Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just Another Palestinian Gandhi in Prison

Israeli-American activist, Joseph Dana, has a good article up at Huffington Post. Dana follows the case of Adeeb Abu Rahma, a Palestinian nonviolence organizer in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Abeed Abu Rahma has already served one year in prison for allegedly telling other protesters to throw stones. There was no evidence provided to justify this claim. Abu Rahma has already served his year in prison but remains in jail as a prosecutor argued, after the fact, that his sentence was too lenient. Abu Rahma remains in prison. I encourage you to read Dana's full post, as it highlights the racist and kafkaesque policies that Israeli implements against Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
Commentators of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict often complain that there has not yet been a legitimate Palestinian Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. to emerge from within Palestinian civil society. The reality is that there are many Palestinians engaged in popular unarmed resistance to the Israeli occupation, preferring organized demonstrations in the West Bank to suicide bombs in Tel Aviv. Common people like Adeeb Abu Rahma could become the non-violent leader everyone claims to be waiting for. However, the Israeli government seems to recognize how much damage such a figure could do to their international image and to the occupation they will defend at any cost. And so hundreds of Palestinian Gandhis are brought before draconian Israeli military tribunals each year, only to face long sentences that nearly ensure that the world will never learn their names.

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