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From Berlin to Palestine: no matter where, no matter how tall, all walls fall

Bil’in Popular Committee

6 November 2009

The 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin Wall will be marked this Friday in mass demonstrations across the West Bank calling for an immediate dismantling of Israel’s wall and settlements

Exactly twenty years ago, On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came crumbling down in two days that inspired hope for a world in which walls could no longer keep people apart. Today, a wall twice as high and five times as long is being built by
Israel in the West Bank, in blunt contempt of international law, to separate Palestinians from their lands.

Despite the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion from 2004, which had pronounced Israel’s wall illegal, and called for its removal, no significant changes on the ground were made.

The demonstrators raised a model of the Wall at the Wall itself, which stated that, as the Berlin Wall fell twenty years ago, the Bil’in Wall must fall today.

The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has been declared an international day of action against Israel’s barrier. Today the protesters called for its removal, and attempt to implement the ICJ’s decision.

Several demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation from canisters thrown at them by the Israeli occupation soldiers in their attempt to suppress the weekly protest of Bil’in citizens and solidarity groups.

The demonstration was called by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and started directly after the Friday prayers. Bil’in citizens were joined by a group of international and Israeli peace activists and together they raised Palestinian flags and banners condemning the occupation, racist policy of building the Wall and settlements, land confiscation, road closures and detention and killing of innocent people.

The Brecht-Eislerchoir of Brussels Belgium sung several songs of solidarity and resistance to support the struggle in Bilin. The choir has presented in Belgium a choral piece ,The Shouting Fence, on the Palestinian situation with text by Mahmoud Darwich. After the concerts we wanted to see with our own eyes what the effects are in the daily life of Palestininans. Our attendance in the demonstration in Bilin strengthens our commitment to the Palestinian struggle for freedom In this way we try to raise awareness in Belgium about the occupation and the apartheid wall. In addition to that we have anther group from Ireland from IPSC .

Two days before, a large group of European diplomats made a visit to Bil’in, and went to the Wall to see how it has stolen the villagers land. They then held a meeting with the Popular Committee where they heard about the affects of the IOF’s night raids into the village. Diplomats visited from Romania, France, Slovenia, Sweden, UK, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, EU, Ireland and Belgium.