Anarchists Against the Wall
In 2004, several anarchistics working in Israel joined forces with the Palestinian Popular Committees (an umbrella organization which coordinates confrontations with Israeli soldiers) in order to plan regular demonstrations against the construction of the "security fence" along the Green Line. These protests are manned by Palestinians, Israelis and protestors who fly in from foreign countries. These anarchists adopted the name 'Anarchists Against the Wall' (sometimes called 'Anarchists Against the Walls’).
The Israeli anarchists are often documented leading the protests, confronting IDF soldiers, spending considerable time in close proximity to Arab rock-throwers and providing them with assistance, protecting Palestinian demonstrators with their own bodies, as well as transferring funds to the demonstrations' Palestinian organizers. Additionally, important figures from within the organization have been quoted as saying that they support throwing rocks at IDF soldiers, and they go so far as joining them from time to time. They also support the eradication of Zionism and the establishment of a "Democratic Palestinian State" between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
It appears that without support of these anarchists, these demonstrations - which provide weekly propaganda material for the global BDS campaign - would have waned or been ended by IDF forces. However, the presence of Israelis amongst the rioters poses the Israeli Defense Forces with a challenging dilemma, both operationally and in terms of the media. The anarchists abuse this situation in order to leverage the Palestinian struggle into the international consciousness.
These demonstrations, which very often turn into violent clashes, have taken the lives of dozens of Palestinian protesters over the years, as well as causing lifelong, debilitating injuries to hundreds of Arabs as well as Israeli soldiers.
Watch the investigation we produced with “Kan 11” news channel
Watch the investigation summary
More than a century and a half ago, military philosopher Karl von Clausewitz described a military victory as "the destruction of the enemy's morale and spirit."
Israel's national morale, and the motivation of citizens to defend their state's values and borders are influenced by news which is transmitted directly from provocative clashes and events straight to people’s cellphones and TV screens across the country and around the world. Endless efforts are made to manipulate Israel’s consciousness in order to shatter the citizens' "morale and spirit". In recent years, there is a noticeable crack in the morale and self-confidence of IDF soldiers, especially in the Palestinian arena.
An event which has millions of views around the world, in which an IDF Platoon Commander is being slapped and kicked by two teenage girls in the heart of a Palestinian village, is a breaking point in the IDF's deterrence capability. Situations in which armed soldiers are being attacked by unarmed civilians in front of cameras merely to provoke them to react in order to create propaganda material, compels soldiers to stand by helplessly. Due to concern for how Israel appears in the international media, Israeli soldiers worry that their own military system will judge them severely, in attempts to preserve the IDF's name as a moral army.
The story of Ahed Tamimi, the blonde girl from the village of Nabi Salah who slapped and hit an IDF officer on film, put the spotlight on what has been happening in the Nabi Salah village and other focal points in Judea and Samaria for over a decade.
Now is the time to present to the public the truth about this group of Israeli activists, who play a major role in the campaign against the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel and its control over Judea and Samaria.
The weekly demonstrations held every Friday in the village of Nabi Salah (near Neve-Tzuf, a town in the Binyamin Regional Council) and in three other locations, are part of the same international campaign. These demonstrations are a production by Israelis, Palestinians and foreign activists who unite with news photographers, providing ongoing propaganda material for the BDS and the global delegitimization campaigns against Israel. This part of their campaign has taken dozens of lives and has resulted in hundreds being injured and permanently disabled - on both sides - over the past fifteen years.
Documentation which we gathered from the protests over a long period of time shows that Israeli activists participating in the demonstrations play an integral role in the violence. The Israelis are used by rioters as human shields from IDF soldiers, and often attempt to thwart and disrupt the efforts of IDF soldiers to disperse demonstrations and arrest Palestinian rioters. Occasionally, Israeli anarchists themselves are arrested. They are then represented by Israeli lawyers hired ahead of time to protect them.
In Court – September 2019
The riots occur on a regular basis, mainly on Fridays, and are usually scheduled to begin simultaneously in various locations. Most of the riots occur in the villages of Bil'in, Na'alin, Kafr Qaddum and Nabi Salah.
For example, in the village of Na'alin, Israeli anarchists are usually driven to the village by Kobi Snitz, the Israeli village coordinator.
Dozens of Palestinian protesters await the Israeli activists along with foreign activists joining them from abroad, and they are all escorted by Palestinian and foreign media teams to their chosen location.
Whenever new foreign activists arrive at the demonstrations, they are first briefed by the anarchist representative on how to deal with IDF soldiers, how to cope with tear gas and what to do if they are arrested.
