American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
The Real Aim of Occupation
Except from an article dated 4/27/02, by Uri Avnery of GUSH SHALOM <www.gush-shalom.org> which will appear in Hebrew in Ma'ariv.
I sneaked into Ramallah in order to see it for myself. A shocking sight, indeed. Take, for example, the Palestinian Ministry of Education. It is housed in an imposing building, probably going back to British times, a mixture of neo-Classic European and oriental styles. In front of it there was a rose garden--"was," because a tank has crisscrossed it, leaving only one purple rosebush in all its glory.
The Ministry of Health suffered the same fate. The hard disks that contained all the information, state of diseases, medical tests, lists of doctors and nurses, the logistics of the hospitals had been taken. Even the people most critical of the Palestinian Authority admitted that these two ministries, Education and Health, had been functioning well. They have been utterly destroyed.
This happened to virtually all the Palestinian government offices. Gone is the information pertaining to land registration and housing, taxes, and government expenditure, car tests and drivers' licenses, everything necessary for administrating a modern society. The lists of terrorists were not hidden in the land registration books, the inventory of bombs was not tucked away among the list of kindergarten teachers. The real aim is obvious: to destroy not only the Palestinian Authority, but Palestinian society itself: to push it back with one stroke from the stage of a modern state-in-the-making to the primitive society of Turkish times.
On that day I passed, with a group of Israeli peace activists,
through the center of Ramallah--from the mass grave in the
hospital parking lot to the besieged headquarters of Yasser Arafat.
We carried Hebrew posters and encountered much sympathy and not
a single sign of hostility. Even at this time, the Palestinians
know the difference between the Israeli peace camp and those who
are responsible for this brutal attack. Here, perhaps, lies the
only glimmer of hope.