinational corporations are using physical and economic violence to displace peasant farmers to take land to plant palm oil to sell to the Global North.  As of May 2009, more than four million Colombians have displaced from their lands, homes and livelihoods due to violence and threats of further violence.

Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio Region:

Barrancabermeja is a city of approximately 300,000 inhabitants, and home of the state-owned Ecopetrol refinery - Colombia's largest oil refinery. The oil and large-scale cattle industries are the largest enterprises in the city. Barrancabermeja is also a major port on the Magdalena River, several hundred kilometres from its mouth in the Caribbean sea, and is the unofficial capital of the Magdalena Medio region.  

Paramilitaries took control of Barrancabermeja in 2000 with the tacit support of local security forces, after many years of guerrilla military dominance and control over significant areas of the city –a control maintained by violence, open combat with police and other state security forces, and the extrajudicial killing of civilians thought to be collaborating with the state. (Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries have their origins in US-supported, state-trained, state-sanctioned counter-insurgency militias during the cold war, but have since then evolved to become, first the autonomous private armies of large land-holders, businessmen and drug lords, and later these private armies united under the banner of the United Self-defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), no longer under the direct control of the Colombian military but nevertheless close collaboration continued. For detailed information on the formation and activities of paramilitaries in Colombia see Wikipedia: Paramilitarism in Colombia).  The paramilitaries entered the city of Barrancabermeja committing massacres, selective extrajudicial killings, forcing many civilians to displace. (For a detailed account of the Paramilitary takeover of Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Region, see the Center for International Policy report: “The New Masters of Barranca ") Despite the "official" demobilization of paramilitary organizations in 2005 under the Peace and Justice Law, new and reformed paramilitary groups continue to use these same tactics in an effort to terrorize and silence their opponents. In February 2010, Human Rights watched released a new report entitled, Paramilitaries' Heirs: The New Face of Violence in Colombia and their multimedia presentation, Deadly Threats, Successors to the Paramilitary in Colombia  (For more information on the Peace and Justice Law see Amnesty International report for Colombia: Justice and Peace Law will guarantee impunity for human rights abusers.)

 The Magdalena Medio takes its name from the Magdalena River - Río Magdalena, and refers to the territory along the middle part of the river, including the river flats and parts of the mountain ranges on either side of the river. It is a resource-rich and fertile area, with large cattle ranches, palm plantations, oil and gas wells, and goldmines in south Bolivar. Coca is also cultivated in various parts of the region, and processed into paste before going to laboratories where the paste is further processed into cocaine. The guerrilla, the military and the paramilitary have focussed much of their attention on rural communities surrounding Barrancabermeja, in their struggle for control over those resource-rich territories. Rather than engage the guerrilla directly, a common tactic of the two latter groups is to try to eliminate the support-base of the guerrilla by depopulating the area of civilians - to drain the pool so the fish have nowhere to swim. This tactic also serves to open up territory formerly controlled by the guerrilla to national and international investors

Threatened Communities, Organizations and Their Leadership:

As stated above, much of the work of CPT Colombia is to accompany threatened communities, organizations and their leadership. But what exactly do we mean by accompaniment?

Communities we accompany:

  • Community Process of Garzal and Nueva Esperanza
  • Constituent Assembly of Micoahumado
  • Community Process of Tiquisio
  • Community of Las Pavas

Organizations we accompany:

  • Federation of AGROMISBOL
  • Corporation for Coexistence and Peace in Northeast Antioquia  (CAHUCOPANA)
  • Human Rights Workers’ Forum of Barrancabermeja  (ESPACIO)
  • Womyn’s Social movement against War and for Peace

  Related Organizations:

  • Campesino Association of the Cimitarra Valley ACVC
  • Woman Popular Organization (OFP)
  • Human Rights Workers’ Forum of Barrancabermeja  (ESPACIO)
  • “Programa” PDPMM– Program of Development and Peace of the Magdalena Medio

By accompaniment we mean both: 1) having a physical presence in the communities and with the organizations we accompany, and 2) doing advocacy work on their behalf.

1)      Our physical presence in communities/organizations demonstrates to both members and leaders of organizations as well as armed actors that they are not alone; members of an international organization are present to witnesses and report on whatever is happening, and will non-violently intervene when armed actors abuse the rights of civilians. We ask violators to cease and desist from any behaviour that places civilians at risk or abuses their rights, and make it known that we will report all abuses to local authorities, local, national and North American government representatives, the media, and our international support base. We also publish an annual Human Rights Report and occasionally call for Urgent Action on the part of our support base and government representatives. These actions and interventions on the part of the team also intended to deter violence and humans rights abuses on the part armed actors.

 

2)      Advocacy work for the organizations and communities we accompany is based on the understanding that justice must prevail before peace can be attained. It seeks to support our partners’ initiatives in their struggles to end violence and impunity, and to have their rights to life with dignity and territory respected. It also raises the profiles, not only of community/organization leaders, but also of their struggle for justice. Raising their profiles increases the political cost of doing them harm, and thereby diminishes the ability to oppress them with impunity. It also helps brings their experiences of injustice and their demands for justice to the national and international level, thereby increasing their chances of getting a fair trial in judicial and governmental procedures. Advocacy work takes many forms, all of which address the imbalance of power that allows decision makers to disregard the needs and rights of the communities and organizations most affected by oppression and violence.   

 Advocacy work includes:

  • 1) Doing public actions and participating in demonstrations that promote justice and seek to end violence and impunity in the communities accompanied by CPT.
  • 2) Posting information and photos on our Web Page that will raise the profile of our partner communities and organizations and their struggle for justice and peace.
  • 3) Writing releases for subscribers to our list-serves that put a human face on the most adversely affected Colombians and their struggles.
  • 4) Presentations in our countries of origin (mostly North America and Colombia) that increase support for our Colombian partners and promote justice.
  • 5) Hosting national and international delegations who will become advocates for the communities CPT accompanies in the home communities and countries.
  • 6) Working with local, national and international media to draw attention to the oppression and struggles of our Colombian partner communities and organizations.
  • 7) Campaigns to end military aid to Colombia, end aerial spraying of food crops and people, block Free Trade Deals, and hold foreign corporations accountable for their actions here in Colombia, and close the SOA (School of the Americas), etc.
  • 8) Increasing and mobilizing our support bases nationally and internationally to take action on behalf of our Colombian partners.
  • 9) Lobbying government representatives to change policies that perpetuate injustice and violence to ones that will help create the conditions for peace with justice in Colombia.
  • 10) Public education about the national and international context and root causes of military, economic, social and political violence and oppression in Colombia.
  • Communities

    Communities we are accompanying:
    Community Process of Garzal and Nueva Esperanza
    Constituent Assembly of Micoahumado
    Community Process of Tiquisio
    Community of Las Pavas

     

     

    Community Process of Garzal and Nueva Esperanza

    (Simití, South Bolívar) 

    Garzal and its neighbouring community Nueva Esperanza belong to the rural municipality of Simití, south Bolívar. The communities have asked us to accompany their struggle to retain possession and gain title to the lands. They have occupied and cultivated for generations. Title of the land was granted to a drug lord, who operated a cocaine processing laboratory on until his operation was closed down in the 1980s. He disappeared for about twelve years, but later returned with paramilitaries threatening the lives of anyone who did not vacate “his” land. He has since died, and his heirs are trying to sell the property to agro-businesses that want the land to mono-crop palm oil. Despite death threats, the community is remaining on the land.  The community is currently embroiled in a legal struggle to have their right of possession recognized and titles granted to community members.

    Links to additional information:


    Constituent Assembly of Micoahumado

    (Rural communities of Morales, south Bolívar)

    Micoahumado, a county in the south of Bolivar, is made up of nine communities.  Micoahumado started to be populated in the 60s and 70s by refugees displaced by the conflict between large landholders and workers that resulted from the right to tenancy on the land of the departments Antioquia, Santander, and Cesar.  TheCPTer Pierre Shantz visiting the Micoahumado Coffee Cooperative wood industry strongly motivated the populating of this area and the people continue to live from that trade and also from agriculture.  Those who arrived built their homes in a single area that became the population center known as La Plaza

    Throughout its history the communities of Micoahumado have displaced for short periods of time due to massacres and other violence.   They have been the victims of landmines, US sponsored aerial spraying which ruins their food crops, and extortion. In 2003, the community formed The Constituents’ Popular Assembly, where the communities come together to seek the right to life, justice, and peace. 

    At the beginning of the process, the community said, “We are tired and we know that weapons have never brought good results; we have decided to start a process of dialogue and create a space where we can harvest peace, development, life, and culture without exclusion or weapons.”   Since , then they have successfully dialogued with the military, paramilitary and guerrilla and negotiated an end to armed conflict within their towns and villages. They have also negotiated a commitment with the guerrilla to de-mine the zone closest to the communities. Though there have been many successes, the community leaders continue to receive death threats and their lands continued to be threatened by multi-national interests.  

    Displaced Community of Las Pavas

    (El Peñon, Sur de Bolivar) 

    In 1997 one hundred twenty-three families (more than 500 people) organized themselves as the Buenos Aires Farmers Association (ASOCAB) and began working communally on the Las Pavas farm.  The farm, located two miles from the community of Buenos Aires, had been abandoned by the previous owner, Emilio Escobar.  Colombian law enables people to take possession of abandoned land; after five years, they are entitled to legal ownership of that land.  The government agency responsible for that process, the Colombian Institute for Rural Development (INCODER), visited Las Pavas in June 2006 and verified that the families met the conditions to begin the process of transferring the ownership of the land from Escobar to the ASOCAB families.

    After the INCODER visit, Escobar came to Las Pavas with a group of armed men and threatened the farmers.  A paramilitary group also went to the farm in late 2006 and issued a threat: if the people didn't leave, they could be killed.  The farmers abandoned Las Pavas. A few months later a land contract was signed between Escobar and a subsidiary of Daabon.

    In January of 2009, the families felt that the threat of violence had diminished and they returned to Las Pavas and planted their food crops.  Daabon sought a court order to have them evicted and riot police carried out that order on July 14, 2009.

    Riot police prohibited the people from returning to their fields and Daabon workers destroyed their entire 60 hectares of food crops.  Fourteen houses that belonged to the community were demolished.  Daabon cut down a communal forest and is drying up wetlands in order to plant palm.  CPT Colombia began accompanying the people of Las Pavas in April 2009 and is part of a coalition of human rights organizations that are working to enable for the community to return to the farm.   

    Daabon, the main palm oil supplier to The Body Shop, The Body Shop and Daabon both claim to maintain high standards for human rights and environmental protection, and they receive a premium price for their products as a result of their public image.  Daabon is also a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and has committed to upholding the principles of that association.  Daabon's acquisition of Las Pavas, the eviction of the families from the land, and the destruction of trees and the alteration of waterways on that land, violate the stated values of the Body Shop and Daabon


    Organizations

    Organizations we are accompanying:
    Federation of AGROMISBOL
    Corporation for Coexistence and Peace in Northeast Antioquia  (CAHUCOPANA)

    Womyn’s Social movement against War and for Peace

    Southern Bolivar Agricultural-Mining Federation (AGROMISBOL)

    AGROMISBOL (Southern Bolivar Agricultural-Mining Federation) is a federation of primarily subsistence small-scale miners and peasant farmers throughout the entire Sierra de San Lucas mountain range in South Bolívar. Although their peasant economy is supporting hundreds of thousands of people, their very presence in a resource-rich part of the country is considered to be a barrier to economic development. The livelihoods and life-styles of these miners and farmers is in jeopardy because of military and paramilitary efforts to clear the land in order to provide international corporate mining and large-scale mono-crop agricultural projects with unfettered access to resources. Their subsistence lifestyles are seen as unproductive by global capitalism.

           At present, they have been abandoned by the state and there is little to no state infrastructure or services in the area. The communities of the area have organized under the umbrella of AGROMISBOL to defend their right to life and territory. Furthermore, the communities have attempted to dialogue with the government the La Mesa de Interlocucion and/or Southern Bolivar Roundtable for Dialogue. These discussions have failed because the government has failed to show to meeting and refused to continue dialogue.

    On the contrary, the government has continue to militarize the region and persecute the leaders of AGROMISBOL. The leaders have been assassinated by both paramilitary and military. Most recently, there were the murders of Alejandro Uribe Chacón on 19 September 2006, Edgar Martinez April 22, 2009, OMAR ALONSO OSPINA RESTREPO and JOSE DE JESUS RESTREPO nn February 10, 2010.

    Links to additional information:

    For more information about the beginning of CPT accompaniment see

    CPT Colombia release: Santa Rosa: Gold miners call for support to stop killings

    CPT Colombia Translation of Announcement : Two Miners of FEDEAGROMISBOL Assassinated

    Excellent background videos to the oppression and struggle of the small miners of the Sierra de San Lucas

    Crown to the Crona Goldfileds: the golden curse”.

  • Crown to the Crona Goldfileds: the golden curse Part 1 of 4
  • Crown to the Crona Goldfileds: the golden curse Part 2 of 4
  • Crown to the Crona Goldfileds: the golden curse Part 3 of 4
  • Crown to the Crona Goldfileds: the golden curse Part 4 of 4
  •  

    CAHUCOPANA (Corporation for Humanitarian Action and Peaceful Coexistence in Northeast Antioquia

    This peasant organization started in 2004 after years of repression from Colombian Armed Forces and Paramilitaries. Isolated from the rest of the province of Antioquia by a mountain range and historically abandoned by the government, the north-eastern region of the Antioquia province has had a strong presence of rebel guerilla groups FARC and ELN. As in most armed conflict the civilian population suffers the worst consequences. Labeling all civilians as guerilla fighters or as sympathizers, the Colombian Armed Forces and Right Wing Paramilitary groups prevented food and medical supplies from entering the region accusing the community of passing of the food and medical supplies to guerrilla forces. The Army and paramilitary groups set up checkpoints to monitor the movement of goods and forced people to pay illegal taxes for the right to enter goods into the area.

    Community leaders who spoke up against this gross violation of International Humanitarian Law (laws which dictate rules of war and treatment of civilian population) received threats or were assassinated. Assassinated leaders were often dressed as guerrilla fighter killed in combat but the community has been able to show that they were civilian leaders killed by the army and have brought army officials to trial. The blockade and assassinations led to the population of the region organizing themselves and demanding respect.  They seek to stop the humanitarian crisis (serious lack of food, medical supplies and basic freedom of moving in and out of region) and the violations of human rights in their communities.  Every year they organize a caravan of different organizations called a Humanitarian Action to a community to visualize the continued human rights abuses and bring in much needed supplies that the armed groups have restricted entry. Furthermore, they host trainings in rural communities to educate remote communities on defending their basic human rights and s the struggle for a more dignified life.

    Womyn’s Social movement against War and for Peace

    To participate and/or more information: http://www.mujerescontralaguerra.com/

     

    “Womyn will not bear nor raise children for war”  

    The Women’s Movement against War and For Peace consists of 40 organizations, including CPT Colombia, that are constructing a women’s agenda that starts for the perspective of base communities. They work to develop a common agenda that enables them to collect experiences and proposals of womyn. With these proposals they develop a collective strategy that contributes to the construction of peace at a local, regional, national, and international level. In 2009, they help conversations around three topics. 1) Womyn Land and Development, 2) Womyn, War, Peace, and democracy, 3) Womyn and Social Movements.  For 2010, they are hosting the Womyn's and People's summit of the Amercias against militarization and in 2011, they will be hosting Womyn courts for the Truth, justice, and Reperations.

    Related Organizations

    Related  Organizations:

    • Popular Womyn's Organization (OFP)
    • Peasant Association of the Cimitarra Valley (ACVC)
    • “Programa” PDPMM– Program of Development and Peace of the Magdalena Medio

    Popular Womyn's Organization (OFP)

    Women will not give birth nor raise our sons and daughters for war

     The Women Popular Organization started in 1972 to defend life and human rights by empowering women to transform their social reality and reconstruct their own social fabric and that of civil society.  They seek to train and mobilize grassroots women to build projects of life while resisting all forms of violence (economic, social, cultural, civil, and political) 

    Currently, there are more than 1200 women in the Middle Magdalena River Region that are part of OFP.  Individuals look to the OFP as one of the possibilities to transform their reality -- a reality where the state denies a great majority of its citizens any possibility of existing with integrity (access health, food, clothes, work, education, liberty, dignity, gender equality, recreation).”

    The OFP offers medical and legal attention, professional training, parenting support and other kinds of support to women and families. They also offer community kitchens that provide inexpensive yet healthy meals to the communities. The OFP has classes in leadership training for women in rural communities.  They work with the women to build women’s community action groups in their villages.

    The Two principles of the organization are:

    Civil Society: We defend civil society as a political process that allows us to construct proposals of life for everyone, in which the rules that govern us are inspired by democratic process that are not authoritarian nor militaristic.

    Autonomy:  This principle is the foundation of our ethics and organization. We do not accept pressure from the state or illegal armed actors. We are not subordinate to authority. We defend our autonomy as women with rights.

    For more information in Spanish, check out their website:   www.ofp.org.co

     

    Peasant Association of the Cimitarra Valley (ACVC):

    The peasant farmers association of the Rio Cimitarra Valley is a non-governmental organization of peasant farmers that organizes people into community action groups, cooperatives, and committees to defend human rights and the struggle for land.

    ACVC started as a result of a massive peasant mobilization in 1998, where the government signed agreements with the peasant sector of Colombia to pursue and punish paramilitary groups, military, and government agents that preformed human rights abuses by omission and or direct action. They also agreed to invest the resources to implement a development plan and to protect human rights in the region.  These agreements have been systematic and intentional ignored by the government. Since 1998, over 100 community leaders have been killed and 20,000 displaced.

    ACVC works to strengthen the unity and solidarity between rural organizations, communities, and student works. Furthermore, they continue to organize and resist against the social, civil, and political authoritarian development – a fascist project that continues to violently expropriate and displace thousands of Colombians.  

    “Programa” PDPMM– Program of Development and Peace of the Magdalena Medio

    Programa started in 1995 by people of the Magdalena Medio region with the purpose of building a region that focuses on life, peace, sustainable development, and Respect for human rights.  With the slogan “Life first,” program has grown to work most areas of the region. They are building this process with two fixed objectives:  1) sustainable human development, with all participating fully and fairly. 2) Construction of a civilian culture, a shared public space, where rights and obligations are guaranteed and demanded by  handling diverse interests in a democratic way.”

    http://www.pdpmm.org.co

    Other Colombian Organizations

    ASODESAMUBA (Barrancabermeja association of People Displaced)

    This Organization is focus on advocating for rights of displaced families in the Magdelena Medio Region.  They work in poor in communities of displaced families.  All of the leaders have been displaced themselves.  

    ASORVIM – Victims movement of Magdelena Medio.

    This is an organization comprised completely of victims of the civil war here in Colombia.  Their objective is to advocate for “truth, justice, and reparations” recognizing that the crimes against many of its members can never be repaired, looking for truth and justice will alleviate the suffering a little.  Part of a nation wide movement (the local movement was formed in 2005).

    Corporación Nación

    Corporacion Nacion seeks to contribute to building a democratic society by promoting thel defence of human rights, dignity of men and women without discrimination, peace and sustainable development. They participate in the process of accompanying autonomous communities, coordination with other organizations and strengthening the rule of law. They seek to to build a state that recognizes multiculturalism and social justice.  They begin their work at the level of family, working up to community, city, region, nation, and finally the entirety of the social fabric, both territorial and cultural. Corporación Nación focuses on building representative democracy through sustainable human development projects..

    http://www.etpbarranca.org/corporacionnacion/

    JustaPaz – Christian Center for Justice, Peace, and Nonviolent Action
    A  program of the Colombian Mennonite Church founded in 1990.  Mission:  “Based on the example and calling of Jesus Christ, we search to encourage the action of individuals, churches, and communities in the practice of nonviolence for the constructive transformation of the conflicts and the formation of structures and life-styles that lead to a just and sustainable peace.” Three main projects: Training for Peace and Conscientious Objection, Analysis and Transformation of Conflicts, Construction of Peace at the Local, Regional, and National Level.

    http://www.justapaz.org/

    ONIC: National Organization of Indigenous from Colombia is an organization that works towards human rights and self determination for the Indigenous of Colombia.  It represents more than 90% of the indigenous groups within Colombia and divides its work into 5 sub regions.  Its focus is four fold; 1) Unity as a mechanism of strengthening the defense of indigenous communities; 2) Land as the essential element for life and development of indigenous peoples; 4) Culture to reclaim and strengthen the identity of indigenous peoples; and 4) Self Determination, for the freedom to apply the above principles, to exercise the communities own power and authority.

    http://www.onic.org.co/

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    Archive: Human Rights Reports

    Archive of human rights reports produced by the Colombia project.

    Colombia Human Rights Report 2006

    You can download the Colombia Human Rights Report 2006 in PDF format. Or read it in Spanish.

    Introduction

    In 2006 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), based in Barrancabermeja, Santander, the principal city in the Middle Magdalena region continued a permanent presence in the Ciénaga del Opón with a group of displaced communities that returned to their homes in 2001. Due to CPT's strategic location close to five departments, CPT's work also included participation in verification commissions to various rural communities. The commissions, composed of representatives from human rights organizations, human rights lawyers, officials from various United Nations agencies and the local government, documented human rights violations. Additionally, mobile teams visited other regions of the country in response to specific community invitations.

    CPT participated in meetings with governmental organizations and institutions, national and international NGO's, civilian and military authorities and diplomatic representatives in Colombia. At the international level, CPT shared experience and analysis of the Colombian context with Colombian solidarity coalitions including Americas Policy Group (Canada) and Latin America Working Group (USA), as well as with churches and ecumenical initiatives for Colombia. CPT's work in Colombia has led us to report the human rights violations we witness. A summary of those violations in 2006 follows.

    In addition to Barrancabermeja and its surrounding areas, CPT visited diverse regions in Colombia: Montes de Maria (Sucre, Bolivar), Nariño (Ricaurte y Barbacoas), Bolivar (San Pablo, Santa Rosa del Sur, Simití, Morales, Arenal, Rio Viejo, Regidor, Barranco de Loba, Tiquisio, and Montecristo), Santander (Landazuri), and Antioquia (Remedios). Communities and social organizations in all these regions largely viewed the demobilization of paramilitary groups that proceeded in 2006 as unsuccessful. We heard and witnessed violations of Human Rights law and International Humanitarian Law by paramilitary groups, the FARC, ELN, and several branches of the Colombian Military. The experience of CPT highlighted the continued activity of paramilitary groups, some anonymously and others identified with new names, including the creation of Las Aguilas or Aguilas Negras -Eagles or Black Eagles- in February and La Mano Negra -The Black Hand- in April. These groups recruited demobilized paramilitaries and continued past paramilitary activity when they began to threaten leaders of the social and human rights organizations and selectively assassinate and promote "social cleansing" in Barrancabermeja. Ex-paramilitaries also began to work as private "security guards," charging "taxes" for this "work." Furthermore, the gasoline cartel continued to operate in the Ciénaga del Opón with armed accompaniment.

    Report

    Statistics

    CPT accompanies the Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (Espacio de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de Derechos Humanos) in Barrancabermeja. This coalition gathered the following statistics in 2006:

    1. More than eighty-seven homicides have been committed in the region; seventy-one of these occurred in Barrancabermeja.

    2. Sixty-seven of these homicides were committed with firearms.

    3. More than 270 families (or 980 people) have been forced to displace from Barrancabermeja due to violence or threats.

    4. Inhabitants registered more than 120 complaints of threats with the Regional Human Rights Ombudsman.

    Events

    CPT either witnessed or heard first-hand testimony of the following incidents:

    SANTANDER

    March 3, Barrancabermeja. Association of Displaced People of the Municipality of Barrancabermeja (ASODESAMUBA)[1] and the Popular Women's Organization[2] (OFP) denounced persecution against their members by the reorganized paramilitary groups.

    March 24, Barrancabermeja. An unknown man shot Henry Murillo several times while he participated in a workshop for teachers. Henry survived, but is paralyzed from the waist down; he and his family displaced from their home as a result of the attempt on his life.

    June, Barrancabermeja. The "Black Hand" targeted people who identify as gay or transgender, young people and people who use drugs. An activist for an LGTB group shared with CPT that two people killed in June were part of the LGTB community and others were forced to displace.

    August 17-21, Miralindo, Landazuri. Community leaders spoke of death threats they and their families received, based on rumors that they signed a document requesting that the office of the president eradicate coca in the area.

    August 5, Barrancabermeja. Paramilitaries kidnapped, tortured and threatened ASODESAMUBA1 member Vilma Cecilia Salgado Benavides for three days. After releasing her, they continued to send telephone threats until she displaced from the city.

    Corregimiento Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja. Throughout the year, the CPT team observed activity of three armed groups in the region-the Colombian army[3], the guerrilla (FARC)[4] and paramilitaries[5]. The Colombian army conducted intrusive patrols, where the soldiers occupied civilian homes and patios, stole property, used kitchens and cut fences between pastures (April). The gasoline cartel was present in the communities throughout the year with paramilitary accompaniment. The same group set up illegal checkpoints where they stopped and searched the community motor canoe. The FARC guerrilla maintained presence all year and pressured people for food and collaboration.

    June 27, La Colorada and La Florida, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja. Armed paramilitaries killed Orlando Manuel Navarro while he was working on his farm. This assassination together with increasing threats against other members of the community led to the temporary displacement of four families and the permanent displacement of another.

    December 24, Los Ñeques, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja. Members of the Calibio Batallion detained two young men of the community, pressured them for use of their canoe, and harassed them to give information about the guerrilla location in the zone. The soldiers took pictures of them and fingerprints of a twelve-year-old boy.

    BOLIVAR

    February 18, Micoahumado, Morales. Members of CPT were stopped by a group of unidentified paramilitaries on their trip to Micoahumado while they were using a European Union car. The armed men asked for money in exchange for the use of the road.

    May 18. Pueblito Mejía, Barranco de Loba. Townspeople reported that some demobilized paramilitaries continued to commit crimes together with active paramilitaries. A group of demobilized and active paramilitaries kidnapped four members of the community. The group later released the four due to the community's strong response to this act. The paramilitaries threatened the communities with violence if they continued asking for support and protection from different national and international organizations and government institutions. The CPT team visited one of several mass graves dug by the paramilitaries. Despite the presence of the government representative and a member of the MAPP-OEA[6] on this commission, the mass graves have yet to be excavated.

    June 7-17, Micoahumado, Morales. Soldiers of the Batallón de Artillería de Defensa Aérea No.2 "Nueva Granada" - V Brigada (BAGRA) used schools for shelter, stole coca paste and accused members of the community of being guerrillas.

    August 9-10, Olivares, Río Viejo. Community members reported a series of threats, forced displacements, and house burnings in the area. CPTers saw the burnt homes and death threats written in charcoal on walls. There is no clarity as to the group responsible.

    August 26, Honda Alta, Corcovado, Morales. Soldiers of the BAGRA killed two unarmed and out-of-uniform guerrilla combatants-killing one as he fled and executing the other after he surrendered. In addition, the soldiers shot a child in the leg when they fired indiscriminately on the community. As both killings occurred outside combat, they constitute violations of international humanitarian law, as does firing on a civilian population.

    September 19, Mina Gallo, Santa Rosa. Soldiers of the BAGRA assassinated community leader Alejandro Uribe. In response to the killing, 1300 miners from sixteen communities, their families and other residents converged on the regional seat of government, Santa Rosa. They demanded that the government investigate Uribe's death and respond to ongoing military abuses against civilians in the area. The authorities refused to honor the community's request to meet with them with no military personnel present, so the two groups did not meet. Community members reported to CPT that members of the BAGRA threatened them: "This will not be the only death that you will have, there will be more deaths of leaders."

    December 3, Corcovado, Morales. CPT documented damaged legal crops due to aerial fumigations to eradicate coca plantations. Community members told CPT about a terrible odor during the fumigations and that many people became ill in the days afterward with headaches, stomach problems and "the flu".

    ANTIOQUIA

    April 3-11, Lejanias, Remedios. Community members testified during an assembly. Their testimony included seventy denouncements against people previously identified as paramilitaries but who had supposedly "demobilized." Twenty-five families had received death threats and at least two assassinations had occurred and one person had been disappeared. In addition, people had been arbitrarily detained; they often were hooded and tortured.

    SUCRE AND BOLIVAR

    February 24-28, Montes de Maria. CPT witnessed the situation of several families displaced by armed groups.

    July 21-26, Montes de Maria. Rural communities complained of military[7] blockades of roads that prevent free movement and transport of food and medical supplies, massive and arbitrary detentions of community members without due process, fumigations of avocado trees, the main agricultural product of the region, and the lack of basic services such as electricity, clean water, health clinics, schools and road repair. Civic and military officials denied the allegations.

    NARIÑO

    June and July, Rural areas of Ricaurte. CPT received testimony of communities who displaced as a result of indiscriminant bombing by the military, including a school.

    November 27, Ricaurte. CPT heard about fumigations in the area and illnesses that Awá Community members have suffered since the fumigations started. The nurse there described birth defects, bad skin rashes, breathing problems, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

    December 10, Altaquer. The army[8] executed a young man already in their custody. Ten minutes before he was killed, the eyewitness saw him dressed in a white tee shirt and jeans and unarmed. The article in the December 17th edition of "El Diario del Sur" reported that he was killed in armed combat.

