Anarchists Against the Wall


A young Israeli anarchist was shot by Israeli forces during a protest against the construction of the the so called ‘Separation Fence’ in Palestine. Matan Cohen, 17, was critically wounded when he was shot in the face with a rubber bullet, after Israeli Border Police opened fire on a group of peaceful demonstrators at Bil’in, in the occupied West Bank.

Matan, a member of Anarchists Against The Wall, and who recently met with WSM during a European speaking tour, is a peace activist who refuses to serve in the Israeli army. There have been daily ongoing protests in the village of Bil’in as there have been in villages and towns right across Palestine, where the construction of the wall threatens livelihoods, cuts off farmers from their land. It is a further attempt by the Israeli government to legitimise its ongoing terrorism against the Palestinian population.

Anarchists Against the Wall are a collective of Israeli activists who work closely with Palestinians and others groups such as the International Solidarity Movement, in coordinating non-violent marches and direct actions against the wall’s construction. Having recently returned to the village of Bil’in he was greeted by those who he was acting in solidarity with.”It is very moving to see how the village people reacted” says Cohen. “As far as I am concerned, this human warmth, our togetherness, is the biggest achievement of struggle. More than a struggle against the physical wall and the thousands of acres it is stealing from the Palestinians. The real struggle is against the mental wall.”

Cohen, like many, is only too well aware of the disparities between Israeli and Palestinian life. At the weekly Friday protests across Palestine against the wall, many hundreds of Palestinians have been injured, beaten or shot. Their injuries are rarely reported, showing the dehumanising and ultimately racist attitudes inherent within not only the Israeli government and its security forces, but most of the western media as well.

Readers may be interested to know that the Irish Cement Roadstone Holdings Group, are heavily involved in the wall’s contruction. Amnesty International recently stated that “C.R.H., through its subsidiaries Mashav and Nesher is likely to be providing the raw material of the fence/wall...if so, it would contravene the U.N. norms on the responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights”.

Regardless, the company made a profit of €1279 million. So when CEO Liam O Mahony says “..CRH continued to move forward on many fronts in 2005 once again producing new record sales and profits together with substantial development activity”, Palestinians and all those who genuinely value human life can only but wonder what hope there can be under the bastardising logic of capitalism, and its wars.

Mark Malone

The 1st of May branch of the WSM is holding a fundraiser for AATW in Dublin, see for details


This article is from
Workers Solidarity 92, published June/July 2006

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