Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

International Solidarity Movement Activist Speaks in Iowa City

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

International Solidarity Movement Activist Speaks in Iowa City

Article excerpt

Joe Goodner spoke at the Iowa City Public Library on Sept. 22 about his work this past summer as a volunteer in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank. The recent University of Iowa College of Law graduate delivered an informative and well-organized critique of the Israeli occupation based largely on his own experiences.

"People ask, 'Why do Palestinians resist?' Well, they resist because the Israeli military is in their land. This is not Israel we're talking about," he noted. "Palestinians aren't going into Israeli territory and setting up shop. They're in their own territory, where their fathers were born, where their grandfathers were born, where their grandfathers' grandfathers were born," Goodner told the audience.

Pointing to a series of maps depicting the ever-expanding bootprint of Israel's brutal military occupation of stolen Palestinian lands and the shrinking amount of land left to Palestinians, Goodner explained that most Palestinians are farmers.

"You can see that, when so much territory disappears, it's pretty difficult to make a living as a farmer when you have no farmland. There's really nothing left to do but resist," said Goodner, who participated in nonviolent direct action protests and witnessed the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank.

"I was with the group known as the International Solidarity Movement [ISM]," Goodner told his audience. "That's the group Rachel Corrie was part of when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer. It's the group Tristan Anderson was part of when he was shot in the face with a high-velocity tear gas round."

Goodner said that Anderson, a 38-year-old American citizen, activist and photojournalist, has been in a coma and vegetative state since March 13, 2009, when he was shot by an Israeli soldier while taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the construction of Israel's illegal apartheid wall in the West Bank Palestinian village of Ni'lin. Goodner explained that when Israeli military forces attacked Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, killing some 1,400 captive Gazans-1,100 of them civilians, according to a United Nations report-Israel also "started stepping up its violence in the West Bank."

He went on to describe the new teargas canister used by Israeli forces that caused Anderson's debilitating injury. …

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