Israeli repression at The Gate of the Sun


On January 11, 2013, 250 men and women from across Palestine established a new Palestinian village named “Bab Al shams” (Gate of the Sun).

They declared:

We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams Village (Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.

A few months ago the Israeli government announced its intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the area Israel refers to as E1. E1 block is an area of about 13 square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem. We will not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of our land continues. Therefore we hereby establish the village of Bab Alshams to proclaim our faith in direct action and popular resistance. We declare that the village will stand steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right to build on their land.

They added that the establishment of Bab Al-Shams village is an implementation of the Palestinian right to self-determination guaranteed by the first article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (December 16, 1966).

On Tuesday, for the second time, Israeli soldiers fired gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs to disperse nonviolent activists of the Bab Al-Shams Palestinian village. The Israeli army declared E1 area (where Israel intends to build thousands of units for Jewish settlers on Palestinian lands) as a “closed military zone”, defying Israel’s High Court’s temporary injunction that barred the state from evacuating the encampment and some 250 campers registered to stay overnight in solidarity. 

Patrick O. Strickland writes:

Israel’s staunchest supporters often tout the country’s High Court as indisputable evidence of its democratic character. They point to instances where the court ruled against the state or the military, such as a few instances in the past when rulings ordered that the separation wall be rerouted not to steal private Palestinian land.

Instances like the assault on Bab Al-Shams, however, strip all semblances of legitimacy from this line of argument. A necessary component of genuine democracy is the separation of powers. In the United States, the divisions are between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In most European democracies, on the other hand, the crux division is between the executive and judicial. In Israel, it would seem, the executive branch has the power to order the military to explicitly defy the rulings of its judicial branch.

Considering the impunity of its security forces and the exclusively Jewish character of the state, the country is more like an apartheid state ran by a military autocracy that permits select displays of democratic participation.

By evicting activists from land ruled legally Palestinian by the Israeli High Court, the military, under Netanyahu’s auspices, showed that its interest in hegemony, aptly served by its colonial settler front, always eclipses the commitment to democracy.

The role of Israel’s government, military, and related corporations and organizations in a global industry of violence and repression has been documented by a recent report: Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression. The states most involved with this industry profit from perpetual war and occupation across the globe while maintaining vastly unequal societies of their own.

This report, researched, written, and edited by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, is available at

4 thoughts on “Israeli repression at The Gate of the Sun”

  1. Dear Nivedita Menon and Kafila,

    I started to read Kafila in the aftermath of the Delhi Gang Rape case and got the impression that one could find well written, useful and intelligent articles here – well in this example here I am not of that opinion. You are using well known stereotypes to demonise Israel and Zionist politics and are arguing to one side. If you talk about violence and repression, have you ever heared about Hamas? The most part of the violence, that Israel is comitting is meant to defend Israeli citizens – basically from the rockets, which are launched from Gaza continuously. The violence of Hamas is simply meant to destroy Israel and kill the jews. This is not a secret, one only has to listen to public speaches from Hamas leaders. And since the people of Gaza have voted for Hamas, that might the kind of politics they are looking for. The policy of settlements is critically discussed within Israels society by the way. And if you identify Palestiniens and “their” land, just let me give you a hint one could easily check in a history book. Palestine has been foremost a geographical term, not a term referring to a special ethnic group. There has not been a palestinian state. This area had been part of the osmanic kingdom and later of the british empire. Afterwards the Zionist have built their state as a consequence of and a shelter from the wordwide prosecution and killing (Also the mufti of Jerusalem was a good friend of Hitler) – and were attacked by their arab neighbours…the rest might be known…


    1. Uma,
      There has been a vigorous debate on Kafila that goes far beyond the tired and utterly delegitimized pro-Zionist arguments you make here. Please read the following four posts and the debates on them (which include our critique of Hamas, as well as an account of the support it initially received from the Israeli establishment). Perhaps you’ll change your mind?
      1. Nakba and Sumoud

      2. Living the Occupation

      3. Imagining Post-Zionist futures

      4. Sex Lies and God’s Promise: Response to a Diatribe


  2. Report of a Zionist campaign in the US:

    Who’s Afraid of BDS? New York City politicians harass Brooklyn College

    It’s not hard to imagine that anyone who skimmed the news this week might get the impression that something uniquely terrible is about to happen in Midwood, Brooklyn. “We’re talking about the potential for a second Holocaust here,” Assemblyman Alan Maisel warns. Assistant Majority Leader Lew Fidler and other New York City politicians write a letter to the Brooklyn College president threatening the school’s funding and claiming that their constituents feel “targeted and demonized.” “Jew-bashing grows in Brooklyn,” the New York Post proclaims. “Brooklyn College, a once-esteemed campus in the City University system, this week joins a long list of enemies — from lefty denizens of the Park Slope Food Co-op to Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who crave wiping the state of Israel from the map.”


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