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Sunday, 3 April 2016

Bike Rides, Marathons, and Tree Plantings for Palestine

A “circular marathon,” you might say, took place today in Palestine. Thankfully, it transpired without any Israeli soldiers coming along and shooting anyone in the head. Maybe they were busy somewhere arresting children. Or perhaps they were preoccupied firing high-velocity tear gas canisters at people for planting trees (see below).
Israel sometimes kind of reminds me of a nest of angry hornets. Hopefully at some point the hornets will go away and the nest will be abandoned. That’s usually how it works in real life. Maybe an image of hornets is what Henry Kissinger had in mind when he said that “in ten years there will be no more Israel.” That statement, keep in mind, was made four years ago. If Henry’s right we have six more years to go.
Here’s another video of the marathon…

And over in merry old England, they have a bike ride planned…
A little bit more about the event:
Raising awareness and solidarity with Palestine.
The Big Ride is an initiative by supporters of the Palestinian people which combines a love of cycling with practical solidarity and awareness raising, especially around the plight of children in Gaza.
In 2015 we were motivated to organise a marathon 450 mile, nine day cycle ride fromEdinburgh to London, involving more than 200 participants and supporters which raised £65,898 for the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance.
Along the length of the route we were greeted by a wave of support and many, many people who wanted to learn more. We highlighted the consequences of the 51-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014, which killed 547 children under the age 12 and caused trauma to another 400,000 according to the United Nations.
In 2016 we are again setting out on the road for Palestine solidarity. This year we want to focus on the UK arms trade with Israel. There are now no restrictions on arms exports from the UK to Israel. This growing market is seen as business as usual, just another opportunity to make money out of human suffering.
We will organise a series of regional bike rides starting on Saturday 6th August 2016 from.
  • London and the South East
  • Manchester and North West England
  • Sheffield and North East England and
  • Bristol and the West
All roads will lead to Birmingham where Palestine supporters will stage a major public event, with music and other entertainment, food, stalls and speakers from the growing solidarity movement.
The ride will end on Monday with a mass cycle ride of about 18 miles to the final destination in Shenstone, Staffordshire. We’ll be riding to an arms factory called UAV Engines, which is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems are Israel’s biggest private arms company, and their factory in Shenstone makes parts for drones which are then exported all over the world. The factory has already been the target of mass protests, and we’ll be holding a rally outside and joining the call to Stop Arming Israel.”
Let us know if you want to get involved in organising or participating in The Big Ride for Palestine.

And finally this…
A tree planting today in Nabi Saleh was a little bit bumpier than the marathon in Bethlehem. And the hornets were swarming in force–swarming and firing a new long-range tear gas canister. The canisters break into three parts during flight and are virtually undetectable as they speed toward you. This from ISM:
On Friday 1st April, Palestinians from the town of Nabi Salih, along with international and Israeli activists, marched together in solidarity to protest the illegal Israeli settlement of Hamalish that has been built on and expanded over time on Palestinian land.
The march started shortly after the noon prayer, around 1:30pm, activists gathered near the entry point of the town. From here they set off and made their way peacefully down the hillside to the main road, at which point they were met by volleys of tear gas by the awaiting Israeli forces.
With sporadic wind changes the initial tear gas spread quickly and caused the demonstrators to be hit hard, feeling strong effects from the gas. Once the first rounds of gas had cleared the demonstrators re-grouped and made their way to the natural spring that was once part of Palestinian land but has been overtaken by settlers and deemed a closed military zone since, allowing only the army and the illegal settlers to use it whilst barring Palestinians from the area.
“I’ve never felt tear gas so badly before, the winds just made it unbearable. I felt as if I was going to pass out…” – Activist on the scene
Once the spring was reached, the activists, led by females from the town of Nabi Salih began to plant small olive trees on land that is rightfully theirs in a peaceful form of resistance to the occupation. This was cut short by the boarder police soldiers who physically grabbed and pushed the women away, throwing tear gas and stun grenades at them also.
As I’ve said before, the Israelis don’t seem very fond of trees…
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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