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Jacob Katriel

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Rantis, December 22, 2005. About to become an encircled ghetto?

The ultimate message:

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I dared pose a question to Rabbi Arik Ascherman. Realizing that the maintainers of the occupation cannot possibly claim to be Jewish, in a sense Isaiah, Jesus, Spinoza or Buber would have approved of [although they hold Joshua, the ethnic cleanser, or Samson, the suicide bomder, in great esteem], wouldn't the seven commandments of the sons of Noah be more applicable?
Rabbi Ascherman wished they followed just one commandment. Any of them.

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The invitation sent out:

This Thursday, Dec. 22, At 14:00, A Demo will take place in the village of Rantis, protesting the closing in of the village by the Separation Barrier.

The main road leading to the village has been blocked for almost 5 years ; (Some of you may recall that we demonstrated with the residents of Rantis back in March of 2001).  The fence on the western side of the village is already built, and yet another part of the fence is planned on the eastern lands of
the village.  It appears that there will be no way in or out of the village.

In the meeting that took place Sunday the people of the village have invited us to participate. Who ever can come is asked to contact RHR office at 02-5637731 or Yonatan at: 054-6327736. We will orgainize transportation according to demand.

רבנים למען זכויות האדם
Rabbis for Human Rights
42 Aza St. רח' עזה 42
Jerusalem 92384 ירושלים
Tel. +972-2-563 7731

Rantis' illegal neighbours:
Left: Ofarim, located east of Rantis.
Right: Beit Arye, located north-east of Rantis.

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Rantis does have legal neighbours. One of them, the saddest of all, is the village of Qula, whose over 1000 residents were brutally ethnically-cleansed on July 10th, 1948 by the Armored and Alexandroni Brigades of the Israeli army. Qula is located west of Rantis, across the green-line.
Rantis is located some 25 km East of Jaffa.

The demonstration

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MUST

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This major believes he is an enlightened occupier. What he fails to understand is that enlightened-occupation relates to enlightenment like a straight-jacket to a jacket, like a "people's-democracy" to a democracy, or for that matter, like a JewishDemo- cratic state to a democratic state.

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Getting there

Reaching the illegal settlement of Modiin Ilit, by public bus:

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To bypass the roadblock, we walk to the Palestinian village Ni'lin. We are being chased by two soldiers, who give up once we enter Ni'lin.

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Ni'lin:

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Having reached Ni'lin, we hired a couple of (Palestinian) taxis and made our way to Rantis. The road took us through Qibya, where the infamous Unit 101, headed by than Major Ariel Sharon perpetrated a massacre on the night of October 14, 1953, killing 71 residents.We entered Rantis through the dirt road that connects eastward, that was (fortunately) not blocked when we got there. Had it been blocked the only remaining option would have been to walk through the fields, hoping that the soldiers would be too lazy to chase us.

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The fundamental problem: The Israeli (soldier) is scared.
This sign, hanging on a gate of some military installation on the road just outside of the illegal settlement of Modi'in Ilit, originally addressed "soldier, commander"
(חייל, מפקד), instructing them to verfy locking that gate. However, a slight modification of just one letter [transforming a ק into a ח], now reads "freightened soldier" (חייל מפחד).

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Hebrew on a Palestinian poster: "Prisoner no. 7501".

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An afternoon in Rantis

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Rantis community center, kindergarten, school:

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Left: In the children's art gallery.
Right: The children's library.

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Children's drawings displayed in the community center 

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To my older website

To Yair Gil's website

To my academic homepage (maintained by a departmental webmaster).

To my list of publications