    December 15 and 17, Altaquer, Ricaurte. An Awá Community leader told CPT that she was tense and fearful for her life because of threats. Hers was the 6th name on the death list of an Aug 9th massacre. CPT visited the site of the massacre. The five victims were all taken from their homes and executed in the same place at the same time. The army was based less than 500 meters away.[9]

     


    Footnotes

    [1] Asociación de Desplazados del Municipio de Barrancabermeja; Association of Displaced Persons of the Municipality of Barrancabermeja

    [2] Organización Femenina Popular; Popular Women's Organization

    [3] Batallón Plan Energético y Vial No. 7 "Rodrigo Antonio Arango Quintero" - (V Brigada), and Batallón de Ingenieros No 14 "Batalla de Calibío" (XIV Brigada)

    [4] Compañía "Rafael Rangel", Frente 24, Bloque Magdalena Medio de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia

    [5] Paramilitary groups unidentified with a specific name.

    [6] Mission in Support of the Peace Process/Organization of American States

    [7] Segunda Brigada del Ejercito, Fuerza Naval del Caribe -Primera Brigada de Infantería de Marina-, Policía de Sucre

    [8] Grupo de Caballería Mecanizado No. 3 Gr. José Maria Cabal. Brigada No. 29 de Tercera División del Ejército de Colombia

    [9] Grupo de Caballería Mecanizado No. 3 Gr. José Maria Cabal. Brigada No. 29 de Tercera División del Ejército de Colombia

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    CPT_Colombia_Human_Rights_Report_2006.pdf157.52 KB

    Colombia Human Rights Report 2007

    You can download the Colombia Human Rights Report 2007 in PDF format. Or read it in Spanish.

    Introduction

    During 2007 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), based in Barrancabermeja, Santander, the principal city in the Middle Magdalena region, continued a permanent presence in the Ciénaga del Opón with displaced communities who returned to their homes in 2001. CPT also maintained a long-term accompaniment of the communities of Micoahumado, Morales, Bolivar. The Federation of Agro-Miners of the South of Bolivar (FEDEAGROMISBOL) and the communities that compose this organization became a new focus of accompaniment, increasing CPT presence in the municipalities of Santa Rosa del Sur and Tiquisio, Bolivar. CPT participated as well in various verification commissions to rural communities in the Magdalena Medio. Composed of representatives from human rights organizations, human rights lawyers, officials from various United Nations agencies and the local government, these commissions documented human rights violations. Additionally, two CPT mobile teams visited Ricaurte, Nariño in response to invitations from the indigenous Awá people in that municipality represented by the Council of Elders of the Awá People of Ricaurte.

    Alongside the accompaniment of communities, CPT worked closely with other organizations to promote respect for human rights and International Humanitarian Law through political advocacy. In Barrancabermeja, CPT continued to form part of the Human Rights Workers' Space, a regional coalition of human rights, social and ecclesiastical organizations. On a national level, the team participated in meetings with governmental organizations and institutions, national and international NGO's, civilian and military authorities and diplomatic representatives in Colombia. At the international level, CPT shared experience and analysis of the Colombian context with Colombian solidarity coalitions including the Americas Policy Group (APG) in Canada and the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) in the USA, as well as with churches and ecumenical initiatives for Colombia. CPT's work in Colombia has led us to report the human rights violations we witness. A summary of those violations in 2007 follows.

    CPT visited the following departments and municipalities of Colombia: Antioquia (Remedios, Yondó), Bolivar (Arenal, Cantagallo, Morales, Regidor, Rio Viejo, San Pablo, Santa Rosa del Sur, Simití, Tiquisio), Cesár (La Gloria), Nariño (Ricaurte, Cumbal) and Santander (Barrancabermeja).

    In the Middle Magdalena region, CPT continued to witness all armed groups ignoring the principle of distinction between civilians and armed actors, a distinction fundamental to International Humanitarian Law. Despite the demobilization of the paramilitary groups operating in the region, paramilitaries, demobilized and stillactive, persisted in threatening and harming the civilian population; they acted both unidentified and under various names including: Aguilas Negras, or Black Eagles; el Bloque Central de Bolívar de las Aguilas Negras, or the Central Bolivar Block of the Black Eagles; Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia-Bloque Central de Bolívar, or United Self-defense Forces of Colombia-Central Bolivar Block (AUC-BCB); and la Mano Negra, or the Black Hand. The army batallions Artilleriada Defensa Aerea No.2 "Nueva Granada" (Nueva Granada), Especial Energético y Vial No. 7 "Rodrigo Antonio Arayo Quintero" (BAEEV7), Infantería No. 4 "Antonio Nariño" (Nariño), and Ingenieros No. 14 "Batalla De Calibío" (Calibío), as well as the navy battalion Fluvial repeatedly and excessively used civilian spaces, heightening the already great risk to the civilian population. Furthermore, their use of unverified information as a basis for intelligence reports is cause for concern, as these reports are used in turn as the basis for issuing arrest warrants. Two guerrilla groups continued to violate civilian spaces as they operated in the region: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP); and Ejército de Liberación Nacional, or National Liberation Army (ELN).

    In Nariño, there has been heavy combat between the Battalion José María Cabal and the FARC throughout the year. The Battalion Cabal aerially bombed rural areas of Ricaurte, which caused massive displacement and continues to threaten further displacement. The FARC and other groups have used landmines and assassinations to intimidate the civilian population. Great numbers of displaced civilians are seeking refuge within both rural and urban Ricaurte but continue to live at risk of further violence.

    Throughout Colombia, populations identified as at-risk-Afro-descended, indigenous, women and children-suffer from the armed conflict at a disproportionately high rate. The abuses cited in the following report demonstrate this pattern in the Middle Magdalena region, where Afro-descended Colombians make up perhaps as high as 75% of the population. Likewise, the population of Ricaurte is 80% indigenous, and the majority of the indigenous population lives in rural areas, where the events reported in this document took place. Both in Nariño and the Middle Magdalena, levels of physical and sexual violence against women and children are extremely high, frequently due to the generalized violence of the armed conflict. Violence against women and children, like violence against indigenous and Afro-descended Colombians is often hidden or considered of lesser importance and therefore tends to pass below the radar of formal documentation processes.

    Report

    Statistics

    CPT works closely with the Observatorio de Paz Integral, or Holistic Peace Observatory (OPI), an organization that compiles statistics and information about the armed conflict in the Magdalena Medio. OPI's statistics for the first two thirds of 2007 are included here to give an overall picture of the civilian experience of the armed conflict.

    Table 1. Actions against the civilian population of the Magdalena Medio region in the framework of the armed conflict, January to August, 2007

    CATEGORY

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    Apr

    May

    Jun

    Jul

    Aug





    Total

    Individual Threat

    2

    7

    3

    5

    1

     

     

    3

     

     

     

     

    21

    Collective Threat

    5

    8

    1

     

    2

    3

    2

    4

     

     

     

     

    25

    Attack on Civilian Goods*

     

    3

    2

     

    1

     

    2

     

     

     

     

     

    8

    Attack on Goods Indispenable for survival*

     

    1

     

     

     

    1

     

     

     


     

     

    2

    Attempted Homicide

     

    1

     

    1

     

    1

     

     

     

     

     

     

    3

    Civilian injured in bellum actions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    5

     


     

     

    5

    Civilian killed in bellum actions

     

    1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

    1

    Forced Displacement

    1

     

     

    3

    3

     

     

     

     


     

     

    7

    Massive Forced Displacement*

    2

    1

     

     

     

    1

    1

     

     

     

     

     

    5

    Arbitrary Detention

     

    11

    16

    1

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

    28

    Injury

    2

    1

    3

    1

    3

    5

    1

    8

     

     

     

     

    24

    Extrajudicial Excecution

    14

    10

    7

    10

    3

    20

    6

    5

     

     

     

     

    75

    Assassination

     

    4

    2

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

    6

    Intencional Homicide

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2

     

     


     

     

    2

    Pillaging*

     

    1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

    1

    Kidnapping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     


    Torture

     

    2

    2

     

     

    1

    2

     

     

     

     

     

    7

    Use of Antipersonal Mines

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

     


    Sheilding

    1

    1

    1

     

     

    1

    1






    5

    Sexual Violence

     

     

     

     

     

     

     







    Source: Political Violence Database, OPI.

    * In these categories, the number refers to the number of events, rather than the number of victims.

    Events

    CPT witnessed or heard first-hand testimony of the following incidents:

    SANTANDER

    Corregimiento Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja. Throughout the year, CPT observed activity of three armed groups in the region-the Colombian army, the guerrilla and paramilitaries. The Colombian army conducted intrusive patrols, where the soldiers occupied civilian homes and patios, stole property, used kitchens and cut fences between pastures. Known paramilitaries accompanied the gasoline cartel, an organized crime ring which steals gasoline from a pipeline that passes near the Ciénaga del Opón. This cartel began to store and transport gasoline in large plastic bags covered by feedbags that float in the river, a severe risk to the environment. The same paramilitaries also set up illegal checkpoints in which they stopped and searched the community motor canoe. Meanwhile, the FARC guerrilla maintained presence in the area all year and pressured people for food and collaboration.

    January 31, La Colorada, La Ciénaga del Opon, Barrancabermeja: Soldiers from the Navy Battalion Fluvial under the command of Sergeant Alemán occupied a civilian home. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    February, La Ciénaga del Opon, Barrancabermeja: Troops of the Battalion BAEEV7 occupied many civilian homes and shot a hole in a home. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    March 16, Los Ñeques and La Florida, La Ciénaga del Opon, Barrancabermeja: Paramilitaries, self-identifying as members of the AUC-BCB, an officially demobilized group, patrolled through the two communities and occupied civilian homes. Members of the Battalion BAEEV 7 marched intermixed with this group. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    March 31, La Ciénaga del Opon, Barrancabermeja: Seven men arrived at the Campo Alegre farm, four of them armed, wearing uniforms of a private security firm called "Aeroparque" and self-identifying as bodyguards of the others. Of the remaining three, one man identified himself as the son of the owner, and another as the owner's lawyer. These seven men destroyed the house of a resident with chainsaws, and sawed up logs that residents had harvested, rendering the logs commercially valueless. The men said they came "in peace" this time, but that the next time they would not. (Destruction of civilian goods, Threats)

    May 24, 4:00 am, Barrancabermeja: Personnel of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) attacked a group of displaced people who had settled on a piece of municipal land a few days earlier, claiming it as land for housing. ESMAD fired tear gas upon the people, who were sitting in their plots of land, singing. The tear gas affected a two-month-old baby in a nearby home. A young man experienced convulsions due to the tear gas and a beating by the police. Both the baby and the young man required hospitalization. (Excessive use of force)

    July 16, La Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja: Soldiers from the Navy Batallion Fluvial occupied a community celebration, carrying arms as they mixed into the civilian space. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    August 1, Barrancabermeja: The Central Block of the Black Eagles of Colombia sent an email threat entitled "Warning" to the Organización Femenina Popular, or Popular Women's Organization (OFP) and to the Comité Regional de Derechos Humanos, or Regional Committee on Human Rights (CREDHOS). In translation the threat reads, "BLACK EAGLES OF COLOMBIA, FOR OUR COUNTRY/ Social Organizations, unions, political parties, political leaders and human rights defenders...The decision in our bloc´s last meeting is to name as military targets in our area of control a group of people and organizations that we know in one way or another belong to groups of the extreme left... For this reason we warn organizations like: uso, ofp, asodesamuba, andas, PDA, acvc, and others that we will reveal soon. Also people such as david ravelo, gamboa, mario, claudia lines, kike, imat adala, lilia, William, johan, and many others that in our next communiqué we will make known...so we warn you to leave or abandon immediately your leftist activities or the well-named guerrilla proselytism, or we will enter in immediate action..." (Threat)

    November 4, Barrancabermeja: Two armed and hooded men forced their way into the apartment of YOLANDA BECERRA, president of the Popular Women's Organization, ransacked the apartment, pushed Becerra, held a gun to her head and threatened to kill Becerra and her family if they did not leave the city within 48 hours. (Violation of the principle of distinction, Breaking and entering, Threat)

    ANTIOQUIA

    January 24, San Franciso, Yondó: Soldiers under Sergeant Rubén Ruiz from the Battalion Nueva Granada built and occupied trenches within two meters of civilian homes. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    March 25, Ojos Claros, Remedios: Soldiers from the Battalion Calibío asked two male youth who were cutting lumber, including 21-year-old Carlos Mario García, to ferry them across the Tamar river in the youths' canoe. After crossing, the soldiers separated the two boys and began to interrogate them individually. Seven soldiers took the 16-year-old youth down a path, put on rubber gloves and told him they were going to kill him; he escaped by swimming across the river. Later the body of Carlos, dressed in a uniform and with a rifle and munitions, was presented by the Battalion as a guerrilla killed in combat. The community then displaced because of fears of further violence to another town in the area. Since they displaced within the same area, the state does not recognize them as displaced people and therefore does not give them benefits. (Extrajudicial killing, Displacement)

    May 9, Yondó: A demobilized paramilitary known as "Arturo" spoke in the city park to a young man who had gone to a meeting of victims of crimes of the state in Barrancabermeja several months earlier. "Arturo" said, "We know everyone who went to the meeting; we have a list from Ramon Isaza [demobilized paramilitary leader] of the people we are going to disappear." (Threat)

    May 28, San Franciso, Yondó: Soldiers from the Batallion Nueva Grenada barracaded homes with sand bags and occupied them with other army gear, effectively using civilian homes as guard posts. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    BOLIVAR

    December 8, 2006 (from testimony taken in May 2007), La Posa, Cantagallo: Army troops detained a woman in her house for hours, accusing her of being a guerrilla, and refusing her a drink of water. They then took her to a house 300 meters away, where a guerrilla deserter was present. She reported, "They said terrible things to me." The troops later released her. (Arbitrary detention, Inhumane treatment, Threat)

    January 6, 2007, El Diamante, Paraíso, Simití: Paramilitaries stole 13 heads of cattle from the community. (Theft)

    March 10, Mina Caribe, Santa Rosa del Sur: A group of soldiers under the command of Sergeant Segundo Vargas of the Nueva Grenada Battalion entered the town while the community was holding an Assembly. A civilian dressed in an army uniform and carrying a weapon patrolled with the soldiers and indicated individuals who were then questioned by the army. The army left only after the sergeant's commanding officer ordered the sergeant to leave as a result of a call from the local Human Rights Ombudsperson. In addition to violating International Humanitarian Law, this occupation of civilian space also violates an agreement signed between the government on October 30, 2006. (Violation of the principle of distinction, Use of illegal civilian informants in a military patrol)

    April 14-15, La Posa, Cantagallo: Troops from the Battalion Calibío broke down the doors of the community center, broke locks, and ransacked the center. (Destruction of civilian property)

    April 26, Santa Rosa del Sur: Troops of the Nueva Granada Battalion arrested Teófilo Acuña, the president of the Southern Bolívar Agricultural Miners' Federation at the Federation office. The arrest warrant was not signed by a district attorney, and was based on a military intelligence report using unverified information provided by guerrilla soldiers who had demobilized. The arrest order was overturned 10 days later by the judge reviewing the case, and Acuña was released. (Arbitrary detention)

    Late April/May, La Posa, Cantagallo: A squadron of 300 soldiers with two demobilized guerrillas, entered the village. The soldiers obscured their identifying badges, both personal and battalion, but were most likely from the Battalion Calibío or the Battalion Nueva Granada, the two battalions that have regular presence in the zone. The soldiers said they were from Bucaramanga and uttered the following threats:

    • To three or four people whom they called together: "It is better that you go, we are telling you as friends." One family displaced as a result of this threat; others named the fear it caused them.
    • From several soldiers: "Don't be scared of us, but rather of the ‘Black Eagles' [a new paramilitary group] that is coming after us."
    • From other soldiers: "Don't believe these stories about the ‘Black Eagles'; we are the ‘Black Eagles.'"
    • From one of the demobilized guerrillas to a resident: "Don't walk alone, I am walking among the lions, I know why I say this."

    (Threats, Forced displacement, Patrol without clear identification, Use of illegal informants)

    May 3-5, La Posa, Cantagallo: Soldiers of the Battalion Calibío occupied a civilian house, and did not permit the woman of the house to cook during the day. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    May 9, Mina Proyecto, Arenal: Soldiers under Sergeant Reyes of the Nueva Granada Battalion stopped a member of the community of Mina Proyecto and told him, without giving a reason, that he could not travel out of the community. (Arbitrary detention, Restriction of free movement)

    May 29, Micoahumado, Morales: Soldiers belonging to the insurgent group, the ELN, mined the road from Micoahumado to the village of La Guásima, in violation of accords signed with the community in 2005. (Violation of the principle of distinction, Use of unconventional weapons)

    June, La Guasima, Micoahumado, Morales: Soldiers from the Nueva Grenada Battalion arrived at the home of a young mother, beat her and threatened to burn her 8-month-old baby. (Violation of the principle of distinction, Unnecessary use of Force, Threat)

    June, La Garita, Arenal: A local resident reported that a demobilized guerrilla soldier had told him that troops of the Nariño Battalion were going to detain him. The resident claimed that the testimony against him was unfounded and provided by a demobilized guerrilla as a way to gain favor with the army. The resident said he feared leaving his home. (Threat)

    Mid-June, Progreso Alto, Micoahumado, Morales: Soldiers of the Nueva Granada Battalion asked the drivers of three trucks to transport them from Progreso Alto to Micoahumado. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    June 22, La Plaza, Micoahumado, Morales: Under the command of Sergeant Monsate, soldiers fully uniformed and heavily armed occupied homes and camped in the community's cemetery, less than 100 meters from civilian homes. Despite petitions from CPT and community leaders, the soldiers did not leave the community. Additionally, soldiers demanded gasoline from one resident of the community, who refused to supply it, and they obliged a man to drive to pick up their supplies. On June 24, they moved camp to the opposite end of the community, surrounding a civilian home. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    July 6, La Plaza, Micoahumado, Morales: In the middle of the night, members of the ELN attacked troops from the Nueva Granada Battalion camped around a civilian house, which is home to five residents, including three children. During the several hours long battle, numerous bullets passed through the house, and several bombs exploded around it. None of the residents were injured, but bullets damaged their belongings and home. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    July 25, Puerto Coca, Tiquisio: Soldiers from Nariño Battalion occupied homes. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    July 26, La Plaza, Micoahumado, Morales: At least 30 armed and uniformed members of the ELN occupied civilian spaces, including civilian homes. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    September 18, Torero (La Punta), Santa Rosa del Sur: Along the highway on the way to the Punta from Santa Rosa, three heavily armed guerrilla soldiers, out of uniform, set up a check point. Later, in the Punta, a group of soldiers from the ELN arrived and did not allow anyone to leave the area for an hour. (Illegal checkpoint)

    June to end of year, Garzal and Nueva Esperanza, Simití: Employees of the Barreto family returned to the township with the intention of removing legally titled residents from land they have farmed for decades. The family currently has title to the land in question due to irregular procedures at the municipal level. The employees are working the land and now occupy, amongst other places, the school of Nuevo Esperanza. Accompanied by known active paramilitaries, a member of the Barreto family has shown up in the communities. (Implicit threat, Appropriation of land)

    November 29, Tiquisio, Bolívar: Troops of the Battalion Nariño camped within the limits of the village of Puerto Coca and watched television in a civilian home. Troops of the same battalion have been camped all year long on a hill in the middle of the town of Tiquisio Nuevo. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    CESAR

    February 15, La Gloria: Three members of the Aguilas Negras forced two boat drivers to take them down the river. After arriving partway down the river, the paramilitaries allowed one of the boat drivers to return. They forced the other to take them to a stream, where they encountered the army. The two groups exchanged gunfire and the army killed the three members of the Aguilas Negras and the civilian boat driver. (Violation of the principle of distinction)

    NARIÑO

    March 21, Pasto, Ricaurte, and Tumaco: A group named "Nueva Generación," or "New Generation," sent an email threat to the Permanent Committee on Human Rights, the Corporation AVRE, the Council of Elders of the Awá People of Ricaurte (CAMAWARI), The Indigenous Unity of the Awá People (UNIPA), The Foundation for Peace and the Social Office of the Catholic Church of Tumaco. In translation the threat reads as follows: "NGOs of Nariño / Defenders of Narco-terrorists / R.I.P / We are not going to permit that the oppressive yolk of the guerrilla returns to the region. / We will not lose the conquered liberty because patriotic honor should be defended and respected. / All of those that work for narco-terrorist NGOs are duly warned. / Long live liberty, no to old terrorist oppression in the guise of human rights." (Threat)

    April 25, Tallambi, Cumbal: Two women, Bertha Marín Hernández, and Zoraida Serafina Ortíz Gualpaz and a young girl, Jhoana Yuliza Muñoz Ortíz were killed by antipersonnel mines with unknown authors. (Use of illegal arms)

    April 30, Cuaiquer Integrado la Milagrosa, Ricaurte: Members of the FARC-EP assassinated Ramiro Patiño, an indigeous man, and left his body surrounded by anti-personnel mines. (Extrajudicial killing, Use of illegal arms)

    May 1, La Esperanza, Cuaiquer Integrado la Milagrosa, Ricaurte: Members of the FARC-EP assassinated Antonio Mauricio Guango Pai, an indigenous man. (Extrajudicial killing)

    November 20, Ricaurte: In a meeting with members of CPT, Coronel Óscar Robayo, the commander of the Battalion José María Cabal in Ipiales, advocated the concentration of the Awá people of eleven extensive reserves of Ricaurte in a few population centers along the highway. When CPT asked if this "concentration" would be the equivalent of a massive displacement from ancestral lands of the Awá, Robayo did not deny it but argued that this would allow the army to clean out the guerrilla in the area. Robayo did not have a plan to protect the rights of the Awá people in their territory throughout the municipality. Additionally, Robayo said that if the Awá do not displace, the national army would not support them with any school or community projects. (Implicit threat)

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    Colombia Human Rights Report 2008

    You can download the Colombia Human Rights Report 2008 in PDF format. Or read it in Spanish.

    Violations of International Humanitarian Law in Colombia

    December 2007 to November 2008

    Report prepared by Julián Gutiérrez Castaño, Christian Peacemaker Teams volunteer.

    For a summary of International Humanitarian Law, see www.icrc.org/Eng/ihl.

    Introduction

    This report outlines violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL)1 observed by Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia's Magdalena Medio region (Bolivar and Santander provinces) and Nariño province from December 2007 through November 2008. CPT had a presence in other Colombian provinces, but the cases that appear in this report are only in the three provinces mentioned.

    This report documents only violations of IHL - cases related directly to Colombia's armed conflict. Human Rights violations are omitted. To include violations that took place outside the context of war would carry a totally different meaning beyond the scope of our work. This is not meant to ignore the ongoing problem of government inattention to violations of Colombians' most fundamental rights.

    The IHL violations covered in this report were committed by the three principle actors in the Colombia's armed conflict: the Armed Forces (National Army, National Police, the Navy and other State institutions), paramilitary groups (Aguilas Negras, Autodefensas Gaitanistas, Autodefensas Bolivarenses, etc.) and guerrilla groups (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Popular Army and the National Liberation Army). In practice, ongoing alliances and infractions of the Principle of Neutrality committed by the Armed Forces when they associate with paramilitaries to combat guerrillas or to attack civilian populations lend credence the recurring argument that there are really only two groups of armed actors in Colombia's armed conflict.

    This report includes only cases of which CPT has direct knowledge, either by having witnessed the violation or by taking information directly from victims or witnesses. In some cases, victims' names are omitted for their safety. Because CPT's work is limited to certain areas within the provinces mentioned, and is concentrated particularly in the Magdalena Medio region, other sources should be consulted in order to complete the pictures of IHL violations within these departments. The Observatory of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Colombia-Europe-United States Coordination Group (CCEEU) recently published the Final Report of the International Mission of Observation of Extrajudicial Executions and Impunity in Colombia; the Center for Research and Education in the Public interest (Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular, CINEP) publishes a semiannual report, Noche y Niebla, one of the most complete sources of national statistics. In the Magdalena Medio region, the Holistic Peace Observatory (Observatorio de Paz Integral, OPI) of the Magdalena Medio Development and Peace Program (Programa de Desarrollo y Paz en el Magdalena Medio, PDPMM), Corporación Sembrar, the Cimitarra Valley Peasants' Association (Asociación Campesina del Valle del Río Cimitarra) and the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights (Corporación Regional para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, CREDHOS), constitute the most reliable centers for the collection and dissemination of Human Rights and IHL violation reports.

    Statistics

    The following statistics provided by Holistic Peace Observatory (OPI) are documented violations of IHL committed in the Magdalena Medio region by the three armed actors identified earlier.

    CATEGORY

    TOTALS

    Individual Threats

    24

    Collective Threats

    5

    Attack on Civilian Goods

    1

    Attack on Goods Indispensable for Survival

     

    Attempted Homicide

    1

    Civilian Injured in Bellum Actions

     

    Civilian Killed in Bellum Actions

     

    Forced Disappearance

    5

    Massive Forced Displacement

    2

    Arbitrary Detention

     

    Injury

    20

    Extrajudicial Execution

    102

    Assassination

    32

    Intentional Homicide

    4

    Pillaging

    1

    Kidnapping

    2

    Torture

    4

    Use of antipersonnel mines

    2

    Shielding

    1

    Sexual Violence

     

    TOTAL

    206

    Accounts

    BOLIVAR

    San Luis, Simití, Bolívar. December 1, 2007

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Execution of prisoners of war. Soldiers of the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion assassinated four paramilitaries of the Aguilas Negras, who had surrendered after engaging in combat in an inhabited rural area of San Luis, Simití. The executed paramilitaries' bodies were subsequently presented as if they had been killed in combat.

     

    La Posa, San Pablo, Bolívar. December 28, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Intentional Homicide of Protected Persons. Soldiers of the Batalla de Calibío Battalion apprehended Parmenio Manuel Hernandez Anaya, a member of the Cimitarra River Valley Campesino Association, shot him in the back, dressed him as a guerrilla and presented him as having been killed in combat. The soldiers were accompanied by an informant.

     

    Micoahumado, Morales, Bolívar. January 12, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries, National Army.

    Description: Intentional Homicide of Protected Persons. An ex-guerrilla paramilitary known as "El Flaco Miguel," working as an informant for the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion, shot and killed David Salazar Laguna and wounded his son while the two were traveling on a motorcycle near the soccer field in Micoahumado. The assassination occurred while "El Flaco Miguel" was patrolling with soldiers. Later, Mr. Salazar was presented as a guerrilla killed in combat by the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion.

     

    La Cooperativa, San Pablo, Bolívar. January 27, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army.

    Description: Intentional Homicide of a Protected Person. Soldiers of the Batalla de Calibío Battalion killed Miguel Angel González Gutiérrez, a 23 year-old member of the Cimitarra Valley Peasants' Association. The soldiers placed him in camouflaged clothing and presented him as a guerrilla killed in combat. Mr. González's father had been arrested a week before on charges of rebellion.

     

    Puerto Rico, Tiquisio, Bolívar. February 3, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Popular Army (FARC-EP)

    Description: Kidnapped for Political Persecution, collective occupation. The FARC-EP kidnapped a leader of Puerto Rico and took his automobile, which served public transportation needs of the community. The leader and vehicle were freed following intervention by the community.

     

    San Pablo, Bolívar. February 18 or 19, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Intentional Homicide of Protected Persons. Paramilitaries of the Autodefensas Bolivarenses set up a checkpoint on the road between San Pablo and Santa Rosa and assassinated Miguel Eugenio Daza, leader of the Association of Small Cacao Producers of Southern Bolivar (Asociación de Pequeños Productores de Cacao del Sur de Bolívar, APROCASUR), and his driver, Jhon Martínez. They also killed community leader Wilmar Tabarez, who was traveling separately by motorcycle. (APROCASUR had helped 192 familias to switch from illicit crop cultivation to cacao.)

     

    Alto Cañabraval, San Pablo, Bolívar. March 12, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrators: National Army and Paramilitaries

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction, Collective Threats. Citizens of the communities of Bajo Cañabraval, La Florida and El Retorno denounced the presence of the paramilitary group Aguilas Negras. Denouncements against the National Army included occupation of civilian spaces over a period of several days by soldiers, attempts to recruit some members of the community as informants and making unsubstantiated accusations that others are guerrillas. Members of the community also denounced Army threats to send the Aguilas Negras to punish them.

     

    El Paraíso, Simití, Bolívar. March 13, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Attack on Civilian Goods. National Army Soldiers burned several homes in the community of El Paraiso during illicit crop eradication operations under Plan Colombia.

     

    Bolívar. April 10, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective and Individual Threats. The Northern Colombia Block of the Aguilas Negras sent an email threat naming as military targets members of the Farmers and Miners Federation of Southern Bolivar (Federación de Agromineros del Sur de Bolívar, FEDEAGROMISBOL), Sembrar, the Magdalena Medio Development and Peace Program, the Tiquisio Citizens Process, and the priests of Tiquisio, Arenal and Rioviejo. The threat accused the social and religious leaders of being guerrillas, called them people undesirable to the Colombian government "who should be eliminated" and warned that they will kill a leader for each meeting or action they undertake in their social processes. The threat arose only one week after the same leaders met with the Government, which committed itself to taking protective measures for their labor. The Constituent Assembly of Micoahumado, one of those threatened, had to cancel a planned visit from journalists headed by Alfredo Molano. The threats resulted in the flight from the zone of Catholic Parish Priest Rafael Gallego and church workers Said Echavez and Martha Lucia Torres on April 27.

     

    Puerto Rico, Tiquisio, Bolívar. April 25, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective threats, Pillaging. Delia Castro and Jorge Tafur, leaders of the Tiquisio Citizens Process and the Farmers and Miners Federation of Southern Bolivar, were threatened with death by paramilitaries in Puerto Rico.

