HUMAN RIGHTS HERO OF THE WEEK

As of June 1, the Human Rights Hero will be a monthly report located in Media Watch.

 Week of April 5, 2020

Human Rights Hero--Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel for ongoing legal challenges to violations of civil liberties and civil rights during COVID-19.  Adalah and other human rights law groups in Israel and the West Bank are joining forces to challenge many of the Israeli government policies that have been ostensibly enacted for securing the public's health, but in reality, violate civil rights. The Adalah website provides a list of many of their current legal challenges. As you can see by reading the website, the challenges include: calling on Israel to stop aerial spraying of herbicide in Gaza, demanding that prisoners be allowed contact with their families, and lawyers, petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court to provide computers and internet equally to children in Bedouin villages to allow for education at home during the coronavirus school closures, and many more. Always grateful for the legal work that Adalah does for human rights. 

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Human Rights Heroes of the week of March 1, 2020 

Human RIghts Heroes for the week of 3/1/2020 are the mental health workers in Gaza-- caring for others and coping with their own personal trauma

Linked here is an interview with Dr Yasser Abu Jamei, psychiatrist and Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program. (No control on the interviewer....)

Hearing the voice of this gentle, experienced health practitioner is powerful. A hero, for sure--and all of his staff. 

Interviews with Dr Abu Jamei:

Short version:

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-51649197/mental-health-coping-with-the-trauma-of-living-in-gaza

Full interview: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy9fp?fbclid=IwAR1du9I05M1Uo24KqV2HuWH-J0f_OsZ2eplYjgBQVUEwnLdpgYeoT_lOaLM

 

Human Rights Heroes of the week of Feb. 23, 2020 are The thousands of Israelis who rallied against the "Deal of the Century" 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-in-tel-aviv-against-trump-plan/  
Thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square on February 1 to protest the US Middle East peace proposal and government plans to annex territory in the West Bank, under the banner of “Peace plan, not annexation deal." "Annexation is a disaster, no peace, no security,” protesters chanted, while holding up signs decrying Israel’s 52-year occupation of the West Bank and against “transfer,” referring to a part of the plan that opens up the possibility of drawing the border of a future Palestinian state to include several Arab-Israeli towns. Earlier in the day hundreds of people rallied against the plan in the Arab Israeli city of Baqa al-Gharbiye, which could become part of Palestine according to the plan.

Human Rights Hero for the week of Feb. 16, 2020 is  US Representative Betty McCollum for speaking truth to power in her steadfast commitment to human rights.

In late January, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) used Rep. McCollum's image (and that of other progressive members of congress) in paid Facebook ads and an online petition accusing those who have spoken out for Palestinian human rights as being "anti-semitic and anti-Israel."The AIPAC message also accused these MOCs of "pushing" these beliefs down the throats of Americans. 

Representative Betty McCollum, the vice-chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, issued a statement defending human rights and freedom as a foundation to our national security and democracy. "Hate is used as a weapon to incite violence and silence dissent", she stated.  

AIPAC categorized that Rep. McCollum and other Members supporting HR2407 (McCollum's bill which strives to protect children from being interrogated, abused and tortured in military prisons) constitute a threat more sinister than ISIS.

Correctly, Rep. McCollum called out the intent to incite and the hate speech in the AIPAC post. 

https://mccollum.house.gov/media/press-releases/mccollum-statement-hate-speech-makes-aipac-hate-group?fbclid=IwAR2RNuZ67Z4msCxxkfhrh1mpgvdL2HjQ2qaO6nJySALGw4QAnmfOcyN_S80

Human Rights Hero for the week of Feb. 2, 2020--

The JVP HAC postings this week spotlight the blatant human rights violations of the "Deal of the Century", and the ongoing resistance to colonization by the Palestinians. 

The Human rights heroes of the week are the The Palestinian protestors who crossed Jordan Valley checkpoints 

Source: Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli Border Police officers while demonstrating against Trump's 

'Deal of the Century,' near the village of Tayseer in the occupied Jordan Valley, January 29, 2020. (Oren Ziv)  

/www.972mag.com/palestinians-checkpoint-trump-plan/

On 29 January, some 500 Palestinians marched across the Tayseer checkpoint between Nablus and the Jordan Valley, in the northern West Bank, to protest Trump’s “Deal of the Century", despite attempts by the Israeli army to stop them. The protesters brought two tractors with them, which they used to plow the area, in a "closed military zone" but which belongs to Palestinian farmers. Border Police officers arrived at the scene and began dispersing the demonstrators with tear gas and stun grenades, as protesters sat down on the ground in an act of civil disobedience. “All Palestinians are united in their message that the Jordan Valley is Palestinian land and will not be part of Israel,” said Waleed Assaf, who heads the PLO’s Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee. “Trump’s plan is a plan of war against the Palestinians. We are ready to live in two states, but this plan will eliminate the idea of the Palestinian state. It’s a declaration of war, not peace.” Meanwhile, around 100 Palestinian and Israeli activists reached the Hamra checkpoint in the Jordan Valley. Israeli soldiers tried to block them, but eventually allowed the demonstrators to march along the main road. “We are here despite the attempts to stop us,” said Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, a well-known Palestinian activist from the village of Bil’in. “We started to walk in order to say that this is Palestinian land, that we will stand with the farmers and shepherds who live here and say no to the annexation of the Jordan Valley. We will continue to stand with them day and night.”

July 8, 2019: Human Rights Heroes of the week: Israelis of Ethiopian Descent for protesting the racism that exists in Israel. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/03/world/middleeast/ethiopia-israel-police-shooting.html

 

https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editors-Note-Racism-must-end-in-Israel-594644

https://www.jta.org/2019/07/03/israel/the-protests-by-ethiopian-israelis-explained

 

Ethiopian-Israelis and their supporters have taken to the streets across the country, protesting an off-duty police officer’s fatal shooting of Solomon Tekah, 18, whose friends said that they were just trying to get away after the officer began harassing them. Demonstrators say they are also protesting the racism that members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community are exposed to every day. Eyal Gato, 33, an Ethiopian-born activist who came to Israel in 1991 in an airlift which brought 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, compared their situation to African-Americans in Chicago or Ferguson, Mo. “How are we different just because we are Ethiopian?” Tekah’s father, Worka, said in his eulogy for his son.

 

July 1, 2019:  Palestinians for widespread protests against the “Deal of the Century”

Calling out that participation in the Bahrain workshop is “collusion with the occupation”, Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza, participated in protests opposing the U.S. brokered “Deal of the Century”. Some of the coverage can be seen herehere, and here.

 

June 24, 2019: Mohammad al Dababsh and the activists from ISM and the Protection and Sumud Committee for rebuilding and resistance in the face of demolition

The JVP HAC lifts up the families in the South Hebron Hills villages facing an increased spree of home demolitions by the Israeli military.

 

“Despite being denied of their human right to shelter, the al Dababsh family remained defiant.  ‘If you demolish, we will build, if you uproot our trees we will plant more.’ This is the family’s message to the occupation.”

The ISM reports about one of the homes of four families demolished this past week in the South Hebron Hills village of Khalet al Dabeh. The first of the demolished homes was that of the Al Dababsh family. Immediately, the family supported by activists from the Palestinian Protection and Sumud Committee and internationals from ISM, erected a tent for the family to live temporarily. These groups come to the protection and aid of villagers across the West Bank when they are threatened and/or have homes demolished.

Among the al Dababsh belongings that were destroyed or taken by the Israeli military were the solar panels they had on their home–their source of electricity. One family member was wounded by the soldiers as he tried to rescue precious family belongings. Source:  IMEMC News

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