Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Free the anti-apartheid prisoners--and help carry on their important work

Click here to take action right away! Here at the US Campaign blog we've been covering Israel's recent campaign of repression directed at Palestinian anti-apartheid activists and boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigners such as Jamal Juma', Abdallah Abu Rahmah, and Mohammad Othman. We posted action alerts from our allies at Stop the Wall; passed along Palestinian BDS leader Omar Barghouti's contention that "Intensifying BDS, ultimately, is the most consequential form of protest" against Israeli repression; and shared how campaigns against U.S. military aid to Israel and against occupation-profiteers like Motorola, Caterpillar, and Ahava linked in to the nonviolent struggle of Jamal, Abdallah, Mohammad, and hundreds more like them. We quoted US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab's recent op-ed on Israel's "Crackdown on Peace," and posted a report from the Jerusalem-based Alternative Information Center that quoted Jamal Juma': "Before the Wall, I could see the sun." We shook our heads in (almost) disbelief when Abdallah Abu Rahmah was accused of "weapons possession" for collecting tear gas canisters fired at weekly nonviolent protests against the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, and we shook our heads again when Bono ignored Palestinian nonviolence--and the Israeli military campaign to suppress it--in his recent New York Times op-ed. But we decided there was more we could do. So we issued an action alert today--just a few days before an Israeli military court will once again decide, absent evidence or charge, whether to continue holding Jamal Juma' in administrative detention. And we're asking our supporters to send a letter to the U.S. Consul General in East Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, telling him that he should demand Israel release the anti-apartheid prisoners. Send a letter by clicking here, and then find out how you can continue resisting apartheid and intensifying BDS campaigns in your community. The anti-apartheid and BDS work of people like Jamal, Mohammad, and Abdallah is more important now then ever. In its latest blatantly discriminatory act, the Israeli Knesset rejected a bill that would have required equal land rights be granted to Palestinian citizens of Israel, as reported on in Ha'aretz:
"The Knesset on Wednesday rejected by a majority vote a bill proposed by Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am Ta'al) which would enforce equal distribution of land between Jewish and Arab citizens....Tibi's proposal was intended to counter a bill passed two weeks ago which states that reception committees of Israeli communities can decide who will reside in their towns. One consequence of that bill is that Israeli Arabs would not be able to live in those towns if the reception committees decide so."
Meanwhile, settlement construction continues on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Learn more about the imprisoned Palestinian leaders of nonviolent resistance from our allies at Stop the Wall, and take action to free the anti-apartheid prisoners today by clicking here. Then, carry on the important anti-apartheid advocacy and BDS campaigning of our imprisoned Palestinian allies: 1) Sign up to be a local organizer of our Caterpillar and Motorola campaigns against companies that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid by building settlements and the Apartheid Wall and by providing communication and surveillance equipment to the Israeli army and settlements. 2) Learn more about how to launch BDS campaigns in your community. 3) Stand up and speak out against apartheid.