A quick look at the forecast and the calendar today might have told one all that you needed to know about how the demo at Bil’in might have been expected to fare. Unseasonally hot weather, combined with it being Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, both significantly contributed to a somewhat muted protest today. That notwithstanding, at midday today there were still 50 commited protesters, Palestinians and Israelis marching together, supported by an international presence from ISM and the media. Their complaints against the Israeli government, vociferous and persistent, continue unabated against the shameless land-grab perpertated by the ever-expanding, endlessly greedy Israeli state, which swallows Palestinian land by the mouthful and spews only settlement-colonies in its wake. Without recourse to the law, the substance of which is no than the emptiest of charades for Palestinians, the robbed villagers of Bil’in have no other option but to physically protest at the presence of the wall which snakes arounds their homes and steals their livelihoods.
In the heat today, and with many protesting on empty stomachs, the demo was quieter than usual, almost subdued. People tried to pass onto their land, and tried to remove the barbed wire seperating them from what is theirs, but to no avail. In Bil’in today the fire that burns in the hearts of many against the injustices here may have flickered but it was not extinguished. It is a fire that will not die, as it spreads from village to village, providing light in the shadow of the wall.