Non-Violent Palestinian Activists Targeted

Posted December 28, 2009

On December 16, Jamal Juma, coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, was arrested by the Israeli police. This followed on the heels of the arrest of Mohammad Othman, another anti-apartheid activist from Jayyous, and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, active in the Bilin popular committee against the wall.

These men are activists are advocates of non-violent popular resistance with strong international connections. At the time of his arrest, Othman was returning from Norway, where he met with government officials about Israeli human rights abuses. These men’s arrests reflect the Israeli government’s fear of the potential of international solidarity and effective non-violent action.

As of December 24th, Juma continued to be held incommunicado. A military judge granted the Israeli government’s request to hold him for another 12 days of investigation before a scheduled hearing. He has not been allowed to meet with his lawyer or see his family. Othman was detained in September.

In November, local actions against the wall took place in South America, North America and Europe.

Other recent Palestine solidarity actions include an effort to break a deal between an Israeli water carrier and a Portuguese water company.


3 responses to “Non-Violent Palestinian Activists Targeted”

  1. Chloe Avatar
    palestine demo 12-31-09

    Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East

    New Yorkers Demand that Egypt and Israel Open Gaza Border

    Protesters demand passage for international rights marchers challenging Israel’s bombing & siege of Gaza

    Media Contact:


    December 31, New York, NY – Sixty human rights advocates protested outside Egypt’s Mission to the United Nations today to demand that Egypt open its border with the Gaza Strip. The New York protest came as Egyptian riot police in Cairo surrounded and assaulted hundreds of international activists who had been prevented by Egyptian authorities from entering the Gaza Strip. The international activists had planned to protest in Gaza against Israel’s siege as part of the Gaza Freedom March. Following the demonstration at the Egyptian Mission, the New York City protesters marched to the Israeli consulate chanting, “Free Gaza Now.”

    Holding Palestinian flags and signs calling for an end to the siege of Gaza, New Yorkers sang US civil rights song to the staff inside Egypt’s Mission to the UN, asking:

    Which side are you, which side are you on?

    Justice or oppression, which side are you on?

    To the tune of another civil rights classic, they sang:

    Ain’t gonna let Mubarak, turn me round, turn me round, turn me round,

    Ain’t gonna let Mubarak, turn me round,

    Gonna keep on walkin’, keep boycottin’, til Palestine is free.

    At the New York demonstration, a delegation of three protesters entered the Egyptian Mission and gained a meeting with Egypt’s Representative to the UN. They told him of their concerns over Egypt’s repression of the Gaza Freedom March and Egypt’s complicity in maintaining the siege on Gaza.

    On the one year anniversary of Israel’s assault on Gaza that killed around 1400 Palestinians, over 1300 activists from around the world had gathered in Cairo, planning to travel to protest in Gaza alongside thousands of Palestinians for the Gaza Freedom March.

    Israel intensified its siege of Gaza with the military attack “Operation Cast Lead,” that began on December 27, 2008. In addition to killing approximately 1400 Palestinians, Israel’s attack destroyed factories, schools, homes and land. For the past year, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been cut off from adequate food, medical supplies, and materials for reconstruction, schooling and work. The Egyptian government has been an active partner with Israel, closing the only access point to Gaza that is not directly controlled by Israel, and shutting down operations of human rights activists in Egypt.

    A new report by Amnesty International, Oxfam UK, Mercy Corps and thirteen other international humanitarian organizations explained that, “The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with effective action to secure the ending of the Israeli blockade which is preventing reconstruction and recovery.” The report also explains that, “The Israeli authorities have allowed only 41 truckloads of all construction materials into Gaza since the end of the offensive in mid-January. The task of rebuilding and repairing thousands of homes alone will require thousands of truckloads of building materials.”

    Protest photos:

  2. Chloe Avatar

    The 1,300 internationals who have convened at the Gaza-Egypt border to march nonviolently against the siege of Gaza have been detained in Egypt.

    It looks like the march is getting decent attention in the blogosphere, if not from the mainstream media. Check out the Gaza Freedom March website, and Kathy Kelly’s post on the Huffington Post.

