The Israeli occupation thinks that my father, non-violent organizer Munther Amirah, is a threat to its apartheid system because he radiates hope to our community.
By Ghaida Amirah
I was born at a time when people believed the Israeli occupation would soon be over. Following the signing of the Oslo agreement, my father was confident there would be no Israeli occupation by the time I entered school. Long years went by. I am 23 years old now and just recently graduated as a lawyer. But my father, Munther Amirah, is now in an Israeli prison.
My father serves as the coordinator of the Popular Struggle Committee and was the former secretary general of the Palestinian Union of Social Workers and Psychologists. Israeli soldiers arrested him over a month ago in Bethlehem for demonstrating against the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since then, an Israeli military court has been keeping my father in prison, even though they could not prove any of the baseless charges against him.
Obviously, Israel will not say the real reasons for his arrest out loud. They know my father is innocent of what he is accused, but want him and all Palestinians to accept the systematic denial of our rights. Israel continues to slam every Palestinian for resisting and fighting the occupation in any way, shape, or form: whether by using international law, promoting BDS, or simply demonstrating on the streets. In my dad’s case, the Israeli military court is sending a message of intimidation to those who challenge their apartheid regime and come out to the streets — even nonviolently — to demonstrate for freedom and justice.
The military judge was certainly irritated when my father stated that under international law Bethlehem is not part of Israel and therefore he did not need their permission to demonstrate against Trump’s decision. I’m also certain the judge was equally upset when my father said that Israel’s occupation is only encouraging more violence. After long interrogations that deprived my dad of any sleep, those who ordered his imprisonment were certainly frustrated with his high morals even when he was taken to court.
My father is doing what anyone should be doing in a situation of injustice: resisting it. But it is not always easy for us to accept the risks that...Read More