Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall

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Jacques Roux
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May 13 2006 16:07
Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall

Anyone here ever met any of them? I know they were in London once... maybe some of the ISMers here might have? Or maybe some even read the forums... Just interested in hearing a bit more about them, as their site is pretty non-informative.

Heard about this today:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/715389.html

Quote:
Violence erupted in the A-Ram neighborhood, just north of Jerusalem, after Israeli and Palestinian activists stormed the checkpoint separating Israel and the West Bank.

edit// i forgot we had this forum embarrassed

posi
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May 13 2006 18:22

What sort of thing do you want to know? Used to know a few of 'em, though haven't been in touch for a while.

A few of them used to be Deir Yassin, when it still existed. The band that is, not the village...

You're going that way during summer? If so, it'd definitely be worth hooking up with the people from Mapakh - they're really welcome in giving a place to crash for a few days to any travelling anarchos/punks (they live in Yaffa, an hour or so's walk south from the centre of Tel Aviv).

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May 13 2006 19:27

one of them did a talk in manchester perhaps a year ago. Very inspiring and informative talk.

What are you after? Their politics? Probably quite a mixed bag, sharing just the conviction of non-statist solution to the issue and working class solidarity. He said that their group is a loose collection of all kinds of anarchists, punks, anti-authoritarians, vegans etc. It looked from the video material that the average age was quite young, under/early 20's i'd say.

Thora
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May 13 2006 19:33

I met Matan, the young Israeli who got shot in the eye by the IDF, once - he seemed pretty sound, and very young! Tacks may know more...

knightrose
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May 13 2006 21:44

i put the text of their manchester talk, along with some of the pictures on the www.af-north.org siteit's at http://www.af-north.org/palestine/wall.htm

Deezer
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Jul 8 2006 11:01

Yeah Matan spoke in Belfast and Dublin a while back. I didn't meet him myself but other comrades from Organise! did. Maybe bobby could tell you more but he'll not be online for a while. Do you need contact details?

circle A red n black star

stilllooney
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Jul 19 2006 20:19

http://www.squat.net/antiwall/

Quote:
This is the site of an Israeli group known as “Anarchists Against the Wall” (AATW) which has been supporting the popular Palestinian resistance to the Israeli “separation wall”.
Luther Blissett
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Jul 30 2006 09:49
stillooney wrote:
http://www. squat.net/antiwall/
Quote:
This is the site of an Israeli group known as “Anarchists Against the Wall” (AATW) which has been supporting the popular Palestinian resistance to the Israeli “separation wall”.

<b><a href="http://awalls.org/"><i>THIS</i></A> IS THE GENUINE
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN ANARCHISTS WITHOUT WALLS SITE</b>

http://awalls.org/

The mirror site is the same as the original & donations to the legal fund from either route are much appreciated.

THX ALL

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Oct 9 2006 09:22

The AATW are a good bunch of guys, I had the pleasure of doing lots of stuff with them as an ISMer. For more info on them check out this link it is a pdf with lots of interesting info as far as I can remember (read it sometime ago).

Luther Blissett
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Dec 16 2006 07:08

Update on Friday, November 24's AATW action
Stop the War Machine: Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall seize tanks and bulldozers at Gaza checkpoints

Anti-semantics
Please note: to avoid disruption of discussions over 'words' post-zionist are sometimes referring to the wall as 'fence'*. What matters is that non-violent protest continues, despite state violence/terrorism, not what the 'thing' is called - this tends to only occur in Israeli news

*although I personally call it a wall.

Luther Blissett
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Feb 22 2007 14:28

AATW have new website - lost more information, up to date on protests, added video (so i don't have to scour youtube anymore) pictures, and other related actions.

latest: the result of court decision re. activist action dating back 2 years.

http://www.awalls.org

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Feb 22 2007 16:34

I find this quote from their website the most disheartening:

Quote:
This site does not contain and should not be understood as an official party line or a manifesto. The group has dedicated all its efforts to activities on the ground, and has left propaganda and the drawing of party lines to others.

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Feb 22 2007 17:50

there's a very informative interview someone did with them for freedom that Tommy Ascaso got sent wink

Yes i know them pretty well; i worked with them in palestine, but more importantly i've stayed in touch and we (AF) hosted their last speaking tour in 2 UK venues. AF also has a cross-member sortof.

