As it is well known to many, Beit Sahour has a strong history of peaceful resistance to the situation imposed upon us by the Israeli occupation. The citizens of Beit Sahour believe that there are many ways that peace and justice can be realized as a reality in Palestine.
As it is well known to many, Beit Sahour has a strong history of peaceful resistance to the situation imposed upon us by the Israeli occupation. The citizens of Beit Sahour believe that there are many ways that peace and justice can be realized as a reality in Palestine. Our community is distinguished today by the close unity and mutual respect found amongst its Christian and Muslim inhabitants and we have managed to emerge today as a distinctive community of open minded, tolerant people. We work hand in hand to build peaceful and harmonious environment for our future generations. Beit Sahour has a very high percentage of educated people, and despite the turbulent times we are going through, we the citizens of Beit Sahour always keep a focus on our priorities and strive to achieve them.
Our history of struggle against the Israeli occupation has taken many forms of resistance against the occupation. During the first Intifada, Beit Sahour was notable in its cohesive response; both women and men stood hand in hand against the Israeli authorities as a direct challenge to the legitimacy of Israeli policy forced upon our community. Our “No Taxation Without Representation” protest gained international recognition and support. We refused to pay taxes to the Israeli Authority and many citizens gave up their Israeli Identity cards. The town was subsequently punished with a brutal siege that lasted 49 days. No one could get in or out of the town; the Israeli authorities even prevented international assistance from entering the city. During the 49 day siege, the Israeli authorities entered both our homes and our business premises confiscating furniture, stock, supplies and personal items. This act caused outrage amongst the international community and culminated in a vote at the United Nations to condemn the actions of the Israelis as illegal. Sadly, the United States once again used its veto against the motion, allowing Israel to continue with its policy of aggressive and oppressive acts against the civilians of Palestine.
With our commitment to the ongoing non-violent struggle against the occupation, let us emphasize today and what we can we do to bring the world’s attention to the reality of the situation in Palestine, and the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Each Year the NGO’s in Beit Sahour, supported by the Municipality, organize a full program of events to mark the festive season, but in a way that draws attention to the situation in Palestine. Despite working under the restrictions of the occupation the events organized are not limited to Beit Sahour and actions are organized throughout the West Bank. This year is no exception and we in Beit Sahour are ever more determined to make 2001’s campaign a success, both in terms of support and participation from local and international individuals and groups, as well as eliciting as much publicity as possible.
We at Beit Sahour Municipality ask all our friends and supporters to add their support and encouragement for this year’s activities. We urge you to help spread the word to family and friends, and ask that you consider supporting the actions in anyway that you can. The more participation, support and promotion that we can achieve for this year’s campaign, the more successful it will be. We recognize the importance of assistance from the international community, and we hope that you will all join with the citizens of Beit Sahour, either in person or in spirit, to help the campaign achieve its goals.