     

    Mina Proyecto, Micoahumado, Morales, Bolívar. May 26, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army, Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Threats, Pillaging. "El Flaco Miguel" organized a paramilitary group of at least 47 men with whom he began to threaten and extort the Mina Proyecto community. "El Flaco Miguel" is an ex-guerrilla paramilitary who works as an informant for the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion. The Paramilitary commander established his authority in his knowledge of the zone and its leaders from the time when he was a guerrilla. Residents also testified that he extorts while patrolling with and working for the National Army.

     

    Puerto Rico, Tiquisio, Bolívar. June 18, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries, National Army

    Description: Collective Threats. Two men on a motorcycle, one of them recognized a paramilitary named Alfredo Atehortua ("El Gato"), sought Delia Castro and Jorge Tafur, leaders of the Tiquisio Citizens Process and the Farmers and Miners Federation of Southern Bolivar, stating publicly that they "had signed their death sentences" by what had been said in a meeting in San Pablo. The two paramilitaries had been pursuing the two leaders while also being seen talking with soldiers of the Nariño Batallion.

     

    Puerto Matilde. San Pablo. Bolívar. July 10, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Nacional Army

    Description: Intentional Homicide of a protected person. Calibio Batallion soldiers assassinated campesino Aicardo Antonio Ortiz, a member of Cimitarra Valley Peasants' Association, in his home. They took his body, dressed it in camouflage, added weapons and accessories of the type used by guerrillas and presented him as a guerrilla killed in combat. Mr. Ortiz belonged to the Seniors Club and was anticipating an operation on a hernia he suffered. He was a member of the City Council and participated in the Buffalo Project, financed by the European Union.

     

    La Y. San Pedro Frío. Santa Rosa. Bolívar. July 17, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Lack of identification of combatant status. A platoon of soldiers from the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion was patrolling in the zone together with individuals armed and uniformed like soldiers but whose faces were covered with black scarves. Platoon members acknowledged that this is a common practice in the zone.

     

    San Pedro Frío. Santa Rosa del Sur. Bolívar. July 23, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Looting, no identification of combatant status. Soldiers from the Luciano D'Lhuyar Batallion were present in the town center during a community assembly with the Farmers and Miners Federation of Southern Bolivar (FEDEAGROMISBOL) and CPT. The troops eventually left, but the commander refused to identify himself, even taking the step of covering his nameplate and the insignias on his uniform. The same Army platoon had recently confiscated some explosives that the miners were transporting for mine excavation. The miners had obtained the explosives through an agreement between FEDEAGROMISBOL and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

     

    La Conformidad, Micoahumado, Morales, Bolívar. August 8, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction. Soldiers from the Luciano D'Lhuyar Battalion used civilian property as an encampment. When CPT members present took photos of the illegal occupation of the home, the Army attempted, without success, to take the camera from them.

     

    Puerto Coca, Tiquisio. Bolívar. August 24, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: the State

    Description: Collective threats of displacement. A group of campesinos from Puerto Coca that occupied a barren plot of land since 1988, faced a possible mass displacement provoked by State action in favor of a landowner who wanted the land back after having left it abandoned for more than 20 years. During this time the campesinos had occupied and made improvements on it.

     

    Cantagallo, Bolívar. August 25, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Intentional Homicide of protected persons. The paramilitary group Aguilas Negras assassinated 27-year-old Alexander Rodríguez, a resident of the village of Bajopatico, Catagallo, while he was traveling in a public bus in the town center of Cantagallo. An attempt to assassinate him two weeks earlier had been unsuccessful.

     

    Puerto Matilde, San Pablo, Bolívar. September 30, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Fiscalía General (Federal Prosecutors), National Army

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Neutrality. In the formation of a task force to investigate the death of a member of the Cimitarra Valley Campesino Association (ACVC), Federal Prosecutors excluded the participation of organizations that accompany the ACVC. The Prosecutors based the request on the need to carry out a neutral and impartial investigation. Ironically, participating in the commission was the Batalla de Calibio Battalion, whose soldiers are believed to have committed the assassination to be investigated.

     

    Santa Rosa del Sur, Bolívar. October 17, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Threats of death to protected persons. Fernando Lopez Henao, a recognized paramilitary from Santa Rosa del Sur, arrived at Residencia (hotel) Los Pinos inquiring about Teofilo Acuña, President of the Farmers and Miners Federation of Southern Bolivar, and saying "the time has come." Paramilitaries have made multiple threats on Mr. Acuña's life and he has been subjected to political and judicial persecution by the Colombian government.

     

    NARIÑO

    Ospino Pérez, Nariño. December 2, 2007

    Presumed Perpetrator: Nacional Army, Guerrilla

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction. The National Army maintains a constant presence in the urban center of the municipality. Guerrillas have made numerous attacks on Army positions, and the Army has responded to the attacks, generating combat situations that put civilians' lives at great risk. Civilian leaders have urged the Army to change its positions to places that do not imperil the population. The Army has responded by accusing the civilian leaders of being guerrillas.

     

    Pasto, Nariño. April 30, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective threat. The Third Skinhead Force of Bogota (3ª Fuerza Skinhead Bogotá) of the Aguilas Negras sent a death threat against the Organization of Indigenous Unity for the Awa People (UNIPA). In the threat they accused them of being communists, guerrillas, Jews, unnatural enemies of God and used other expressions that do not bear repeating.

     

    Pasto, Nariño. May 7, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective threat. The Black Eagles paramilitary group threatened a group of students of Nariño University (Universidad de Nariño) with death. The threats coincided with a scheduled visit from Senator Piedad Córdoba, who canceled her visit due to the threats and to the withdrawal by Pasto's Chamber of Commerce of its commitment to provide an auditorium for the event when it became aware of the Senator's plan to be present.

     

    El Verde, Barbacoas, Nariño. May 10, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Infraction of the Principle of Distinction. The National Army was camping in civil-ian homes located near the Pasto-Tumaco highway near El Verde, Barbacoas. In addition, they had parked four military tanks adjacent to the homes. The Army occupation of the residences put at risk the lives of the indigenous, since the FARC-EP is very active in the area.

     

    Tumaco, Nariño. May 22, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Popular Army (FARC-EP)

    Description: Collective threats. The FARC-EP issued death threats to leaders of collectively held Afro-Colombian territories near Nariño's Pacific coast. In the threat they gave until the end of May to abandon their leadership positions, or in June they would begin to kill them.

     

    Ipiales, Nariño. May 23, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction. An official of the Mecanizado Cabal Battalion accused the indigenous population of the Awa, displaced in the municipality of Ricaurte, of belonging to the guerrillas, although he stated that "even though they know who the displaced really are, they're not going to take any action against them."

     

    Samaniego, Nariño. May 23 or 24, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Popular Army (FARC-EP)

    Description: Kidnapping for political persecution. A medical worker of the Ricaurte City Council was kidnapped by the FARC-EP in the municipality of Samaniego. Psychologist Dora Liliana Alvarez was serving the indigenous population of the Awa in Nariño municipality.

     

    SANTANDER

    Los Ñeques, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja, Santander. December 27, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Popular Army (FARC-EP)

    Description: Violation of the fundamental guaranties. Members of FARC-EP accosted an adolescent woman of the community, took her to an isolated place and questioned her about a denouncement for sexual abuse against a family member that she had authorized to be registered with the Colombian Institute for Family Wellbeing. They warned her against taking action against the accused man.

     

    Los Ñeques, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja, Santander. January 4, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction, Lack of identification of combatant status. Seven soldiers from the Rafael Reyes Battalion occupied a property near the school of Los Ñeques. In the group was an armed and uniformed person with no symbols that would identify him as a soldier of the National Army.

     

    Los Ñeques, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja, Santander. January 18, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Unknown

    Description: Intentional homicide of protected persons. A hired worker at a ranch along the Opón River arrived at 2:30 am to a neighboring ranch, saying that he had heard shots in a neighboring room in the house where he was sleeping. The following day, the worker and the neighbor returned to the house where the worker had heard the shots, and they found Orlando "El Cura" another worker, dead with several gunshot wounds to the head.

     

    La Florida, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja, Santander. January 20, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Navy

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction. Members of the Navy's Advanced River Post No. 31 (Puesto Fluvial Avanzado No. 31) camped in the school at La Florida. Additionally, they ignored community members' requests to investigate the January 18 assassination in Los Ñeques.

     

    Ciénaga San Silvestre, Barrancabermeja, Santander. February 3, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of Fundamental Guarantees by Forced Recruitment. Soldiers of the Nueva Granada Battalion, under the command of Jaime Jaimes, were recruiting young people that did not have their identification cards with them in the area of the Ciénaga San Silvestre. The commander stated that he did not need to confirm whether or not the young people were students because "students should be studying," even though this illegal recruitment he was being carried out on a Sunday.

     

    Puerto Wilches, Santander. February 18, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Police

    Description: Civilians injured in Bellum Actions. The National Police Riot Squad attacked striking employees of palm oil companies in Puerto Wilches using batons and tear gas.

    Los Ñeques, Ciénaga del Opón, Barrancabermeja, Santander. March 5, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of the Principle of Distinction, Collective and Individual Threats. Soldiers of the Batalla de Calibio Battalion were camping in the yard of a private home. They intimidated the community with a presumed list of guerrilla collaborators. They took a photo of a minor and accused him of being an informant to the guerrillas. Paramilitaries had assassinated the boy's father a number of years earlier.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. March 17, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: the State, Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Death threats. The Aguilas Negras paramilitary group sent written death threats to social organizations that led a nationwide march on March 6. In spite of the civil character of the march, high-ranking National Government officials had referred to it as a guerrilla march, putting at risk the lives of its organizers.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. May 8, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Army

    Description: Violation of fundamental guaranties by forced recruitment. Soldiers of the National Army's 5th Brigade recruited young people in the streets and a gymnasium in the city's northeast sector.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. June 1, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Death Threats. A group of hooded Aguilas Negras paramilitaries in a small truck threatened to kill seven young persons in southeastern Barrancabermeja. The paramilitaries also fired their weapons into the air. They later threatened five other young people in the Boston neighborhood in the city's northeastern quadrant.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. June 18, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Attempted homicide. Two paramilitaries attempted to assassinate a demobilized paramilitary in the Versailles neighborhood, wounding him with a bullet. During the shootout a neighborhood youth was injured.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. July 12, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Civilian Injured in Bellum Actions. A member of the Women's Popular Organization was attacked by a group of demobilized paramilitaries after an automobile accident. The group struck her head and chest, until other civilians came to intervene. Later, members of the same group began to patrol around the woman's home.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. July 21, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Threats. Members of the paramilitary group Heroes of Castaño patrolled the city in motorcycles and distributed death threats against leftist social organizations and union members of the city.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. July 30, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Intentional Homicide, collective threats. The Presidents of the administrative subdivisions (comunas) of the City of Barrancabermeja warned that they would resign their positions if City Hall did not take effective action to protect them. The day before, Jorge Alberto Rodriguez, President of the Barrio (neighborhood) Ciudadela Pipaton, had been assassinated. The assassination occurred amid political tensions between the various City Council members and death threats against various comuna presidents.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. August 15, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Unknown

    Description: Collective threats. Three men from an unnamed armed group carried out surveillance of a community vigil in Barrio La Liga. The vigil was held as a denouncement of an August 12 attempted murder that injured a psychologist, a passerby and two demobilized paramilitaries. The surveilling group was in a 4X4 vehicle with tinted windows and Bogotá license plate number OBF-304. Their presence intimidated many people at the vigil as well as others who decided not to attend to avoid the risk.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. August 22, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective threats. The Aguilas Negras paramilitary group threatened the life of members of the youth organization La Legion del Afecto. In the threat they accuse the youth of impeding planned executions of drug addicts, homosexuals, prostitutes, and guerrillas. In addition they accused the members, by name, of belonging to these vulnerable groups as though it were a reason to assassinate them.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. August 28, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: National Police

    Description: Violations of fundamental rights. In Barrancabermeja's Port area, agents of the Police Intelligence Department took people's photos, fingerprints and identification numbers for no apparent reason.

     

    Puerto Wilches, Santander; Cantagallo y San Pablo, Bolívar. September 8, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Threat. A list of people threatened with death was distributed in the urban centers of the three above-mentioned municipalities. All of the persons named in the list belonged to vulnerable populations (street people, prostitutes, drug addicts, etc. and the list referred to them as disposables.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. September 17, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Individual Threat. Two men arrived on a motorcycle at the house of a member of the Women's Popular Organization. When they informed that she was not found, they began to ring the bell excessively, hitting the door, threatening the women that answered and demonstrating that they knew where to find the social leader.

     

    Barrancabermeja, Santander. October 30, 2008

    Presumed Perpetrator: Paramilitaries

    Description: Collective Threat. The paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas Gaitanistas threatened death to members of the SINALTRAINAL food industry workers union in Barrancabermeja, as well as other civilian groups.

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    Iraqi Kurdistan Project

    About CPT Iraqi Kurdistan

    CPT Iraqi Kurdistan partners with and accompanies mountain village and shepherd communities as they struggle for a peaceful existence, resisting displacement and destruction caused by Turkish and Iranian cross-border military operations. CPT documents and reports on the effects of the attacks on the civilian population, calls Kurdish and international attention to them, and advocates for an end of the attacks.

    CPT amplifies voices of communities and individuals in their struggle for a violence- and oppression-free society and political sphere. We partner with Kurdish and international organizations, journalists and civil society activists. We work to raise awareness within local and international communities about the human rights issues the inhabitants of Iraqi Kurdistan face, and to tell stories of the non-violence movement in Iraq’s Kurdish north.

    CPT has had a presence in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2006 following a four year presence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. Past work focused on the security of the Iraqi people and their struggle for peace in the midst of war and ongoing occupation.

    [READ MORE]

     

    Through the Looking Glass

    More videos from Iraq Kurdistan

    Latest Update: 

    Nonviolence workshop participants: "We want to learn more"

    In the spring and summer months of 2013, CPT’s Iraqi Kurdistan (IK) team conducted twelve workshops on nonviolence.  In cooperation with the Suleimani Directorate of Education, the team presented this interactive workshop in five high schools to over 180 female and male students and teachers. It then led the workshop in places including the Culture Café and Café 11 in Suleimani, Amez Center for Women in Halabja, the town of Qaladze and village of Daraban.  

    The IK Team wrote a ten-page report summarizing participant evaluations of the workshop, including graphs and photos. 

    Report on Women's Rights in Ireaqi Kurdistan

    This report of CPT Iraqi Kurdistan summarizes views of fellow activists in the field of women’s rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    Kurdish Activists’ Observations of Women’s Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan between March 2012 and March 2013 and their hopes for the future traces positive developments and areas where change is needed to secure the safety and equality of women in Iraqi Kurdistan. 

    Report: "Disrupted Lives: the effects of cross-border attacks"

    Disrupted Lives: the effects of cross-border attacks by Turkey and Iran on Kurdish villages, documents the impact of cross-border attacks in northeastern Iraqi Kurdistan’s Pshdar district. The attacks have caused civilian injuries and deaths, destruction of homes, livestock and crops, and contamination of land, water, and air. The report also shows how ongoing military operations threaten the very existence of the villages and jeopardize an important part of Kurdish national identity. Data for the report comes from interviews and observations conducted by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), from local Kurdish media sources, and from three reports released in 2011.  

    Read the Full Report: English | Kurdish

    CPT Iraqi Kurdistan Blog

    Reports on events and profiles of local peacemakers....   [MORE]

    Profiles of Courage

     

    Mahmud, Kani Spi
    event_view: 

    There aren't any events planned in this region at this time.

    About CPT Iraqi Kurdistan

    Jauary 2009 - Present

    Human Rights reporting and relationship building - The team:

    • works toward accompanying displaced persons home by living in conflicted border regions
    • documents human rights violations against civilian populations
    • shares reports with the United Nations, human rights organizations, media, and governments
    • Amplifies voices of Kurds calling for a peaceful solution to the Turkish-PKK conflict

    [READ MORE]

     

    October 2008 - January 2009

    Exploration and Advocacy - The team:

    • travels to villages being bombed by Turkey, US and Iran along northern border
    • explores possibilities for accompaniment work
    • advocates for the rights of those displaced
    • meets government officials and organizations and builds relationships
    • explores "disputed areas", Kirkuk and Makhmour
    • serves as election observers in Khanikeen during the provincial elections

     

    November 2006 - Summer 2008: Kurdistan

    Peacebuilding - CPT continues to work for the building of a nonviolent society in Iraq. In Kurdistan CPT focuses on:

    • detainees, meeting with Kurdish parliamentarians, lawyers, human rights groups
    • internally displaced persons, meeting with IDPs, local service providers and government officials
    • nonviolence training, talking with interested Kurdish groups and following-up with those already trained
    • work in Iraq continues to be risky, as it is for all Iraqi citizens and soldiers in the region

     

    April - October 2006

    Consultation, Evaluation, Exploration - after an evaluation of the past program work in the wake of the hostage crisis, Iraqi human rights groups strongly support CPT staying in the country to continue its violence reduction work. CPT explores work in other regions of Iraq and in November the team formally moves from Baghdad to Kurdistan at the request of Iraqi partner organizations. Iraqi partners in central and southern Iraq are no longer safe if seen with foreigners.

     

    November 2005 - March 2006

    Hostage Situation - four CPTers are abducted in late November. The crisis ends in March with the murder of CPTer Tom Fox followed by the freeing of the remaining three CPTers in a military operation.

     

    January - November 2005

    Persisting Occupation - though travel remains treacherous and insurgent attacks continued on a daily basis, team members venture forth in response to urging from Iraqi human rights workers in Karbala. CPT’s persevering presence and establishment of trusting relationships help establish a partnership with Iraqis committed to forming a local Peacemaker Team.

     

    October - December 2004

    Continuing Occupation - a rash of kidnapping foreign aid workers compel the team to severely curtail its size and visibility. Iraqi partners, while acknowledging the potential danger CPT’s presence posed to them, encourage the team to remain in Baghdad.

     

    June 2003 - September 2004

    Ongoing Occupation - responding to persistent reports from families of Iraqi detainees, CPTers initiate efforts to:

    • document abuse of detainees by Coalition forces
    • assist Iraqis in gaining access to loved ones in detention
    • launch the Adopt-a-Detainee Campaign asking churches to advocate on behalf of Iraqi detainees
    • support a variety of new and old Iraqi human rights groups which suddenly found themselves with space and freedom to operate

     

    April/May 2003

    Aftermath of the Bombing - team members travel and work to:

    • draw attention to the huge and under-reported problem of unexploded ordnance;
    • raise an alternative perspective on the invasion based on interviews with Iraqi friends.

     

    March/April 2003

    Shock & Awe - CPTers stay in Baghdad in order to:

    • stand alongside Iraqi families
    • provide an alternative voice to the reporters “embedded” with Coalition forces
    • use their bodies to protect critical civilian infra-structure such as water treatment facilities, electrical plants, and hospitals.

     

    October 2002

    Stop the War - the team and successive delegations seek to:

    • support the UN Weapons Inspection Program as an alternative to war
    • expose the injustice and deaths from the US-led economic sanctions
    • put a human face on Iraq, helping people in the U.S. understand that Saddam Hussein was not the only person living in Iraq

    Current Work - Kurdish North

    CPT in the Kurdish North

    After living for 4 years in Baghdad among people who bore the impact of the US invasion and the chaos that ensued, the Iraq team has now become neighbors with the Kurds, the very people who, indeed, greeted the occupation forces with flowers in 2003. Now, some years later, the brutal cyclone of violence in Iraq is leaving the Kurds in yet another turbulent situation, at the hands of those who they called "liberators".

     

    Brief historical context

    The Kurds have a long history of oppression and uprising. They've historically been one of the most marginalized ethnic groups in the region. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, lines were drawn through the Kurdish area dividing its population of 40 million between Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. Kurdish identity is suppressed in these countries to this day. However, for the moment in Iraq, the Kurds have significant representation in parliament, one of four seats in the presidency, and the right to their language.

    In Iraq, the Baath regime in the 1980's responded to Kurdish uprisings with the genocidal Anfal campaign in which nearly 200,000 Kurds were slaughtered and 5,000 of their villages wiped out. Saddam Hussein also forcibly changed the demographic of Iraqi Kurdish cities like Kirkuk, Makhmour, and Khanikeen, displacing many. There was a Kurdish uprising during the 1991 Gulf War and this was brutally suppressed by Saddam. Then the US and UK forces imposed a "no-fly" zone on the Kurdish north in order to protect the Kurds. The north still lived under economic sanctions imposed by Saddam while the rest of Iraq was suffering under the UN-imposed sanctions on the rest of Iraq. In the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when Turkey would not allow the US to launch its invasion from its territory, the Iraqi Kurds offered the way in, actually forming the front line.

     

    Current political dynamics

    Today, due to the fear of losing control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk (now that the majority population is again Kurdish), it seems to Kurds that the central Iraqi government wishes to tighten its grip on the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government area (KRG). The policy of the US is to support a strong central government. Turkey, Iran and Syria all fear that a growing Kurdish autonomy in Iraq will inspire their own countries' Kurdish populations (20-25 million in Turkey alone). Article 140 of the new Iraqi constitution states that people displaced under the Baath regime should be helped to return to their places of origin and a census should be taken, followed by a referendum to determine to which governorate a given city should belong. Such a referendum, which was supposed to take place by December 31st, 2007, would clearly induct Kirkuk and other "disputed areas" into the KRG, thereby strengthening this semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Yet the Iraqi parliament approved legislation that, following the January 2009 provincial elections, divided power in the provincial council and leadership posts as follows: 32% to Kurds, 32% to Arabs, 32% to Turkmen and 4% to Christians, even though 70% of the city is now Kurdish.[1] In addition, approximately 100,000 Kurds were disenfranchised during the provincial election on other "disputed areas" (80,000 in Makhmour, 16,000 in Khanikeen, and 5,000 in Tuz. CPTers served as election observers.) Tension is building around this issue and Kirkuk has become one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq due to ethnically/religiously-motivated violence.

    Kurds are also fearful because of developments in the northern city of Mosul. Mosul is now considered THE most dangerous city in Iraq with an average of one car bomb per day and 10 incidents of violence per day, mostly against the US and Iraqi armies. Al Qaeda is reorganizing in Mosul and Fallujah under the name "Islamic State of Iraq". There are former Baath Party members operating in Mosul who support Islamic State of Iraq. The Baathist al-Hadba list won 19 out of 37 seats in the provincial election and proceeded to distribute all governmental posts to its own members. 12 seats went to the Kurdish list. Al-Hadba has also requested that Baghdad send the Iraqi army into Mosul to replace the Kurdish military (peshmerga) which claims responsibility for security in the KRG and the Kurdish part of Mosul and other cities in the "disputed areas."

     

    A hidden war

    Iraqi Kurdistan is surrounded on all sides by hostility. It is divided in four by crosshairs, at the center of which is the Northern Iraqi border where a hidden war continues in the mountains. Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) from Turkey and their Iranian associate, Party for Free Life (PJAK), both on the US and EU terrorist list and in armed conflict with their respective governments, use Iraq's border as a haven for their operations. This war has raged for over two decades, killing nearly 40,000, displacing over a million Kurdish civilians in Southeast Turkey[2] and thousands more inside Iraq.[3] In late 2007 Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan met in Washington with President Bush and an agreement was made to collaborate in renewed attempts to eliminate the PKK presence in Iraq.[4] The military incursions would be based on US military intelligence. Iran's cross-border shelling, which has been intermittent since 1996, picked up intensity in early 2008 in alleged coordination with Turkey's attacks. Shelling typically follows sightings of Turkish surveillance planes over Iraq. 

    Although political agreements have been made between Turkey and Iraq to limit media attention, the impact these incursions are having on civilian populations can be seen.  CPTers have traveled along the entire northern border interviewing internally displaced persons (IDPs) and exploring possibilities for a project to accompany people who are returning to villages from which they fled. The team has kept regular contact with the United Nations and local Kurdish NGOs that have assisted these IDPs. In some areas they've been able to visit the remains of Muslim and Christian villages destroyed by the Turkish bombing and talk to villagers who still live there or come and go to care for crops or animals under the threat of further random attacks. They interviewed a 27-year old woman who lost her leg, families of persons who were killed in these bombings by Turkish military, and people whose family were taken from their villages and allegedly tortured by Turkish soldiers. Testimonies of villagers and government officials have confirmed the destruction of civilian infrastructure such as homes, schools, mosques, churches, and hospitals. Turkish and (and also Iranian) bombing has killed an extensive amount of sheep and cows and scorched villagers' agriculture. The Turkish military has bombed bridges and planted land mines, cutting people off from harvesting their crops. Bombing continues in areas still inhabited and is audible from some areas where IDPs now live. CPTers have also seen 12 of the numerous Turkish military bases positioned well within Iraqi territory. According to villagers and Iraqi Kurdish security officials, Turkish military at these bases watch their movements, set up checkpoints, strike during the time of planting and harvesting or anytime they observe displaced villagers returning to their homes, and burn agricultural fields for the purpose of "visibility." Locals experience the Turkish presence as an oppressive occupation.

    Based on what CPT and other human rights organizations such as Kurdish Human Rights Project and Human Rights Watch have witnessed and documented, the Turkish and Iranian militaries could be held responsible for violating rules of armed conflict laid out in Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of August 1949, relating to the Protection of Victims of International armed conflicts.[5] (articles 35, 48, 51, 52, 54, 57)

    Turkey also fails to comply with its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. It would then follow that the United States is complicit in violations of international law by a foreign military in a country it occupies. Of course, Turkey's incursions are not taking place without  the consent of the Iraqi central government. The US, Turkey and Iraq have formed a joint commission to solve "the PKK problem." The commission meets in Erbil, the capital city of the KRG, which apparently advocates little on behalf of its displaced citizenry.  Iraq has, however, as of May 2009, officially condemned Iran's incursions and attacks on the KRG.

    The PKK are also responsible for crimes against humanity. They have carried out acts of terrorism against civilians. Refugees CPT has interviewed at Makhmour camp, who fled Turkey because of their relation to alleged PKK members, own that they once purported faith in armed revolution, but that now they, and the PKK leadership, are calling for a peaceful solution to the conflict. It is worth mentioning that, as of June 2009, the PKK continues attempts to maintain a unilateral ceasefire and is calling on the Turkish government to engage in dialogue. That is something that all peace-advocating organizations should encourage and uphold because there is no military solution to this conflict.    

     

    The CPT Iraq Team's current work

    The CPT team is currently focusing on the IDPs of the Pshdar district in the Sulamaniya governorate. The first steps in the process of helping these people return to their villages will not be physical. They will be in form of recording their stories, the condition of their lives as IDPs and documenting violations of their human rights. As CPT provides independent verification for the international community, UN, and governments as to the impact of these incursions on civilians, something which at this point is almost completely lacking, we are building relationships and working to spread awareness. Although local villagers still do return to their homes even now despite bombs and mortar shells, they do not wish to return with their families to stay unless they have some guarantee they are not walking into a bloodbath. At the same time they express clearly that their lives as IDPs are not sustainable and they await any opportunity to return home.

    On a larger scale, CPT has observed a dramatic change in the Kurdish population from unapologetic support for the U.S. military presence in Iraq to anger at the way in which the United States has treated one of its most loyal allies in the Middle East. Kurdish people, who have experienced the Anfal campaign under the Saddam Hussein regime, who were bombed in their villages, are now being bombed in their villages by Turkey and Iran with U.S. support in the form of permission and military intelligence.  CPT, therefore, joins its voice with its Kurdish partners to call for dialogue between all parties involved. We call for a peaceful solution. There is no military solution.  


    [1] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/world/middleeast/23iraq.html

    [2]  U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR), 2001, World Refugee Survey 2001: Turkey

    [3] Yildiz, Kerim, The Kurds in Iraq, Revised Edition, Pluto, London, 2007, p81.

     

    [4] Kurdish Human rights Project, A Fact-finding Mission in Kuristan, Iraq: Gaps in the Human Rights Infrastructure, July 2008, p.78

    NPR.org, November 5, 2007

    [5] http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/93.htm

    Human Rights Reports

    CPT Report: Kurdish Activists’ Observations of Women’s Rights
    "Kurdish Activists’ Observations of Women’s Rights in Iraqi Kurdistan between March 2012 and March 2013 and their hopes for the future" traces positive developments and areas where change is needed to secure the safety and equality of women in Iraqi Kurdistan. While women's rights activism is growing and gaining public recognition in Iraqi Kurdistan, problems such as discrimination in the medical and legal systems, honor killings and female genital mutilation remain. Some issues, including domestic violence and court bias, have been addressed by legislation, but not acted on. Women’s oppression results in, among other things, suicides or attempted suicide by about 300 women each year.
    English | Kurdish

    CPT Report: "Disrupted Lives: the effects of cross-border attacks"
    Disrupted Lives: the effects of cross-border attacks by Turkey and Iran on Kurdish villages, documents the impact of cross-border attacks in northeastern Iraqi Kurdistan’s Pshdar district. The attacks have caused civilian injuries and deaths, destruction of homes, livestock and crops, and contamination of land, water, and air. The report also shows how ongoing military operations threaten the very existence of the villages and jeopardize an important part of Kurdish national identity. Data for the report comes from interviews and observations conducted by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), from local Kurdish media sources, and from three reports released in 2011.
    Read the Full Report: English | Kurdish

    CPT Report: Cross Border Bombings (March 2010)
    "Where there is a promise, there is tragedy: cross-border bombings and shellings of villages in the Kurdish region of Iraq by the nations of Turkey and Iran." This report details the destruction of northern Iraqi village life by Turkish and Iranian attacks over the past two years. Written because regional and world powers, rebel groups and Kurdish Regional Government have dismissed the villagers—mostly shepherds and farmers—their lives, their futures, their lands, their children, as irrelevant to the 'larger' agendas of the parties involved.

    CPT Report: Iraq after the Occupation (August 2010)
    "Iraq after the Occupation: Iraqis speak about the state of their country as the US military withdraws." This report was written after a number of interviews with Iraqis about how they see the future for their country as the US withdraws. Their diverse expressed opinions show that the truth is much more complex than the US narrative seeks to present. The contribution of the “surge” to a reduction in violence in Iraq is questionable. Opinions on the reliability of the Iraqi security forces, although not entirely negative, vary widely. Iraq faces a highly uncertain future, perhaps becoming a success story, but perhaps experiencing more bloodshed. The US should think creatively about ways to support the people of Iraq as they rebuild their country.

    CPT Report: Khanaqin Election Observation 2009
    Four members of CPT observed the election process in Khanaqin, an area in the northeast of Diyala Province. While the procedures in place at the polling locations appeared to be sound, the overall process was nevertheless significantly flawed due to the manner in which the IHEC promulgated and implemented its own internal rules for the registration of voters; thousands were denied their voting rights on this basis in Tuz, 16,000 in Khanaqin, and upwards of 80,000 in Makhmour.

    Turkish Attacks on Kurdistan, Iraq 2007/8: Background, Motives and Human Rights Impact
    The paper refers to recent KHRP research in the region showing that Turkey’s operations have been in gross violation of the Geneva conventions, causing extensive harm to civilian life and property in parts of northern Iraq with little actual impact on the capabilities of the PKK. 

    A Fact-Finding Mission in Kurdistan, Iraq: Gaps in the Human Rights Infrastructure
    The report explains the historical and political context of the current human rights situation in Kurdistan, Iraq, and goes on to explore this situation with special reference to women’s rights, minority rights, freedom of expression, and the rights of prisoners and other detainees. Further sections are dedicated to the human rights situation in Kirkuk and other ‘disputed areas’, and the impact of the military incursions into Kurdistan, Iraq, by neighbouring countries (see p.75).

    Central Iraqi Government's report on the impact of the Turkish/Iranian incursions
    In March of 2008 The Iraqi council of representatives sent a fact-finding committee to study the Impact of Turkish and Iranian military incursion into Northern Iraq and publish this report.

    Photo Albums

    Sattar Hatem Hassan (1960-2011)

     

    It was May of 2003. Iraq was in chaos. The CPT Iraq Team was surveying people on the streets, the public squares and the university in an effort to understand the national mood in the weeks following the U.S.-led invasion.

    Sattar Hatem Hassan (1960-2011)

    Lisa Martens and Rick Polhamus were attempting to explain the survey to a large group of Iraqis when someone asked a question they couldn’t answer with their limited Arabic.

    That’s when Sattar appeared. Tall and lanky, bearing himself like a diplomat and distinguished by an unusual presence of humility, Sattar offered his help as an impromptu translator.

    “He was very interested in what we were doing and why we were there,” recalled Polhamus. “There was something about Sattar that made us feel like he could be trusted.” 

    Sattar Hatem Hassan, CPT Iraq’s beloved translator, died in Amman, Jordan on October 2, 20011 of heart failure. He had just turned 51.

    “Sattar was so much more than a translator,” team member Stewart Vriesinga remembered. “He shared our vision and helped us become what we wanted to be. He was reflective and quiet, a very deep listener. When he did speak it was always heart-felt and well-considered. He opened our eyes to our cultural blind spots, and would gently and lovingly explain to us when our proposed actions might be misconstrued in the local context and counter what we were actually trying to accomplish. He was a Muslim who understood and supported what it was we were trying to accomplish."

    Throughout Iraq and in Jordan, Sattar helped the team understand and negotiate the religious and political complexities of Iraq, arranged sensitive meetings and assisted with travel logistics. More importantly, he was a cherished friend who was universally regarded for his kindness. Another translator who worked for the team said, “He was peaceful, polite, respectful, dedicated and full of love to everyone.”

    Sattar had earned degrees in French, English and Design from the University of Baghdad. He loved French literature, poetry, music and history. Before the fall of the Saddam regime, Sattar worked for the Ministry of Tourism. He delighted in bringing CPT delegations to the book market and the various archeological sites around Baghdad. 

    The risks for Sattar were significant. “Whenever we asked him about the risks in working for us, he would say that our work was important and that this was his way of helping his country,” team member Peggy Gish said.

    Perhaps inevitably, the risk became too much. Sattar was detained by the Iraqi police as a routine part of its investigation into the November 2005 kidnapping of a CPT delegation. The team advocated for him vigorously and he was released after two weeks. He stopped working as a CPT translator after that and began to search out asylum in another country.

    When he died, Sattar was awaiting the final security clearance that would allow him to begin a new life in the United States. He had been living in Jordan for over two years under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees—one of the 4.7 million Iraqis who have been displaced by the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    During his time in Jordan, Sattar offered crucial assistance to Cathy Breen and Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence in their efforts to document the plight of Iraqi refugees. He also taught French and English to other Iraqi refugees in an informal education project run by the Jesuit Refugee Service. “He was much loved by all his students and colleagues,” Project Coordinator Colin Gilbert said.

    Jesuit Refugee Service assisted with the return of Sattar’s body to his family in Baghdad for burial.

    CPT is immensely grateful for Sattar’s friendship, humanity and courageous witness to peace.

    Videos

    Voices of Kurdish Farmers in Choman (2010)

    Farmers in Choman, Northern Iraq, are facing military threats.

     

    Concert for bombing victims in Raniy

    May 16th, 2010; a concert in Raniya Youth Activity Center. This concert is a memorial for the civilian victims of Turkey and Iran's military actions. Basos, a 14-year-old girl from Raniya was killed by Iranian shelling on 29th of May 2010. Suzan was injured and lost her leg because of Turkish bombing in December 2007. Couple days after the concert, another 11-year-old girl was killed by Turkish warplane.

     

     

    Zharawa Tent Children : Joy

    These beautiful, wonderful, creative, joyful, talented and bright Iraqi-Kurdish children have been forced from their homes due to repeated bombing by Turkey and Iran. They now live in a tent camp that offers no protection from the summer heat, the winter cold (yes, it does get cold), dust storms, or illness. We asked them to tell us their stories and they did so by drawing pictures of their happy lives in their villages, attacks on their homes, and fleeing to the tent camp they live in now.

     

     

     

    Muhammed Ali, 1.5 years old -- Killed in Iranian Bombing

    These are images of what was left of the home of one and a half year old Muhammed Ali after Iranian shells were fired through its roof. Little Muhammed was killed in the attack. This happened during a period of time in which Iran had made an agreement with the Kurdish Regional Government to stop all attacks on the villages of this area. However, on March 10, 2009 Iran broke that agreement without prior notice and fired shells into the village of Muhammed's family, Razga. Muhammed's family fled from their village to a tent camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs). But, due to the unacceptable conditions of the camp they have been left no choice but to return to their village despite the danger, for the time being. There is no reason to believe that Iran will not attack again. The civilian villages in this area are frequent targets.

     

     

     

     

    Kurdish Baby Boy Killed by an Iranian Attack

    It was 9pm and the family was sleeping together, with their one and a half year old son Muhammed in the middle. Without warning, an Iranian rocket blasted through the roof, and baby Muhammad was killed. The parents, Ali and Khoshia, were both injured. This is a video of Ali telling the story. Kak Ali is a Kurd from the Iraqi region of Kurdistan. His home is in a village called Razga near the Iraqi-Iranian border. Like countless other Kurds, his family was displaced from their village by Turkish and Iranian bombing. In February of 2008 good news came when Iran agreed to stop bombing the area. The local Kurdish government announced that it was safe for people to return home, so Ali's family went back to their village. However, Iran broke the agreement on March 10, 2008 and resumed bombing in several villages, including Razga.

     

     

     

    Kurdistan is Beautiful

    These pictures tell the story of recent history in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurds in this land have experienced genocide, been forced from their homes, wrongly imprisoned, tortured, gassed, and killed. Their families have been torn apart. Their lands have been taken and destroyed. Currently, many are forced to flee their homes and endure the terrible conditions of tent camps for IDPs (internally displaced persons) due to continual bombing of their villages by Turkey and Iran. And yet, Iraqi Kurdistan is without a doubt one of the world's most beautiful lands. And, the Kurds who live here hold that beauty within. Hope and strength abound.

     

     

     

    Turkey Attacks Kurdish Village in Northern Iraq

    This Kurdish village in Northern Iraq used to be a beautiful home for over two hundred people. Now, only 13 men remain. Their families and the others who used to live here have been forced to flee due to the threat of bombing. Over the past two decades, Turkey has attacked Kurdish villages in this area of Iraq continually. Previously, Turkey raided the villages from the ground. Now, the villages are targets for repeated Turkish bombing, and bombs fell around this particular village shortly before this interview was conducted. Those who used to live here have lost everything and now live the hard and discouraging lives of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). The 13 men who remain despite the obvious risk do so in order to try to harvest produce from the land in attempts to support their families who often cannot find an income elsewhere. Harvesting, however, is difficult, because this is the time of year at which Turkey often increases its attacks. One of the men who remains in the village tells their story...

     

     

     

     

    Mothers for Peace

    Since 1998 the Makhmoor Refugee Camp has housed 2,600 Kurdish families from Turkey. The total population is over 11,000 and an average of thirty babies are born in the camp each month. All are relatives of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members killed by the Turkish military

     

     

     

    Tent camp for Displaced people in Kurdistan Iraq

    Footage of a tent camp in Northern Iraq, near the Iranian border where 132 families share 90 small tents. The families were displaced when Turkey and Iran bombed their home villages in 2008. Bombing continues in the area as Turkey and Iran claim to battle Kurdish guerrillas (PKK and PJAK) so the villagers can't go home. The United states supplies military intelligence to Turkey for the attacks and Turkey in turn coordinates with Iran. The conditions at this tent camp are terrible and there is no other sustainable solution for the displaced. They hope the bombing will stop and they'll return home.

     

     

     

    Displaced People in Kurdistan Iraq

    This interview was done in May 2009 at a Kurdish IDP camp ( Internal displaced people) in Northern Iraq. Families in this camp were farmers at Nothern border of Iraq. Since spring of 2007, Turkey and Iran have attacked those civilians. They were forced to leave their agriculture, animals, and houses.

    Palestine Projects

    About CPT Palestine

    CPT Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it.  By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities, we help create a space for justice and peace.

    We maintain a project in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic).

    The Work of CPT Palestine:

    Latest Update: 

    Stay Updated on Our Work

     

    Stop the Hate Tour

    Tourists who visit Hebron are likely to get more than they bargained for if they walk through the Old City on Saturday afternoon. Shoppers choosing between embroidered dresses and brightly colored kaffiyas will be surprised by dozens of soldiers, dressed for war and pointing their weapons at visitors and shopkeepers. Travelers who were hoping to purchase a falafel on their way to visit the tomb of Abraham and the historic Ibrahimi Mosque will find their way blocked as Israeli police and soldiers spread through the square at Bab al Baladiya and fill the narrow walled roads of the old city shopping district. Saturday afternoons and on religious holidays, the Settler Tour gives visitors an unexpected chance to see the occupation of the historic old city of Hebron through new eyes.

    'Firing Zone' Project

    CPT is involved in a campaign to save Masafer Yatta from being annexed by Israel. Masafer Yatta refers to an area of the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank which is home to 1800 people living in twelve villages. Eight of those villages (approximately 1000 people) face eviction by the Israeli government. Israel wants to use the area for military training and refers to the area as 'Firing Zone 918'.  For more information on the Firing  Zone project, or for information about how to get involved got to our page: Stand with Masafer Yatta

    New expulsions Israeli military proposing for Jinba village residents as a "compromise."

     

    'Al-Rajabi Building' Project

     CPT is involved in a campaign to prevent settlers from re-occupying Al Rajabi Building in Hebron. Al Rajabi Building was occupied by settlers in 2007. The settlers were evicted in 2008 when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that some of the documents of sale had been forged. When the settlers were evicted the level of settler violence increased in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. 

    If a settlement was to be re-established in  Al Rajabi Building it would create territorial continuity between the Kiryat Arba and the Settlements in the Old City. Palestinians have been forbidden to drive on the road outside Al Rajabi Building since 2000, however when the settlers were occupying the building greater restrictions of movement were placed upon the Palestinians. History shows us that often the Israeli Defence Forces use the excuse of security to carry out house searches and increase dententions in areas where there are settlements.  

    For more information visit our Al Rajabi Building page

    Most recent CPTnet story: 

    PALESTINE: Palestinians and Internationals harvest olives on Surif village land threatened with confiscation

    On 18 October, the Hebron Defense Committee organized a community workday that celebrated the olive harvest and resisted the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land belonging to the town of Surif in the Hebron District, which lies adjacent to the Separation Barrier/Apartheid Wall.

    A month ago, Israeli authorities announced the confiscation of 4000 dunums [988 acres] around Surif.  The 18 October event gathered local and international activists in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian farmers and also provided labor to help the families with the olive picking.  Harvest time is now in full swing, and for Palestinian community members, the olive trees ‘symbolize life and existence’.

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military arrests ten-year-old boy, detains two others

    On 12 October 2014, Israeli soldiers threatened two Palestinian boys—ages six and thirteen—with arrest, charging them with throwing stones.

    The Headmaster of Mutanabi School was able to convince the soldiers not to arrest the six and thirteen year old, telling the soldiers he would contact the DCO (The liaison between the Palestinian police and the Israeli military.

    However, Israeli soldiers arrested a third boy, age ten, outside of his home as he was playing on his bike, put him in their military jeep and took him away.  The military later released him to the Palestinian Authority police and returned him to his parents.

    An army commander recently threatened to close Mutanabi School if boys threw one more stone.

    2014 10 12 Mutanabi 6 year boy detained (1024x738)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 13 year boy detained (1024x683)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 10 year boy arrested (1024x683)[1]
    6 year old boy13 year old boy10 year old boy

    Prayers for Peacemakers, October 9, 2014

    Prayers for Peacemakers, October 9, 2014

    Pray for the children of Hebron’s Old City who are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention without due process and since the start of the school year, have had more than 100 tear gas grenades fired at them.

    Epixel* for Sunday, October 12, 2014

    For You have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the
    rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm… 
                                                                                                                                                                 Isaiah 25:4

    *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

     

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military locates and kills suspects in kidnappings and murders of three Israeli youth

     

     
     photo @alaaqawasmi

    Early this morning, Tuesday, 23 September 2014, the Israeli military discovered the hiding place of and killed Amer Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh, the two suspects in the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli settler youth in June.

    The killing took place on the first floor of a wood factory in the Hai El Sharma neighborhood near Hebron University after a firefight.  The building has three floors:  the first is a wood factory; the second contains shops and the third is residential.  Due to the live ammunition, small bombs, and tear gas thrown into the building by the soldiers, a fire started, which burned one of the two suspects almost beyond recognition.  The blasts from the bombs, and the military tractor used to cave in the building also damaged adjoining homes and buildings.

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Peacemaking--a journey taken step by step

     Corey in Old CIty
      CPTer aspiring to be peacemaker while monitoring
     soldiers in Hebron's Old City.

    I am an aspiring peacemaker.

    I use the word “aspiring” because I have not yet fully embraced in thought and action the ideals of peacemaking that I find so compelling. Practicing it is a constant daily effort, a series of taking steps (sometimes forward, sometimes backward), falling, getting up, and trying again. Overall, I think I’ve taken more steps forward than backward, but my peacemaking journey is far from complete. It is a lifelong quest. 

    Stepping into Conflict

    I have been in many places where oppression is evident. It is in Palestine, however, where I have seen most clearly the systematic dehumanization of people by other people, in both subtle and obvious ways, every day, day after day.Watching interactions between Palestinians and Israelis has challenged me and my peacemaking ideals to the core. How do I express my anger in a way that doesn’t dehumanize those I accuse of dehumanizing others? How do I acknowledge the destructive forces of a system while acknowledging that the people who by choice or by birth are part of that system are children of God? How do I live in community with others during difficult circumstances?  

    event_view: 
    Title Start: End:
    Palestine/Israel Delegation Sat, 11/29/2014 Sun, 12/14/2014

    Photo Albums

    Stand with Masafer Yatta

    Get Informed

    Interactive Report about Masafer Yatta

    Masafer Yatta refers to an area of the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank which is home to 1800 people living in twelve villages. Eight of those villages (approx. 1000 people) face eviction by the Israeli government. Israel wants to use the area for military training and refers to the area as 'Firing Zone 918'. Our interactive report gives basic information about the area and the situation surrounding it. It also provides links to more information. Check it out! 

    New expulsions Israeli military proposing for Jinba village residents as a "compromise."

     

    South Hebron Hills Blog

    Read updates about what is happening in the area from multiple NGOs working there. 

     

    Links to resources and published articles:

    Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) Fact Sheet

    B'Tselem  Map and Background on Masafer Yatta and Firing Zone 918

    Campaign for the Abolition of Firing Zone 918 in the South Hebron Hills

    OCHA's Massafer Yatta Case Study

    Haaretz | When a Palestinian home isn’t really a home (20 February 2013)

    The Telegraph | Cave-dwelling Palestinian farmers facing eviction from homes

    Haaretz | A Toxic Attachment

    New York Times | Israel Seeks Army Use of West Bank Area (23 July 2012)

    Haaretz |  Israel orders demolition of 8 Palestinian villages, claims need for IDF training land(23 July 2012)

    B’tselem’s report about Firing Zone 918′s historical and legal events since its birth until 2004: “Means of Expulsion: Violence, Harassment and Lawlessness against Palestinians”

    OCHA’s report about firing areas all over the West Bank: http://bit.ly/1mH4DwQ

    Defense Ministry submission to the Israeli High Court of Justice: the State Attorney submission to the Court

    Firing Zone 918′s international Law violations, according to Professor Michael Bothe: http://bit.ly/1mH4NUM

     

    CPT Participates in Peaceful demonstration

    CPT participated in a peaceful march and bike ride to draw attention to and oppose the evictions in the Firing Zone. Read International Solidarity Movement's atricle about the demonstration here

    Latest Update: 

    Get Involved

    Petition

    Please read and sign our petition to the Israeli ambassador Here. Help us save these villages!  

    Massafer Yatta Under Israeli Occupation

    A video about the current situation and the possibilities of the area

    Stay Updated

    Subscribe to CPT Palestine's monthly newsletter
    Enter your emaill here: 
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    AT-TUWANI/ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Seeking the peace of Palestine by engaging our own settler reality

    A life-changing thought came to mind this past week while I was serving in the village of at-Tuwani.  I was out with Palestinian shepherds, watching the Jewish settlers of Ma'on construct another large chicken barn on stolen Palestinian land.  As I watched, all of a sudden, the armed Jewish settlers and their bulldozers vanished from sight, only to be replaced by other white settlers—persons of European origin, carrying Bibles, guns, and Christian civilization.  Then the Palestinian shepherds next to me, a couple of young Muslim teenagers, also disappeared, and in their place stood two men of First Nations origin.  And before I knew it, the desert land beneath my feet began to tremble, and thousands of huge Douglas Firs erupted from the hillsides, while a raging river full of salmon and steelhead burst forth from the rocky valley below.

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: God’s justice, even for the shops

     “And the shops of the city will clap their hands!”

         That’s what those radical biblical prophets would be singing if they were here in occupied Hebron, tramping through the streets of the Old City, seeing the overwhelming number of Palestinian shops that have been shut down by the Israeli forces.  A long time ago, courageous truth-telling Jews like Isaiah and Jeremiah went around proclaiming to the oppressed that God was coming to bring justice to all things.  Not only people, but everything would receive God's peace, so that, according to the prophetic imagination, even “the trees will clap their hands” (Is. 55:12).  And if trees clap, why not Palestinian shops?

    Prayers for Peacemakers, Sep. 22, 2010

    PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Sep. 22, 2010

     

    A recent report commissioned by The Body Shop has confirmed that its palm oil supplier in Colombia has damaged the environment and displaced the community of Las Pavas. Pray that The Body Shop will act to protect human rights and the planet.

     

    Doug Pritchard

    Christian Peacemaker Teams

    Toronto, Canada

    HEBRON: Open Shuhada St. movement changes tactics

    The regular Saturday movement, "Open Shuhada Street," changed tactics on 21 August 2010. Since the police had threatened two of the organizers with large fines and a possible ten-year imprisonment if the demonstrations continued, the organizing group felt it better to use a new approach during the remainder of Ramadan.

    COLOMBIA ACTION ALERT: Campaign for the return of the Las Pavas community to its land

    Yes, the members of the Las Pavas community are making progress in the effort return to their land!  Your efforts have helped.  But Las Pavas continues to need your intervention.  The Body Shop—in response to the ongoing campaign— recently completed an investigation of palm oil supplier Daabon’s activities in Las Pavas, which found serious problems with Daabon’s operations.  Even so, The Body Shop has yet to publicly state that it will stop buying palm oil from Daabon unless Daabon returns the land to the displaced community of Las Pavas, pays reparations for damage done, and works to correct damage to the environment there.

     Take Action:  Send a letter—or please re-send if you sent one before— to The Body Shop encouraging it to take action to correct the situation.  Go to http://www.cpt.org/urgent-action/LasPavas for reference.

    Most recent CPTnet story: 

    AT-TUWANI/ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Seeking the peace of Palestine by engaging our own settler reality

    A life-changing thought came to mind this past week while I was serving in the village of at-Tuwani.  I was out with Palestinian shepherds, watching the Jewish settlers of Ma'on construct another large chicken barn on stolen Palestinian land.  As I watched, all of a sudden, the armed Jewish settlers and their bulldozers vanished from sight, only to be replaced by other white settlers—persons of European origin, carrying Bibles, guns, and Christian civilization.  Then the Palestinian shepherds next to me, a couple of young Muslim teenagers, also disappeared, and in their place stood two men of First Nations origin.  And before I knew it, the desert land beneath my feet began to tremble, and thousands of huge Douglas Firs erupted from the hillsides, while a raging river full of salmon and steelhead burst forth from the rocky valley below.

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: God’s justice, even for the shops

     “And the shops of the city will clap their hands!”

         That’s what those radical biblical prophets would be singing if they were here in occupied Hebron, tramping through the streets of the Old City, seeing the overwhelming number of Palestinian shops that have been shut down by the Israeli forces.  A long time ago, courageous truth-telling Jews like Isaiah and Jeremiah went around proclaiming to the oppressed that God was coming to bring justice to all things.  Not only people, but everything would receive God's peace, so that, according to the prophetic imagination, even “the trees will clap their hands” (Is. 55:12).  And if trees clap, why not Palestinian shops?

    Prayers for Peacemakers, Sep. 22, 2010

    PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Sep. 22, 2010

     

    A recent report commissioned by The Body Shop has confirmed that its palm oil supplier in Colombia has damaged the environment and displaced the community of Las Pavas. Pray that The Body Shop will act to protect human rights and the planet.

     

    Doug Pritchard

    Christian Peacemaker Teams

    Toronto, Canada

    HEBRON: Open Shuhada St. movement changes tactics

    The regular Saturday movement, "Open Shuhada Street," changed tactics on 21 August 2010. Since the police had threatened two of the organizers with large fines and a possible ten-year imprisonment if the demonstrations continued, the organizing group felt it better to use a new approach during the remainder of Ramadan.

    COLOMBIA ACTION ALERT: Campaign for the return of the Las Pavas community to its land

    Yes, the members of the Las Pavas community are making progress in the effort return to their land!  Your efforts have helped.  But Las Pavas continues to need your intervention.  The Body Shop—in response to the ongoing campaign— recently completed an investigation of palm oil supplier Daabon’s activities in Las Pavas, which found serious problems with Daabon’s operations.  Even so, The Body Shop has yet to publicly state that it will stop buying palm oil from Daabon unless Daabon returns the land to the displaced community of Las Pavas, pays reparations for damage done, and works to correct damage to the environment there.

     Take Action:  Send a letter—or please re-send if you sent one before— to The Body Shop encouraging it to take action to correct the situation.  Go to http://www.cpt.org/urgent-action/LasPavas for reference.

    event_view: 

    AT-TUWANI/ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Seeking the peace of Palestine by engaging our own settler reality

    A life-changing thought came to mind this past week while I was serving in the village of at-Tuwani.  I was out with Palestinian shepherds, watching the Jewish settlers of Ma'on construct another large chicken barn on stolen Palestinian land.  As I watched, all of a sudden, the armed Jewish settlers and their bulldozers vanished from sight, only to be replaced by other white settlers—persons of European origin, carrying Bibles, guns, and Christian civilization.  Then the Palestinian shepherds next to me, a couple of young Muslim teenagers, also disappeared, and in their place stood two men of First Nations origin.  And before I knew it, the desert land beneath my feet began to tremble, and thousands of huge Douglas Firs erupted from the hillsides, while a raging river full of salmon and steelhead burst forth from the rocky valley below.

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: God’s justice, even for the shops

     “And the shops of the city will clap their hands!”

         That’s what those radical biblical prophets would be singing if they were here in occupied Hebron, tramping through the streets of the Old City, seeing the overwhelming number of Palestinian shops that have been shut down by the Israeli forces.  A long time ago, courageous truth-telling Jews like Isaiah and Jeremiah went around proclaiming to the oppressed that God was coming to bring justice to all things.  Not only people, but everything would receive God's peace, so that, according to the prophetic imagination, even “the trees will clap their hands” (Is. 55:12).  And if trees clap, why not Palestinian shops?

    Prayers for Peacemakers, Sep. 22, 2010

    PRAYERS FOR PEACEMAKERS, Sep. 22, 2010

     

    A recent report commissioned by The Body Shop has confirmed that its palm oil supplier in Colombia has damaged the environment and displaced the community of Las Pavas. Pray that The Body Shop will act to protect human rights and the planet.

     

    Doug Pritchard

    Christian Peacemaker Teams

    Toronto, Canada

    HEBRON: Open Shuhada St. movement changes tactics

    The regular Saturday movement, "Open Shuhada Street," changed tactics on 21 August 2010. Since the police had threatened two of the organizers with large fines and a possible ten-year imprisonment if the demonstrations continued, the organizing group felt it better to use a new approach during the remainder of Ramadan.

    COLOMBIA ACTION ALERT: Campaign for the return of the Las Pavas community to its land

    Yes, the members of the Las Pavas community are making progress in the effort return to their land!  Your efforts have helped.  But Las Pavas continues to need your intervention.  The Body Shop—in response to the ongoing campaign— recently completed an investigation of palm oil supplier Daabon’s activities in Las Pavas, which found serious problems with Daabon’s operations.  Even so, The Body Shop has yet to publicly state that it will stop buying palm oil from Daabon unless Daabon returns the land to the displaced community of Las Pavas, pays reparations for damage done, and works to correct damage to the environment there.

     Take Action:  Send a letter—or please re-send if you sent one before— to The Body Shop encouraging it to take action to correct the situation.  Go to http://www.cpt.org/urgent-action/LasPavas for reference.

    Firing Zone 918 Interactive Report

    Links to resources and published articles:

    Al Rajabi Building

    Hebron Rehabilitation Committee Statement UN: Settler Violence Interviews with the neighbouring families Legal Analysis Appeal UN: Settlements are an obstacle to peace 'Peace Now' Article 2007 Occupation Image Map
    Hebron Rehabilitation Committee Statement | UN: Settler Violence | Interviews with the neighbouring families | Legal Analysis | Appeal | UN: Settlements are an obstacle to peace | 'Peace Now' Article | 2007 Occupation | Image Map

    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) URGENT ACTION: Prevent new settlement outpost, increased settler violence in Hebron

    teaser_field: 

    CPT calls supporters around the world to ask their government officials to persuade Israeli authorities to prevent a new settlement in Hebron and avoid the associated violence and disruption to Palestinians that it would bring.

    CPTnet
    24 October 2012
    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) URGENT ACTION: Prevent new settlement outpost, increased settler violence in Hebron 

    Since our 3 October report there have been a number of developments regarding the Al Rajabi Building in Hebron. On Tuesday, 16 October the Jerusalem District Court accepted the injunction to freeze the implementation of the 13 September ruling that the Israeli military and police must allow the settlers to move in within thirty days, until a final decision regarding the appeal at the Supreme Court. This decision means that the settlers should not be able to move into the building immediately as we had feared. It did however come at a cost, which is a 100,000NIS/ 26,115USD bond that has to be paid by the Palestinian owner of the building.

    It is feared though that due to the early election that has been called in Israel, the court decision may be decided for political reasons rather than it being a fair trial. CPT is working closely with UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) and others to stop settlers from occupying the building and to show the consequences for Palestinians the last time the settlers occupied the house. Palestinians in the West Bank face settler violence regularly. According to OCHA, “settler violence is a regular occurrence, targeting primarily Palestinian civilians and their property, but also IDF soldiers.” Such violence, OCHA points out, “is not random criminal activity; in most cases, it is ideology-driven, organized violence, the goal of which is to assert settler dominance over an area.” CPT Hebron believes that the settlers' intention to occupy the Al Rajabi building is motivated by this ideology which would create territorial continuity between the Kiryat Arba settlement and settlements in the center of the Old City. We fear this will lead to more detentions and greater restrictions of movement for Palestinians living in the area.

     
     

    photo courtesy Land Research Center

    CPT recently interviewed four families who live close to the Al Rajabi Building and Kiryat Arba settlement. All reported numerous experiences of harassment and violence from settlers living in the area since the inception of the Kiryat Arba. They expressed fear of this violence increasing if settlers were allowed to reoccupy the Al Rajabi Building. Their fear was based on their experience of increased settler violence when settlers occupied the building in 2007-2008.

    One man told the CPTers, “in 2007 settlers took over a house in the area. They were violent and threw stones at Palestinians passing in order to scare them and make them move out of the area.”

