On December 10, 2009 at 2am, the Israeli military surrounded the Ramallah home of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher and the Coordinator of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, and arrested him. Abu Rahmah is among the leaders of the West Bank village of Bil’in’s nearly five-year nonviolent struggle of protests, lawsuits and boycotts aiming to save the village’s land from Israel’s wall and expanding settlements. Abdallah Abu Rahmah joins Mohammed Othman from the village of Jayyous, Adeeb Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and many other Palestinians who are currently jailed by Israel for working for justice. Tell President Obama to demand that Israel free Bil’in nonviolent leader Abdullah Abu Rahmah!
To send your letter visit the Jewish Voice for Peace online letter-sending form.
Dear President Obama,
In your Nobel Peace Prize speech you acknowledged “the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice.” You have also called on Palestinians to use nonviolent means to achieve their freedom.
I ask you today to take action to support Palestinians who have been jailed by Israel for their nonviolent pursuit of justice, for organizing protests and boycotts targeting symbols of Israeli repression.
Hours before you received your Nobel peace Prize, in the dead of night, Israel arrested a leading nonviolent organizer, Abdallah Abu Rahmah from the West Bank village of Bil’in. Bil’in is recognized by Palestinians and worldwide as a symbol of nonviolent resistance due to its nearly five year protest campaign. Abdallah Abu Rahmah is a high school teacher and the Coordinator of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements.
Another Nobel Peace Prize winner, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, explained during an August visit by the Elders to Bil’in, ‘Just as a simple man named Gandhi led the successful non-violent struggle in India and simple people such as Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela led the struggle for civil rights in the United States, simple people here in Bil’in are leading a non-violent struggle that will bring them their freedom. The South Africa experience proves that injustice can be dismantled.’
Abdallah Abu Rahmah joins in Israeli prison Mohammad Othman, a protest and boycott organizer from the West Bank village of Jayyous who has been held for over two months with no charges, Adeeb Abu Rahme, another Bil’in protest organizer, and many others. Israel has arrested these people in an effort to crush the growing Palestinian nonviolent movement.
As it has defied your call for a freeze on settlement construction, the Israeli government is mocking your exhortation for Palestinians to use nonviolence. Palestinians have a long, rich yet largely unacknowledged history of nonviolent resistance that has been met with brutal repression by the Israeli military.
President Obama, I ask you today to honor your Nobel Peace Prize, act to support Palestinians who have been jailed in pursuit of justice, and demand that Israel immediately release Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Mohammad Othman, Adeeb Abu Rahmah and all Palestinian political prisoners.
(Your letter will be cc’ed to the American Consulate in East Jerusalem).