Clara Takarabe, who has been teaching at the Music Conservatory in Ramallah for the last nine months, and who returned to Chicago this last week, will speak immediately following the vigil. She will focus on the situation in the West Bank and its direct affect on children, with a specific emphasis on education. Ms. Takarabe is a substitute violinist and violist with the Chicago Symphony orchestra, the Lyric Opera, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. She will be available to answer questions.
Not In MY Name condemns the Israeli raid on the offices of Professor Sari Nusseibeh, the closure of Al-Quds University, which he heads, and the confiscation of documents from his office. Professor Nusseibeh, the PLO representative to Jerusalem, is an outspoken advocate of non-violent resistance.
Al-Quds University, located in occupied East Jerusalem, is, under international law, to be protected by the occupying power. However, Uzi Landau, the Israeli Minister of the Interior, explained to a radio audience that he ordered the raid because, "Here in the heart of Jerusalem there is a governmental, civilian branch of the Palestinian Authority aiming to undermine our sovereignty in Jerusalem. Let Nusseibeh's gentleness deceive no one." [Guardian 7/10/02]
Meretz party leader, Yossi Sarid, stated, "The government of Israel is talking quite often about the need to find a moderate Palestinian leadership instead of the leadership of Yasser Arafat, and then they do their utmost to insult them, to embarrass them, to weaken them." [ibid]
Not In My Name also notes the continuing siege of the major towns and villages of the West Bank, which is making life unbearable for hundreds of thousand of people. The reinstatement of a full military occupation is resulting in the total imprisonment of the urban population. We also condemn the continuing destruction of homes in the Gaza Strip, which is leaving hundreds of people without shelter. These are all forms of collective punishment, which violates international laws.
In the long run, this brutality will only serve to increase the rage of the Palestinian people, thereby putting Israeli civilians at greater physical risk, and making the chance of establishing a just and lasting peace even more remote.