    A mother spoke of the problems she experienced. “During this time, settlers were violent towards us and our children. They burnt houses and tried to break into our home. I’m extremely nervous because the girls must walk past the Rajabi building in order to get to school.”

    A father spoke out: “I recall that from about March 2007 to December 2008, there were frequent attacks from settlers to the Palestinian men, women and children.”

    The families are asking for help in their cause: “We are pleading to all those that will listen to stop this. If settlers were to come back again we will face the same issues again. This time was very stressful for us, it put a strain on our family relations.”

    The decision the courts reach about the Al Rajabi Building will greatly influence the future of the city of Hebron, particularly for these families. HRC and CPT have put together a statement along with a legal analysis of the proceedings. CPT Al-Khalil (Hebron) calls on supporters to share this information with people locally and to contact your Members of Parliament or Congress and other government officials about this issue.

    SAMPLE TEXT FOR MESSAGE:

    Dear _____,

    The international community is gravely concerned about the effects of allowing settlers to reoccupy the Al Rajabi Building in Hebron, West Bank. In 2007 and 2008, when settlers last occupied this house, settler violence and disruptions to Palestinians in the area increased.

    The four small settlements already inside Hebron have caused immense physical, social and economic suffering for local Palestinians. Another settlement would cause greater suffering and would work against the roadmap towards peace.

    Please urge Israeli authorities to prevent the formation of a new Israeli settlement in Hebron’s Al-Rajabi Building.

    Sincerely,

    ____

    ADDRESSES

    Canada:

    Embassy in Tel Aviv -- The Canadian Embassy, PO Box 9442, Tel Aviv 67060, Israel. Fax: (011 972 3) 636-3380. Email: taviv@dfait-maeci.gc.ca

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Office of the Prime Minister, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, K1A 0A2. Fax: 613-941-6900 or Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

    You can mail your MP at the House of Commons address, or find their email address, go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM

    UK:

    Embassy in Tel Aviv -- British Embassy, 192 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63405, Israel. Fax: (+972 3) 527 8574. Email: webmaster.telaviv@fco.gov.uk

    Prime Minister David Cameron, 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA. To email the Prime Minister go to http://www.number10.gov.uk/contact-us/

    Foreign Secretary William Hague, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Downing Street West, London Sw1A 2AL

    Mail your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. To email your MP, MSP or MEP go to http://www.writetothem.com/

    USA:

    Embassy in Tel Aviv -- US Embassy, 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63903, Israel

    President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

    Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    Representatives: http://www.house.gov/

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    AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Peace and good neighbors, not another settlement outpost

    teaser_field: 

    CPT Al-Khalil (Hebron) invites informed prayers after a Jerusalem magistrate's approval of a new illegal Israeli settlement outpost in what amounts to an "application of Israeli sovereignty" over this occupied city.

    CPTnet
    3 October 2012
    AL-KHALIL (
    HEBRON): Peace and good neighbors, not another settlement outpost

    When Israeli Settlers move into a house in Hebron, it often restricts Palestinians’ freedom of movement and leads to an increase in Settler Violence. A house occupied by Settlers can mean that a road is closed to Palestinians, who then face much longer journeys to school and work; it can mean additional soldiers in an area and more harassment and detentions.

    It is no wonder then that at the moment there is a lot of worry about the House of Contention on Gaaber Street. Settlers originally occupied this house in 2007. Settler violence quickly ensued when the Settlers faced an eviction order after police found that some of the papers they had used to prove they had bought the house were forgeries. The Settlers appealed the eviction to the Israeli Supreme Court, but the court rejected their petition.

    If some crucial papers were found to be forgeries and the High Court rejected their appeal, why did the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rule on 13 September that the house belongs to the Settlers and that their buying of the house was ‘Kosher’? All Israeli Settlements in the West Bank are recognized by the UN as being illegal under international law. The Jerusalem Magistrate Court has just given the green light to people to settle illegally in the West Bank.

     

    When we speak of Israeli Settlers we are not talking about people who wish to come and be neighbors of the Palestinians, rather we are talking about people who wish to apply Israeli Sovereignty over the West Bank.

    CPT Al-Khalil asks supporters to please read the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee statement and join us in prayer that illegal settlements in the West Bank will stop and one day Palestinians can walk and drive all over Hebron without the interference of the Israeli Defense Forces and Settlers.

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    Al Bowereh

    Al Bowereh is a northeastern neighborhood of Hebron (Al-Khalil in Arabic) that lies directly opposite Givat Harsina, one of the four neighborhoods of the settlement Kiryat Arba. The area has a population of approximately 340 people, including 174 under the age of eighteen. Israeli settlers have constructed the outpost named Hilltop 26 on Palestinian farmland, and the outpost is considered  illegal under both international and Israeli law. Settlers have erected seven buildings in the outpost. They regularly attack Palestinians living there, including children as they walk to and from school. This harassment takes the form of stone throwing, physical assault, the uprooting of grape vines and destruction of other crops, vandalism, and intimidation. In addition, due to the proximity of Road 60 and the settlement, the Israeli military has placed demolition orders on almost all of the remaining homes in Al Bowereh

     

    Role of CPT

    Since November 2009, CPT has provided a consistent protective presence in the area, especially for the children returning home from school. Because there are currently 174 residents under the age of 18 in Al Bowereh, CPT’s accompaniment of the vulnerable school children is crucial. Normally, CPTers will arrive in Al Bowereh around 12:30 p.m. as the first batch of school children are arriving to walk home.  CPTers then accompany the children to a safe point. They repeat this process until 2:45 p.m. when the last group of school children arrive. If any settlers are present, CPT attempts to deter violence and documents the details from the encounter.

    CPT’s Palestine team also visits at-risk families in the area to build relationships and gather information. Since the beginning of CPT’s work in Al Bowereh, the team has visited the area every one to two weeks along with peace and human rights activist Hani Abu Haikel, asking the neighbors for an update on the status of the community, and checking for expansion of the Kiryat Arba settlement outpost. Team members report any developments in the outpost to Settlement Watch and other peace and human rights monitoring groups.

    AttachmentSize
    Al Bowereh Media Kit.pdf6.06 MB

    CPT Palestine in the News

    Featured article

    by CPTer Jane Adas

    Israeli-Imposed Apartheid Almost Complete in West Bank City of Hebron

    Documentary

    by CPT Volunteer Gerry O'Sullivan

    "Stolen Lives"

    Latest Update: 

    Articles

    Al-Khalil (Hebron): Israeli Military Demolishes Dairy Farm
    International Middle East Media Center

    Palestinians Under Attack in Hebron
    Mennonite World Review

    Palestinians Under Attack in Hebron
    Haaretz

    The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence
    New York Times

    The Palestinian struggle for justice
    The National Catholic Reporter

    Israel destroys diary farm in occupied Palestine
    Mondoweiss

    “Under Attack”; the Golani Brigades’s treatment of Palestinians in Al-Khalil/Hebron
    Mondoweiss

    This is my Land...Hebron
    Documentary Film

     

     

    Magazine Feature

    CPTer: Rev. Inger Styrbjörn: Page 43

     

    Overview of article

    Västerås Diocesan is a Swedish Magazine, published twice a year, with a distribution of 6,000 copies aimed at diocesan officials and employees. Editor Pelle Söderbäck took interest in me because, before my retirement, I was a member of the Clergy. I took him around the Old City and Al-Bowereh during a spring 2011 visit in Hebron.

    I live with two cultures contrasts my work with CPT in Hebron with my life at home in Sweden. The Letter from Abraham’s city is a reflection about CPT’s everyday work – school patrol and a house demolition I witnessed.

     

     

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    Hebron / al-Khalil

    About CPT Hebron/al-Khalil

    At the invitation of the Hebron municipality, CPTers set up a project in 1995 to address assaults by Israeli settlers and soldiers on Palestinians in the months before the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  In subsequent years, the team’s focus has included the Israeli military confiscation of Palestinian land, demolition of Palestinian homes, and the violence stemming from the Second Intifada.

    Hebron/Al-Khalil (map) is located 30 km (19 mi) south of Jerusalem, and is home to around 165,000 Palestinians, as well as 500 Israeli settlers concentrated in Hebron’s Old City. 

    The Oslo 2 Hebron protocol partitioned Hebron/Al-Khalil into two distinct zones, H1 and H2.  H1 is administered by the Palestinian Authority and contains 120,000 Palestinians.  In H2, which includes  the heart of Hebron's Old City, the Israeli military restricts the movement of more than 30,000 Palestinians while allowing 500 Jewish settlers to move freely.

    CPT maintains an active nonviolent presence in the H2 zone of Hebron/Al-Khalil focusing on accompaniment, documentation, and human rights reporting. 

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    Latest Update: 

    Al-Khalil / Hebron Media Package Now Available

    31 July 2012

    CPT Palestine has compiled a comprehensive presentation of the team’s current work in Hebron in the form of a media package

    The package, modeled after a previous one on Al Bowereh, gives a detailed overview of CPT’s work in Hebron including a history of the area. 

    The team has found that the distribution of these media packages, combined with advocacy efforts, supports its efforts in nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. 

    Shortly after the release of the Al Bowereh package, Israeli authorities dismantled the illegal settlement there. After distribution of Under Attack: the Golani Brigade’s war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khalil/Hebron, this abusive brigade left Hebron earlier than expected. 

    Team members can use the media packages to shape or supplement public presentations on CPT Palestine. Powerpoint versions of both media packages are available through palestine-advocacy@cpt.org.

    Hebron Media Package

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    Palestine/Israel Delegation Sat, 11/29/2014 Sun, 12/14/2014

    About CPT Hebron

    The Work of CPT in Hebron/Al-Khalil

     

    CPT maintains an active nonviolent presence in the H2 (Old City) zone of Hebron/Al-Khalil in addition to providing accompaniment to various communities in the greater Hebron/Al-Khalil region. Our work includes:

    An Active Nonviolent Presence: CPT maintains a presence in the H2 area of Hebron in an effort to deter violence and to decrease the incidents of harassment and mistreatment.  CPT conducts daily patrols in areas in and around the Old City where there is a heavy presence of the Israeli military and Israeli settlers.  

    Accompaniment: In addition to a continuous presence in the H2 (Old City) area of Hebron/Al-Khalil, CPT also provides accompaniment for communities in the Hebron Governate, such as the neighborhood of Al-Bweireh and Al-Beqa'a Valley, among others.  CPT provides accompaniment to schoolchildren in H2 and Al-Bweireh who are subject to searches and harassment as they pass through Israeli checkpoints and walk near Israeli settlements.  CPT also accompanies farmers in outlying areas who face land confiscation, harassment, and property damage.

    Projects and Activities: At times, CPT focuses on specific projects to respond to crises or to support important initiatives proposed by the local community and Palestinian and Israeli peace and human rights groups.  Some of ongoing activities include visits to homes at risk of demolition and to areas facing land confiscation; visits to schools and civil society representatives to introduce CPT and its daily activities to local people,and regular meetings with a representative and diverse advisory committee comprising Palestinians from Hebron/Al-Khalil.

    Documentation and Promoting Awareness: In hopes of increasing awareness of the situation in Hebron/Al-Khalil, CPTers photograph, videotape, and document violent incidents and human rights violations as they occur.  Through regular reports and releases, the team provides regular updates to CPT’s worldwide network as well as to local and international media.

    Report: "Under Attack" by CPT Al-Khalil (Hebron)

    Al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine, 

    Since the arrival of the Golani Brigade in Hebron on December 27th, international accompaniment organizations (Christian Peacemaker Teams and International Solidarity Movement, and others) have documented an increase in the number of serious human rights violations against the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children in the Old City and Tel Rumeida.

    All recorded incidences have been documented through first-hand observation and/ or testimony from the victims. The following report demonstrates a sharp increase in harassment, violence, and human rights violations by the Israeli military towards the Palestinian population of Hebron. Contrary to given justifications, none of those involved were observed to voice or pose any threat to the soldiers. As the Golani Brigade is expected to remain in Hebron another two to five months, members of these international observer organizations fear that such abuses will escalate and make life unbearable for the Palestinians living under occupation in Hebron.

    1. Incidences involving the detention, intimidation, abuse, or arrest of children and youth.

    Tuesday, January 3rd: Fifteen Golani soldiers, looking for children that were throwing stones, came up to a group of children who were playing outside in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood. They started to arrest a 15 year old boy, when family members, elderly people, and women came out onto the street.   The soldiers then began to hit a woman, a three year old boy, and a 70 year old man.  The soldiers then shot 3 sound grenades and detained two men.  They took the two men to the military base and held them for two hours.

    Saturday, January 7th: Patrolling Golani entered an internet cafe in the Old City and made an apparently arbitrary arrest of a young teenager for not having his ID.

    Thursday, January 12th: Golani dragged a developmentally disabled young man into an alley and hit him repeatedly after he knocked on the checkpoint door after they closed it in front of him. This occurred near his home next to the Quiton checkpoint.  His father ran out of the house and came to the alley, and the soldiers stopped and let the boy go.  That same evening, the soldiers attacked his mother and beat the boy with nightsticks and their fists in the family’s home.  The boy’s brother heard a noise and came downstairs.  The soldiers then grabbed him and beat him in the same way.  They threw him to the ground and searched him, and then began to beat his head with their rifles.  They then took both boys to the police station where they held them for an hour and a half.  They then took the developmentally disabled young man home and transported his brother to Jabara prison.  He was released later that night and his family took him to the hospital.  His skull was cracked and he had cuts from the rifles which required stitches, and for some time he could not move his hands.

     

    Friday, January 20th: Golani held a 10 and 12 year-old boy behind the gate of the Beit Romano settlement. Soldiers told witnesses and family members, who were present outside the gates of Beit Romano Settlement, that the boys were detained for throwing rocks.  A witness said the boys had been wearing ski masks because of the cold weather, but had not been throwing rocks. When the parents of the boys arrived to the gate of the settlement, the soldiers approached them and gave them a list containing the names of five other boys from the Old City, saying that if the parents brought those boys to the gate, the soldiers would release the other two. The two boys were eventually released to the parents.  

    Saturday, January 21st:  During the settlers’ tour, around 4pm, the Golani took the 15 year old brother of the two detained boys from his house and detained him. He was released later that day.  

    Thursday, February 2nd: Fifteen Golani soldiers detained two children, ages 12 and 13, for about 45 minutes on Shuhada Street near the entrance to the Muslim cemetery.  Later, 6 of the soldiers took the boys up through the cemetery to the military base. In all, they were held for about 2 hours. Both boys are too young to have IDs.

    Saturday, February 4th:  Eight Golani soldiers in Bab al Baladia grabbed four boys who were about nine years old and took them into an alley. They claimed the boys had thrown a stone. No witnesses saw who threw the stone. International observers told the soldiers that the boys were not old enough to be arrested and the soldier replied that in that case he would “arrest their fathers.” They released the boys 30 minutes later.

    Monday February 6th: Six soldiers came to Quortuba School in Tel Rumeida as school was letting out. They grabbed two eleven year old boys and detained them, telling them that they would be arrested for throwing stones. Several teachers and the principal of the school told the soldiers that they boys were not throwing stones. The soldiers told the boys, the principal, and teachers that “we will let the boys go this time, but if they ever threw stones against the Israeli people again, we will arrest them and cause problems for your entire school.”

    During the calendar month of January 2012, international observers witnessed a sharp increase in the number of Palestinian teenage and school age boy’s body-searched by Israeli forces, who had reportedly agreed that soldiers would not search bags of children attending school. This number has not been documented through the course of this report but is clear to observers on the ground. Furthermore, according to residents, compared to previous brigades stationed in Hebron, the Golani have greatly increased this type harassment.

    2. Incidences in which Golani soldiers arbitrarily detained Palestinians and/or  denied them access to roads or walkways.

    Wednesday, December 28th: A Golani soldier prevented several members of the Youth Against Settlements organization from walking down a path from their center towards their homes. The soldier claimed that this prevention was because settlers were walking up the path, though none were seen, and further explained, “They must wait when anyone walks past. Even if a dog walks, they must wait.”

    Friday, January 6th: A soldier stopped a 19 year old resident of Shuhada Street and ordered him to show what was in his boots, unzip his jacket, and put his face and hands against the wall.  When the soldier began to hit the man, a neighbor and internationals ran up and began filming and the soldier stopped, and instead detained the man and his neighbor for about 15 minutes.  The 19 year old said that the same soldier had stopped him to check his ID four times in one week. 

    Saturday, January 7th: Golani soldiers held a Palestinian for over three hours at Checkpoint 56.  The soldier explained that he was detaining the man because “he did not like him.”  The two soldiers at the check point continuously reminded the Palestinian man of his detainment by asking him, “How long have you been here?” and forced him to urinate where he stood rather than allowing him to leave.

    Tuesday, January 17th: Golani patrolled through the busy Palestinian market in midday. As they marched, they forced everyone to stand aside and randomly stopped two Palestinian men to check their identifications. The younger man had to stand with his hands raised high on the wall for the six minutes it took to check his ID.

    Monday, January 23rd: Golani enter into H1 to search cars in Haret i-Sheik.

    Monday, January 23rd: Golani denied a Palestinian man access to return to his home in the Old City because they said access was closed after 9pm. Internationals observed the soldiers denying the Palestinian man access to multiple checkpoints, forcing him to walk back and forth between them carrying a heavy sack for 40 minutes. The soldiers insisted it was the man’s own fault, but finally relented and took the man on an alternative route.

    Tuesday, January 24th: Golani soldiers stopped the Abu Aisha family at Gilbert Checkpoint as they were on their way home and refused to allow them through the checkpoint.  They did not tell the family why they were not allowed to pass through the checkpoint to reach their house.  After some time, they told the family to take a much longer route home

    Tuesday, January 24th: Soldiers harassed people as they entered Checkpoint 56 by “playing” with the electric doors of the container box. After people entered into the checkpoint, the soldiers prevented them from continuing part-way through. They soldiers closed all the doors in the checkpoint while the people were inside, and then opened and closed the second door repeatedly. Finally the soldiers opened the door from which the people entered, forcing them out the same way they came.

    Monday, January 30th: Golani soldiers held a man outside in very cold rain for one hour because he was fixing the satellite on his own roof. They told him that they had seen him on his roof through their camera, and that in the future he would need special permission to be on his roof.

    3. Incidences in which Golani have injured and/or threatened detained Palestinians.

    Monday, January 9th: A group of Golani in the Old City, walked to a merchant who was sitting at his stand and asked him, “Why are you looking at me like that?” They immediately detained him and bound him with plastic ties, and took him to Avraham Avinu. While in custody, they blindfolded him, slapping him on his head, and detained him for 2½ hours.  

    Sunday, January 15th: 6 Golani soldiers entered a home in Tel Rumeida at 12 a.m., forcing the father outside in the cold, while pointing the gun at his head. They then forced the 7 other family members, including 3 children, into one room. The soldiers searched the house for about an hour.   When the Golani left, they told the family, “Next time, look behind you. We will kick you out from the house, and we will take it.”

    Two nights later on Tuesday, January 17th, around 1 a.m., eight Golani soldiers shot 3 sound bombs at the outside walls of the same house.

    Sunday, January 15th: In the early morning, Golani soldiers sat in a jeep and watched as settlers torched a Palestinian family’s car which was parked in a lot behind Tel Rumeida near the family’s home.  Neighbors witnessed the vandalism from their apartment building which is situated uphill from the parking area about 100 yards away with a clear view of the lot.  The soldiers did nothing to intervene or prevent the settlers from completely burning the car.

    Tuesday, January 17th: The Golani entered a man’s home at night, and forced the family to go outside, including their one and a half year old son.  The soldiers hit the father in the head with the butt of a rifle and he later received medical treatment.  International observers read the medical report.

    Saturday, January 21st: Eight Golani soldiers invaded the offices of the organization, Youth against Settlements, in Tel Rumeida.  They arrested one of the human rights defenders and leader of the organization.  The soldiers blindfolded him and bound his hands.  They put him against the wall and hit him twice in the stomach. Later, they took him to the military base, held a gun to his head and told him, “You are not safe here and next time we will shoot and kill you.” Afterwards, they marched him through Beit Hadassah and allowed settlers to spit on him and kick him.  The group of settlers chanted “Each Arab dog will have his day.”  The soldiers then took him back to an abandoned house where they released him.

    Saturday, January 28th: Six Golani stopped a young man in the morning in the Old City, asking for his ID, which he did not have. He told them he had to go home to get it, and they followed him back to his house. Immediately after showing the soldiers his ID, his hands were tied and his eyes blindfolded. The soldiers ransacked his room, even tearing up his carpet. They took him to Beit Romano, and after one hour, released him onto Shuhada Street.  The young man’s mother told international observers that her son had visible “marks” on his body, evidence of soldier beatings.  

    4. Incidences in which the Golani have used religious references to insult, intimidate, or provoke Palestinians.

    Sunday, January 7th: Golani mockingly called out the Islamic call to prayer. Just minutes before, they had closed the gate, forcing passersby to listen as the Golani anthem sounded through their loudspeakers.

    Friday, December 30th: Two soldiers entered the Ibrahimi Mosque courtyard while Palestinians performed Friday prayers. When asked to leave, they proceeded to the roof top and pointed guns at the crowd of men praying.

    Thursday, February 2nd: At 6 p.m., eleven Golani soldiers entered the Al-Qazzazin Mosque near the chicken market in the Old City. They walked into the mosque without removing their boots, and remained there for about 20 minutes.

    5. Incidences of Golani soldiers entering Palestinians homes and property:

    Monday, January 16th: During night patrol in the Old City, six Golani soldiers invaded a home without a search warrant, claiming a rock was thrown on them from above.

    Tuesday, January 17th:  Internationals observed six Golani soldiers attempt to enter a home without a search warrant. The soldiers asked the home owner “Why do you allow tourists on your roof?”

    Thursday, January 19th: Golani entered a home without a search warrant, informing the owner of the home that they would come the next day to weld shut her door, which exits on to Shuhada Street. The soldiers have yet to return.

    Tuesday, January 24th: Golani entered a home without a search warrant and proceeded to the roof, thereupon crossing over several roofs and entering outdoor spaces belonging to the occupants.

    Monday, January 30th: Golani surrounded a Palestinian home on Tel Rumeida, trampling freshly planted vegetables and pointing laser sights at members of the household. Residents report that the Golani have trained in and around their property for twenty days, including frequently shouting and pointing guns at residents, lobbing of sound grenades early in the morning around 3am. On one occasion, the soldiers entered the house to practice home raids.

    Wednesday, February 8th: In the early morning hours (approximately 12:30-7:30), an unknown number of Golani soldiers and Israeli border police conducted raids on at least 30 homes in the Old City. They beat in doors and windows with rifles and boots, forced locks with pry-bars, and ransacked or damaged belongings. They ordered a family of 8, including 2 small children, into a single room of the home and forced them to wait for four hours, not allowing them to use the bathroom.  In one case, they locked a developmentally disabled child, who was ill, into a room alone while her family had to wait outside. Other families reported being forced to wait for as long as 4 hours, locked in bathrooms or the cold outside. In another case, two women alone with 5 children were sent out into the street for 4 hours while soldiers broke all of the doors in the house. One man, a father of two children under 4 years of age, reported that soldiers came into his house searching “for rock throwers.”

    6. Incidences where the Golani have harassed and/or prevented international observers from documenting human rights violations.

    Tuesday, January 3rd:  A tour with Breaking the Silence (an organization of Israeli veterans who share their experiences of occupation) was stopped by soldiers on its way through Shuhada street three times.  Soldiers interrupted the tour at the entrance to the Muslim cemetery, at Checkpoint 56, and at the entrance to the Tel Rumeida settlement.  Each time the soldiers held up the tour for 15 to 20 minutes.  On every occasion, the tour guide called his lawyer and then spoke to the police.

    Friday, January 6th: Offering no specific reason, Golani detained a Palestinian and international observers from ISM on a cold night for a total of five hours between Gilbert Checkpoint and Checkpoint 56. When observers responded to a call from a Palestinian man already held for two hours, soldiers demanded their passports. Although the man was released 30 minutes after, soldiers held observers’ passports, effectively detaining them another three hours.

    Tuesday, January 10th: A Golani soldier stood by and watched as a settler woman on

    Shuhada Street attacked two ISM international activists less than 30 meters away from him. The settler woman grabbed the two internationals by the neck and attempted to choke them. Later, she grabbed a rock and threw it at them, although missing her targets. When the activists reported the incident, police and soldiers began to mock, cat call, and flirt with the international women.

    Wednesday, January 11th: Golani arbitrarily stopped the same two ISM members and sexually harassed them by shouting, “You are sucking Arab cock, yes?” and making rude gestures as the women were en route to the police station where they planned to make a report.

    Thursday, January 19th: After thoroughly searching an ISM volunteer’s luggage at a checkpoint and failing to find anything notable, Golani attempted to have him arrested for possession of green tea, which they claimed was “drugs.” Although Border Police initially refused, the Golani succeeded in having him arrested by insisting that they had been assaulted by the volunteer farting in the presence of the soldiers.

    Saturday, January 21st: Attempting to access the roof, Golani broke through the stairwell door to the CPT apartment.

    Tuesday, February 7th: At 5pm, Golani soldiers at Checkpoint 56 arrested an international working with ISM after telling him he could not take photos. He stopped photographing but soldiers had him arrested anyway. They released him after several hours. Later that night, they arrested him again and released him again close to 11:15 p.m.

    In conclusion, although this report does not account for every documented case, we believe that the number of documented abuses constitutes only a small portion of what is actually occurring. As these human rights violations continue unabated, Internationals working in Hebron have called for an immediate withdrawal of the Golani Brigade, citing fears that the abuses will continue to escalate and make life unbearable for Palestinian civilians if the Golani remains for the expected two to five months.

    Report: Under Attack: Golani Brigade's war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khalil (Hebron)

    [NOTE: Since the publication of this report in February, the Golani Brigade have left Al-Khalil/Hebron.] 

     

    Al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine, February 12, 2012

    (PDF version attached Below)

    Since the arrival of the Golani Brigade in Hebron on 27 December 2011, international accompaniment organizations (Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and others) have documented an increase in the number of serious human rights violations against the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children in the Old City and Tel Rumeida. 

    All recorded incidents have been documented through first-hand observation and/or the victims’ testimonies.  The following report demonstrates a sharp increase in harassment, violence, and human rights violations by the Israeli military towards the Palestinian population of Hebron.  Contrary to given justifications, none of those involved were observed to voice or pose any threat to the soldiers.  As the Golani Brigade is expected to remain in Hebron another two to five months, members of these international observer organizations fear that such abuses will escalate and make life unbearable for the Palestinians living under occupation in Hebron. 

    1. Incidents involving the detention, intimidation, abuse, or arrest of children and youth. 


    Tuesday, January 3rd: Fifteen Golani soldiers approached a group of children playing outside in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, looking for children that were throwing stones.  They had started to arrest a 15 year-old boy when elders, women, and family members came outside to stop them.  In response, soldiers hit a woman, a 3 year-old boy, and a 70 year-old man before firing three sound grenades and detaining two men.  These men were taken to the military base and held for two hours.

    Saturday, January 7th: Patrolling Golani entered an internet cafe in the Old City and made an apparently arbitrary arrest of a young teenager for not having his ID. 

    Thursday, January 12th: In the morning, soldiers* dragged a developmentally disabled young man into an alley and hit him repeatedly after he knocked on the mechanized Qitoun checkpoint door, which they kept closing in front of him to tease him.  When his father ran to the alley to help him, the soldiers stopped and released the boy.  That same evening, the Golani soldiers entered the family home next to the checkpoint, attacked his mother, and beat the boy with nightsticks and fists.  The boy’s brother, hearing a noise, came downstairs, where he was grabbed and beaten in the same way.  The soldiers then threw him to the ground, searched him, and beat his head with rifles.  Both boys were brought to the police station where they held were for an hour and a half.  They then released the developmentally disabled young man to his home and transported his brother to Jabara prison, from which he was released later that night.  His family took him to the hospital to receive care for a cracked skull, sutures, and care for his hands, which he could not move.

    Friday, January 20th: Golani held a 10 and 12 year-old boy behind the gate of the Beit Romano settlement.  Soldiers told witnesses and family members, who were present outside the gates, that the boys were detained for “throwing rocks.”  A witness said the boys had been wearing ski masks because of the cold weather, but had not been throwing rocks.  When the parents arrived at the gate, soldiers approached them with a list of five other boys from the Old City, saying that if the parents brought them to the gate, their sons would be released.  The parents did not, but the boys were released two hours later.  

    Saturday, January 21st:  During the settlers’ tour, around 4 p.m., Golani soldiers took the 15 year-old brother of the two detained boys from his house and detained him.  He was released later that day.  

    Thursday, February 2nd: Fifteen Golani soldiers detained two children, ages 12 and 13, for 45 minutes on Shuhada Street near the entrance to the Muslim cemetery.  Later, six of the soldiers brought the boys up through the cemetery to a military base.  In all, they were held for two hours.  Both boys were too young to have IDs.


    Saturday, February 4th:  Eight Golani soldiers in Bab il Baladiya grabbed four boys all around the age of nine and detained them in an alley, claiming one of the boys had thrown a stone.  No witnesses saw them throw the stone. International observers told the soldiers that the boys were not old enough to be arrested, and the soldier replied that in that case he would “arrest their fathers.”  They released the boys 30 minutes later.

    Monday February 6th:  Six soldiers detained two 11 year-old boys at Qurtuba School in Tel Rumeida as school was letting out, telling them that they would be arrested for throwing stones.  Several teachers and the principal of the school told the soldiers that they boys were not throwing stones.  The soldiers replied, “We will let the boys go this time, but if they ever threw stones against the Israeli people again, we will arrest them and cause problems for your entire school.”

