Monday, January 11, 2010

Arms Possession & Art

If you're a Palestinian, it's arms possession:

"Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall, was indicted in an Israeli military court yesterday. Abu Rahmah was slapped with an arms possession charge for collecting used tear gas canisters shot at demonstrators in Bil'in by the army and showcasing them in his home... On receiving the indictment Adv. Gaby Lasky, Abu Rahmah's lawyer said that 'the army shoots at unarmed demonstrators, and when they try to show the world the violence used against them by collecting and presenting the remnants - they are persecuted and prosecuted. What's next? Charging protesters money for the bullets shot at them?' On December 10, exactly one year after receiving the International League for Human Rights' Carl Von Ossietzky Medal - on International Human Rights Day - Abu Rahmah was arrested during an Israeli military night-time raid for his involvement in organizing unarmed protest against the Wall in the village of Bil'in. The indictment served yesterday also includes charges of incitement and stone-throwing. As part of a recent wave of repression against the Palestinian popular protest movement, Israel has charged numerous grassroots organizers with both stone-throwing and incitement. In at least one case, that of Mohammed Khatib from Bil'in, the court found evidence presented on a stone-throwing charge to be falsified. In the past 6 months 31 residents of Bil'in have been detained by the military, and in neighboring Ni'ilin, 91 have been arrested in the past 18 months." (Display of used tear gas canisters earns Bil'in activist an arms charge,, 23/12/09)

But if you're an Israeli, it's 'art':

"In the past 9 years, 8,000 Qassam rockets were fired on the southern Israeli town of Sderot, located less than a mile from Gaza. 8,000 times the children, women and men of Sderot have heard the sirens, and run to seek shelter. The city of Sderot and its citizens are still recovering from the traumatic experience of daily attacks and a war in their backyard. Constantly on alert, Sderot's residents are always ready to escape to the nearest shelter upon hearing the frightful sound of the siren. Under these conditions, the Sderot Dove Project was born. In Gaza, lathes work day and night manufacturing Qassam rockets destined to target Sderot. As a response, in Sderot, lathes have been put to use by Israeli Artist Eldor Levi to create sculptures of doves formed from pieces of actual rockets that have fallen on the city. Each of the limited edition 1,000 doves are mounted on a display base with a medallion quoting the verse from Isaiah 2:4: 'They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up weapons against other nations and never again will they know war'. Proceeds from Eldor's handmade doves will be used for social programs in Sderot as well as for the building of a music conservatory for the children of Sderot. The people of Sderot struggle on a daily basis for that day when they will know only peace, normalcy and co-existence. They pray that one day the steel of rockets will only be used for the sculpting of doves and other peaceful purposes. Supported by the Economic Development Council of Sderot, this project aims in helping bring back the hope and smiles to the special people of Sderot, especially the children. Please help by being a part of this important project. This Special Edition Dove will serve as a reminder of the daily trials on life in Sderot, as well as the inexhaustible strength of the Jewish people and its never ending desire for peace. The Sderot dove is scultped from actual peaces of Qassam rockets that landed in Sderot over the past 9 years. This powerful contrast of the peaceful dove created from deadly weapons is a compelling statement for peace, conveyed to us by Israeli sculptor Eldor Levi. This Limited Edition sculpture makes a unique gift for collectors of unique art, Synagogues, Jewish Organizations, or treasured as a family symbol of peace for the Jewish Nation... 1,000 Piece Special Limited Edition. Buy now..." (

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