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Urgent appeal: Abnaa el Ballad leaders arrested
by SWL 9:04pm Thu Jul 31 '03

A communique on behalf of the arrested leaders of the "Sons of the Country" movement and against the political persecution:
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Five leading members of the Abnaa el Ballad ("Sons of the Country") movement, including its general secretary Muhamad Kanaane and Yoav Bar, were arrested today in the morning in the summer camp the movement has in the town of Kabul.
Abnaa el Ballad has conducted a summer camp for years; this year it was held in the northern town of Kabul, in the Galilee, where more than 300 hundred children and youth assisted. Coincidentally with the summer camp, a political meeting was held yesterday, where Jewish and Arab members of the movement and other left activists, including members of the SWL, participated in order to promote common activitiez between the Palestinian and Jewish masses within Israel against the national and social oppression of the Zionist regime.
Yesterday, the Israeli television Channel 10 released a blood libel about the summer camp, arguing that the organizers teach the children to be suicide bombers and act as apologists for Hamas. Todayג€™s edition of the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz also presented a similarly vicious slander. Later in the day the police arrested some of the leading comrades of Abnaa el Ballad.
The police and the security services have been carrying on a campaign against Abnaa elBallad for years, especially after the demonstrations held in October 2000, when 13 Arab demonstrators were killed by the police. This is another step in the persecution of the Arab population in Israel and its political parties. Let us just recall that the leaders of the Islamic movement, a legal political organization, have been imprisoned for several weeks already, and that today the Knesset is debating a racist law denying the Israeli citizenship to the sons of couples where one of the partners is an Israeli Arab and the other a Palestinian from the Occupied Territories.
We demand the immediate release of the arrested comrades and the end of the political persecution against Abnaa elBallad, and ask all the democratic forces in the country as well as an international campaign of solidarity on their behalf.

Socialist Workers League (Palestine)

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No Sympathy for Sons of the Village
by disappointed leftie 9:17pm Thu Jul 31 '03

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I remember attending a Naqba commemorative march
in the Galilee on Independence Day. A small group
was chanting something along the lines of 'go
Hizbullah, send rockets and drive the Zionists
away.' My daughter asked me who the Zionists
were.

Our Arab host got red in the face and explained
that we were - even though we aren't Zionists.
It's code for 'Jews.' Later on these folks booed
when Jewish speakers got up to express thier
solidarity with Palestinians and support the
defence of refugee rights, etc. This then, was
Ibnaa al-Bilad. People so nutty they are marginal
even within Balad.

Why is there no statement disavowing support for
suicide bombers and Hamas? The incitement to
violence, to children yet, is awful, and the
police are right to investigate it. True, many
more Jews are guilty of this; Instead of helping
to free the village people, let's demand more
active prosecution of Jewish extremists. A better
use of energy, for sure.


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USA socialists call for release
by Monica Hill 3:26am Sat Aug 9 '03
[email protected]

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In response to Socialist Workers League's request, the Freedom Socialist Party of the U.S.A. joins with others in condemning Israel's arrest of Abnaa el Ballad leaders at their annual summer camp. What Israel obviously cannot stand is Jewish and Arab women and men working together and teaching their children to do likewise, especially under the auspices of leftists. So the government resorts to blatant lies, terrorist baiting and red-baiting to provide a pretext for attack. It's a classic attempt to divide-and-conquer working people in Israel who know that their common enemy is the Zionist, capitalist government of Israel.

Now, where have we here in the United States run into this kind of behavior before? Ah yes. Every day, as our own government lies about the reasons for war against Iraq, imprisons thousands for the crime of being foreigners with Arabic names, and blacklists leftist groups as "terrorists."

Israeli Arab and Jewish socialists have a great task -- to organize a suffering working class in Israel to challenge their repressive government and open the way for genuine peace in the Middle East. We support the work of Abnaa el Ballad and join with others urgently demanding immediate release of its arrested leaders.

Monica Hill
National Committee
Freedom Socialist Party

www.socialism.com

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