    [During the calendar month of January 2012, international observers witnessed a sharp increase in the number of Palestinian teenage and school-age boys body-searched by Israeli forces, who had reportedly agreed that soldiers would not search bags of children attending school.  This number has not been documented in this report but is clear to observers on the ground.  Furthermore, according to residents, the Golani have greatly increased this type harassment, when compared to previous brigades.]

    2. Incidents in which Golani soldiers arbitrarily detained Palestinians and/or denied them access to roads or walkways. 

    Wednesday, December 28th: A Golani soldier prevented several members of the Youth Against Settlements organization from walking down a path from their center towards their homes.  The soldier claimed that this prevention was because settlers were walking up the path, though none were seen, and further explained, “They must wait when anyone walks past.  Even if a dog walks, they must wait.”

    Friday, January 6th: A soldier stopped a 19 year-old resident of Shuhada Street and ordered him to show what was in his boots, unzip his jacket, and put his face and hands against the wall.  When the soldier began to hit the man, a neighbor and internationals observers began to film, after which the soldier stopped, but detained the man and his neighbor another 15 minutes.  The youth said the same soldier had stopped him to check his ID four times in one week.  

    Saturday, January 7th: Golani soldiers held a Palestinian for over three hours at Checkpoint 56.  The soldier explained that he was detaining the man because “he did not like him.”  The two soldiers at the check point continuously reminded the Palestinian man of his detention by asking him, “How long have you been here?” and forced him to urinate where he stood rather than allowing him to leave. 

    Tuesday, January 17th: Golani patrolled through the busy Palestinian market in H1 at midday.  As they marched, they forced everyone to stand aside and randomly stopped two Palestinian men to check their identifications.  A younger man had to stand with his hands raised high on the wall for six minutes to check his ID. 

    Monday, January 23rd: Golani enter into H1 to search cars in Harte i-Sheik. 

    Monday, January 23rd: Golani denied a Palestinian man access to his home in the Old City because they said the entrance to the Old City was closed after 9:00 p.m. Internationals observed for 40 minutes, as the soldiers denied him access at multiple checkpoints, forcing him to walk back and forth carrying a heavy sack.  The soldiers insisted it was the man’s own fault, but finally appeared to relent and took the man on an alternative route. 

    Tuesday, January 24th: Golani soldiers stopped the Abu Aisha family at Gilbert Checkpoint as they were on their way home and refused to allow them through the checkpoint.  They did not tell the family why they were not allowed to pass.  After some time, they told the family to take a much longer route home, which they did.

    Tuesday, January 24th: Soldiers at Checkpoint 56 harassed Palestinians leaving H2 by “playing” with the electric doors of the container box.  After people entered the structure, soldiers closed all the doors simultaneously, trapping them inside, and then opened and closed an exit repeatedly.  Finally, the soldiers opened the door from which the people had entered, forcing them back out the way they had come.

    Monday, January 30th: Golani soldiers held a man outside in very cold rain for one hour because he was fixing the satellite on the roof of his house in Tel Rumeida.  They told him that they had seen him on his roof through a camera, and that in the future he would need special permission to be there.

    3. Incidents in which Golani have injured and/or threatened detained Palestinians. 

    Monday, January 9th: A group of Golani in the Old City approached a merchant sitting at his stand and asked him, “Why are you looking at me like that?”  They immediately detained him, binding him with plastic ties, and took him to Avraham Avinu.  While in custody for 2½ hours, they blindfolded him and slapped him on the head.

    Sunday, January 15th: Six Golani soldiers entered a home in Tel Rumeida at 12 a.m., forcing the father outside in the cold, while pointing the gun at his head.  They then forced the seven other family members, including three children, into one room.  The soldiers searched the house for about an hour.  Before leaving the Golani told the family, “Next time, look behind you.  We will kick you out from the house, and we will take it.”

    Two nights later on Tuesday, January 17th, around 1 a.m., eight Golani soldiers shot three sound bombs at the outside walls of the same house.
     
    Sunday, January 15th: In the early morning, Golani soldiers sat in a jeep and watched as settlers torched a Palestinian family’s car, parked in a lot behind Tel Rumeida near the family’s home.  Neighbors witnessed the vandalism from their apartment building, situated uphill from the parking area about 100 yards away and with a clear view of the lot.  They report that soldiers did nothing to intervene or prevent the settlers from destroying the car.
     
    Tuesday, January 17th: The Golani entered a man’s home at night, and forced the family to go outside, including their one and a half year-old son.  The soldiers hit the father in the head with the butt of a rifle, for which he later received medical treatment.  International observers read the medical report.

    Saturday, January 21st: Eight Golani soldiers invaded the offices of the Youth Against Settlements organization in Tel Rumeida.  They arrested a human rights defender, who is also the leader of the organization.  The soldiers blindfolded him, bound his hands, put him against the wall, and hit him twice in the stomach.  Later they took him to the military base where they held a gun to his head and told him, “You are not safe here and next time we will shoot and kill you.”  Afterwards, they marched him through Beit Hadassah, allowing settlers to kick and spit on him, while chanting, “Each Arab dog will have his day.”  The soldiers then took him back to an abandoned house where they released him.

    Saturday, January 28th: Six Golani stopped a young man in the morning in the Old City to demand his ID, which he did not have.  When he told them he would go home to get it, they followed him back to his house.  Immediately after showing his ID, soldiers tied his hands and blindfolded him.  The soldiers then ransacked his room, even tearing up his carpet.  They took him to Beit Romano and detained him one hour before releasing him onto Shuhada Street.  The young man’s mother told international observers that her son had visible “marks” on his body, evidence of the soldiers’ beatings.  

    4. Incidents in which the Golani have used religious references to insult, intimidate, or provoke Palestinians. 

    Sunday, January 7th: Golani mockingly shouted the Islamic call to prayer through loudspeakers at Checkpoint 56.  They also closed the gate, forcing passersby to listen to the Golani anthem. 

    Friday, December 30th: Two soldiers entered the Ibrahimi Mosque courtyard while Palestinians performed Friday prayers.  When asked to leave, they proceeded to the rooftop and pointed guns at the crowd of men praying. 

    Thursday, February 2nd: At 6 p.m., eleven Golani soldiers entered the Al-Qazzazin Mosque near the chicken market in the Old City.  International observers witnessed the soldiers walk into the mosque without removing their boots, shout at Palestinians, and remain there for 20 minutes.

    5. Incidents of Golani soldiers entering Palestinians homes and property:

    Monday, January 16th: During a night patrol in the Old City, six Golani soldiers invaded a home without a search warrant, claiming a rock was thrown on them from above. 

    Tuesday, January 17th:  Internationals observed six Golani soldiers attempt to enter a home without a search warrant.  The soldiers asked the homeowner, “Why do you allow tourists on your roof?”

    Thursday, January 19th: Golani entered a home without a search warrant, informing the owner of the home that they would come the next day to weld shut her door, which exits on to Shuhada Street.  The soldiers have yet to return. 

    Tuesday, January 24th: Golani entered a home without a search warrant and proceeded to the roof, thereupon crossing over several roofs and entering outdoor spaces belonging to the occupants. 

    Monday, January 30th: Golani surrounded a Palestinian home on Tel Rumeida, trampling freshly planted vegetables and pointing laser sights at members of the household.  Residents report that the Golani have trained in and around their property for twenty days, including frequently shouting and pointing laser sighted guns at residents.  They also reported that soldiers fired sound grenades into their yard at 3:00 a.m. and, that on at least one occasion, soldiers entered their house to practice home raids.

    Wednesday, February 8th: In the early morning hours (approximately 12:30-7:30 a.m. ), an unknown number of Golani soldiers and Israeli border police conducted raids on at least 30 homes in the Old City.  They beat in doors and windows with rifles and boots, forced locks with pry-bars, and ransacked or damaged belongings.  They ordered a family of eight, including two small children, into a single room of the home, where they were forced to wait for four hours and could not use the bathroom.  In another case, they locked an ill and developmentally disabled child into a room alone while her family had to wait outside.  Two women alone with five children were also sent out into the street for four hours while soldiers broke every door in the house.  One man, a father of two children under 4 years of age, reported that soldiers came into his house searching “for rock throwers.”  Other families reported being forced to wait for as long as four hours locked in bathrooms or outside in the cold.

    6. Incidents where the Golani have harassed and/or prevented international observers from documenting human rights violations. 

    Tuesday, January 3rd:  A tour with Breaking the Silence (an organization of Israeli veterans who share their experiences of occupation) was stopped by soldiers on its way through Shuhada street three times.  Soldiers interrupted the tour at the entrance to the Muslim cemetery, at Checkpoint 56, and at the entrance to the Tel Rumeida settlement.  Each time the soldiers held up the tour for 15 to 20 minutes.  On every occasion, the tour guide called his lawyer and then spoke to the police. 

    Friday, January 6th: Offering no specific reason, Golani detained a Palestinian and international observers on a cold night for a total of five hours between Gilbert Checkpoint and Checkpoint 56.  When observers responded to a call from a Palestinian man already held for two hours, soldiers demanded their passports.  Although the man was released 30 minutes after, soldiers held observers’ passports, effectively detaining them another three hours. 

    Tuesday, January 10th: A Golani soldier stood by and watched as a settler woman on Shuhada Street attacked two international activists less than 30 meters away.  The settler woman grabbed the two internationals by the neck and attempted to choke them.  Later, she grabbed a rock and threw it at them, but missed.  When the activists reported the incident, police and soldiers began to mock, cat call, and sexually harass the international women. 

    Wednesday, January 11th: When the same two Internationals stopped to observe a detention, on their way to make a police report, Golani detained and again sexually harassed them.  They shouted, “You are sucking Arab cock, yes?” and made rude gestures in front of a crowd of Palestinians.

    Thursday, January 19th: After thoroughly searching international observer’s luggage at a checkpoint and failing to find anything notable, Golani attempted to have him arrested for possession of green tea, which they claimed was “drugs.”  Although Border Police initially refused, the Golani succeeded in having him arrested by insisting that they had been assaulted by the volunteer farting in the presence of the soldiers.

    Saturday, January 21st: Attempting to access a roof, Golani broke through the stairwell door to the international observers’ office and apartment.

    Tuesday, February 7th: At 5:00p.m., Golani soldiers at Checkpoint 56 arrested an international observer after telling him there was a “new law” prohibiting the filming or photography of soldiers.  He stopped photographing, but soldiers had him arrested anyway “for interfering with military operations.”  They released him after their own video refuted the allegations.  Later that night they arrested him again, and detained another observer for one and a half hours—also for supposedly taking photos.  Both were released close to 11:30 p.m.

    In conclusion, although this report does not account for every documented case, we believe that the number of documented abuses constitutes only a small portion of what is actually occurring.  As these human rights violations continue unabated, internationals observers working in Hebron have called for an immediate withdrawal of the Golani Brigade.  If the Golani remain for another two to five months, abuses will likely continue to escalate and make life unbearable for Palestinians of Hebron.

     

    *Israeli Border Police

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    Under Attack.pdf107.42 KB

    Statements of Support

    Dow Marmur is Rabbi Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, one of the largest Reform Judaism congregations in the world. He is also past Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, in Jerusalem.

    "Genuine Testimony"

    I met A. a few years ago in Toronto. He told me then that in his retirement he spends a couple of months every year in Hebron with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Over the years we've met in Jerusalem on a Sunday when he came to church, at times in the company of other team members. Like A., they're religious women and men belonging to different denominations within the Church and beyond.

    CPT has been active in different conflict zones in the world. It came to Hebron in 1995, as its brochure has it, "in order to maintain a violence-deterring presence between Israeli settlers, soldiers and Palestinians." Its work, therefore, isn't very different from what Israeli groups such as Machsom (checkpoint) Watch, Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human Rights and many similar are doing. Indeed, CPT is in touch with them.

    CPT's mission statement says: "Because we believe in a God of mercy and justice, we are not neutral about situations where one group is being oppressed by another. We do not affiliate ourselves with any particular political agenda, but we do believe that it is our calling as Christians to stand in solidarity with the downtrodden in conflict situations. We are totally opposed to violence as a means, regardless of our opinion of the perpetrators and victims in any given incident. We believe that both violent and unjust acts demean the image of God in human beings."

    CPT activities in the old city of Hebron that's currently under Israeli administrative control include: "visits to homes at risk of demolition and/or land confiscation; visits to schools to introduce CPT and our school patrol activity; accompaniment of farmers at planting times; and the monitoring of Israeli soldiers as they search homes."

    What A. and his friends had to tell me about conditions in Hebron confirms what I saw with my own eyes when I visited a year or so ago. The army is there to protect the settlers and little else. Some of the settlers, imbued with a perverted version of Jewish religious nationalism, are a menace to their neighbors and an embarrassment to Judaism. Palestinians are often without protection. CPT and similar organizations operating in Hebron are there as witnesses. Their aim is to inhibit settlers from attacking Palestinians.

    Though I must admit at being suspicious of "do-gooders" from outside, I'm prepared to make an exception for CPT. Not only are the volunteers I've met women and men of highest integrity who in their working life (often as clergy, educators or members of religious orders) contributed much to society but, talking to them, I was left with the impression that they recognize the complexities of the situation and would not issue blanket condemnation of Israelis or express uncritical views of Palestinians.

    Their involvement appears to be genuine. They shun lofty proclamations from a safe distance, as so many ostensibly liberal religious groups are prone to do. Instead, they give of their time and money to spend months at a time in Hebron under less than comfortable conditions in order to be of genuine help, not hypocritical grandstanding.

    Each time I meet A. and his friends my respect for them grows. Because I know that this kind of activity could not be done by Jewish groups, due to settler "retaliation," I'm grateful to these women and men who're there to testify to values that Jews and Christians share.

    Dow Marmur, Jerusalem 14 April 2008

    Videos

    CPT Hebron Videos

    All CPT Hebron videos can be found on the CPTHebron Youtube channel.



    A CPTer follows a young Palestinian boy, Yusuf, and his teacher as Yusuf tries to return home after school. Yusuf faces many difficulties reaching his destination due to numerous Israeli military closures. 
    Israeli border police hired workers to remove irrigation pipes from vegetable fields in Al Baqa'a Valley and cut twines holding tomato plants up. The border police used tear gas to prevent Palestinian land owners from going to their fields to protest the destruction. Over 100 Palestinians were affected by this destruction. For more information see the press release.

    CPT At-Tuwani Videos

    All CPT At-Tuwani videos can be found on the AtTuwaniProject Youtube channel.



    Children from Tuba and Maghaer Al-Abeed, villages located in the Palestinian territories' South Hebron Hills, attend primary school in the village of At-Tuwani. The children walk on a road passing between the Israeli settlement of Ma'on and the illegal settlement outpost of Havot Ma'on/Hill 833. Armed settlers have harassed and attacked the children on their journeys to and from school.
    This video documents the struggle of the people of At-Tuwani to bring electricity to their village. The Israeli occupying forces have systematically denied At-Tuwani the proper permits to legally connect to the Palestinian electrical grid. Only after 8 years of struggle did the Israeli Civil Administration permit At-Tuwani to connect to the electrical grid.


    Palestinian schoolchildren provide testimony after a settler from the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) chased and attacked them while the children were walking to school. The Israeli army exposed the children to this attack by arriving more than 90 minutes late to escort the schoolchildren to their school in the village of At-Tuwani.  On the morning of Thursday 7 January 2010, Israeli soldiers attacked and injured Palestinian shepherds from the Musa Rabai family, as they grazed their sheep in Humra valley, near the village of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. Five members of the family were hospitalized. Before leaving the area, the soldiers arrested one of the shepherds, Musab Musa Rabai. Raba'i was interrogated and tortured for four hours.

    Other At-Tuwani Videos

    September 2005 - B'Tselem Video: Southern Hebron hills: Life in the shadow of settler violence (English subtitles, 6.2 minutes, 11Mb)

    Bibliography

    Tip: Use Ctrl-F (the Find Command)
    Highly recommended Indicates books most highly recommended.

     

    Highly recommendedAbboushi, W.F. The Unmaking of Palestine. Brattleboro, VT. Amana Books, 1990.

    Abu-Amir, Ziad. Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.

    Abu-Lughod, Ibrahim. ed. Palestinian Rights: Affirmation and Denial. Wilmette, IL: Medina Press, 1982.

    Aburishi, Said K. Children of Bethany: The Story of a Palestinian Family. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.

    ________. Cry Palestine: Inside the West Bank. Boulder: Westview Press, 1991.

    Highly recommendedAbu-Sharif, Bassam and Uzi Mahnaimi. The Best of Enemies: The Memoirs of Bassam Abu-Sharif & Uzi Mahnaimi. Boston:Little, Brown and Company, 1995.
    If each of these authors had published separate autobiographies, the results would have been compelling. Told contrapuntally, their stories make more gripping reading than most adventure novels. The fact that these men are of a similar age and have lived through the same events often in the same locations enables the reader to view Middle East history of the last 50 years from an astonishingly broad perspective. As final testimony to the effectiveness of this book I will add that 2 of the 3 copies in the Monroe County Library System have ended up "lost."

    Highly recommendedAre, Thomas L. Israeli Peace, Palestinian Justice: Liberation Theology and the Peace Process. Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 1994.

    Highly recommendedArmstrong, Karen. Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1996.

    Aronson, Geoffrey. Creating Facts: Israel, Palestinians & the West Bank. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1987.
    Good nuts and bolts coverage of the Occupation. Unfortunately, the statistics and maps only go up to the mid-eighties. Aronson quotes extensively from the liberal Israeli press, demonstrating that it is considerably less biased that the U.S. press in regards to the settlement program.

    Highly recommendedAruri, Naseer. The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995.

    ________. Occupation: Israel Over Palestine. Belmont, MA: AAUG, 1983.

    Highly recommendedAshrawi, Hanan. This Side of Peace. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
    Useful for seeing how the cards have been stacked against the Palestinians in most negotiating situations. Rather sad reading in some ways. Once the Palestinian negotiating team consisted of non-politicians whose main emphasis was human rights and that is no longer the case. It as interesting how Ashrawi was always able to tell when the American negotiators were operating from a State Dept. manual on what Arabs are like. Too bad people still don't see that truth for Palestinians is more important than some "honor/shame" code.

    Ateek, Naim. Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.
    Ateek, an Anglican priest, readjusts the classic Latin American Liberation Theology parameters to fit Palestinian reality, esp. Palestinian Christian reality.

    Avishai, Bernard. The Tragedy of Zionism: Revolution and Democracy in the Land of Israel. New York: Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1985.

    Highly recommendedAvnery, Uri. My Friend, the Enemy. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1986.
    Avnery is a former member of the Irgun who became one of Israel's most famous peace activists and a member of the Knesset. He makes talking to a bunch of people over the course of a decade pretty gripping reading. Also provides a fascinating behind the scenes look at the development of the PLO and how Israel "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity" making peace with it. Two of Avnery's friends. mentioned in the title, Said Hammammi and Issam Sartawi, were eventually assassinated, which makes the whole book poignant from the outset. When I started the book, I was put off by Avnery's self-congratulatory tone. When I finished, I thought he was entitled to it.

    Bahbah, Bishara. Israel and Latin America: The Military Connection. New York: St Martin's Press, 1986.

    Bailey, Kenneth E. Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke. Combined edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983. I
    did not read this book for this bibliography, but after I finished, I thought this look at parables from perspective of Middle Eastern villagers also provides useful perspective on contemporary politics.

    Ball, George W. and Douglas B. The Passionate Attachment: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992.

    Bamford, James. The Puzzle Palace: A Report on America's Most Secret Agency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Co., 1982.
    Has a brief account of the 1967 Liberty incident in which Israel tried to destroy an American spy ship.

    Highly recommendedBeit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987.
    Beit Hallahmi's thesis is that Israel has supported all the right-wing oppressive regimes throughout the 2/3rds world, because it is terrified of decolonization happening anywhere. The success of any national liberation movement calls into question Israel's domination of the Palestinians. After reading about how the Mossad helped keep the Duvaliers in power in Haiti, I felt my CPT experiences had come full circle.

    Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel. New York: Olive Branch, 1992.

    Bellah, Robert N. and Frederick E Greenspahn. Uncivil Religion: Interreligious Hostility in America. New York: Crossroad, 1987.
    The two most relevant essays in the book are Jonathan D. Sarna's "Jewish-Christian Hostility in the United States: Perceptions from a Jewish point of view" and John Murray Cuddihy's "Elephant and the Angels; the Incivil Irritatingness of Jewish Theodicy."

    Highly recommendedBennis, Phyllis. From Stones to Statehood. The Palestinian Uprising. New York: Olive Branch, 1992.

    Bentwich, Norman. For Zion's Sake: A Biography of Judah L. Magnes. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1954.

    Benvenisti, Meron. City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

    Highly recommended________. Conflicts and Contradictions. New York: Random House, 1986.
    Perhaps the best attempt by an Israeli to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from both a Palestinian and International point of view (while at the same time not rejecting his own pride in being an Israeli, and noting ways in which his own actions militated against his value system.) This would be a good book to read alongside Said's Politics of Dispossession, partly because he specifically criticizes some of Said's assertions and partly because he sees many of the same things that Said does. Their thinking is actually pretty close.

    Highly recommended________. Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
    Benvenisti is almost dispassionate as he recounts the egregious human rights abuses that have grown out of the occupation. He belongs to neither the right nor the left, and blames both equally for the on-going oppression of the Palestinians. I appreciated his putting the conflict in the context of other ethnic conflicts around the world. The one annoying thing about the book is that he quotes people without attribution.

    Highly recommended________. Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948. trans. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
    Benvenisti describes, in his typically balanced way, how the Israeli leadership destroyed Palestinian villages, and moved new immigrants into the buildings they left standing, changed Arabic names for places into Hebrew, and Muslim holy sites into Jewish holy sites. He is perhaps uniquely qualified to discuss these issues, because his father was one of the geographers who renamed Palestinian sites in order to link them with names Israel's ancestral homeland. As in his other books, Benvenisti pulls no punches for Israelis, Palestinians or even himself. He ends his analysis of the Palestinian and Israeli struggle for the landscape with the wry observation that the Zionist "struggle for the Land has become the struggle for profitable zoning." In a conclusion that is sure to offend both Israelis and Palestinians, he notes that "after fifty years of struggle for the landscape, the Arabs have become the last of the Zionists." Sacred Landscape is worth purchasing for Benvenisti's epilogue alone, in which he offers creative alternatives to the "all or nothing" attitudes present in current Israeli/Palestinian negotiations. He notes that if the Israeli government were to provide infrastructure to the "unrecognized villages" where Israeli Arab citizens were driven during the 1948 war, give building permits to these citizens, allow restoration of Arab mosques and churches in communities where Jewish immigrants were settled, and compensate Arab owners of land currently being sold by the State to developers, it would set a "precedent for good intentions" and signal that the state of war with the Palestinians is finally over.

    Benziman, Uzi. Sharon: An Israeli Caesar. New York: Adama Books, 1985.
    Benzimann notes in his preface that many people associated with Sharon over the years refused to talk to him out of fear. He manages to demonstrate that Sharon's handling of the Lebanon war was typical of the way he had always worked within the military and within the government. Interesting that Benzimann never refers to Sharon's raids as terrorist, although Palestinian raids are routinely referred to as such.

    Berger, Elmer. Peace for Palestine: First Lost Opportunity. Gainesville: University PRess of Florida, 1993.

    Bernards, Neal. The Palestinian Conflict. From the Opposing Viewpoints Juniors series. San Diego: Greenhaven, Press, Inc., 1990.
    Although it purports to have an even-handed approach in helping young people identify propaganda, it fails on several counts 1) the cover shows Palestinian boys throwing stones 2) It casts the argument into a Israelis-want-security/Palestinians want a homeland frame, ignoring the fears Palestinians have for their security 3) It cites Joan Peters (p. 13) as a Middle East expert ignoring the fact that Israeli historians have completely discounted her scholarship in her notorious From Time Immemorial.

    Binur, Yoram. My Enemy, My Self. London: Doubleday, 1989.
    An Israeli Black Like Me.

    Block, Gay and Malka Drucker. Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust. New York: TV Books, 1992.
    An inspiring book containing interviews with and pictures of Europeans who hid Jews during WWII. Drucker had the integrity to let each rescuer tell his or her own story without putting a spin on feelings of bitterness or personal politics. I was especially interested in the rescuers' views of modern Israel. Some had strongly pro-Zionist sentiments and others couldn't understand why the Israelis persecuted the Palestinians, given the history of anti-semitism.

    Bookbinder, Hyman and James G. Abourzek. Through Different Eyes: Two Leading Americans, A Jew and an Arab, Debate U.S. Policy in the Middle East. Bethesda, MD: Adler and Adler, 1987.
    Helpful in showing where dialogue regarding the issue generally breaks down and how propaganda becomes internalized. Also shows the futility of bombarding people with facts when their beliefs are driven by feelings.

    *Brenner, Lenni. Zionism in the Age of Dictators: A Reappraisal. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1983.
    Details the collaboration of prominent Zionists with Fascist leaders in Europe and the callousness of some of these same leaders toward the European Jews during the Holocaust. Although intended as a stunning indictment of Zionism, the book confirmed my belief that all sorts of nationalism tend to make people cruel or indifferent to the suffering of others not of their nationality.

    Butt, Gerald. Life at the Crossroads: A History of Gaza. Essex, England: Rimal, 1995.

    Highly recommendedChacour, Elias. Blood Brothers. Tarrytown, NY: Chosen Books, 1984.
    Chacour, a Palestinian Catholic-Melkite priest, gives a lucid first person account of what happened to the Palestinian villages within Israel during the 1947-48 war. He has been a strong voice within Israel for Christian-Muslim-Jewish reconciliation.

    ________ and Mary Jensen. We Belong to the Land. San Francisco: HarperCollins Paperback, 1992.
    Covers much of the same biographical information in Blood Brothers, but also has material on Israel's war in Lebanon and and Chacour's work in the last decade.

    Chapman, Colin. Whose Promised Land? Oxford: Lion Paperback, 1992. (First published 1983.)

    Highly recommendedChertok, Haim. Stealing Home: Israel Bound and Rebound. New York: Fordham University Press, 1988.
    I am beginning to discover as of this writing that accounts like Chertok's, i.e. first person perspectives of life in Israel or Palestine are the most useful for understanding the conflict there. It forces the observer to think in terms of people instead of politics. Chertok is an odd combination of a Zionist who believes the diaspora is bankrupt and dying and a leftist who supports, at least theoretically, human rights for Palestinians.

    Chomsky, Noam. Class Warfare: Interviews with David Barsamian. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1996.
    Section on Israel focusses mostly on U.S. Aid to Israel and American misconceptions about Oslo. 8/99

    Highly recommended________. Chronicles of Dissent: Interviews with David Barsamian. Common Courage Press, 1992.
    Although there are two sections in this book dedicated to Israel and the Gulf War, references to the U.S.-Israeli relationship occur throughout this collection of interviews. I was particularly interested in Chomsky's description of his Jewish upbringing and of how he is routinely censored by the media powers that be.

    _________ and David Barisamian. The Common Good. Berkely, CA: Odonian Press, 1998.
    In the Middle East section, Chomsky makes some interesting remarks about the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community. 8/99

    Highly recommended________. The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians. Boston: South End Press, 1983.
    Densely written and densely footnoted, this book took me three times as long to read as I thought it would. Chomsky confirms my own feeling that the Israeli press is more honest about what is happening in Israel than the American press is. No one is better than Chomsky at cutting through perception to get at what is. Highly recommended.

    ________. Keeping the Rabble in Line: Interviews with David Barsamian.Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1994.
    Less in this book about Israel and Chomsky's Jewish heritage, but it is still useful for putting Chomsky's view on the Middle East in context.

    ________. Peace in the Middle East: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood. New York: Vintage, 1974.

    _________ and David Barsamian. The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many. Berkeley, CA: Odonian Press, 1993.
    Covers the Clinton administration's relationship with Israel, Oslo deceptions and Lebanon.

    ________. World Orders Old and New. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
    The third section of this book is devoted to the Middle East, although reading the first two will help give an economic and political context for U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Punctures the myths of the Oslo peace process.

    ________. Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.

    Cockburn, Andrew and Leslie. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S. Israeli Covert Relationship. New York:HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
    And a mighty sick relationship is is. The Cockburn's use Beit-Hallahmi's book extensively, but also seem to have had a lot of access to American and Israeli intelligence operators. Certain to leave you in a cynical frame of mind.

    Cohen, Aharon. Israel and the Arab World. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1970.
    Five hundred fifty pages of small print detailing Jewish-Arab relations before, during and shortly after the founding of the State of Israel. Cohen fought in the Ô48 war and figures prominently in Morris's Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem. Somehow that makes his drive to improve Israeli-Arab relations more poignant. Although his references to Arabs as "backward" made me cringe, he put more blame on the British and the U.S. for preventing cordial relations from developing. For people too impatient to read the whole book, I highly recommend the last chapter which sadly demonstrates that Israeli-Arab relations have not changed much since 1970, when it was written. This is the quote that should be required reading: After citing the Israeli position that Arabs only understand force, Cohen writes, "To be sure, like everyone else, the Arab does not belittle strength, but a demonstration of force will not arouse his respect. Justice, generosity, and openheartedness are more impressive and are more likely to win his trust."

    Cooley, John. Payback: America's Long War in the Middle East. Washington, DC: Brassey's 1991.

    Corbin, Jane. The Norway Channel: The Secret Talks that Led to the Middle East Peace Accord. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994.

    Cozic, Charles P. Israel: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1994.

    Crowe, David M. A History of the Gypsies of Estern Europe and Russia. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.
    Gives a short account in each chapter of what happened to the Gypsies when the Nazis took over these countries.