    Or this clip of a UN press conference about the march:

  3. Chloe Avatar

    See below for a press release detailing a more humorous Palestine solidarity event: caroling in front of the storefront of Israeli settlement developer-diamond dealer-union buster Lev Leviev.

    One choice excerpt of some lyrics (to the tune of Hanukkah oh Hanukkah come light the menorah):

    Leviev oh leviev
    Destruction you’re sowing
    Stealing the land where the crops all are growing
    Using all your billions to sponsor a cheat
    In Jayous and Bilin there’s nothing to eat

    Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East

    New York Carolers Sing for Boycott of Leviev while Israel Jails Protesters’ Palestinian Allies



    New York, NY, December 19, 2009 – On a snowy Saturday afternoon, forty-five human rights carolers serenaded Madison Avenue shoppers with familiar holiday tunes outside the storefront of Israeli diamond and settlement mogul Lev Leviev, but their lyrics called for the boycott of Leviev’s companies. The New York protest took place against the backdrop of a growing arrest campaign by the Israeli military against Palestinian protest and boycott activists from West Bank villages where Leviev has built settlements.

    Ethan Heitner from Adalah-NY commented, “Today in New York City we celebrated the many victories of the international movement to boycott companies like Leviev’s that support Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. At the same time, we’re angry that our Palestinian colleagues, like Mohammad Othman from Jayyous, Abdallah Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and Jamal Juma’ from Stop the Wall, have been imprisoned by Israel for organizing nonviolent protests and boycotts. Still, the Israeli government’s desperate measures won’t succeed in crushing the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Instead they just provide further proof to the world of why BDS is necessary.”

    Groups worldwide have conducted a successful boycott campaign against Leviev’s companies due to their construction of Israeli settlements in violation of international law, and their human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola. With Leviev’s companies in freefall, New York human rights advocates, many wearing Santa hats, returned to his store for a third year of holiday caroling, and greeted Madison Avenue holiday shoppers with choruses like this, to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”:

    So Lev as you, watch while your, stock goes kaput,

    Think of the folks you’ve hurt,

    And we’ll keep being the thorns in your side,

    Til’ there’s justice for,


    And you’ve paid for your crimes!

    In a new development, three heavyset, middle-aged men, seemingly employed by Leviev, videotaped and photographed the carolers from the storefront throughout the event.

    Leviev’s companies Africa Israel and Leader have built Jewish-only homes on Palestinian land in the Israeli settlements of Zufim on the land of the village of Jayyous, Mattityahu East on the land of the village of Bil’in, and Har Homa and Maale Adumim, impoverishing Palestinian communities and violating international law. On December 12th in the middle of the night, the Israeli military arrested Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leading organizer of Bil’in’s five year nonviolent protest campaign to save the village’s land from Israel’s wall and settlements. Many other protesters from Bil’in and from the neighboring village of Ni’ilin, also campaigning to save its land, have been arrested recently in nighttime raids. The Palestinian organization Stop the Wall announced that its Coordinator, Jamal Juma’, was arrested on December 16th. Israeli authorities have jailed Jayyous protest and boycott organizer Mohammad Othman, also from Stop the Wall, without charges since September 22nd. This week, Israeli settlers from Zufim, built on Jayyous’ land, attacked Israeli soldiers who were attempting to slow settlement expansion there.

    Leviev is facing a financial crisis, imperiling his control of his flagship company Africa-Israel, that appears to have been aggravated by the growing boycott movement. UNICEF, Oxfam, The British Government and major Hollywood stars have all distanced themselves from Leviev. The investment firm BlackRock, pension giant TIAA-CREF and the Swedish government recently sold off their shares of Leviev’s company Africa-Israel, though BlackRock and TIAA-CREF denied they did so due to his settlement construction. New reports indicate that the second largest Dutch pension fund PZVW divested from Africa-Israel. Eleven organizations have asked the Norwegian government to sell its pension holdings in Africa-Israel over ethical concerns.

    For protest photos:

    For the carol lyrics: