Maireed Magurie, esteemed Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1976), was giving the following speech in 2007, when suddenly Israel Defense Forces started shooting at her, striking her in the leg with a rubber coated metal bullet, and spraying her and other peaceful protesters with tear gas:
Non-violence will solve the problems here in Israel and Palestine. Often, the world sees only violence. But, Palestinians are a good people, working towards non-violence. This wall must fall! It is an insult to the human family and to the world– that we are building Apartheid Walls in the 21st Century! More than forty years of Occupation and Land Appropriation.
Mrs. Magurie was in the West Bank village of Bilin, following the International Conference On Popular Resistance, to discuss Apartheid wall and its complete annihilation of Palestinian society. To put things in perspective, compared to the Berlin Wall, where Reagan gave his famous “Tear Down this Wall” speech, this barrier is some 403 miles in length, more than 4 times as long. If Reagan thought that the Berlin Wall was impacting “the advance of human liberty” as he saw it, then one is to wonder what he would have thought about a wall that is more than 2 times the Berlin Wall’s height, and 25 feet high compared to only 11.8 feet.
This is no understatement: the Apartheid Wall is massive in its complete structure, which Israel only calls a mere “security fence.” One of the problems is, that its not only built between Israel and Palestinian territories, which is what a security fence would be, but instead, it is built between entire Palestinian cities, designed to cut off Palestinian people’s day to day interactions and way of life.
George Bush, even, recognized this was an issue back in July of 2003:
I think the wall is a problem, and I discussed this with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It is very difficult to develop confidence between the Palestinians and Israel, with a wall snaking through the West Bank.
The wall, for one, is intended to isolate freedom of movement. That is part of the Israeli plan. Security is not the primary concern, contrary to some peoples belief. It is absolutely ruining the way of life for Palestinians.
Bir Nabala, once a vibrant city full of economic activity and life, is now a barren city cut off from the rest of Palestine. Local Council leader Tawfiq Al Nabali, standing in front of Israel’s grey, eight-metre-high separation barrier, and rows of empty apartment blocks says:
Bir Nabala is destroyed. It’s like a small prison.
They want to make our lives very hard and make us suffer in order to make us leave our lands.
The [Israeli] settlers are free to go anywhere, while we need permits to move. We can’t reach Jerusalem. I don’t like to go [to Jerusalem] anymore because I feel very sad.
In the video, where Mrs. Magurie is shot, you can hear the non-violent protesters of the wall yelling, as people are screaming in fear in the background:
Why do you shoot? Why do you shoot?
Yet, all the peaceful protest in the world didn’t matter then and still doesn’t matter now. Israel intends to shoot anyone that speaks out against it.
One of the questions posed by Mrs. Magurie, on the day she was shot, still remains unanswered:
How long must the Palestinian people suffer while the international community does nothing to help?
Listen to this impassioned plea for justice from a Noble Peace Prize winner, that’s just as relevant today as it was in 2007:
H/T: News Asia One | Featured Image: Pope standing by Apartheid Wall in 2014