Their politics are a very mixed bag - i don't mean that in a veiled insult way, they just vary a lot. As with most palsolidarity stuff there is a centrality of palestinian lead work - no palestinian support or approval no activity - and this extends to projected solutions to the conflict. They have said they are satisfied with what the palestinians are satisfied with. This is that strange or requires any compromise as AATW work so closely with palestinians (many palestinians probably consider themselves members informally, many arab-israelis too etc.) that there isn't always any perceivable gap between AATW and the communities they work with, and their are soooo many roving groups in the OPT now too.

Very interestingly they do not think much of the statements of western anarchists who say 'no nations, no states, class war' cos they argue the gap between the average Israeli worker and palestinian worker is so great on so many levels, this is unlikely to be the primary focus of any effective campaign. Also the majority - possiby all - of AATW support a 2 state solution as an interim solution, seeing a call for 'no state solution' as an insult to far more complex situation in the present. A couple of them slagged the Libertarian Communist Alternative communique thingymajig that everybody and their anarchist uncle published during the Lebanon war. LCA were as far as they were concerned a non-group who had not done any peace work or come to any of the peace demo's they called during the war. They also slagged the politics of the communique, but i can't recall properly. A link was posted on libcom.

My summing up: AATW political contribution is really important, especially if groups like IFA are going to put out (IMHO)trite 'no war but the class war' statements that may well just mock the situation. Speak to the palestinians and israelis who can really talk about what the class war means there first. Its not a case of rejecting class struggle, but configuring it to the situation.

Outside of their politics: they are fucking brave, good people. They have just as much in community skills as they do in sheer guts. I know in the world of the internet that doesn't seem to count for much, but for me at least it gives me a much better perspective on whatever they say.

lastly: they are facing shitloads of court ATM and reckon this might finally mean prison for someone. Solidarity and money are both needed.

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Feb 22 2007 18:31
Tacks wrote:
Their politics are a very mixed bag - i don't mean that in a veiled insult way, they just vary a lot. As with most palsolidarity stuff there is a centrality of palestinian lead work - no palestinian support or approval no activity -

Seems reasonable enough to me. In fact, there was an olive planting activity a few weeks ago, and I acted in just this manner: a few soldiers stopped us from going to certain lands which were not covered by an agreement between Rabbis for Human Rights and the IDF. I did not deem it proper to run ahead to the forbidden territory myself, like another activist did, but the moment one of the Palestinian olive farmers decided to proceed, I was the first to back him up. No violence ensued, though another activist and the head of RfHR did get arrested.

Tacks wrote:
and this extends to projected solutions to the conflict. They have said they are satisfied with what the palestinians are satisfied with.

This I do take issue with. What kind of comrade does not criticize you for your ideological failings? And, besides, how do you measure what "the Palestinians are satisfied with" in regards to projected solutions to the conflict? This easily degenerates into Third-Worldist populism.

Tacks wrote:
Very interestingly they do not think much of the statements of western anarchists who say 'no nations, no states, class war' cos they argue the gap between the average Israeli worker and palestinian worker is so great on so many levels, this is unlikely to be the primary focus of any effective campaign.

Well, quite a few Palestinians are employed in Israel and by settlers in the West Bank (That's no longer the case in Gaza, and look what good it did to them); There's the shared problem of unpayed municipal workers; and with the disintegrating welfare state and deteriorating worker's benefits in Israel on the one hand, and the recent intra-Palestinian sectarian violence on the other, I'd say there's definitely room for thinking of practical internationalist class-struggle initiatives; that is, unless you get sucked into Third-Worldism and refuse to even consider it because it's just not popular enough with those deemed ethnically oppressed.

Tacks wrote:
Also the majority - possiby all - of AATW support a 2 state solution as an interim solution, seeing a call for 'no state solution' as an insult to far more complex situation in the present.

I think that's a false dichotomy. You can just posit, like I do, that it is not our concern to tell the bourgeois how to best manage our oppression, be it via a one-state or two-state "solution."

