Free Israel's Anti-Apartheid Prisoners!
January 6, 2010
Recently, Israel has been increasing its repression of nonviolent activists for Palestinian human rights, especially those involved in promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns. The three Palestinian civil society leaders below are being held without trial for their nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid. Click here to have the United States demand the release of these nonviolent activists by sending an email to the U.S. Consul General in East Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein.
Mohammad Othman was arrested on September 22, 2009, at the Allenby Bridge crossing, while returning from addressing the Norwegian national pension fund about divestment from Elbit Systems, a major Israeli military contractor. Mohammad has now been held in administrative detention-without charge-for 106 days.
Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leader of the weekly nonviolent protests against the Apartheid Wall in Bil'in, was arrested in his home in the early morning hours of December 10, 2009-International Human Rights Day. He has been slapped with a phony weapons possession charge for collecting tear gas canisters shot at him and other peaceful demonstrators by the Israeli army.
Jamal Juma', coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, was arrested on December 16 and is being held without charge. On January 4 his administrative detention was extended for a further 3 days. He has now been held for more than 20 days.
A few weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a major speech on human rights policy, pledging the Obama Administration to hold itself accountable to universal human rights standards:
"By holding ourselves accountable, we reinforce our moral authority to demand that all governments adhere to obligations under international law; among them, not to torture, arbitrarily detain and persecute dissenters, or engage in political killings. Our government and the international community must counter the pretensions of those who deny or abdicate their responsibilities and hold violators to account."
Israel's arbitrary detention and persecution of dissenters such as Mohammad, Abdallah, and Jamal-Palestinians who are leading a nonviolent movement of protest against Israeli apartheid and in support of campaigns of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel-stand as a crucial test of whether the Obama Administration singles out Israel for a special exemption from its human rights rhetoric.
Tell the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem to press Israel to free these and all Palestinian political prisoners by clicking here.
Jamal, Mohammad, and Abdallah aren't the only Palestinian grassroots figures being targeted by the Israeli military. They join hundreds of other Palestinians being held without charge in administrative detention, and thousands of Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli jails. The villages of Jayyous, Ni'lin, Bil'in, and al-Ma'sara, as well as Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and other East Jerusalem neighborhoods, are facing collective punishment for their nonviolent resistance to the Wall and eviction. Learn more about this campaign of repression by watching this report from the Real News Network, and demand the release of Israel's anti-apartheid prisoners by clicking here.
Israel's attacks on nonviolent resistance and its imprisonment of Palestinian grassroots leaders is a violation of international law and human rights and a violation of the Obama Administrations stated policy objectives in Israel/Palestine. As Secretary of State Clinton said in her Dec. 14 human rights address:
"Believing in human rights means committing ourselves to action, and when we sign up for the promise of rights that apply everywhere, to everyone, that rights will be able to protect and enable human dignity, we also sign up for the hard work of making that promise a reality."
Help make that promise a reality by sending a letter to U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein asking him to press Israel to free Palestinian political prisoners such as Mohammad, Abdullah, and Jamal by clicking here.