International Solidarity Movement
12 May 2010
Sheikh Jarrah witnessed the unwelcome presence of over two hundred settlers Tuesday evening, who sang songs and chanted nationalistic propaganda in the street near the evicted homes. This disruption lasted several hours, included up to ten busloads of settlers, and was guarded by secret service funded by the Ministry of Interior. Neighborhood resident Saleh Diab was arrested during a counter-demonstration, which took place while over fifty settler youth held an extremely loud, nationalistic and provocative dance in the street. Persons who non-violently tried to obstruct the police vehicle from taking Diab away were violently shoved. Several were pushed to the ground, and one international was hit in the face with a megaphone.
Last night’s disruptions come as a result of “Jerusalem Day”. This is expected to be a precursor to tonight’s harassment, which threatens the communities of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and the Old City, among others. Early afternoon disruptions mark what is expected to become the year’s most brutal assault on the rights of Palestinians to exist in the city of Jerusalem, as they have done for millennia.
“Jerusalem Day” according to the Hebrew calendar, falls 2-3 weeks after the end of the war of 1967 when Jerusalem was “unified”. In reality, this holiday observes the beginning of a systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian would-be capital, East Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day” is observed with a march through West Jerusalem and the Old City, particularly the Muslim Quarter. In the past few years, the march has taken a very extreme nationalist character, and extreme right messages are celebrated. Last year, there were violent clashes when marchers attacked Palestinians while marching though the Old City and attacked Israeli leftist protestors who held a quiet demonstration near the march.