Banning Israeli activists from West Bank based on lies and misinformation

Naftali Bennett's decision to bar 30 Israeli activists from the West Bank is an attempt to silence anyone who dares work alongside Palestinians to end the occupation.

Israeli soldiers remove Israeli activists who staged a sit-in on the separation wall route in the West Bank village of Bil’in, 11 November 2005

Oren Ziv reports in +972:

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced Saturday night that he had issued administrative restraining orders against 30 Israeli left-wing and anarchist activists, barring them entry to the West Bank in order to stop them from joining the weekly, Palestinian-led protests against the separation barrier and the settlements.

The order included the name Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, who is already in detention after a far-right wing group filed a private prosecution against him for participation in West Bank demonstrations against the occupation. Pollak, who refuses to recognize legitimacy of the Israeli legal system, has been in custody for 15 days.

Bennett’s announcement feels like it may have been relevant in 2005 when members of Anarchists Against the Wall would regularly join Palestinians in the West Bank. But the Palestinian popular struggle, which began with the building of the wall in 2002, and included demonstrations, marches, and direct actions, has reached a nadir over the past years.

Whether it is because Israel completed the building of the barrier, activist fatigue, or violent suppression of the protests — which included arrests, injuries, and even deaths — the demonstrations have never been smaller. In the past, hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists would join the weekly protests in numerous sites around the West Bank. Today only symbolic protests take place in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, which usually include no more than 20 people. Nabi Saleh no longer holds protests on a regular basis. Only in the village of Qaddum do between 100-200 people still demonstrate on a weekly basis.

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