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Ahmed Abu Artema

  • Gaza march leader to conscientious objectors: 'Turn your words into weapons'

    The leader of Gaza's Great Return March holds a rare conversation with Israelis who refuse to serve in the army because of the occupation. 'Those who refuse to take part in the attacks on the demonstrators in Gaza — they stand on the right side of history.' By Edo Konrad and Oren Ziv It is difficult to imagine today, but meetings between Palestinian and Israeli activists used to be routine. The younger generation of Palestinian and Israelis, however, were born into a world of walls, fences, and segregation, where even a simple conversation can be complicated, and at times, impossible. [tmwinpost]…

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  • The grassroots movements in Israel-Palestine that won 2018

    +972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them. By Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on…

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  • Conscientious objector freed after 107 days in military prison

    Hillel Garmi, who was inspired by one of the leaders of Gaza's 'Great Return March,' served seven prison terms for his refusal to join the Israeli army. By +972 Magazine Staff The Israeli army discharged conscientious objector Hillel Garmi on Sunday after imprisoning him for a total of 107 days. Israel has compulsory military service, and Garmi refused to be drafted due to his opposition to the occupation. [tmwinpost] Garmi, 19, from Yodfat in northern Israel, is one of the initiators and signatories of the “Shministim letter,” published earlier this year by dozens of Israeli high school seniors who declared their…

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  • 'We all live under one undemocratic system, so we must struggle together'

    In a letter from prison, Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi responds to Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the leaders of Gaza's Great Return March. 'Although we will not agree on everything, I discovered a vision for justice in your writing.' Read Abu Artema's open letter here. By Hillel Garmi Ahmed, I am writing to you from an Israeli military prison, after the open letter you published last week was read to me over the phone. It is not easy for me to write from prison, and at first I thought to wait until I am able to do so from the comfort…

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  • 'Let us fight together for human rights, for a country that is democratic for all its citizens'

    Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza, responds to Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi, who said his decision to refuse the draft is partly inspired by Artema's acts of civil disobedience. By Ahmed Abu Artema Thank you, Hillel. You gave us hope. The morality of a position is not measured by how closely it reflects popular opinion, but by its unique advantage. Throughout history, those who did not compromise their morals were the ones who carried more weight and inspired others, even if they were alone to confront mainstream perspectives. When a person decides to take an…

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  • Conscientious objector to mark Jewish new year in prison

    Hilel Garmi is in prison for the third time, for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. His decision was partly inspired by one of the lead organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza. By +972 Magazine Staff Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi was sentenced to 10 days in prison on Monday, after he again refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in protest of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. This is Garmi’s third detention, at the end of which he would have served 37 days in military prison. [tmwinpost] Garmi, 18, from Kibbutz Yodfat in northern Israel,…

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  • As Gaza Return March protests dwindle, threat of war between Israel and Hamas looms

    Three months after the start of the Great Return March protests, a military confrontation between Israel and Hamas appears increasingly likely. +972 talks to two of the protests' organizers about the challenges facing the burgeoning yet beleaguered non-violent movement in Gaza. By Meron Rapoport It has been nearly three months since the Great Return March protests in Gaza began. In the days leading up to the first protest on March 30, one of the organizers, Hassan al-Kurd, stressed that the demonstrations would be non-violent. “We are against throwing rocks and even burning tires,” he said. “The message we want to…

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