Israel: Falun Dafa Practitioners Peacefully Demonstrate During Visit by China's Vice President
(Minghui.org) Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan arrived in Israel on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Local Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) practitioners in Israel saw this as an excellent opportunity to show the goodness and peacefulness of the practice to the vice president of China and the Chinese delegation, raise awareness about the persecution taking place in China today, and protest the crimes of forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners which is being carried out by the Chinese communist regime.
Falun Dafa practitioners in Israel assembled at several key places visited by the Chinese vice president and his delegation, including the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Practitioners stood in front of the Foreign Ministry and waited for the Chinese vice president’s delegation, holding banners saying “Welcome from Falun Gong practitioners,” “Falun Dafa is Good,” and “Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong.”
Passersby were interested in the activity, and practitioners told them about the practice and the brutal, ongoing persecution in China. Many people expressed their support, including one of the participants in the Foreign Ministry meeting, who crossed the road to speak with the practitioners. He expressed his support and said, “Well done!”
Shortly after this, a large vehicle parked on the road opposite the practitioners, obscuring some of the banners, which then could not be seen from the gates of the Foreign Ministry. The practitioners asked if they could stand in front of the vehicle, but the person in the vehicle ordered them to stay where they were. The person identified himself as a General Security Services (GSS) agent and showed them police identification.
One practitioner explained to him why they were there, what the banners meant, and why it was important for the banners to be seen from the Foreign Ministry entrance. After asking him politely to move the vehicle forward a bit, he consented and moved the vehicle forward.
Two large minibuses arrived a few minutes later and the police officer’s vehicle drove away. These large vehicles blocked the view of the practitioners and banners just as the Chinese delegation with the vice president arrived at the Foreign Ministry. The practitioners asked the drivers to move, but they refused and said that the security services officer ordered them to park there. The practitioners told them about the persecution and the forced organ harvesting and explained to them that parking there was illegal, and violated their right to demonstrate. It seemed that the drivers understood and expressed their solidarity but nevertheless remained there.
The practitioners decided to remain until the delegation left after the meeting. This time they were prepared. When a vehicle parked between them and the Foreign Office gate, the practitioners swiftly and decisively relocated, so the banners were displayed right in front of the delegation as it left the building.
The practitioners arrived at the Orient Jerusalem Hotel in the evening hours. A gala was being held for the Chinese vice president and delegation. Practitioners stood quietly on the sidewalk across the road from the front of the hotel, holding banners, while many guests from Israel, China, and the rest of the world arrived. Police officers asked the practitioners to fold up most of the banners, after which the practitioners simply practiced the Falun Dafa exercises, displaying only one banner that said in Chinese, “Falun Dafa is Good.” People who passed through the area were interested in the activity and asked questions, and the police officers were also interested and expressed their support.
One officer was almost moved to tears by the serenity of the practitioners. He said to them, “I’m so jealous of you. I can feel your peaceful energy. I wish I had such peace--a cop’s life is so stressful.”
But as the convoy of the Chinese vice president approached the hotel, the police officers lost their composure. One officer started to shout at the practitioners and ordered them to put away the banner immediately. Thus, when the vice president and his entourage entered the hotel there was no banner to greet them, only the practitioners who continued practicing the exercises.
One of the practitioners spoke to the police officer, who calmed down as soon as the delegation entered the hotel. She explained to him that she knew he was following orders from his superiors. She explained to him why his superiors were so stressed about the banner being held there as the delegation passed by. She told him that in China, before the persecution began, about 100 million people practiced Falun Gong before former president Jiang Zemin deemed them a threat to his rule and started the persecution. She explained that China’s embassies around the world are pressuring local authorities to prevent protests against China, thereby undermining the civil rights of the local people and the sovereignty of the countries. She had the impression that the officer truly understood. He said he would ask his superior for permission for the banner to be put up again.
Meanwhile, the practitioners continued to practice in front of the hotel for another hour, until the event ended and the last Chinese guests left.
The practitioners were not allowed to put the banner back up, but as they were practicing, a Chinese security guard approached the same officer with whom the practitioner first spoke and asked him to stop the practitioners from doing the exercises. The officer explained to the Chinese security guard that in the State of Israel it is permissible to practice Falun Gong and that Falun Gong is good. The Chinese told him it was political and the officer replied that it was not political and that he was not going to interfere with the practice.
The following day, the practitioners arrived at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, where a large conference was being held with the Chinese delegation participating, including the vice president. The practitioners received permission from police to stand in front of the entrance. They hung banners and distributed leaflets to passersby. But just as the vice president’s convoy arrived, a large police vehicle arrived and parked in front of the banners, obscuring the view from the convoy. The practitioners tried to move beyond the vehicle so they would be seen, but the Israel Police Special Patrol Unit (Yasam) personnel stopped them. The same thing occurred when the convoy left.
One of the participants at the conference was from Zambia. He expressed support for practitioners’ activities and told them that he had heard about the organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, and that the Chinese regime was also making a lot of trouble in Africa.
The ambassador of another large and well-known country also spoke with the practitioners. He told them that he had heard about the organ harvesting and persecution of Falun Gong. He gave them his business card and agreed to receive more materials on the subject.
Category: Rallies & Protests