The demonstrations in Na'alin begin with a procession down the usual path towards the "security fence", with Kobi Snitz and other Israeli activists leading the pack. When they reach the usual friction point, the protesters begin chanting derogatory remarks about the IDF soldiers and the State of Israel in front of the cameras. These chants soon turn into rock-throwing and fire-bombing the soldiers with Molotov cocktails, while the Israeli soldiers attempt to keep the rioters away from the fence.
Kobi Snitz is not just another protester. He has been filmed / recorded instructing the stone-throwers how to avoid being hit by the rubber bullets being used against them by IDF soldiers, and he even spoke about the time he tried to set a tire on fire near the "security fence". In another instance, Kobi was filmed, along with Herzel Shovart, marching and leading the protesters while instructing a fellow Palestinian protester what to yell at the IDF soldiers using the megaphone (after which they are arrested by IDF forces).
During Operation ‘Protective Edge’, several hours after the abduction of the late Hadar Goldin, six Hamas activists who came from Nablus were documented demonstrating in the protests, with flags and various Hamas symbols.
The Chronicle of the Weekly Protests
The Friday protests occur according follow a set routine:
The Israelis meet up in Tel Aviv and travel to their usual locations.
The Israeli, Palestinian and foreign protesters join up outside a mosque or at a central point in the village at a specified time.
The participants are briefed by one of the veteran activists for the benefit of newcomers (in some cases, the briefing is done by an Israeli protester).
A procession begins from the meeting point to the entrance of the village or to the security fence, the local friction points with the IDF soldiers. During this procession, they chant prayers and wishes for the destruction of the State of Israel.
They begin provoking the soldiers, hoping for a response in which soldiers will make a mistake on camera that can be used to create negative press about the IDF.
The demonstrators throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at eh Israeli soldiers.
The demonstration ends at a fixed hour.
They meet up again in the village to summarize the day’s events
The demonstrators distribute edited photographs and videos on social media, news sites, blogs and more, during and after the demonstration.
Just a few examples of the dozens of soldiers wounded in these riots:
• June 27, 2011 - Bil'in: An IDF soldier sustained an injury to his face from rocks thrown by rioters during a violent demonstration in the village.
• December 7th 2012 - Kafr Qaddum: Three IDF soldiers and one Border Police officer were wounded from rock-throwing during a violent demonstration. One soldier sustained a head injury, while the other two were wounded in their hands.
• 04.09.2015, Nabi Salah: An IDF officer sustained a head injury and a Border Police officer sustained a shoulder injury when rioters threw rocks during a violent.
• January 2018, Nabi Salah: An IDF soldier sustained injuries to his skull and eye during one of the violent ‘Friday Demonstrations’ in the village.
The Organization's Ideology
"Anarchists Against the Wall is a group founded in 2003 to combat the [security] wall and the barrier that Israel built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Since then, the group has been working closely with Palestinians, in the popular struggle against the [security] wall and barrier in the West Bank, against the siege and the continuous attacks on Gaza and against the occupation as a whole. "
From the organization's website
"Anarchists Against the Wall" is an Israeli organization made up of radical, anti-Zionist anarchist activists who do not recognize the frameworks and branches of the various Israeli authorities, including the courts, the Israeli Police and the Israeli Defense Forces.
Most of the members see the State of Israel as "occupying" all of Israeli territory, from Israel's original, 1948 borders. They explicitly support rioting against IDF soldiers, even when it includes violence such as throwing rocks. At various opportunities, the activists spoke about their personal support, alongside the organization's support, for throwing rocks at IDF soldiers. Some members even testified as to their own violent actions towards IDF soldiers.
The activists speak openly about their desire to overthrow the Zionist Jewish rule in the State of Israel and establish a "democratic Palestinian state" in all its territory. Although the organization has been operating since 2004, it has never been legally registered as a charity or a Public Benefit Company, as part of the activists’ ideology and anti-establishment worldview.
Activists in the organization see themselves as part of an international anarchist network, whose ambition is to bring about the downfall of the institutions in the countries in which they reside.
Ilan Shalif, one of the leaders of "Anarchists Against the Wall", explains to our investigator the ideology at the basis of the organization:
In early 2019, we filed a criminal complaint together with three IDF soldiers against three of the key activists of "Anarchists Against the Wall" - Jonathan Pollak, Kobi Snitz and Ilan Shalif - all three of whom were present at a violent demonstration. This is the first precedent of anarchists, alleged "human rights" activists, being put on trial.
During the hearings that took place throughout the year, defendant Jonathan Pollack refused to attend and refused to be represented by counsel. After several hearings, when it became clear that Pollack had no intention of coming, a warrant was issued by the judge. We also tried looking for him in his home several times, but Pollack provided various excuses for his disappearance. After a few months, Pollack published an article in ‘Haaretz’ stating that he does not recognize the Israeli Law Authorities and its courts.
As of October 22, 2019, the trial is still ongoing.
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For the full investigation into
Anarchists Against the Wall: