Bil'in makes it onto British TV
DEMONSTRATORS at Bil'in, 20 January 2006. After a year of protests they've finally made the news.
I've been asking for some time why it is that, unlike the nightly coverage the BBC gave Israeli settler protests against withdrawal from Gaza, British TV news has ignored the peaceful protests against the Israeli seperation fence by Palestinians in the village of Bil'in and some Israeli supporters.
The villagers find the supposed "security" barrier snaking through the occupied West Bank separates them from their fields and olive groves, which the occupiers have been uprooting. The protests which they have held regularly, have been attacked by Israeli forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
We have seen some of this ongoing battle on YouTube, but not on our ordinary TV screens. At least, not until the other day, when thanks to journalist Inigo Gilmore and Israeli activist Shai Polak, as well as the people doggedly maintaining their dignified demonstrations at Bil'in, the British viewing public was given a glimpse of what has been happening at this village, whose lands have been taken for the developers' profit and the settlement of Modin Elit.
It was not on BBC, mind, but Channel Four. If like me you missed it, you can catch up on the item at:
It may not be much, but it is a breakthrough after long non-coverage, and those responsible deserve credit for this. Let's hope it's a start.
PS: I should have mentioned, that this item I missed was brought to my attention by a posting in the JustPeace Uk list from Abe Hayeem, one of the founders of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine.
See their site: http://apjp.org/
Which is appropriate, as, while several Palestinian and Israeli groups have been supporting the Bil'in protests, the one which Inigo Gilmore's report mentions is
Bimkom, a group formed to oppose the way Israel uses planning laws and procedures against the human rights of Palestinians.
or http://www.bimkom.org/aboutEng.asp takes you direct to English version.