The following is a brief article I just wrote for the upcoming edition of the monthly Magnetic Fridge Diary, an activist and community events diary in Wellington. The MFD is expanding a bit from this coming issue, and will now also contain more writing on a specific theme each month. Wicked! If you’re in Wellington, you can pick one up from Oblong/The Freedom Shop in Left Bank, or the Central Library or a number of cafes and other spots around the city.
Anarchist Resistance In Israel
The small anarchist movement in Israel is very active in the wider movement of radical anti-occupation activists. There are a number of collectives that organise in many forms, including protests and street theatre, education and direct action. Many have served jail time for refusing their compulsory service in the Israeli army. Additionally, many Israeli anarchists are also involved in the small Israeli animal rights and environmental movements.
The largest group is Anarchists Against The Wall. AATW works with Palestinian communities and organisations to oppose the barrier Israel is building around (and within) the West Bank. It has been involved in a peace camp in the village of Mas’ha in 2003, direct actions tearing down sections of the barrier and more recently weekly demonstrations in the town of Bil’in. It has faced repression from the Israeli army, including one of it’s members being shot in the leg with live ammunition during a demonstration.
Many members of AATW are also involved in a group called Black Laundry, a radical queer anti-occupation group that has been involved in both direct actions in the occupied territories and street theatre within Israel. Black Laundry is currently organising the global Queeruption festival from August 3rd – 13th in Tel Aviv.
Another group with anarchist involvement is the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. ICAHD focuses on preventing the demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli army both via legal methods and direct action, and members also help Palestinian communities to rebuild houses that have been destroyed. The group also maintains an infocentre in Jerusalem.
Lastly, Salon Mazal is an anarchist infoshop in Tel Aviv, with a bookshop, library, vegetarian cafe and space for meetings, lectures and film screenings. It is currently in desperate need of funds in order to be able to stay open!