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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

'Stop the Wall' hits town today

by Bronson Hilliard, Colorado Daily Managing Editor

So this is what we're up against.
Colorado Daily: A group opposing the wall being built by Israel to sequester Palestinian areas in the West Bank will bring a symbolic sample of the wall to Boulder today to stop what the activists say is American taxpayer support of a divisive tool of "terrorism."

"The Stop the Wall" Tour will host a rally and press conference at noon at the Boulder County Courthouse and display a symbolic section of the wall until 3 p.m. The visit is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, the International Women's peace Service and the Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

Israel began erecting the wall in August 2003, it said, to provide security against terrorist attacks and suicide bombers. The wall extends into areas in and around the West Bank of the Jordan river - areas housing thousands of Palestinian refugees.

Critics like John Reese of Seattle, a hydro-geologist and co-coordinator of the "Stop the Wall" campaign, say the wall is designed to both subdivide and subjugate the Palestinian communities it surrounds.

"Approximately 25 percent of the groundwater (in Palestinian areas) is being cut off by the Israeli wall. It's an agricultural region, so this is a life-threatening effect. People are dying as a result already of the occupation practices - food is scarce, water problems are rampant. It exacerbates an already severe situation."

Reese said American taxpayers support Israel to the tune of "$6 billion a year - $10 billion if you count loan guarantees," and his group's campaign is designed to "educate" them about what their tax dollars support.

The group's demonstration will include a trailer exhibit, a cloth sample of the 26-foot-high wall, guest speakers and available literature.

Reese says Boulder is the fifth city on the "Stop the Wall" tour and that at each stop the display has prompted questions and dialogue more than discord.

Most Americans, he said, don't realize the wall's impact on Palestinian resources, nor do they recognize the level of financial support the U.S. provides to Israel.

Most Americans also do not recognize that Israel provides a staggering 45% of the Palestinian budget, through the transfer of taxes. How about,

STOP ISRAELI AID TO PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS!

That would freak 'em out. Too bad I already made my sign.....