Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 10:13:39 AM EST
This petition was circulated this morning by a group of well known peace activists, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Neve Gordon. In their words, "Every so often someone comes along who is so brave and so inspiring that you just can't sit by and remain silent when you learn they need your help. We're writing to you today about one of these rare people." His name is Ezra Nawi. Ezra is the quintessential liberal peace activist, a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent who speaks fluent Arabic, a gay man in his fifties, and a plumber by trade, an average working stiff.
But average he is not.
Ezra Nawi is one of Israel's most courageous human rights activists.. will likely go to jail in less than 30 days.
His crime? He tried to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins in the South Hebron region. These homes and the families who live in them have been under Israeli occupation for 42 years. They still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. They are continuously harassed by Jewish settlers and the military.
Earlier, Bernard Davishai, a fellow activist, wrote this about Ezra:
(Ezra) is a tireless human rights activist, who has established unique connections, and affections, with the villagers in the South Hebron hills. I have often sat in the back of his truck, being ferried to stand watch over fields that would not be plowed were it not for his courage and resourcefulness. I have seen Ezra stand, dignified, against settlers who regard him something the way Klansmen regarded Jewish northerners who came to bear witness against Jim Crow. He is the subject of a poignant film. He is also my plumber, as it happens, and he does not overcharge his customers.
Ezra is now facing jail: "His 'crime,'" writes Neve Gordon, in a comprehensive report, "was trying to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins from Um El Hir in the South Hebron region. These Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for almost 42 years; they still live without electricity, running water and other basic services and are continuously harassed by Jewish settlers and the military - two groups that have united to expropriate Palestinian land and that clearly have received the government's blessing to do so."
You can watch if you need to know more in this video:
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or you can read more about Nawi from David Shulman.
Nawi's friends, who include the well known activists cited above, have launched a campaign to generate tens of thousands of letters to Israeli embassies all over the world before he is due to be sentenced in July. They've asked for our help.
Click HERE to join the campaign. One click is all that is necessary. Thanks.