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WATCH: 'They want to get rid of the idea of nonviolent resistance'

The Israeli army really wants to see Palestinian nonviolent activist Issa Amro in prison. We ask Issa why he’s facing 18 charges now, and what ‘winning’ would mean for him.

Video by A. Daniel Roth, Aaron Rotenberg

Nonviolent Palestinian organizer Issa Amro has been practicing and teaching nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in the occupied city of Hebron since 2003, in part through the local activist group he helped establish and operates, Youth Against Settlements. Recently, the Israeli army announced that it plans to prosecute him for 18 separate charges going all the way back to 2010.

Almost all of the charges are related to his political activity and nonviolent action. Under Israeli military law, there is no legal avenue for Palestinians to protest or demonstrate politically. Amro’s activism, much of which is the basis for his current charges, has been reported by +972 here, here, here and here.

+972 sat down to speak with Amro earlier this month. In the three-part video interview below, Amro talks about the charges against him and why he thinks Israel wants to suppress his and others’ nonviolent resistance to the occupation, particularly in Hebron. “Winning,”he explains, would be if the entire Palestinian people adopted nonviolence and civil disobedience as their method of ending the occupation. Amro also discusses the Cinema Hebron project he is working on with Jewish partners from activist groups All That’s Left and the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.

Amro was scheduled to have his first court date for the long list of charges on Sunday, but the hearing was delayed at the last minute. Considered a human rights defender by many in the international community, his latest persecution by Israeli military authorities has spurred several activist campaigns and garnered international media attention. Earlier this year, Amnesty International said it believed Amro and another activist from Hebron had been arrested “solely for their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

Issa Amro on the charges against him, and why he believes they are politically motivated:

Issa Amro on what “winning” means in his political struggle:

Issa Amro on the ‘Cinema Hebron’ project and how his and the lives of other Palestinian residents of Hebron are affected by Israeli settlers living in the middle of their city:

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    1. i_like_ike52

      Arafat told Bill Clinton at Camp David in 2000 that he would be assassinated if he agreed to a compromise peace with Israel. This shows that it is armed militias and terror gangs that control the Palestinian side. Thus, advocates of “non-violent resistance”, as Amro is supposedly, are always going to be pushed aside and the most violent elements will set the tone for relations with Israel. Thus, I don’t think Israel views him as a “danger” as the article claims. He is essentially irrelevant in the Palestinian body politic.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Ike, this is a just a hackneyed distortion of what happened at Camp David, many times discredited here, coupled to a deliberate ignoring of the fact that Israel is making a very organized, concerted efforthere to shut down Issa Amro, and all non-violent protest, at all costs and by any crooked or violent means possible so that it can point to “those violent Palestinians, whatever can we do? We only want peace, sigh, but alas they don’t.” Israel has tried and will continue to try its best to turn every non-violent protest violent. Israel has army intelligence and Shin Bet forces working overtime on this. Countless +972 articles attest to this. It insults our intelligence to pretend otherwise.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          Elementary my dear Wayson says Ben.

          Israel wants violence because it wants dead and maimed Israelis.

          What next? We kill Arab children and mix their blood in our Matzos?

          Reply to Comment
    2. Carmen

      Thanks for this. I have a lot of respect for Issa Amro. I think it’s plain that the iof and goi are outraged by nonviolent resistance. It has been proven again and again that armies shooting and killing unarmed, nonviolent protesters isn’t ‘telegenic’. (Ask the british how popular their stand against Indian peaceful protesters was viewed by the world.) So of course, the goi wants protests to be violent and all that takes per the netanyahoo govt and ‘justice’ minister is for a Palestinian child to pick up a stone.

      When israelis quake and tremble with fear and then cry to the cameras about ‘terroristim’, why don’t you support and praise people like Issa Amro and Dareen Tatour? Why don’t you support the Joint List?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      What Israel fears the most isn’t violence from the Palestinians – it knows how to deal with that, it prefers that kind of resistance. What it fears most is that the situation will become Selma.

      Speaking of nonviolent resistance, this is the Global Week of Action:


      Reply to Comment