The second International conference on Popular resistance continues for the second day in the village of Bilin, northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
The second International conference on Popular resistance continues for the second day in the village of Bilin, northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah. The morning session started with a panel discussion about economic independece in the occupied Palestinian areas. Dr. Mohammad Shtayah, professor of economics at Birzeit University pointed out the dependency of the Palestinian economy on the Israeli economy.
Sam Bahour, a Palestinian businessman and activist of the Right to Enter campaign spoke about the need to develop an independent Palestinian economy. George S. Rishmawi, the conference coordinator and an expert in alternative tourism spoke about alternative tourism as a way to support Palestinian economy on a national level.
Jeff Halper, and Israeli peace activist, direcotor of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, spoke about the Apartheid system being created in Palestine. "Our Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is collaborating with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to build an Apartheid in Palestine,"Halper said. He added that the convergence plan the Israeli government is implementing in the occupied Palestinian terretories is meant to create the apartheid system in Palestine. Helper also said that his organization is drafting a call together with Palestinian civil society organizations to create an anti-apartheid movement.
The Bilin conference is sponsored by the NOVA, a spanish organization calling for social change through the Spanish Coperation Agency in Palestine. There are some 400 Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis attending the conference, which will end on Friday with a direct nonviolent action at the site of the construction of the wall. The village of Bilin has been resisting the construction of the wall on their land for the past two years with ongoing weekly nonviolent actions.