Moreover, the AATW's direct-action tactics seem to be just as applicable to fighting the potential appropriation of land by the future Palestinian state (and, let's face it, that's just the kind of thing states do) as they are to stopping the IDF from bogarting lands for the settlements.

This is what happens when you "let others draw party lines": You end up needlessly supporting ideological positions which stand in opposition to your own struggle.

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Feb 22 2007 18:50

Look, you are actually in AATW so why don't you just answer for me? grin

However: I tried to stress the fact it was not third worldism i was talking about, and that they were much closer than to patronise palestinians like that - indeed you might consider certain palestininians 'members'.

When asked 'what kind of solution do you want, along what boundaries with what land?' AATW members have genrally said 'whatever the palestinians are satisfied with. When deciding what action to take, like you gave an example, they do what the community they are with wants (generally).

Quote:
Moreover, the AATW's direct-action tactics seem to be just as applicable to fighting the potential appropriation of land by the future Palestinian state (and, let's face it, that's just the kind of thing states do) as they are to stopping the IDF from bogarting lands for the settlements.

Agreed smile

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Feb 22 2007 18:53

tree was it you who posted that blog which had a three way interview about the lebanon conflict, one of the ppl in it called Anat?

Thats the piece which talks about the LCA communique during the war and is very illuminating.

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Feb 22 2007 20:09
Tacks wrote:
Look, you are actually in AATW so why don't you just answer for me? grin

Sure, right. Let me just put the safety on that Uzi I got for my Bar Mitzva, like all Israeli Jews. roll eyes grin

Tacks wrote:
However: I tried to stress the fact it was not third worldism i was talking about, and that they were much closer than to patronise palestinians like that - indeed you might consider certain palestininians 'members'.

You can be both close and patronizing. If the shoe fits...

Tacks wrote:
When asked 'what kind of solution do you want, along what boundaries with what land?' AATW members have genrally said 'whatever the palestinians are satisfied with. When deciding what action to take, like you gave an example, they do what the community they are with wants (generally).

But what happens if there are a bunch of Israelis that aren't satisfied with what the Palestinians are satisfied? The Palestinians are the ethnically oppressed, so they get first dibs, is that it? Showing solidarity with a community struggling for its liberation is one thing, which I have done and intend to do (more so once I'm employed and less depressed), and not just across the Green Line; taking an ethnicity and giving it a privileged ideological position is a whole other kettle of fish, one that reeks of Third-Worldism.

Tacks wrote:
tree was it you who posted that blog which had a three way interview about the lebanon conflict, one of the ppl in it called Anat?

Thats the piece which talks about the LCA communique during the war and is very illuminating.

That was posted by Eyal Rozenberg, not by me. I found similar points objectionable therein. I'm disturbed by the fact that the Lebanese anarchists called the Hezbollah actions "resistence", even when it involved shooting rockets at Israeli civilians, even when it involved them pulling the Lebanese people in a bloody confrontation with the Zionists (it's appalling that anarchists would be looking for excuses to exonerate a religious-fundamentalist organization), and, moreover, that these points were not contested by the Israeli anarchists, but sometimes even approved by them.

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Feb 22 2007 20:17
tojiah wrote:
Tacks wrote:
Look, you are actually in AATW so why don't you just answer for me? grin

Sure, right. Let me just put the safety on that Uzi I got for my Bar Mitzva, like all Israeli Jews. roll eyes grin

i don't get you friend: by my massive powers of deduction i have worked out that you are israeli, and an anarchist and have been on AATW actions - sorry if i added 2 and 2 and got 5. It seemed like an obvious assumption.

The other point is - why on EARTH are you debating AATW views or statements with *ME* when there are AATW posters here and you know far far more about it than i?

All the best,
tacks

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Feb 22 2007 20:29

I'm sorry. I thought you were kidding. I mean, I've repeatedly stated that I am not a member of AATW.

Moreover, I'm not aware of anyone else on this board that is a member of AATW. Eyal, a personal acquaintance of mine, with whom I have not kept in touch in real life since having moved around a bit in Israel, is not a member either, if I recall correctly. He's the only other Israeli I've seen on this website.

