On 14 June 2010, the High Court of Israel ruled to abolish state grants given to students at Jewish seminaries, or yeshivas. Prior to this decision married yeshiva students with children had received these grants to support their studies, but for nearly ten years secular students of higher education had not. The Knesset had passed a bill in 2000 ceasing stipends of secular students. Soon after this, Ornan Yekutieli, a Jerusalem councilman and activist, petitioned the Knesset to end the support of yeshiva students as well.
On 29 June 2003, the Israeli Ministry of Finance amended the Hok HaHasderim, a bill passed in 1985 in order to combat existing hyperinflation and aid in the creation and development of an austerity program. The late June amendment enormously decreased single mothers’ welfare allowances. Single mothers across the nation, who were already struggling to make ends meet, were both hurt and angered by the amendment. On 2 July 2003, one such woman, a 43-year-old single mother named Vicky Knafo, marched two-hundred and fifty kilometers from her home in Mitzpe Ramon to Jerusalem.
Towards the end of the reign of Gaius Caligula, a proclamation was sent out for a statue of the Roman Emperor to be built within the Temple walls in Jerusalem. This command broke the Jewish law of idolatry and was therefore rejected and strongly opposed by Jews in Palestine, most notably the large peasant population.
The history of Israel-Palestine relations since 1987 can be marked by a series of Palestinian uprisings against Israeli occupation (for more information see the BBC’s timeline of the First Intifada and its causes- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/israel_at_50/history/82302.stm). In 2002, the Israeli government began construction of a wall to separate Israel from the West Bank territories. The government justified the barrier as a necessary security measure to shield communities from terrorist threats.
The Druze are a religious and ethnic sect on the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean. They live in mountainous regions in modern Lebanon, Israel and Syria (the Golan Heights). During the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 nearly all of the 110,000 Druze in the Golan Heights fled, though around 13,000 remained near the foot of Mount Harmon. They generally farmed olives and fruit. That same land was strategically important to both Israel and Syria, and Israel occupied it after the 1967 war.
The Jewish and Palestinian territorial claim to the same area of land has resulted in one of the most protracted conflicts in recent history. Stemming from the Zionist demand for a Jewish homeland in the historic state of Israel, a homeland that would serve as a sanctuary for this persecuted and globally displaced people, large influxes of Jews into the former British mandate of Palestine have and continue to displace millions of Palestinian residents.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Regarding the First Intifada as "nonviolent" is controversial because of the violence that accompanied the campaign. Aden Tedla's narrative does not try to hide the violent dimension. Three considerations lead us to include the case in this database. First, a significant part of the campaign leadership worked very hard to keep the campaign nonviolent. Second, the masses participated in the nonviolent methods, not in the violence. Third, other scholars in the field of nonviolent action include the Intifada, although acknowledging its ambiguities.