Photo in exhibition organized by Youth Against Settlements
We have written here a lot lately about stiffened European opposition to the Israeli occupation. Well last Monday at a school in Hebron, I attended the opening of a searing photo exhibit against the occupation that included the unforgettable image above by Abdul Hafiz Hashlamoun-- and the exhibit had broad support from European governments.
Pablo Platas, a Spanish diplomat, was in attendance at the opening. "I am from the Spanish Consulate in Jerusalem. I've known for a long time the work of Youth Against Settlements," he told me.
Spanish consular official Pablo Platas, left, in red tie, at Hebron primary school event last Monday. To his left are Issa Amro of Youth Against Settlements (in black jacket) and speaker Tamir Atrash
Platas (pictured above) declined to discuss political issues, but I watched as he applauded a stirring speech by Issa Amro of Youth Against Settlements, who is pictured at his side above.
Amro, a true leader of nonviolent resistance in Hebron, thanked the Spanish and French consulates for their support and the European Union too. He went on, describing efforts by Palestinians in Area C, which comprises most of the West Bank, to take control of their lives without Israeli control:
"I think the EU decided, a very good decision for the Palestinian people, to support Area C without taking any permission from the [Israeli] Civil Administration. We think this is a practical step toward ending the occupation of C areas. I think the settlers are working now to occupy B Areas [rural areas targeted by settlers in the Central West Bank]. All Palestine, all West Bank is under settler attack and under the Israel rightwing government to dePalestinianize the West Bank completely….
"This [exhibit] is a great message for all the world. …The Palestinian people are teaching the next generation about nonviolent resistance. .. Palestine will be free. We will not give up, we will not surrender, we will not exist with occupation. We are completely against settlements. We will not have peace without sending out all settlers from the West Bank. There is no way to coexist with occupation or with the settlers…
"This is the message of children here. This is the message of Youth against Settlements. I think this is the message of all journalists in Palestine. They are part of our resistance... This campaign is an international campaign."