Rønningen folkehøgskole protesterer mot Israelske bosetteres aksjoner mot Oliventreplanting

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Etter at T/R Verden fikk oppleve Israelske bosetteres aggresjon mot Palestinske bønder og krenkelse av deres rettigheter til å dyrke egen jord inne på Vestbredden under studeturen i mars, sender Rønningen folkehøgskole en skriftelig protest til Israels ambassadør i Norge, Michael Eligal. Protesten går i kopi til Israels Forsvarsminister, Ehud Barak, Utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre og Norges Ambassadør i Israel, Svein Sevje. Protesten sendes av rektor Svein Harsten og linjelærer for T/R Verden Ottar Nesje på vegne av elevene på T/R Verden og skolens ledelse.

2 av 3 felt der T/R Verden plantet Oliventrær sammen med Palestinske bønder i regi av YMCA og YWCAs  Joint Advocacy Initiative, ble ødelagt enten ved at Israelske bosettere fra ulovlige bosetninger på Vestbredden rev opp trærne som ble plantet eller ved at bøndene ble hindret i å arbeide på egen jord av bosettere og Israelsk militære.

Lær mer om hva saken går ut på ved å lese protesten nedenunder og se videoen om T/R Verdens oliventreplanting som er lagt ut på Youtube: T/R Verden plants Olivetrees in the name of Peace and Justice in the Westbank 2012. 

Under plantingen av det siste feltet hos Yassin Da'doua ble elevene også beskyldt for å være nazister og deres besteforeldre for å være ansvarlige for utryddelsen av jøder under Holocaust av lederen for  «Women in Green» Nadia Matar. Se dette her: «Women in Green accuses Norwegian students of being Nazis»

Hele teksten i protesten ligger lenger ned i artikelen:

Protest 1 247X350

Protest 1 247X350


Israeli Ambassador to Norway Michael Eligal

Re: Protest against the act of violence against the trees that was planted in the name of peace and justice at the Westbank March 2012.

Dear Ambassador Eligal

RønningenFolkehøgskole is owned and run by the Norwegian YWCA-YMCA, and through their international wing, Y-Global, we have partners in 125 countries. Since 2010 students from RønningenFolkehøgskole have visited our partners in East Jerusalem YMCA and Palestine YWCA, through their Joint Advocacy Initative (JAI).

As part of these visits, our students have taken part the JAI campaign, Keep Hope Alive; planting or replanting of Olive trees on lands privately owned by selected farmers located in the West bank where their olive trees, fields and/or ownership have been threatened by the Israeli military and Israeli settlers inside the Occupied West bank.

During our last visit, March 2012, two out of three fields we visited experienced attacks against trees that we planted.

1)   On Sunday the 4th of March, we planted 190 trees on the land of Aziz Tenih’s family east of Bethlehem. Sunday 11th of March at 01:00 am a group of settlers came into the land, uprooted the trees and destroyed the land. All the trees except of one were found cut and/or pulled out of the soil.  In order to file a complaint about the destruction of his land to the Israeli Authorities, up until now there was no further attempts from Israel to capture the offenders who destroyed our work and bring them to justice.

2)   On Wednesday 7th of March, we planted on the land of Yassin Da’doua from the southern West Bank villages of Al Khader. Along with the Palestinian farmer and his family we managed to plant about half of the 200 trees before Nadia Matar, the leader of the settler organization Women for Israeli Tomorrow “Women in Green”, arrived along with two other Israeli settlers who started taking photos of us and accusing our grandparents of being responsible for the holocaust, and now we are today’s Nazis for planting trees for her Arab enemy. After some time Israeli soldiers, military police, police and riot police arrived at the scene and ordered us through the conversation with the landowner to stop planting the trees and leave the area.

The military commander said that the land is owned by the state of Israel; even though it is outside the internationally recognized borders of Israel; but even that claim was proven wrong by the Palestinian farmer who has documents that legally confirm his family’s ownership of the land, these documents are also verified by the Israeli Authorities.

While planting trees continued; an officer in the regular police arrested Sajied Da’doua, 19, who was helping his uncle to plant the olive trees on his land. What we witnessed was that the police officer was yelling at Sajed, handcuffed him and took him away. Sajed had to stay in detention for 2 days, later he was released on bail and is ordered to appear in an Israeli court on July 20.

Israeli soldiers agreed to allow the Palestinian family to stay but ordered us out, without any explanation, nevertheless our Norwegian students and the organizers from JAI left the scene. We were then escorted by Israeli police back to the nearby entrance of Bethlehem city. While we were being lead away by the Israeli police the remaining un-planted olive trees and the tools got confiscated by the army in what seemed to be a punishment for the farmer we went to help.

The following morning the farmer went back to the land to find the trees we planted uprooted and taken away.

On behalf of the students and the leadership of Rønningen Folkehøgskole we respectfully protest the acts of violence against the trees that was planted for hope, peace and justice at the West bank on 4th and 7th of March 2012.

We also request your assistance to

  • Identify and bring to justice the people responsible for the destruction of the olive trees we planted on the 4th and 7th March, the confiscation of the tools and olive trees.
  • We call upon the government of Israel to investigate further in the actions and activities of such organizations as the “Women in Green” instead of giving them a carte blanche and military escort and support.
  • As the encounter with the Women in Green, and the verbal assault conducted by its leader, Ms. Nadia Matar, have been traumatizing for most of the group members, especially them being called Nazis, we would like to receive an official apology from this group regarding this outburst. We see it as your responsibility to ensure that such events will not take place again.


Yours sincerely,

Ottar Nesje & Svein Harsten

Rønningen Folkehøgskole