    Highly recommendedCurtiss, Richard H. A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute. Washington, DC: American Educational Trust, 1986
    . Although Curtiss lets US policymakers off the hook a bit too easily (with the exception of Kissinger and Haig), the book provides a fascinating behind the scenes account of U.S. dealings with Israel since it became a state. Because Curtiss was a State Department employee from 1951 on, he had first hand access to Presidents from Eisenhower on. I had known that Israeli manipulation of the U.S. government was bad. I didn't know it was this bad. However, after reading Avnery's book (above) I came to the conclusion that the US has done its share of manipulating Israel, as well.

    Dan, Uri. To the Promised Land: the Birth of Israel. New York: Doubleday
    , 1988
    . This coffee table book is a quintessential example of the sort of Zionist history that Flapan, Morris and Segev have sought to correct in their books. In 1982 Dan became Ariel Sharon's media advisor and accompanied him to Lebanon. Nuff said.

    David, Ron. Arabs and Israel for Beginners. New York: Writers and Readers Publishing, 1993, 1996.
    This book might be precisely the antidote to the source cited immediately below. Unfortunately, David cites certain Ancient Near Eastern happenings as facts instead of hypotheses, which could give what follows less credibility in the eyes of some. However, the book reads quickly and is helped by the pencil sketches on every page.

    Davis, Leonard J. and Decter, Moshe, eds.Myths and Facts 1982: A Concise Record of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Washington, DC: Near East Report, 1982.
    The sad thing about this book is that one could refute most of its egregious twistings of truth using entirely Israeli sources. To do so, however would require referring to a dozen scholarly works, none of whichÑwith the possible exception of Segev's works, are nearly as easy to read. The item that really made me mad was the reference to Saad Haddad as a "Lebanese patriot." The editors demonstrated his worthiness by citing his training at Fort Benning! The book does has some useful documents in its appendix (texts of U.N. Security Council resolutions, etc.)

    Davis, Uri. Israel: An Apartheid State. London: Zed Books, 1987.

    Highly recommended*________ and Mezvinsky, Norton, eds. Documents from Israel: 1967-1973. London: Ithaca Press, 1975.
    Contains various articles and essays from largely Hebrew language sources. I found the pieces from The Black Panther especially helpful in learning about the attitudes of the Mizrahi Jews toward the establishment. Invaluable compendium of primary sources.

    Dinnerstein, Leonard. America and the Survivors of the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

    Doughty, Dick and Mohaammed El Aydi. Gaza: Legacy of Occupation--A Photographer's Journey. Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press, 1995.

    Ellis, Marc. Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1990.
    Ellis writes at the end, "The task before us is to confront that which threatens the foundations of Jewishness, drawing strength from the tradition of dissent and raising up the liturgy of destruction to include both those who persecuted us and those whom Jews persecute today. This is the avenue to critical thought and activity that moves beyond innocence and redemption to recover the ethical tradition at the heart of Judaism."

    ________. Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994.
    Two statements Ellis drills into his classes at Maryknoll are, "Oppose all orthodoxy" and "Beware the guardians of tradition." These statements are an underlying theme of this book in which Ellis balances Auschwitz with the genocide in the Americas begun in 1492. He essentially calls for an end to all theologyÑChristian and JewishÑthat excludes others. Frequently throughout the book he cites Irving Greenburg's dictum that any theology today must be credible in the presence of burning children.

    ________. Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Uprising and the Future. E
    llis seeks to convince Jewish readers that their theology needs to have a deeper base than the history of persecution and the Holocaust. I have heard criticism from Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, who agrees with Ellis's premises, that Ellis does not back up his arguments with the Talmud. He is therefore not given a fair hearing among many Jewish scholars. Milgrom believes the Talmud can be used to back up Ellis's premises.

    ________. Unholy Alliance: Religion and Atrocity in Our Time. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.
    The title is self-explanatory.
    It is helpful to view the atrocities committed by the state of Israel in the context of other atrocities that occurred partly through the collaboration of people who used religion to justify their actions.

    Highly recommendedElon, Amos. A Blood-Dimmed Tide: Dispatches from the Middle East. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
    It is fascinating to see how Elon's thinking evolved between 1967 and 1995Ñthe period of history that these articles and essays cover. In 1967, he found the triumphalism after the Six Day War vaguely disturbing. By 1995, he knows exactly why he found it disturbing. Straight-forward and informative.

    Emerson, Gloria. Gaza: A Year in the Intifada: A Personal Account from an Occupied Land. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1991.

    Englander, Nathan. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
    Most of these stories take place in the ultra-Orthodox milieu that Englander grew up in. The last story, about what sounds like the bombing of Ben Yehudah Mall, gives the reader an idea about the different way that Israelis and expatriates cope with the threat of terrorism.

    Ennes, James M. Jr. Assault on Liberty: The True Story of the Israeli Attack on an American Intelligence Ship. New York: Random House, 1979.

    Epstein, Melech. Profiles of Eleven. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1965.

    Highly recommendedEzrahi, Yaron. Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Israel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
    The major theme of Ezrahi's book is that there has been such a "poverty of the individual" throughout Israel's history, that Israelis do not have the resources to develop an individual's conscience and resistance to collective injustice. As of this writing (12/2/97) the book is very current. It discusses Netanyahu's defeat of Peres in May 1996. As is usual, I found Ezrahi's personal stories--what it was like to grow up in Israel at the time it achieved statehood, what it was like to send his son to the army--the most interesting part of the book.

    Feingold, Henry L. The Politics of Rescue. New Jersey: Rutgers University, 1970.
    Exposes the miserable response of Roosevelt and the State Department to Jewish refugees fleeing genocide and gives a good picture of what was going on in Europe at the time. Shonfeld's and Weissmandel's accusations re: the American Jewish community are not dealt with. The Palestinian Jewish community's response to the Holocaust is also not much developed. Tom Segev gives a more complete picture of the Jewish response in The Seventh Million.

    Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock and Mary Evelyn Hocking. Israelis & Palestinians: The Struggle for Peace. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992.

    Highly recommendedFeuerlicht, Roberta Strauss. The Fate of the Jews: A People torn Between Israeli Power and Jewish Ethics. New York: Times Books, 1983.
    Feuerlicht grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family on the Lower East side of New York. I found her description of her family's history fascinating, as well as her tracing the history of Jewish "liberalism." As an insider, she may be a little harder on her community, since she is more aware of its faults. It is usually good to puncture romantic notions people have of various ethnic groups, however.

    Findley, Paul. Deliberate Deceptions: Facing the Facts about the US-Israeli Relationship. New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1993.
    For people without the patience to read Flapan and Morris, this is easily digested. Like Curtiss, Findley lets the US off the hook a little too easily, and as a pacifist, I am of course concerned that he sees arming Arab countries as a trend toward egalitarianism. I think Findley dismisses the biblical aspirations of some Israelis too easily.

    Highly recommendedFinkelstein, Norman G. Image and eality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. New York: Verso, 1995.
    Finkelstein's analysis of Joan Peter's From TIme Immemorial appears in Said's and Hitchen's Blaming the victims. That essay and others of the same nature make this volume a useful reference for analyzing how media and scholarship related to the Israeli-Palestinian question are slanted. I was especially interested in his analysis of Benni Morris's historical works.

    ________ and Ruth Bettina Birn. A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth. New York: Metropoloitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 1998.
    Finkelstein picks apart Goldhagen's central thesis, i.e., that the Germans were preternaturally disposed toward "eliminationist anti-semitism" in much the same way he picked apart Peters' central thesis in From Time Immemorial. He speculates that Goldhagens' book received the acclamation it did for many of the same reasons that FTI did. Birn's essay demonstrates how Goldhagen manipulated the data from German archives to support his thesis. (12/99)

    Highly recommended________. The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
    Finkelstein packs a lot into this 121 page book. In addition to recounting the year he spent living and teaching in the Beit Sahour area, he does some comparative analyses that are stunning. He compares Iraq's invasion of Kuwait with Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the attitudes of Palestinians toward Israelis with the attitudes of his parents, who were Holocaust survivors, toward the Germans and the mechanisms that Israel has used to force the Palestinians off the land with the mechanisms that the U.S. used to force the Cherokees off the land. As is usual with Finkelstein, everything is meticulously documented. Highly recommended.

    Finkelstein, Norman H. Friends Indeed: The Special Relationship of Israel and the United States. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.
    Got this out by mistake, thinking it was another book by Norman G. (See above.) Written for young adults, this book provides an easy summation of the conventional wisdom about Israel. In another decade or so, when the conventional wisdom becomes that of historians such as Morris, Flapan and Segev, Norman H. Finkelstein's book will serve as an excellent, articulate example of what people in the U.S. used to believe about Israel. (9/99)

    Highly recommendedFlapan, Simha. The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities. New York: Pantheon Books, 1987.
    Flapan, an Israeli historian, examines seven of the myths surrounding the 1947-48 war (e.g., that the Arab countries broadcasted radio announcements encouraging Palestinians to leave their homes.) Using primary sources, he demonstrates that these popularly held beliefs are not always true.

    Highly recommended________. Zionism and the Palestinians. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1979.
    Covers the same period that Cohen's Israel and the Arab World does, but Flapan had access to more primary sources of Ben Gurion, Weizmann, et al. than did Cohen.

    Fonseca, Isabel. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
    I read this and Crowe's and Friedlander's books to try to gain an understanding of how the Holocaust had affected other groups targeted for destruction by the Nazis. Fonseca writes beautifully and manages to present a view of Gyspy life and history that his both unsentimental and compassionate. Interesting tidbit toward the end about how it wasn't until Elie Wiesel resigned in 1986 that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council was able to include a Gypsy on its council. Wiesel opposed Gypsy representation.

    Freedman, Robert O.. ed. Israel Under Rabin. Boulder: Westview Press, 1995.

    Friedland, Henry. The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution. Chapel HIll, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. F
    riedland seeks to expand the definition of Nazi genocide to include other "biologically selected" targets, especially the Gypsies and the handicapped. He shows how the murder of handicapped and disabled people eventually set the groundwork for the Final Solution.

    Friedman, Robert. The False Prophet: From FBI Informant to Knesset Member. Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1990.
    A biography of Meir Kahane and his influence among American Jews and in Israeli politics. (Kahane lived in Kiryat Arba, outside of Hebron, and there is a park dedicated in his honor there.)

    ________. Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel's West Bank Settlement Movement. New York: Random House, 1992.
    Friedman examines the right wing Israelis of American background who started and perpetuate the settlement movement in Israel. Gives backgrounds on several of the Hebron settlers with whom CPT has come in contact.

    Highly recommendedFriedman, Thomas. From Beirut to Jerusalem. New York: Doubleday, 1990.
    The most readable book I have found on the Middle East conflict. Friedman was the New York Times correspondent in Lebanon during the war in the early Ô80's and was in the correspondent in Jerusalem during the time of the Intifada. His first person account of what he saw and his historical analysis, while not radical, do run counter to many of the prevailing myths Americans believe about Israel and Lebanon. After reading this book, people should read Edward Said's critical review of it in The Politics of Dispossession.

    Gaffney, Mark. Dimona: The Third Temple? The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation. Brattleboro, VT: Amana Books, 1989.

    Ganeri, Anita. I Remember Palestine: Why We Left. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1995.
    The first 12 pages of this 27 page books seem to be devoted to justifying Israel's conquest of the region and it ends with a paean to Oslo. This is supposed to be part of a series (I Remember Bosnia, I Remember Somalia.) It would be interesting to see the political slant on those.

    Gerner, Deborah J. One Land, Two Peoples: The Conflict over Palestine. Boulder: Westview Press, 1991.

    Ghareeb, Edmund, ed. Split Vision: The Portrayal of Arabs in the American Media. Washington, DC: Arab-American Affairs Council, 1983.
    More thorough than Shaheen's book. The numerous interviews with journalists regarding how Arabs are portrayed sheds an interesting light on some familiar faces and names.

    Giacaman, George and Dag Jorund Lonning. After Oslo: New Realities, Old Problems. London and Chicago: Pluto Press, 1998.

    Highly recommendedGluck, Sherna Berger. An American Feminist in Palestine: The Intifada Years. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.
    Gluck, an American Jewish professor, stands strongly in solidarity with Palestinian women. Her introduction and conclusion deal with some of the emotional struggles she has had as a result of her background. In the end she concludes that she has come to the place she is regarding Palestinian rights because of her Jewish heritage rather than in spite of it. The intro and conclusion alone are worth the price of the book.

    Goldberg, J.J. Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment. New York, et al: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. 1996.
    Goldberg quotes former National Security Council staffer William Quandt as saying, "When people just accept your assumptions, you're halfway there in policy debate." Goldberg's assumptions are that nearly all Arab complaints regarding Israel are illegitimate and that all non-Jews who criticize Israel are anti-semitic. He pooh poohs works by Chomsky, Findley, Stephen Green, Tivnan and George and Douglas Ball for "attempting to document the Israel lobby's stranglehold over American foreign policy." Those criticisms aside, I found Goldberg's explanations as to why American Jewish leadership's politics are often at odd with those of the Jewish rank and file helpful. (11/99)

    Goldmann, Nahum. The Autobiography of Nahum Goldmann: Sixty Years of Jewish Life. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969.

    Gordon, Haim. Quicksand: Israel, the Intifada and the Rise of Political Evil in Democracies. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995.

    Highly recommendedGordon, Neve and Ruchama Marton. Torture: Human Rights, Medical Ethics and the Case of Israel. London: Zed Books, 1995.

    Highly recommendedGraff, James A. Palestinian Children and Israeli State Violence. Toronto: NECEF, 1991.

    Highly recommendedGreen, Stephen. Living by the Sword: America and Israel in the Middle East 1968-87. Brattleboro, VT: Amana Books, 1988.
    The Cockburns cite Green's books as a valuable resource. Largely using unclassified U.S. documents, Green uncovers some of the more unsavory aspects of Israel's ventures and the United States' collaboration with these ventures. Having read a lot of Israeli history by now (3/97), I did not expect to read anything new. I was wrong. Interesting that the first book was put out by a major publisher and the second one wasn't.

    Highly recommended________. Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1984.
    Especially interesting in this book to note that the unclassified documents from the time of the Ô47-'48 war had never been accessed before Green did so. A demonstration of myths taking precedence over facts.

    Grose, Peter. Israel in the Mind of America. New York: Knopf, 1983.

    Grossman, David. The Book of Intimate Grammar. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994.
    Gives a fictional account of growing up in Israel to immigrant parents in the fifties.

    ________. Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1993.
    Grossman speaks Arabic fluently and has long been a critic of the Israeli occupation. This book exposes much of the racism in Israeli society. He makes some interesting comparisons in this book between West Bank Palestinians and Palestinian Israelis.

    ________. Smile of the Lamb. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990.
    Supposedly the first fictional novel about the corrupting influence of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank on Israeli society. Certainly the Arabs and the Moroccan Jewish protagonist come across as more moral than the Ashkenazi characters.

    ________. See UnderÑLove. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989.
    Like Grossman's other fiction, this novel is somewhat mystical and hard to understand. However the Wasserman section is worth all the rest of the book. Grossman manages to convey both the full horror of the Nazi death camps and humanize the officer running one of these camps (which makes the horror greater, of course.) The other sections seem to show that the Holocaust has rendered all of Israeli society dysfunctional.

    Highly recommended________. The Yellow Wind. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989.
    This edition has a prologue which Grossman wrote talking about how his perceptions, and Israeli perceptions have changed since the outbreak of the Intifada (the original book was published before the Intifada.) His treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank is largely sympathetic. And his treatment of settlers in the West Bank is largely unsympathetic.

    Guyatt, Nicholes. The Absence of Peace: Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. London and New York: Zed Books, 2001

    Habiby, Emile. The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist. London: Zed Books (1974?) Distributed 1985.
    A fictional account, based on Voltaire's Candide, of the adventures of a Palestinian collaborator in Israel after the 1947-48 war. Habiby, who died this year, was a Palestinian Israeli and provides a glimpse of Israel's wars from a Palestinian perspective.

    Highly recommendedHadawi, Sami. Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine. New York: Olive Branch, 1989.

    Halevi, Yossi Klein. Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: An American Story.Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1995.
    A revealing portrait of life inside the Jewish Defense League and into the all-Jewish environment in which Halevi grew up. It is disappointing in the end to see Halevy fail to empathize with the fate of the Palestinians, because we have seen him grow so much throughout the course of the rest of the book.

    Haddad, Hassan and Donald Wagner, eds. All in the Name of the Bible: Selected Essays on Israel and American Christian Fundamentalism. Brattleboro, VT: Amana, 1986.

    Halsell, Grace. Journey to Jerusalem. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1981.
    If it were not so dated, this book would appear on my "highly recommended" list. Sadly, while the political situation has changed since 1981, the attitudes that Halsell describes have not.

    *________. Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co., 1986.
    Halsell explores the origins and philosophy of the Christian Zionist movement and recounts her experiences on tours conducted by Jerry Falwell and other prominent Christian Zionists. She makes a good case for Christians taking the threat these Zionists pose for Middle East peace seriously.

    Harkabi, Yehoshafat. Israel's Fateful Hour. trans. Lenn Schramm, New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

    Highly recommendedHass, Amira. Drinking the Sea at Gaza. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1999.
    Hass, a journalist for Ha ÔAretz newspaper, lived in Gaza and gives a first person account of the strains that Gazans have had to deal with--first under the Israelis and now under the PNA. Although her focus is on Gaza, the book effectively shows the contours of the pressure cooker into which all Palestinians have been forced as a result of the Israeli occupation. (Spring 2000)

    Hecht, Ben. Perfidy. New York: Julian Messner, Inc., 1961.
    An invaluable look at the controversial Kastner trial in Isral in the mid-1950's and at the callousness that the rulers of Israel showed to the millions of Jews dying in Europe--some of whom they had the opportunity of saving. Hecht cannot be dismissed as a knee-jerk anti-Zionist, because his sympathies lay with the Irgun and Jabotinsky. Moreover, he quotes liberally from actual transcripts of the trial.

    Heiberg, Marianne and Geir ¯venson. Palestinian Society in Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem: A Survey of Living Conditions. FAFO-report, 152.

    Highly recommendedHeikal, Mohammad. Secret Channels: The Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations. London: Harper Collins, 1996.

    Heller, Mark A. and Sai Nusseibeh. No Trumpets No Drums: A Two-State Settlement of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. New York: Hill & Wang, 1991.

    Herman, Edward S. The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda. Boston: South End Press, 1982.
    While Herman deals more extensively with state terrorism in Latin America than he does with Israeli terrorism, the book is useful for students of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in that it gives a different paradigm from which to view terrorism. The section on the media is especially helpful for people seeking to understand why a government bombing civilians is not terrorism while one person hijacking a plane, car, etc. is.

    Hersh, Seymour. The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. New York: Summit Books, 1983.
    Chapters 18,19, and 29 deal with Kissinger and Nixon's Middle East policy. Hersh argues persuasively that the 1973 Israeli-Egyptian war could have been prevented entirely, but Kissinger's personal vendetta against Secretary of State William P. Rogers who tried to mediate between the two countries and Kissinger's megalomaniacal insistence that all major foreign policy decisions be attributed to himself alone, scuttled negotiations.

    ________. The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. New York: Random House, 1991.

    Hertzberg, Arthur. Being Jewish in America: The Modern Experience. New York: Schocken Books, 1979.

    Herzl, Theodor. Old-New Land. New York: Bloch Publishing Company, 1960.
    Herzl's fictional vision of what the hypothetical Jewish state would become is not without its charms. Although an ethic of European colonialism pervades the vision (one of the chief protagonists still has black servants), Herzl made point of demonsrating how Arab inhabitants of Palestine would have the same rights as the Jewish pioneers and how they would be perfectly free to maintain their cultural identity. The translator litters the manuscript with footnotes pointing out how much of the Zionist vision had come true without addressing how (and why) this fundamental part of the vision did not.

    Heschel, Abraham Joshua. A Passion for Truth. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973.
    I checked this out because I wanted to balance all the deception inherent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the place truth holds in Judaism. It wasn't quite what I expected. Heschel compares and contrasts the Hasidic rebbe, "the Kotzker" with the Baal Shem Tov and with Kierkegaard and casts the debate in terms of love vs. truth. Still, like Klagsbrun, Heschel does elevate what is true and good and noble about Judaism, which is important for anyone involved in the dialectic of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

    Hillel, Daniel. Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

    Hiltermann, Joost R. Behind the Intifada. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

    Hirst, David. The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East. New York: Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, 1977.
    Hirst takes an unflinching look at the violence promulgated by both Israelis and Palestinians and tackles the popular myths most people believe about Israel's wars. I would recommend this over Curtiss's book in that regard (Curtiss quotes heavily from Hirst's book in fact), but it ends in 1977, before the war in Lebanon.

    Hunter, Jane. Israeli Foreign Policy: South Africa and Central America. Boston: South End Press, 1987.

    Hurley, Andrew J. Israel and the New World Order. Santa Barbara: Fifthian Press, 1991.

    *Hurwitz, Deena, ed. Walking the Red Line: Israelis in Search of Justice for Palestine. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1992.
    A collection of essays by the Israeli left presenting views that are never heard in American popular media.Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: Washington, DC, September 28, 1995. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem.
    Essentially the Oslo Accords (or Oslo II). Great maps in a pocket in the back.

    Jabbour, Hala Deeb. A Woman of Nazareth.. (Fiction.) New York: Olive Branch Press, 1989.

    Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

    Kanafani, Ghassem. All That's Left To You. (Fiction.) Austin: University of TExas Press, 1990.

    Highly recommendedKarpin, Michael and Friedman, Ina. Murder in the Name of God: the Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1998.
    A really gripping account of how the Israeli right-wing cult laid the groundwork for Yigal Amir's murder of Yitzhak Rabin. Many of the players described in the book are people well-known to CPT's Hebron team, and the atmosphere of the summer of 1995 accords well with what the Hebron team saw in the first few months of CPT's project there.

    Kellerman, Jonathan. The Butcher's Theater. Toronto; New York: Bantam Books, 1989.
    A murder mystery set in Jerusalem, and one of the most appallingly racist works of fiction I've ever read. With the exception of the Palestinian detective from Bethlehem, all of the Arab characters are grotesque in some way, e.g., extremely obese, cruel or afflicted with a rare condition called "micro-penis." Kellerman also makes some statements that are patently false, e.g., that female circumcision is commonly done among Palestinians and that Yassar Arafat at one point countenanced gang rape as part of the PLO's armed struggle. The sad thing is that it is a gripping mystery, but if Kellerman had written about African Americans the way he writes about Arabs, this would have been in the same league as the Turner Diaries.

    Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: the Construction of Modern National Consciousness. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
    Khalidi goes back to newspapers and other primary sources from the Ottoman and British Mandate period to examine when Palestinians began thinking of themselves as "Palestinians rather than Arabs. The last chapter deals with how the question of identity has been manipulated by Israeli propagandists.
    Very readable for an academic work.

    Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992.
    The title is self-explanatory. This massive book contains lots of photographs and maps which help the reader visualize the enormity of the dest ruction. . Palestine Reborn. London: I.B. Taurus, 1992.

    Khalifeh, Sahar. Wild Thorns. (Fiction.) New York: Olive Branch Press, 1989.

    Khouri, Fred J. The Arab Israeli Dilemma, 3rd ed. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993.

    Kimche, Jon. The Last Option: After Nasser, Arafat and Saddam Hussein: The Quest for Peace in the Middle East. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.

    ________. There Could Have Been Peace. New York: Dial Press, 1973.

    Kimmerling, Baruch. Politicide: Ariel Sharon's War Against the Palestinians. London and New York: Verso, 2003.

    Klagsbrun, Francine. Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ideals and Ethics for Everyday Living. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980.
    While not precisely a "Middle East" reference, this book helps to balance out Israel Shahak's book mentioned below, by showing that there is indeed a humane, universalistic tradition that runs through the Talmud in addition to a xenophobic one.

    Klieman, Aaron S.Israel's Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy. McLean, VA: Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, 1985.

    Koestler, Arthur. The Thirteenth Tribe. New York: Random House, 1976.
    I checked this out because Ghareeb in his book cited it as "proof" that Ashkenazi Jews have no inherent right to Palestine. Koestler makes a good case linguistically, demographically, and historically that the bulk of the Jews of Eastern Europe were descended from the KhazarsÑa people in the Caucasus region that converted to Judaism in the 7th-8th centuries. Most of the modern Israelis are sephardic of course and I don't think this revelation would change anything in contemporary Israeli policy (If I converted to Judaism, I would have the right to become an Israeli citizen, myself.)
    Still, I found the book intriguing as a convincing argument against typcasting anyone as a single "race.".

    Klagsbrun, Francine. Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ideals and Ethics for Everyday Living. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980.
    While not precisely a "Middle East" reference, this book helps to balance out Israel Shahak's book mentioned below, by showing that there is indeed a humane, universalistic tradition that runs through the Talmud in addition to a xenophobic one.

    Klieman, Aaron S.Israel's Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy. McLean, VA: Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, 1985.

    Koestler, Arthur. The Thirteenth Tribe. New York: Random House, 1976.
    I checked this out because Ghareeb in his book cited it as "proof" that Ashkenazi Jews have no inherent right to Palestine. Koestler makes a good case linguistically, demographically, and historically that the bulk of the Jews of Eastern Europe were descended from the KhazarsÑa people in the Caucasus region that converted to Judaism in the 7th-8th centuries. Most of the modern Israelis are Sephardic of course and I don't think this revelation would change anything in contemporary Israeli policy (If I converted to Judaism, I would have the right to become an Israeli citizen, myself.)
    Still, I found the book intriguing as a convincing argument against typcasting anyone as a single "race."

    Kolsky, Thomas A. Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-48. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990.

    Highly recommended*Langer, Felicia. With My Own Eyes. London: Ithaca Press, 1975.
    Langer writes a series of vignettes of human rights cases she took on as an Israeli lawyer in 1968-1973. The writing is not elegant, but the simple recording of what she saw and heard in Israel and the Occupied Territories has a powerful impact.

    Highly recommendedLangfur, Stephen. Confessions from a Jericho Jail: What happened when I refused to fight the Palestinians. New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1992.
    A fascinating account of Langfur's experience as a conscientious objector in the Jericho jail. Trained as a philosopher and steeped in the biblical dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lanfur used his time in jail to do a lot of thinking and a lot of growing. The ending, in particular, in which he recounts and experience sharing in a Sabbath service with Jews from many different walks of life as Palestinians in their cell called for water is particularly haunting.

    Le Carre, John. The Little Drummer Girl. New York: Bantam Books, 1983.
    I read this book because Benny Morris says it more or less accurately depicts how Israeli intelligence operates in Europe. Sobering thought. I wish Le Carre had been able to make the Palestinian characters as complex and humane as the Israeli characters. Mostly they are noble sufferers or terrorists. In a small way, Le Carre has bought into the "shoot and cry" stereotype of the Israeli soldier.

    Lee, Eric. Saigon to Jerusalem: Conversations with U.S. Veterans of the Vietnam War who emigrated to Israel. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1992.
    The title is self-explanatory. It is interesting to see which Vietnam vets went on to become hawks and which ones went on to become doves in Israel. David Ramati, one of the veterans interviewed in the book is a settler from Kiryat Arba with whom the Hebron team is familiar. (11/99)

    Leibowitz, Yeshayahu. Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish State. ed. Eliezer Goldman. Cambridge, MA:. Harvard University Press, 1992.
    While not all of his essays will be engrossing to those not interested in rabbinic literature, most contain very sane reflections on what he saw Judaism becoming as a result of Israeli policy. Gives very clearcut commentary on the difference between Judaism and Zionism.

    Lerner, Michael. Jewish Renewal: a Path to Healing and Transformation.New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994.
    Lerner's chapters on the place Israel has held in North American Jewish ideology and faith and his analysis of Jewish Holy War passages in the Bible provide useful analysis for people trying to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in these contexts.

    Levins, Hoag. Arab Reach: The Secret War Against Israel. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc, 1983.
    I was prepared to really hate this book at the beginning, when Levin described the architecture of the Tunisian embassy in sinister termsÑalong with all contacts between Arab lobbies and congress. Some of his descriptions are blatantly racist: "Faisal Ibn Abdul-Aziz al Saud, his faceÉresembling nothing so much as the face of one of the killer falcons he bred, proclaimed that the decision had been made to "unsheathe the sword of oil." Levin also unfortunately uses the words "Palestinian" and "Muslim" interchangeably. On the other hand he does not cover up or defend Israeli actions that provoked the ire of Arab countries, and the book is really more a study of Arab economic interests in the US and Europe. I'm still not sure, however, why he thinks the Arab countries using their economic clout on behalf of the Palestinians is a morally dubious action.

    Lilienthal, Alfred M.The Zionist Connection: What Price Peace? New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1978.
    The most useful part of this 778 page densely footnoted book are the sections in which Lilienthal demonstrates how the media, especially the New York Times, exhibits bias for Israel and the effect Zionism has had on Judaism in the United States and on policymakers. In a few sections, Lilienthal seems to let polemics get the better of him, as when he suggests that Anne Frank's diary was a fake, saying that no teenage girl could have written that. (As a former teenage girl, I disagree.)

    Lindsay, Hal. The Late Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1970.
    I read this mainly because I wanted to understand a little better where the Christian Zionists are coming from.

    Lindsay, Hal, Planet Earth Ñ 2000 A.D. : Will Mankind Survive? Palos Verdes, Calif. : Western Front, 1994.
    See above. Lindsay lost me when he said the lack of anti-nuclear rallies in the U.S. since the Soviet Union broke up was a clear indication that it had been behind them all along. Says some really atrocious and perhaps libelous things about Islam and Yassar Arafat.

    Louvish, Simon. The Silencer. (Fiction.) London: BLoomsbury, 1991.