I have met AATW members in real life, but I haven't had much chance to talk to them. Israel is kind of a small place, especially in the activist arena, so it's hard not to bump into pretty much everyone, eventually; that doesn't mean that I know them all personally.

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Feb 22 2007 21:12

apologies for not paying attention to your posts.

Also like you say, Israel is tiny, the active peace movement is tiny and the anarchist movement is smaller still - i did assume you knew them.

Anyway, do take up your criticisms with them, they can't be hard to reach.

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Feb 22 2007 21:12

why arent you a member though? I mean ok, i am one of these organisation fetishists who cant stand the "unaffiliated" anarchists - piss me off no end. But seriously matey, are there some grave differences you have with this group which would prevent you from being a member or involved and put your arguments and case forwards inside of it?

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Feb 22 2007 21:32

especially considering that Israel is the size of Wales.

As far as we could tell the other day AATW were the only thing that even looked like an anarchist or even half decent leftist group there.

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Feb 22 2007 22:52

I wouldn't know how to approach them, for one. I mean, they give off a very cliquey vibe, though I may be wrong.

More ideologically, they seem to be very single issue. There's no joint AATW position on anything other than the Occupation. That's all I hear about on the grapevine, and that's all you can see on their recent activities list. Even when they act inside of Israel, the only issue they raise is the Occupation. I happen to have more on my agenda than that.

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Feb 22 2007 23:52

righty ho. What was the name of your organisation again?

I wouldn't mind reading its list of recent activities.

Luther Blissett
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Feb 22 2007 23:58
Tacks wrote:
Their politics are a very mixed bag - i don't mean that in a veiled insult way, they just vary a lot. As with most palsolidarity stuff there is a centrality of palestinian lead work - no palestinian support or approval no activity - and this extends to projected solutions to the conflict. They have said they are satisfied with what the palestinians are satisfied with. This is that strange or requires any compromise as AATW work so closely with palestinians (many palestinians probably consider themselves members informally, many arab-israelis too etc.) that there isn't always any perceivable gap between AATW and the communities they work with, and their are soooo many roving groups in the OPT now too.

There is overlap with Ta'ayush, yes?

Quote:
Very interestingly they do not think much of the statements of western anarchists who say 'no nations, no states, class war' cos they argue the gap between the average Israeli worker and palestinian worker is so great on so many levels, this is unlikely to be the primary focus of any effective campaign.

Have you seen this?
french:http://www.iaf-ifa.org/News/palestine/communique_july_fr.htm
It was the best group statement I could find that recognised that Israelis are also involved in a struggle for liberation whereas so many 'western/european' self-proclaimed anarchist groups ignore this in their kaffieyeh wearing support for nationalisms.

Quote:
Also the majority - possiby all - of AATW support a 2 state solution as an interim solution, seeing a call for 'no state solution' as an insult to far more complex situation in the present.

I prefer Buber's bi-national solution over the two-state solution, but then I don't want to move there to live, nor do I want to feel driven to live there. Buber was Ben-Gurion's best and longest ideological opponent.I'm making a website (fansite) on him as a project, but it's not ready yet.

Quote:
A couple of them slagged the Libertarian Communist Alternative communique thingymajig that everybody and their anarchist uncle published during the Lebanon war. LCA were as far as they were concerned a non-group who had not done any peace work or come to any of the peace demo's they called during the war. They also slagged the politics of the communique, but i can't recall properly. A link was posted on libcom.

Is that the one I just linked to from the Fédération anarchiste? It was one of the better statements!
This also was a good statement:
Summer 2006: 2006/07/israel-israeli-activist-speaks-on.html
As was this from 1991: archive-1991-culture-war-and-religious.html

Quote:
My summing up: AATW political contribution is really important, especially if groups like IFA are going to put out (IMHO)trite 'no war but the class war' statements that may well just mock the situation. Speak to the palestinians and israelis who can really talk about what the class war means there first. Its not a case of rejecting class struggle, but configuring it to the situation.

Did IFA say that? I thought that was the CWF (Class War Foundation/London Class War) who said 'no war but class war'? Here's the IFA again:
http://www.iaf-ifa.org/News/palestine/communique_july_en.htm
I didn't see anything quite so crass in their statement.

