Nude protest in West Bank draws mixed reaction

Nude protest in West Bank draws mixed reaction
Blog: A nude protest in front of Israel's separation wall has solicited a wide variety of reactions from Palestinians.
2 min read
17 Sep, 2015
The group also staged the controversial protest last year [al-Araby]
On Wednesday, a group of Spanish activists named "Pallasos en Rebeldía" staged a naked protest in front of the separation wall in the West Bank to demonstrate against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. 

The group used circus acts to draw attention to the occupation and were invited to the West Bank by an NGO named Human Supporters. They were received by a Palestinian minister and the mayor of Nablus.

The protest involved standing in front of the wall that annexes swathes of Palestinian land to Israel, wearing nothing but face paint and red noses. 
     This is pornography, not solidarity
- Palestinian local

"That is our way to say that humanity is naked, that governments have lost their dignity by allowing the existence of this shame and injustice wall," read a statement by the activists.

However, their act of solidarity was not universally welcomed.

"What is this? This is too much. Shame on the group that could be colluding [with Israel] to smear the image of resistance," said one social media user.

"This is crazy. Why the hell they want to show solidarity with us NAKED? [Can't] they be more respectful?" read another comment on Facebook.

"This is pornography, not solidarity," wrote another Palestinian.

"Solidarity means [respectful] integration [into] the other society," wrote one Palestinian activist, Majed Abu Salama.

"We sometimes can accept things but there are always limits to what we [can] do to support the Palestinian struggle," he added.

However, the protest drew a more positive reaction from other quarters.

"Those activists cannot be blamed for the way in which they expressed their solidarity with Palestine," said one Twitterer.

"Those who should be blamed are the Palestinian groups sponsoring them, which did not draw their attention to the customs and traditions in Palestine and the ABCs of Palestinian resistance."

The activists said that they meant no disrespect.

"Pallasos en Rebeldía apologises to any Palestinian who feels injured by the action against the wall. It is not an attack against Islam. It is our way of denouncing the wall's existence," said one of the activists.

The group have not been the only ones to demonstrate nude in Palestine.

The controversial feminist group Femen attempted to stage a protest outside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. The aims of the protest, which was quickly shut down, were unclear.