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Palestinian nonviolent protest leader arrested en route abroad

By The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

UPDATE: Issa Amro was released on Sunday evening from Israeli prison after being held since Thursday. He had to pay NIS 1,500 upon being freed, and his terms of release include a  guarantee of NIS 5,000. He is prohibited from engaging in demonstrations for the next 3 months.

Issa Amro, Coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, was stopped Thursday night by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Bridge. He was arrested and taken to the Hebron police station, where he was interrogated for hours on suspicion of involvement in organizing the women’s action that took place in Hebron last Wednesday, at the segregated Shuhada Street.

Amro was traveling to Italy for a speaking tour organized by the Italian Peace Association to meet members of the Italian Parliament and Senate, and municipality representatives from different Italian cities.

Issa Amro (photo: Irene Nasser)

Issa Amro, a prominent popular resistance activist in Hebron, was arrested several times in the past by the Israeli army for participating in activities to protest occupation practices in Hebron. In the past few years, Youth Against Settlements has led the global campaign to re-open Shuhada street, Hebron’s main commerce center that was closed to Palestinian movement in 1994.

Last Wednesday, approximately 15 Israeli and International women dressed in Palestinian traditional clothing walked through Shuhada Street in silence protesting the policy of preventing Palestinian women from accessing the street.  The women were stopped by Israeli soldiers and attacked by both soldiers and settlers.  Five activists and one journalist were arrested during the action. Later that day, a Palestinian man was also arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy” related to the same action. All seven were released within 24 hours, three with a a 90-day restraining order forbidding them from entering Area A and the Hebron area.

For more information, listen to Just Vision‘s profile on Issa Amro here.

Women challenge segregation of Hebron street in direct action; seven arrested.

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    1. Rehmat

      Zionist leaders alway have different definition of the word ‘non-violence’. While they themselves, act like terrorists – they always demand ‘non-violence’ from their opponents to settle their disputes with Zionists.

      The world’s so-called ‘non-violence’ icon – Mahtama Gandhi told the leaders of the World Zionist movement in 1930s that European Jews must stay in their ancestral homelands and us non-violent means to combat anti-semitism. An advice ignored by Chaim Weisman. Later, before his assassination in 1948 – Gandhi told Doon Campbell of Reuters: “It has become a problem which seems almost insoluble. If I were a Jew, I would tell them: ‘Do not be so silly as to resort to terrorism…’ The Jews should meet the Arabs, make friends with them and not depend on British aid or American aid, save what descends from Jehovah.”

      An please spare me by calling Gandhi an ‘anti-semitic’. Former New York Times’ Jewish executive editor Joseph Lelyveld in Gandhi’s biography ‘Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India’ says that Gandhi had sexual affair with Dr. Hermann Kallenbach, a German Jewish bodybuilder and architect.


      Reply to Comment
    2. caden

      Stay in Europe in the 1930’s and do sit ins. A brilliant plan. The holocaust was bad enough. I know Rehmat, Martillo, and Phil Weiss would have been happy with a total wipe out but maybe next time guys.

      Reply to Comment
    3. sh

      “he was interrogated for hours on suspicion of involvement in organizing the women’s action that took place in Hebron last Wednesday,”
      So retribution was swift, but for what exactly? None of them threw stones, killed, spat or swore at anyone. Is he going to be tried on the grounds of conspiring to persuade a few Jewish and international ladies to walk calmly and respectfully down Shuhada street? Or is it the clothes that the military occupation authorities have to approve – a kind of Purim permit they should have applied for?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Piotr Berman

      Caden: could you formulate your thoughts coherently enough to figure out what you mean? What I understand is that if people practiced sit-ins in 1930s, instead of Holocaust there would be something else. ??!! That is a non-sequitur, and relevance to the subsequent historical period also seems nil.

      Rehmat: Birobidjan was an autonomous region, with a very, very modest degree of autonomy. Except that Yiddish was one of the two official languages.

      Sh: I think that it is illegal for the citizens of Israel to enter Area A without some kind of authorization, so Issa Amro is guilty of conspiring to have an unauthorize group to enter Area A. This goes directly against separation regulation. Further, the conspiracy involve confusing the soldiers who enforced separation regulation so they forced citizens to break those regulations AGAIN. This interfered with law enforcement.

      For example, imagine that a group of people stands on their heads. It could confuse police into thinking that up is down and into issuing wrong directions to drivers, like directing them left instead of right etc. Potentially, it could lead to fatalities.

      Finally, Issa Amro was hanging out with daughters of Israel. This last infraction is rather severe, because while doing so he was neither old, decrepit, dirty, badly dressed, drooling, but to the contrary, presented an attractive demeanor and intelligent conversation, and I suspect that he may used some decent aftershave etc. Did he show his true nature to the young impressionable women? If not, this may be an attempted rape according to Israeli law.