Quote:
Outside of their politics: they are fucking brave, good people. They have just as much in community skills as they do in sheer guts. I know in the world of the internet that doesn't seem to count for much, but for me at least it gives me a much better perspective on whatever they say.

Dennis Fox reports on them - he was where I used to go for info before their website was revamped: http://blog.dennisfox.net/index.php/archives/category/anarchism

Quote:
lastly: they are facing shitloads of court ATM and reckon this might finally mean prison for someone. Solidarity and money are both needed.

Indeed. Fundraiser? Reclaim the Streets 'do' coming up soon.

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Feb 23 2007 00:13
Tacks wrote:
righty ho. What was the name of your organisation again?

I wouldn't mind reading its list of recent activities.

That's a cheap shot. Sorry that I'm not trying to change things from within and reforming the organization for the better, like all the good little anarchists. Hell, maybe I should join the CPI. I mean, at least they're an organization, right? And it's so much worse not to be organized at all.

Luther Blissett
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Feb 23 2007 00:21

What you just described is not anarchism, treeofjudas, not anarchism as I know it - sounds more like trotskyite entryism.

So here is the Palestinian campaign equivalent: http://www.stopthewall.org/

And this is Ta'ayush, who demonstrate every Friday in Bil'in Village: http://www.taayush.org/

Also there is also the Budrus collective - with joint Arab-Israeli workshops and also they hold solidarity demonstrations: http://www.middleway.org/English/files/peace_conf2007.html
The Budrus workshop is easy to get to, and also holds joint workshops with a Kibbitz Lotan (Reform,zionist) regularly on permaculture (called falcha/bio-falcha).
https://www.arashi.com/pipermail/ccpg/2006q3/002015.html

Tree, there is a report on one of the bio-falcha workshops at Budrus in Hebrew version of ynetnews with fotos if you want to search, else I will get them from my other machine and upload them with my very inadequate translation from the hebrew.

There is always http://gush-shalom.org/ - they call for solidarity in Bil'in this Friday 23rd with the ongoing protest there.

Then in the Negev, there is the Social Advocacy Project, always on the look out for solidarity: http://1breathtime.com/negev/index-eng.htm

As well as the Bustan http://bustan.org/2007/02/uprooting_israeli_government_d.html who carry news from the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages (RCUV)

There's also this group who call for activist solidarity, but I know nothing about their politics - probably cross-platform: http://www.iued.org.il

And here, the nabka-in-hebrew group go up against the ILA in Self De-fence in Miske (recommended)

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Feb 23 2007 00:57

Yes, what about all of those organization, none of which has any decent class perspective? I get updates on their actions all the time on the ActLeft mailing list. I even go to a few of them. Does that mean I have to join any of them, otherwise I'm lame for not being in an organization?

I've initiated a few of my own actions, too, you know. If I weren't set back by depression and by most people I know who would be into it either being too busy with other issues (like animal liberation or GLBT liberation), or liable to co-opt my ideas into a Leninist framework, I might try and organize a group to continue that zine I made two issues of promoting soldiers dissent among, *gasp*, soldiers, for example. Quite a few of them responded very well to an obvious radical leftist actually trying to communicate with them, instead of yelling slogans or playing "let's see how long we can mess around before some of us get arrested" with the police.

I refuse to join an organization by default. I refuse to risk police violence for no good reason. Getting beaten up by the riot police because a bunch of idiots decided that it would be such a cool idea to dress up as clown soldiers, provoke the police and then mock them was the final straw for me. I don't know why I didn't get the picture when I was getting tear-gassed and flash-grenaded by the gendarmie, and also stoned by Palestinian youths, in Bil'in, in a mass demo a month or so earlier than that, where the main body of the protest was comprised of Palestinians calling for national unity. And you know what? I don't think there's anything to celebrate this Friday in Bil'in. Because the direct action there has failed long ago. It's time to move on.

I'm sick and tired of endangering myself for no good reason. I'm sick and tired of tail-ending other people's campaigns, just because it's something to do. Yeah, there's a need for an organization, but right now there just isn't one, and I, for one, won't pretend that there is. One will have to be built from scratch, and I feel like I'm the only one around with the right ideology, and it's beyond my powers at the moment. So I spent a month getting my OP published, and I try to spread my ideas, and that's all I can manage right now. I know it's not as cool as being a member of AATW, but I guess not everyone can be an awe-inspiring anarchist hero.

