Magazine article New Internationalist

Tali's Troubles

Magazine article New Internationalist

Tali's Troubles

Article excerpt

An Israeli activist takes the heat

'I VOTED Likud my whole life. I was educated to hate and fear Arabs. I thought the occupation was just. But when I discovered that my freedom was assured at the Palestinians' expense, notably those of Jenin, I couldn't live with it.' The words are those of a slight, dark, 29-year-old woman from a poor Sephardic family from conservative Kiriat Gat in the south of Israel. Tali Fahima is by most accounts a lone wolf, someone driven to an activism of support for Palestinian rights outside the framework of the established Israeli peace movement and Left. By going to the West Bank on her own, she broke the code of separation (both written and unwritten) on which Israel depends to run its occupation of Palestinian land. Since August 2004, Tali has been held in conditions of extreme isolation and rigorous interrogation, first under 'administrative detention' and now officially charged.

When Ariel Sharon finally implemented his pullout of settlers from Gaza, the world was treated to images of Israeli soldiers running the operation under great emotional distress. Some even shed tears at having to remove fellow Israelis despite the fact that these settlers were breaking both international and Israeli law. The removal of the settlers was carried out with a minimum of violence despite insults and worse from the fundamentalists and their supporters. They were returned to Israel proper where they were given lavish suburban homes and attractive resettlement arrangements. …

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