      Reply to Comment
    5. caden

      What I was saying is that non-violent resistence wouldn’t have done a lot of good against the SS. All that would have done would have made the extermination of European Jewry 100%. Something that Phil Weiss and Rehmat would have deemed the optimum scenario but some of us see it differently

      Reply to Comment
    6. Piotr Berman

      Caden, resistance or lack of it had rather small relationship with survival. Stories I know about Polish Jews:

      when Soviet Union was controlling former eastern Poland, volunteered to work in a factory in Russia

      same person, paid a Polish peasant to bring family from Warsaw in a horse cart; two who took the advantage, survived, two who tried luck with Hitler, nothing is known — betting on Hitler and Stalin in 1939

      same situation, exiled by secret police to Kazakhstan as “under-kulak” (podkulachnik)

      under German control, joined Communist Partisans

      was hiding with Polish friends, managed to save his wife from Treblinka by bribing Ukrainian guards, children perished in Treblinka

      September 1939, illegally working in France, volunteered to Polish units in France, POV in 1940: Germans were honoring Geneva conventions


      In what way does it relate to the insane behavior of the settlers and IDF in Hebron?

      Reply to Comment
    7. annie

      they didn’t pick him up because of what happened in hebron the week before, they picked him up because they didn’t like he was going to on a speaking tour in italy meeting with important people. control freaks.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Piotr Berman

      Peaceful resistance of Boer agaist England would be futile, but Apartheid is gone. And so will be separation as practiced in the territories etc. Ypu cannot build Zionism in one country only.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Klil

      It might be the late hour, but I could swear Caden was encouraging violent resistance against the Occupation.

      Reply to Comment
    10. A man must be responsible. Interesting logic. The police don’t know what to think.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Kolumn9

      It would appear that Rehmat thinks that a sit-in would have changed Hitler’s mind in trying to wipe out the Jews. My, that is faith indeed. Alas, we are not all so faithful as to abandon our fates to the whims of those that profess great hatred of our continued existence. I wonder if Gandhi was a Jew in Europe whether his non-violent approach would have had much of an impact on the guards of the concentration camp he was sent to. Then again, for Gandhi the important thing was the principle of non-violence as a transformative tool for all of humanity even if some groups were wiped out in the process. Another one of this wonderful suggestion was that the Jews of Europe should commit mass suicide so as to make the Nazis question their ways. It seems questionable that a group dedicated to the obliteration of Jews would have been much dissuaded by the Jews willingness to do the job for them. Are we done with the Gandhi nonsense?

      And then Rehmat offers the Jews Birobidzhan. One wonders if he takes into account the ‘natives’ of that icy region when granting this gift just to be consistent with his support of the Palestinians. Certainly he would have supported the forceful expulsion of all Soviet Jews to Birobidzhan as per Stalin’s plan right before his death which would have certainly meant the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

      I have no clue what any of this has to do with the subject matter, but I do know what it has to do with Rehmat’s persistent and undeniable anti-semitism in its full bloom which is clearly tolerated on this site and many others with similar anti-Israeli views.

      Back to the subject matter. The security measures in Hebron are in place because of repeated attempts by the Palestinian population to kill Jews. This of course isn’t a recent phenomenon given the Hebron massacre of 1929, but fortunately there does exist among the Jews the capacity for defending themselves against their less than amiable neighbors. One often hears complaints against the presence of Jews in Hebron, but it isn’t entirely clear to me the basis on which Jews have no right to live in Hebron. Perhaps someone should explain this to me?

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    12. You want a Gandhi? Then look in the faces of these women. And stop being afraid. They are neither Hitler nor Stalin nor suicide bombers. Look–and you will see here, now, what Gandhi was. The Gandhi nonsense will stay.

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    13. Kolumn9

      Greg, who said I wanted a Gandhi? As I already pointed out I think Gandhi’s view of the world was impractical and the man’s policy recommendations as far as Jews were concerned were downright criminal. What I want is a Palestinian Ben Gurion but all the Palestinians keep presenting us with is Haj Amin Al-Husseinis and Arafats.

      I realized a while ago that you might be very confused, but the only picture on this page is of a handsome man, and though I generally hate to be so presumptuous, in this case I sincerely doubt he qualifies as a woman so I honestly have no clue what women you are referring to that should so impress me.

      Also, kudos on standing up for Rehmat. I didn’t think anyone would, but fortunately you have come to the defense of that progressive free thinker.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Marile Bandel

      I am happy to learn that Issa Amro has been released from the Israeli military court in Hebron. I hope he will be able to travel to Italy as he planned. I’m glad to see that there are women activists involved in his political process.

      Reply to Comment