A call for international solidarity
On the 10th of February, the day of the elections for the Israeli Knesset, a new stage was reached in the blatant racist approach of the Israeli state toward the Arab Palestinian masses. One of the most violent and outspokenly racist mob leader of the Israeli lunatic right, Baruch Marzel, was nominated by the national election committee to be head of one of the election centers in Um elFahm, the second biggest Arab city in the 1948 occupied territories, which Israel claim to be "democratically" managed, in contrast to the 1967 militarily managed occupation.
Marzel and his gang openly advocate the expulsion of the Arab population and are known for organizing (admitably usually small) mob shouting "death to the Arabs". On Election Day, their mob was mostly the official police, with special border guard and mass oppression units, sent by the state to force Israeli Jewish sovereignty by bringing letting the fascists in.
On the early morning hours the masses of Um elFahm residents, with some solidarity delegations, were waiting to confront the fascist on all entrances of the town. The police decided to avoid mass confrontation and let Marzel go away. But some hours later, they entered by deceit one of his co-fascists, Knesset member Eldad, to "manage" the designated election center. As the news spread of his presence there, people gathered to protest around that center, and the police had to take Eldad out. In the confrontation around the election center, our Comrade Samieh Jabbarin, as well as another Um elFahm resident, Ibrahim Mahajne, were arrested, and are held in detention till this day.
Samieh Jabbarin, film and theatre director and lecturer, aged 41, was active in Abnaa elBalad from his youth in Um elFahm. He spent many years in Germany, combining left and democratic activity with his specialization in theater and films. He came back to Palestine to live in Yaffa, the historic Palestinian port city on the Mediterranean Sea, where most of the original population was expelled in the 1948 ethnic cleansing. Yaffa is now surrounded by Tel Aviv; its remaining Arab population was reduced to lives in poverty marginalized by Zionist Apartheid on the verge of the prosperous Jewish city. Samieh had a pivotal role in organizing Yaffa's poor Arab people against different attempts by the Tel Aviv municipality and various Israeli contractors to expropriate and expel them to make space for gentrification "development" plans for the rich Jewish elite. Samieh had an important role in organizing the Haifa conference for the right of return and a secular democratic state in Palestine (www.ror1state.org).
During the last massacres' campaign by the Israeli army against Gaza, on last December and January, the Arab Palestinians inside the 48 territories held many mass demonstrations against the war. Abnaa elBalad took part in organizing and leading these demonstrations all over the country. In Tel Aviv and Haifa we participated in forging an alliance with the truly democratic elements in the Jewish society against the war, while the Zionist left was busy giving excuses to the massacre. During this period Samieh was called for several "warning" interrogations. He was clearly warned that on the next occasion he will be framed up and arrested.
Since the Gaza war the Israeli police and courts cooperate to tighten the oppression against political protest of the Arab Palestinians in the '48 areas. Many demonstrators from the war period are still under arrest. When Samieh and Ibrahim were arrested on February 10th, many policemen forged the charges against them on the very same day. On February 12 they were indicted on the Khedera court and the police requested their detention till the end of the "legal" proceedings. The Judge decided to prolong their detention "until any other decision" without even allowing the defense to object.
Free Samieh Jabbarin and Ibrahim Mahajneh!
Free all Palestinian political prisoners and freedom fighters!
Ma'an 'Ala edDarb - Together on the road
Abnaa elBalad MovementFor international solidarity
Please distribute this declaration to whoever may be interested.
Please send your protest to the relevant Israeli embassies, with copies to us.
For Solidarity letters:
Yoav Bar - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lina Ghana'em - email@example.com
Attached a letter by Samieh Jabbarin from Jelemeh Prison - translated to English.For more material in Arabic and some images:
Article and photos about the Um elFahm demonstration and the arrests (Samieh's with Che's hat with the star)
Abnaa elBalad demonstration in front of Jelemeh prison
Letter from the prison - and Samieh's image as he was arrested