PS: And, by the way, I was being sarcastic in my response to Tacks. I'm definitely opposed to entryism, and I sure don't see it as a valid anarchist tactic. I do intervene in CPI meetings, but I don't pretend to be anything more than an inconvenient outsider.

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Feb 23 2007 02:25
Quote:
I might try and organize a group to continue that zine I made two issues of promoting soldiers dissent among, *gasp*, soldiers, for example. Quite a few of them responded very well to an obvious radical leftist actually trying to communicate with them, instead of yelling slogans or playing "let's see how long we can mess around before some of us get arrested" with the police.

I think this is a bit unfair to some of the AATW folks. Several of the AATW activists I met in Bil'in did do refusnik organizing (in high schools especially) and do seriosuly discuss with soldiers, challenging them on what they are doing. In Bil'in you hardly ever get the chance, but e.g. in Hebron the soldiers there are very keen to talk to you (at least in my experience).

Also, a lot of the AATW I met were involved in all kinds of activism in Israel; animal liberation, GLB and such.

Re: you were stoned by shebab in Bil'in. Were you in the cross fire or do you feel that you were actually targeted? The former happened to me several times in Bil'in, though luckily I was never seriously hurt (though the IDF weren't as nice to me).

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Feb 23 2007 09:18
tojiah wrote:
One will have to be built from scratch, and I feel like I'm the only one around with the right ideology

ok, maybe the group is better off without you then grin Joking aside - i think this is a dangerous mindset to have to be honest mate. You will NEVER have 100% agreement within a political group, much less in a movement, and those who demand it are destined to be forever insignificant and irrelevant. Only in an online message board environment can one feel some significance with "best politics" and the most purist of approaches.

but i understand what you mean, you dont like the group and dont feel politically in tune with them enough to join them - thats fair enough. I was not looking to hear you slag them off, or to get that defensive about it, because it is a perfectly valid reason if your politics differ radically from theirs. I just didn't know that the differences would have been so grave...

I think co-operation and mutual work in a democratic framework to form policies and actions is fundamental to any class based anarchism, which is why i dont understand unaffiliated class struggle anarchists who rather just go on it on their own because of some tiny political difference while criticising individualists grin In todays tiny anarchist groups people have very little experience and practice working with even small ideological differences which shows in the way infighting flares up just from small issues, or even worse, splits.

I guess we would not have any of the great historical examples of big influental anarchist/libertarian movements, groups and moments if folk would have had the same attitude in the past.

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Feb 23 2007 09:33
atlemk wrote:
I think this is a bit unfair to some of the AATW folks. Several of the AATW activists I met in Bil'in did do refusnik organizing (in high schools especially) and do seriosuly discuss with soldiers, challenging them on what they are doing. In Bil'in you hardly ever get the chance, but e.g. in Hebron the soldiers there are very keen to talk to you (at least in my experience).

I was talking about how Israeli radical leftists interact with the IDF in general.

Now, I've not seen AATW much, but from what I have seen, they yell at the soldiers/police people as opposed to actually talking to them. Animal liberationists at least set up stands near the central staff of the IDF, distribute fliers, etc, to promote veganism with the soldiers. I've never seen a similar move by the AATW.

But I could be wrong. It's the chicken and the egg. To work closely with them I would have to actively seek them out, yet they haven't left such an impression on me that I would want to seek them out.

atlemk wrote:
Also, a lot of the AATW I met were involved in all kinds of activism in Israel; animal liberation, GLB and such.

First of all, none of that is class struggle, if I'm to put on my purist hat. But even ignoring that, they're not involved in it as an organziation.

atlemk wrote:
Re: you were stoned by shebab in Bil'in. Were you in the cross fire or do you feel that you were actually targeted? The former happened to me several times in Bil'in, though luckily I was never seriously hurt (though the IDF weren't as nice to me).

We were moving away from the gendarmie when one of their vans overtook us, and then we were caught in the middle. And then the stones came. Even if it was crossfire, it's ridiculously irresponsible of them to act this way.