    *Lustick, Ian, ed. Arab-Israeli Relations in World Politics. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1994.
    A collection of academic articles, apparently photocopied directly from other journals (the typefaces are all different.) Lustick's article, "Israeli Politics and American Foreign Policy," is worth readingÑif only to think regretfully of some common sense steps the U.S. could have taken during the settlement expansion under Begin (when the article was written.) Taken together, however, the essays really seem insignificant compared to the writings of Israelis and Palestinians recounting personal experiences.

    *________. For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1988.
    Less easy to read than Friedman's Zealots for Zion or even Sprinzak's The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right. However, the book quotes extensively from settler publications in Hebrew, which makes it a useful resource, and it examines in more detail the affect that Gush Emunim had on Israeli society as a whole than either of the other two books.

    Highly recommendedLynd, Staughton, Sam Bahour & Alice Lynd. eds. Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians. New York: Olive Branch Press, 1994.

    Mallison, W. Thomas and Sally V. The Palestine Problem in International Law and World Order. Essex, England: Longman Group Ltd., 1986.

    McDowall, David. Palestine and Israel: The Uprising and Beyond. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press, 1989.

    Makovsky, David. Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord. Washington, DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996.

    Mansour, Camille. Beyond Alliance: Israel and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

    Masalha, Nur. Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "transfer in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1992.

    Massalha, Omar. Towards the Long-Promised Peace. London: Saqi Books, 1994.

    Mattar, Philip. The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement. London: Saqi Books, 1994.

    Highly recommendedMendelsohn, Everett. A Compassionate Peace: A Future for Israel, Palestine and the Middle East. Revised ed. (A Report Prepared for the American Friends Service Committee.) New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989.

    Morris, Benny. 1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

    ________. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
    Slow, difficult readingÑmostly because Morris methodically covers how each city, town and village in Palestine was emptied during the 1948-49. It is an important and valuable work, because Morris works almost entirely from primary sources and manages to demonstrate that the flight of the Palestinian refugees was a complex process, and differed in circumstance from region to region. The book is written from an Israeli perspective (One is still left with the feeling that Morris viewed all the unpleasantness as a sad necessity), but he does not cover up the atrocities that occurred as a result of the war, and he successfully demonstrates the effect that Israeli war propaganda had in hardening the hearts of the Israeli public. For people looking for an easier read, I recommend Segev.

    ________. Israel's Border Wars. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

    ________ and Black, Ian. Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Service. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991.
    It would be good to read this in conjunction with Curtiss's book, because the attitude toward Israel's wars is written from an entirely different perspective. I realized after a while that what bothered me about Morris's book was that it did not really touch on the motivations behind the Arab countries' attacks on Israel. It seems that Morris depends as much on interviews as he does on documents, which of course, accounts for part of this perspective. Appreciated his comment at the end that in a perfect world, intelligence would be used for making peace with enemies instead of making war.

    Morris, Benny. Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
    I read Avi Shlaim's Iron Wall, shortly after finishing this comprehensive history and Morris seems so ponderous by comparison. I had to renew his book six times to finish it. Morris is upfront about telling readers that he writes from an Israeli perspective because he has more access to Israeli sources. An interesting review of the book in the March 13 issue of the Jerusalem Report says this is no excuse. Morris could have sought the help of Arabic speakers to read Arab sources. I was a little taken aback by his casual references to the Israeli attacks on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 and on the U.N. headquarters at Kafr Kana in 1995 as regrettable accidents, without mentioning that there is considerable international controversy over whether these attacks were accidental. Still, the book covers a large swathe of history and helps the reader to put the Israeli-Palestinian within a largely demythologized framework.

    Muhawi, Ibrhaim Sharif Kanaana. Speak Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

    Murphy, Jay, ed. For Palestine. New York and London: Writers and Readers, 1994.

    Highly recommendedNeff, Donald. Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy Towards Palestine and Israel since `945. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995.

    ________. Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days That Changed the Middle East. New York: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1984.

    Highly recommended Novick, Peter. The Holocaust in American Life. Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.
    Novick believes that the paradox of the Holocaust becoming a focal point in the 70's, 80's and 90's instead of in the 50's and 60's, can be explained by the waning international and American support of Israel. ( Novick notes that most Vietnam movies and books came out within 10 years after the war.) Some interesting tidbits: the article on the Mufti of Jerusalem in the 4 volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust is twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Goering and four times as long as the article on Himmler. One rabbi's explanation why the Holocaust has become the focal point of American Jewry: God and Israel are too controversial. (9/99.)

    Nye, Naomi Shibab. Sitti's Secrets. New York: Four Winds Press, 1994.
    A beautifully illustrated picture book about a young American girl's visit to her grandmother in Palestine. The political message is very subtle, but probably all the more effective because of the subtlety.

    Orr, Akiva. Israel: Politics Myths and Identity crises. London: Pluto Press, 1994.

    Ostrovsky, Victor and Claire Hoy. By Way of Deception. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
    I read this book in Haiti, little knowing that some day I would have to deal with the mentality Ostrovsky describes in the book. I imagine the blatant immorality that characterizes the Mossad isn't all that different from that which characterizes the CIA or other espionage outfits.

    Highly recommended________. The Other Side of Deception. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
    Reads like a novel and includes a lot of stuff he felt he couldn't include in the first book, e.g., that the Mossad was planning to assassinate Bush at Madrid and blame it on the Palestinians and that Israel has used Palestinians and black South Africans as guinea pigs in medical experiments.

    Highly recommendedOz, Amos. In the Land of Israel. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1983.
    Most interesting of these essays are those which contain conversations with IsraelisÑOriental Jews, West Bank settlersÑwho view kibbutzniks like Oz as one of the enemy. An interesting look at the factions into which Israelis are divided.

    ________. Israel, Palestine and Peace. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1994. A collection of essays.
    While Oz does not fully appreciate the hardships under which most Palestinians live, he does a lot better than most Israelis. He concludes his introduction with, "Ultimately these pages were written by an Israeli who fought for his country and who loves it, even during dark times when he was unable to like it. I have never maintained that Ôright or wrongÑI must stand up for my country'; I have often felt that my country will survive and prosper only if it does right."

    Highly recommended________. The Slopes of Lebanon. Trans. Maurie Goldberg-Bartura, 1989.
    I liked this collection of essays better than the 1994 collection (but a lot happened between the publishing dates of both books, so maybe Oz grew more cynical.) Two of the most insightful essays in the book are "Hebrew Melodies," (in which Oz describes how Lebanon might be conquered in the same way the West Bank was) and "The Heart of Fear."

    Highly recommendedPalumbo, Michael. The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from Their Homeland. London: Quartet Books, 1987.

    Highly recommendedPappŽ, Ilan. The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1951. London: I.B. Tauris, 1994.

    Parker, Richard B. The Politics of MIscalculation in the Middle East. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.

    Peck, Juliana S. The Reagan Administration and the Palestinian Question. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1984.

    Peretz, Don. Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising. Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.

    Perlmutter, Nathan and Ruth Ann. The Real Anti-Semitism in America. New York: Arbor House, 1982.
    After noting that surveys show that liberal Protestants have fewer anti-semitic attitudes but are more critical of Israel and that Fundamentalist Protestants have more anti-semitic attitudes but support Israel, the Perlmutters do NOT conclude that anti-semitism and criticism of Israel are not the same thing. Rather, they conclude that liberal Protestants are secretly more anti-semitic and fundamentalists are secretly less anti-semitic.

    Peters, Joan. From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.
    I have actually not read this as of 8/9/99, but have read lots about it. It is notorious as an example of pro-Israeli propaganda. People to whom I have submitted this bibliography for input have shuddered upon seeing this work cited. The best source for discussion of this book may be found in Finkelstein's Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (See above.)

    Prior, Michael. The Bible and Colonialism: A Moral Critique. England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997.

    Quandt, William B. Peace Process: American Diplomacy amd the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute, 1993.

    ________, Fudad Jaber and Ann Mosely. The Politics of Palestinian Nationalism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.

    Ragen, Naomi. Jephte's Daughter. New York: Warner Books, 1989.
    I read the Ragen books on the recommendation of a Canadian-Israeli peace activist. Each of them sensitively addresses the dilemmas that Orthodox Jewish women face when their faith collides with the modern world. As novels, they are excellent. When one reads them from a political perspective, one sees how it is possible for many Israelis and American Jews to be good people and at the same time totally ignorant of and unsympathetic to the struggles of Palestinian families.

    ________. The Sacrifice of Tamar. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

    ________. Sotah. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

    Raheb, MItri. I Am a Palestinian Christian. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

    Raviv, Dan and Melman, Yossi. Every Spy a Prince: The COmplete History of Israel's Intelligence Community. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

    ________. Friends Indeed: Inside the U.S.-Israel Alliance. New York: Hyperion, 1994.

    Reuther, Rosemary Radford and Ellis, Marc. eds. Beyond Occupation: American Jewish, Christian and Palestinian Voices for Peace.
    Good selection of essays from people of a variety of religious backgrounds more interested in human rights and ethics than in nationalism.

    Highly recommendedReuther, Rosemary Radford and Herman J. The Wrath of Jonah: Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. New York: Harper and Row, 1989.
    Good background reading for people who don't know a lot about the roots of the conflictÑbiblical and historical. Christians who wish to atone for the anti-semitic history of the church, but who also abhor Israeli policy toward the Palestinians will find the Reuthers to be helpful allies.

    Rice, Michael. False Inheritance: Israel in Palestine and the Search for a Solution. London and New York: Kegan Paul International, 1994.

    Roberts, Samuel J. Party and Policy in Israel: The Battle Between Hawks and Doves. Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.

    Highly recommended*Rokach, Livia. Israel's Sacred Terrorism: A Study based on Moshe Sharett's Personal Diary and Other Documents. Belmont, MA: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, 1986.
    In Rokach's introduction to this 49 page monograph, she writes, "...Sharett's Diary is potentially devastating to Zionist propaganda as the Pentagon Papers were in regard to U.S. aggression in Vietnam." I agree. Sadly, it seems to have had little impact on Zionist mythology here in the U.S.

    Rosenwasser, Penny. Voices from the Promised Land: Palestinian and Israeli Peace Activists Speak Their Hearts. East Haven, CT: Curbstone Press, 1992.

    Roth, Philip. The Counterlife. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986.
    Intriguing from a literary standpoint, this book also sheds some light on the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. The settler movement comes off looking pretty bad (Although Zuckerman, the narrator of these sections, is not the most appealing of characters either.) Because of the book's literary structure, one could read the sections entitled, "Judea," and "Aloft" for the purposes of better understanding Israeli-American Jewish relations and skip the rest of the book.

    Highly recommendedRubenberg, Cheryl A. Israel and the American National Interest: A Critical Examination. Urbana; Chicago: The University of Illinois Press, 1986.
    Slow reading and heavily footnoted, this book covers a lot of the same territory as other revisionist histories of Israeli. However, she places this history in the context of her thesis, i.e., that America's support for Israel has been detrimental to its interests.
    She makes a couple geographic errors, e.g. putting Kafr Qassem in the West Bank.

    Highly recommendedRubenstein, Danny. The People of Nowhere: The Palestinian Vision of Home. New York: Times Books, 1991.

    Saba, Michael. The Armageddon Network. Vermont: Amana Books, 1984.

    Highly recommendedSacco, Joe. Palestine: A Nation Occupied. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 1994.
    The comic book format brings the harsh reality of the occupationÑespecially the torture of administrative detaineesÑto life in the way that human rights releases cannot. Sacco also is able to capture the absurdities at work in Israel/Palestine better than most writers.

    Highly recommendedSaid, Edward. and Christopher Hitchens. ed. Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question. London, NY: Verso, 1988.
    Said, a Palestinian American and Hitchens, a journalist, examine and debunk "scholarly" propaganda that has had a large influence on Israeli and American public opinion. They make heavy use of Simha Flapan's book.

    ________. Covering Islam How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981.

    Said, Edward W. Out of Place: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
    People looking for another polemic will be disappointed, because Said's memoir is a deeply personal, intimate overview of his growing up in a dysfunctional family and never feeling like he belonged in Cairo, Jerusalem, the United States, or Lebanon. Given the lucid authority with which he writes on Israel/Palestine issues, however, I found his willingness to write about his insecurities courageous.

    Highly recommended________. Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

    Highly recommended________. The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self Determination 1969-1994. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994.
    A collection of articulate essays that help to take the Israeli-Palestinian conflict off the Israeli-U.S. playing field and enable the reader to see the conflict from the viewpoint of a Palestinian American. I was especially intrigued by Said's review of Friedmann's Beirut to Jerusalem book which I had liked a lot.

    ________. The Question of Palestine. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.

    Savir, Uri. The Process: 1100 Days that Changed the Middle East. New York: Random House, 1998.
    A behind the scenes look at how the Oslo accords (and subsequent agreements) came about. Although Savir makes no apologies about negotiating a deal that was more beneficial for the Israelis than Palestinians, he presents the views of the Palestinian negotiators fairly. (Although he sometimes referred to what seemed to me perfectly reasonable demands by Palestinians as "polemical.") Interestingly, he makes no mention of the negotiations that Ashrawi described in her book, This Side of Peace. Most useful for me was Savir's exasperation with the the right wing's insistence that Arafat has not annulled parts of the PLO covenant calling for Israel's destruction. Savir states unequivocally that these portions were annulled in 1996.

    Schiff, Ze'ev and Ya'ari. Intifada. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.

    ________. Israel's Lebanon War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

    Schoenman, Ralph. The Hidden History of Zionism. Santa Barbara, CA: Veritas PRess, 1988.

    Segal, Haggai. Dear Brothers: The West Bank Jewish Underground. Woodmere, NY: Beit Shamai Publications, Inc.
    Segal is unrepentant about his role in planting bombs in the cars of three West Bank Mayors. The book is a veritable orgy of self-adulation. The people involved with the bombings, the shoot out at Hebron University, planting bombs under five Arab buses, and plotting to blow up the Dome of the Rock are depicted as misunderstood heroes. The most telling phrase in the book occurs when Segal refers to the group's indictment: "Anyone reading it would have concluded that it referred to a violent gang bent on satisfying dark, sadistic impulses."

    Highly recommendedSegev, Tom. 1949:The First Israelis. New York: Free, Press, 1986.
    Working almost entirely from primary sources such as Ben Gurion's diaries and minutes from Knesset meetings, Segev, an Israeli, dispels a great many firmly entrenched myths about the creation of the State of IsraelÑespecially in regard to how the pre-state Zionists regarded the Palestinians. I was intrigued by the way that the Jewish immigrants from North Africa were received. It goes a long way toward explaining the current class system in Israel.

    Highly recommended________. The Seventh Million: Israel and the Holocaust. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.
    Segev examines the actual reactions of pre-Israeli statehood Zionists to the slaughter of the Jews in Europe. He then examines how the refugees from the Holocaust were treated by Israelis and how the Holocaust has shaped Israeli politics since.

    Sevela, Ephraim. Farewell, Israel. South Bend, IN: Gateway Editions, Ltd., 1977.

    Shahak, Israel. Jewish History, Jewish Religion. London: Pluto Press, 1994.
    Shahak, an Israeli holocaust survivor gives a background of the Talmudic texts cited by the Israeli right wing to further a racist agenda. Also takes another look at the history of Jewish persecution. While I found the book valuable in trying to understand where the Hebron settlers were coming from, I agree with Jewish commentators that Shahak paints with too broad a brush stroke, esp. in his assertion that Jews involved in the U.S. Civil Rights movement of the 1960's were bereft of altruistic motives. Because he is looking to prove that Talmudic Judaism is racist, that's what he finds. Other people who have looked for a universalistic Jewish defense of human rights can also find proof texts in the Talmud. It would be good to balance this book by reading Francine Klagsbrun's.

    ________ and Norton Mezvinsky. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. London and New York: Pluto Press, 1999.

    Shaheen, Jack G. TV Arab. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Press, 1984.
    Discusses stereotypes of Arabs seen on TV.Unfortunately, the book is poorly organized. Shaheen drifts from tangent to tangent as he discusses shows that came from very different eras of television history. The book could have benefitted from some judicious editing. I found his conversations with TV producers enlightening, however.

    Sheehan, Edward R.F. The Arabs, Israelis and Kissinger: A Secret History of American Diplomacy in the Middle East. New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1976

    Shammas, Anton. Arabesques. (Fiction.) New York: Harper and Row, 1989.

    Sheehan, Edward R.F., The Arabs, Israelis and Kissinger: A Secret History of American Diplomay in the Middle East. New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1976.

    Shehadeh, Raja Occupier's Law: Israel and the West Bank. Revised edition. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1988.

    Highly recommended________.. Samed: A Journal of a West Bank Palestinian. New York: Adama Books, 1984.
    Shehadeh brings the Catch-22 situation of the West Bank to life. This slim and readable book is the best I've read so far on what Palestinians living in the West Bank have to cope with on a day to day basis. Highly recommended.

    Highly recommended________. The Sealed Room: Selections from the Diary of a Palestinian Living Under Israeli Occupation, September 1990-August, 1991. London: Quartet, 1992.

    Shlaim, Avi. Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

    Highly recommended________. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. W.W. Norton and Company, 2000.
    This is one of the most readable general histories of the Israeli-Arab conflict I've read. Benny Morris's Righteous Victims suffers in comparison. Although Shlaim is considered a "revisionist" historian (meaning he uses primary sources regarding the formation of the state of Israel instead of cultivated propaganda), this book is still definitely written from an Israeli perspective. He sees immense differences between Labor and Likud's philosophies, whereas from a Palestinian perspective, they've lost just as much land and been treated with just as much contempt under Labor than they have under Likud. On the other hand, having lived and worked in Hebron during the Rabin/Peres/Netanyahu years, I have to say his coverage of that period of time rings true to me. (6/2000)

    ________. The Politics of Partition: King Abdullah, the Zionists and Palestine, 1921-1951. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

    ________. War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History. New York: Penguin, 1995.

    ________. War and Peace in the Middle East: A Critique of American Policy. New York: New York: Whittle Books in Association with Viking, 1994.

    *Shonfeld, Reb Moshe. The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals. Brooklyn, NY: Neturei Karta of U.S.A., 1977.
    A lot of the same material can be found in Segev's The Seventh Million, but Shonfeld highlights the confrontation between Jewish Orthodoxy and the Zionists. Part of the deep, deep anger expressed in this slim volume relates to the accusation by the Zionists that the passivity of ultra-Orthodox Jews allowed the Holocaust to happen. Shonfeld shows how at every stage in the Holocaust, Jews in Europe could have been saved through concerted international efforts, but the Zionists quashed these efforts in order to ensure that escaping Jews would go to Palestine only.

    Shorris, Earl. Jews Without Mercy: a Lament. New York, Garden City: Anchor Press, 1982.
    Shorris attacks the Jewish spokesmen for the neoconservative movement, focussing in part on their unflinching support of Israel despite the war in Lebanon. Poetic and moving.

    Sprinzak, Ehud. The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
    The title is self-explanatory. I found this book very helpful as I sought to understand the variations in rightwing ideology among the settlers of Kiryat Arba and Hebron. Many of the Hebron settlers with whom we had the most contact are heavily featured in the book. There are some inaccuracies about the Palestinian reality in Hebron (e.g. he calls Hebron University an "Islamic college"), but they are minor.

    ________. Brother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination. New York: The Free Press, 1999.
    What I found most helpful in this book was the analysis of the circumstances that led to the Rabin assassination and his "short introduction to the Study of Political Violence" at the end, which has a much broader application. Not as engrossing as Karpin and Freedman's book, and apparently he gives Eyal more credence than they did, but all in all, a worthwhile read. 8/99

    Stone, Robert. Damascus Gate. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.
    This book is everything that Kellerman's Butcher's Theatre is not. Sensitive to ambiguity and coldly realistic about most of the actors in the ongoing drama of Israel and Palestine. While the perspective is more Israeli/American than it is Palestinian, it is at least the perspective of Israelis we don't hear much in North America. Pretty darn good thriller to boot.

    Suleiman, Michael W., ed. U.S. Policy on Palestine from Wilson to Clinton. Normal, IL: AAUG, 1995.

    Tack, Deane, A. Thorns of Resistance. Oregon: Destra Publishers, 1985.

    Tawil, Raymonda Hawa. My Home, My Prison. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.
    Tawil spends as much time talking about her oppression under patriarchal Palestinian society as she does about oppression under Israeli occupation. The story of her life highlights the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian relationships. She can cheer on the Palestinian guerrillas while at the same time speak fondly of her Jewish schoolmates in Haifa and Israeli journalist friends. Her friendships with Israelis led to her ostracism from Palestinians whose cause she was championing against their Israeli enemies!

    Tessler, Mark. A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Bloomington: Indiana United Press, 1994.

    Tillman, Seth P. The United States in the Middle East: Interests and Obstacles. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1982.

    Highly recommendedTimerman, Jacobo. The Longest War: Israel in Lebanon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.
    A heartbreaking book. Timerman, who lost family in the Holocaust and who was imprisoned and tortured in Argentina, emigrated to Israel in 1979. Although he had been brought up to believe certain Zionist myths, he could not help but recognize fascism and oppression when he saw it. His anguish is authentic.

    ________. Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.
    Because his book on the Lebanese War moved me so much, I wanted to read his book about his incarceration and torture in Argentina. I understand The Longest War better now. Mythical Zionism was part of the hopes and dreams that sustained him through his imprisonment. When he saw what Zionism meant in the context of Israel, Palestine and the Lebanese war, no wonder his heart was broken.

    Tivnan, Edward. The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.
    Tivnan traces the origins of AIPAC and analyzes the American Jewish community's relationship with Israel. He deems both dysfunctional.
    Also an interesting look at how deals are made in our government generally.

    Tobin, Maurine and Robert Tobin [eds]. How Long o Lord? Christian, Jewish and Muslim Voices from the Ground and Visions for the Future in Israel/Palestine. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2002.

    Turki, Fawaz. The Disinherited. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972.
    A bit more history in this one than the others. All three of his books cited here cover the period from his childhood through adulthood, but in each one the perspective is a little different, and the stories and memories are different. I started with his latest book, below, and found it fascinating to see how each decade subtly shifted his outlook, and how each shift seemed to make a different set of memories relevant in each book. One thing that remains constant throughout each book is that his resentment at how Arab regimes have treated Palestinians surpasses the resentment he feels toward Israelis.

    Highly recommended________. The Exile's Return: The Making of a Palestinian-American. New York: The Free Press, 1994.
    A gritty biographical work of Turki's struggle with the conventions of Palestinian society and his own personal demons--many of which were probably born as a result of his horrific childhood in a Beirut refugee camp. I have yet to read a book by either a Palestinian or Israeli that is as relentlessly self-critical or as critical of Palestinian culture and leaders. He has coined a phrase, "neobackwardness," to describe the current Palestinian leadership.

    ________. Soul in Exile: Lives of a Palestinian Revolutionary. Monthly Review Press, 1988.
    In this book, he speaks of his sister Jasmine getting married, while in the later book, he tells of his brother killing her to avenge the family honor.

    Highly recommendedUsher, Graham. Palestine in Crisis: The Struggle for Peace and Political Independence After Oslo. London: Pluto Press, 1995.

    Viorst, Milton. Sandcastles: The Arabs in Search of the MOdern World. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.

    ________. Sands of Sorrow: Israel's Journey from Independence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

    Wagner, Donald. Anxious for Armageddon: A Call to Partnership for Middle Eastern and Western Christians. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1995.
    Wagner's opening anecdote about his experience in Beirut while the Israelis bombed it is profoundly moving. I was hoping for a bit more head on tackling of the Christian Zionist movement, but Halsell's book is a better bet for this.

    Wallach, John and Janet Wallach. Still Small Voices: The Untold Human Stories Behind the Violence in the West Bank and Gaza. San Diego, New York, London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.

    Walvoord, John F. Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis: What the Bible Says About the Future of the Middle East and the End of Western Civilization. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.

    Wheatcroft, Geoffrey. The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma. Reading, MA, et al.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1996.
    I understood a lot more of the social forces in Europe that led to Zionism after reading this book. Of necessity, Wheatcroft does not do as thorough a job of analyzing the forces that led to Jews emigrating from Arab countries or indeed what actually has been happening in Israel and Palestine in the past decade, and certainly does not make much of an attempt to view things through Palestinian eyes. However, the book would have been three times as long if he had.

    Highly recommendedWilentz, Amy. Martyr's Crossing: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.
    Wilentz is a journalist whose writing about Hebron in the Nation I have appreciated. The kernel of this story involves a child who dies of an asthma attack at the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah and the fall-out afterwards. Told from the viewpoints of his mother, a Palestinian-American, his grandfather, a character obviously based on Edward Said, and the soldier at the checkpoint (among others), it really does capture some of the complexity of the relationships between Israelis and Palestinians. My one quibble with the book has to do with the fact there is no "ordinary" Palestinian viewpoint, like those of the "ordinary" soldier and his mother. Wilentz has obviously spent more time among Israelis than she has among Palestinians, but she nonetheless pushes the boundaries of the discussion of the conflict beyond what one normally finds at a major publisher. (3/2001)

    Highly recommendedWinternitz, Helen. A Season of Stones: Living in a Palestinian Village. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1991.
    Winternitz chronicles the months she spent living in the Palestinian village of Nahalin during the Intifada. While the 21st chapter is the most dramatic, detailing as it does a massacre of villagers by the border police, what struck me was her description of the slow strangulation of the village by surrounding settlementsÑsomething that still continues as of this writing (8/98.)

    Woolfson, Marion. Bassam Shak'a: A Portrait of a Palestinian. London: Third World Centre, 1981.

    Highly recommended________. Prophets in Babylon: Jews in the Arab World. London: Faber and Faber, 1980.

    Highly recommendedYermiya, Dov. My War Diary: Lebanon June 5-July 1, 1982. Boston: South End Press, 1983.
    Yermiya exemplifies the old line Kibbutznik Zionist attitude that was slightly patronizing to Arabs but in general wished to live as good neighbors with them. The book is valuable in that we see the horror of what the IDF did to civilians in Lebanon through the eyes of a career military man. At times I felt a little uneasy about his self-proclaimed heroicism and his repeated assertions of how much Arabs like him. He also never refers to Palestinian guerrillas as anything other than terrorists. Given the alternatives though, it is a shame there were not more soldiers in Lebanon like him.

    Young, Ronald J. Missed Opportunities for Peace: U.S. Middle East Policy 1981-86. Philadelphia: American Friends Service Commitee, 1987.

    Zahran, Yasmin. A Beggar at Damascus Gate. (Fiction.) Sausalito, CA: The Post-Apollo Press, 1995.

    Zukerman, William. Voice of Dissent: Jewish Problems, 1948-1961. New York: Devin-Adair, 1945.

    US Borderlands Project

    About CPT Borderlands

    Between 2004 and 2007, CPT's Borderlands project periodically partnered with local groups along the US/Mexico border in order to reduce the number of migrant deaths in the border region, advocate for just and comprehensive US immigration reform, and call for compassionate treatment of the immigrant "stranger."  Since the US Government began a policy of border militarization as the answer to immigration flows, over 3,500 men, women and children have died in the borderlands attempting to find work, reunite with family, and pursue the “American Dream...."

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    Latest Update: 

    Borderlands Witness Drive

    During July 2007 a four-person team enacted a Borderlands Witness Drive, from Tucson, AZ, to Brownsville, TX, and then to Washington DC, in an effort to:

    • collect stories
    • put a human face on immigration
    • connect with immigrant-rights groups
    • and advocate for immigration reform

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    About CPT Borderlands

    “when a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do (the stranger) wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love (the stranger) as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

    Leviticus 19:33-34

    CPT's Borderlands project is suspended while we work toward sufficient staffing needed to continue.

    We continue to organize periodic Borderlands delegations - join one!  Contact delegations@cpt.org for more information.

     

    CPT Borderlands (2004-2007):

    • Partnered with local groups along the US/Mexico border, including the No More Deaths Coalition, Frontera de Cristo, Healing our Borders, and many other groups that reject a militarized border that divides communities and brings death to the desserts in unprecedented numbers.
    • Demonstrated that is it never illegal to provide medical assistance and give food and water to those who are hungry and thirsty, regardless of nationality or legal status.
    • Monitored the activities and vigilante groups and Border Patrol treatment of migrants
    • Documented the role of private contractors along the border
    • Was involved in national advocacy efforts that promoted a humane, sustainable immigration policy that reunites families, offers a path to citizenship and is not punitive in nature.

    Every summer in southern Arizona, 200-350 migrants lose their lives as they attempt to cross the Arizona/Sonora border region. Many thousands of men, women, and children have lost their lives attempting to cross the US/Mexico border.

    In 2004, No More Deaths invited CPT to place a team near Douglas, Arizona to lead one of several No More Deaths desert emergency assistance camps and to establish contacts with area activists, churches, Border Patrol, ranchers and vigilante groups.

    Douglas, AZ, has a long history of vigilante violence, and has been the home of many vigilante groups including Arizona Guard, Ranch Rescue, American Border Patrol, and the Minutemen Project. Some of these groups have been investigated and found guilty of civil rights violations when acting violently towards people of Hispanic/Indigenous origin.

    Douglas residents refer to the area as "a militarized zone" where constitutional rights may not apply to residents. While most Border Patrol agents act professionally, residents have reported instances of Border Patrol agents marching people down the road at gunpoint. Statements by Border Patrol and US Attorney officials threatening prosecution for any assistance to migrants has created a climate of fear and corruption which causes people to fear lodging complaints. In addition, vigilante groups lease land adjoining the border west of Douglas and have beaten migrants and held people at gunpoint.

    CPT worked to demonstrate that is it never illegal to provide medical assistance and give food and water to those who are hungry and thirsty, regardless of nationality or legal status.

    In addition to m