Weekly demonstration; Karmei Tsur and Lord Balfour

4 November 2012

Saturday 3rd November

On the anniversary of the signing of the infamous Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain approved the establishment of a Jewish homeland on Palestinian land – thus beginning the process whereby the Palestinian people, the indigenous inhabitants of the region, have been progressively displaced and removed – inhabitants of Beit Ommar, together with Israeli and international supporters, demonstrated in front of the colony of Karmei Tsur which is built on stolen Beit Ommar lands.

A line of heavily-armed Israeli Occupation Force soldiers and border police prevented the demonstrators from entering village farmlands several hundred metres short of the barbed wire fences surrounding the colony. A member of the Popular Committee made a stirring speech condemning the Balfour Declaration for the disastrous consequences which resulted. No-one present (apart from the Occupation troops) could fail to have been impressed by his heartfelt words, particularly as they followed a week in which a local schoolgirl was run down by a Karmei Tsur settler and Israeli forces staged a raid in which they arrested a popular village figure after partially destroying his home.
A number of young children, boys and girls, took the initiative by evading the troops and running towards the settlement, to cheers from the demonstrators. They were hard to catch! Like quicksilver, as soon as one was apprehended, another darted away. One father managed to get past and reach his son, only to be roughly manhandled by the soldiers, who also took their rifle butts to several of the demonstrators. Those present felt that the future of the Palestinian resistance will be in good hands with children such as these.

Watching from the colony were a number of settlers, clad all in white for their Shabbat.

After an hour or so the organizers called for the demonstrators to return to the village after what had been a highly effective and successful non-violent protest.