Amnesty: Israeli Detention of Palestinian Activists Must End

In an effort to curtail non-violent resistance to its 42 year occupation of the Palestinian people, in this case in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has begun imprisoning prominent resistance leaders from various Palestinian communities. The dangerousness of these leaders to Israel's colonialism is apparently becoming more evident as their non-violent protests achieve wider international press coverage.

Amnesty International recently condemned these arrests/imprisonments which take place without charge.

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The Israeli authorities must immediately release, or bring before a fair trial, three Palestinian human rights activists detained in Israel following their protests against the construction of the West Bank fence/wall, Amnesty International said on Friday.

In a letter sent to Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence and Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday, Amnesty International expressed concern that Jamal Juma', Abdallah Abu Rahmah and Mohammed Othman were prisoners of conscience, held for legitimately voicing their opposition to the fence/wall.

"These men have all been involved in campaigning against the building of this construction, much of it on the land of the occupied West Bank, and we fear that this is the real reason for their imprisonment," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. "If this is the case they must be released immediately and unconditionally."

Jamal Juma' is the co-ordinator of the "Stop the Wall" campaign and a prominent human rights activist. He was arrested by the Israeli authorities on 16 December 2009. He has not been formally charged with any offence since his detention and information relating to his arrest has not been shared with his lawyer.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, head of the "Popular Committee Against the Wall" in the village of Bil'in, was arrested on 10 December 2009. He has been charged with three offences: incitement, stone-throwing, and possession of arms.

Amnesty International said it understands the possession of arms charge relates to Abdallah Abu Rahmah collecting used M16 bullets, and empty sound and gas grenades, employed by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators against the wall, and exhibiting them in Bil'in museum to raise awareness of Israeli practices against protestors.

Mohammed Othman, a volunteer with the "Stop the Wall" campaign, has been detained continuously since 22 September 2009. He was arrested on his return from Norway, after meeting activist groups there campaigning against the fence/wall and is being held without charge or trial in Israeli administrative detention.

Read on HERE: http://www.alternativenews.org/english/2365-amnesty-international-israeli-detention-of-palestinian-activists-must-end.html

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On January 9, 2010, the wife of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Majida, who is a school teacher, wrote a “message” to Americans, which was frontpaged by Huffington Post (thank you Ariana for not being deceived during your recent trip to Israel). It was called, <b>A Message of Non-Violent Resistance From Within Israeli Prison</b>.

(Does anyone recall the arrest and jailing of Martin Luther King?)

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On Tuesday, January 5, I attended the trial of my husband Abdallah Abu Rahmah in an Israeli military detention camp. Ofer Military Base is a dark and dehumanizing place, but I was happy to go there because it meant that I would finally see my husband.

I joined my friend Fatima, wife of Adib Abu Rahmah in the crowd of families waiting outside the gates of the base hoping to be admitted. Fatima's husband is another committed nonviolent activist from Bil'in who, like my husband, is being accused of incitement, that is, of encouraging demonstrations against the Wall. Adib and Fatima have nine children. He has been in detention for over six months now.

Diplomats from the US, Germany, Sweden and Spain who know Abdallah also came to support him.

Just one month ago these diplomats had visited Abdullah in Bil'in and had seen for themselves how Israeli settlements and the Apartheid Wall have stolen over 50% of our village's land. They promised then that they would do what they could to help our popular struggle and here they were, true to their word. The Spanish consul who represents the new president of the European union tried to shake Abdullah's hand but the soldiers wouldn't let him.

Read on HERE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/majda-abu-rahmah/a-message-of-non-violent_b_415139.html

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I recall videoed scenes of the weekly protests in Bil'in, West Bank. The violence of the Israeli soldiers is reminiscent of the gas and water cannons used by southern policeman and state troopers to stop segregation protests in the US. Eerie.

Israeli Jews oppose banning minarets

We all know about that ridiculous minaret ban approved in Switzerland late last year. While I oppose Islamic law and Islamism being propagated in Europe, as I support freedom both from and of religion, I oppose government bans on building a religious structure.

But what about those imperialist racist colonial Muslim-oppressing Israelis, who like the imperialist capitalist West engage in the "War on Islam?"

There's more...

Exporting Palestinian Racism to America

With all the talk about "Zionism is racism," its time to shed light on some of the [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1262339423118&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull racism] against the Jews, done by too many in the Palestinian community, which impedes the peace process.

There's more...

Viva Palestina convoy breaks siege of Gaza

 Wednesday 6th January

Today Viva Palestina's third convoy of humanitarian aid from this British organization for the Gazan Palestinians entered Gaza after a long eventful trip, in which the Egyptian authorities attempted to block the convoy at every turn. The convoy had been on the road for a month, traveled through 10 countries to Aqaba, Jordan, was turned back to Syria, took a ship and several airplanes to El-Arish, Egypt, then fought with Egyptian riot police for a day before eventually being permitted entry into Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

The many obstacles imposed by Egypt made clear that Egypt was subjugating itself to the will of Israel and the United States. The Obama administration was silent throughout the ordeal.

Kevin Ovenden, the convoy leader, had these words to say:

"We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy's like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege."

LINK: http://www.vivapalestina.org/home.htm

Videos of the crossing itself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2M3yUhk5eU&feature=player_embedded

and commentary from British MP, George Galloway, leader of Viva Palestina:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8v5tK8i5yI&feature=player_embedded

(I'm certain that we will have video embedding shortly. Just click on the links for now)

Viva Palestina convoy breaks siege of Gaza

Wednesday 6th January

Today Viva Palestina's third convoy of humanitarian aid from this British organization for the Gazan Palestinians entered Gaza after a long eventful trip, in which the Egyptian authorities attempted to block the convoy at every turn. The convoy had been on the road for a month, traveled through 10 countries to Aqaba, Jordan, was turned back to Syria, took a ship and several airplanes to El-Arish, Egypt, then fought with Egyptian riot police for a day before eventually being permitted entry into Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

The many obstacles imposed by Egypt made clear that Egypt was subjugating itself to the will of Israel and the United States. The Obama administration was silent throughout the ordeal.

Kevin Ovenden, the convoy leader, had these words to say:

"We are all emotional to see that all of Gaza are out to greet us! Our Viva Palestina convoy is symbolic! It shows the Palestianian people just how much the people of the West do care. We come in peace to deliver humanitarian aid and we hope that our convoy (and convoy's like ours) will help to build pressure on the Israeli government to break the siege."

http://www.vivapalestina.org/home.htm

Videos of the crossing itself and commentary from British MP, George Galloway, leader of Viva Palestina, follows:

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