Video: Meet the brave shoemaker who filmed Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian

Activism
on 23 Comments

Update: Jewish Voice for Peace has issued an appeal to protect Imad Abu Shamsiya, titled, “He filmed a killing. Now he’s in danger.”

As anyone who comes to our site knows, a shocking video was published last Thursday showing an Israeli soldier executing a wounded Palestinian youth as he lay immobile on the street in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood.

The video was shot by Imad Abu Shamsiya, who lives behind a wall of barbed wire in that neighborhood. As his video ricochets around the world, Abu Shamsiya is facing death threats, law suits and political pressure over his video. And it’s not the first time he’s come under assault. Jewish settlers want this brave shoemaker and other Palestinians to move out so they can take over his home.

Two months ago Adam Horowitz and I interviewed Abu Shamsiya with the help of Badia Dwaik of Human Rights Defenders, who works closely with Shamsiya.

Abu Shamsiya described conditions in his neighborhood reminiscent to me of the Warsaw Ghetto: a numbers system by which he must enter the neighborhood at this checkpoint near his house. “To get into his house, he has a number. He’s not a name he’s a number now.” Abu Shamsiyah’s number is 242, he says in the video below.

And in the interview that follows, you can see Abu Shamsiya working at his sewing machine on shoes, and describing why he resists the occupation and refuses to leave his house. “Every human being has a right to defend his living.” Staying in his home is a national duty, he says.

“My home is the address of my homeland,” Abu Shamsiya says. The only thing that will stop the settlers– who come from other countries to his neighborhood– is resistance and steadfastness. Unfortunately, the U.S. gives total support to the Israeli occupation, he says. The U.S. claims to support democracy in many Arab countries, except for Palestine.

I ask him at 6:00 if he ever loses hope:

As Palestinians we never lose the hope to liberate our country. We learn this from our fathers and grandfathers, and this is also what we teach our children. That hope always is existing. Because we have a right to live on our land.

 

As you watch these videos, reflect whether you have ever been called upon to show a fraction of the courage Abu Shamsiya exhibits every day, ask yourself whether you would be capable of such steadfastness; and then remember the brave Jews who resisted their persecutors in the Warsaw Ghetto 70 years ago.

To see the barbed wire that surrounds Abu Shamsiya’s home, look at this video.

23 Responses

  1. Dan Walsh
    March 28, 2016, 12:33 pm

    Mr. Abu Shamsiya is referring to the Palestinian revolutionary principle of “sumud” (Arabic: Steadfastness/determination)

    “As Palestinians we never lose the hope to liberate our country. We learn this from our fathers and grandfathers, and this is also what we teach our children. That hope always is existing. Because we have a right to live on our land.”

    His statement is reflected in innumerable historic Palestine posters dedicated to the principle of sumud some of which may be viewed here:

    link to palestineposterproject.org

    link to palestineposterproject.org

    link to palestineposterproject.org

    link to palestineposterproject.org

    link to palestineposterproject.org

    Hasbara Preemption Coda:

    Of course, in the American Zionist discourse all these posters are “antisemitic” and have nothing to do with legitimate Palestinian resistance to tyranny, totalitarianism and occupation. They have only to do with the “deligitimization” of Israel and nothing to do with exposing/confronting the pathologies of Zionism.

  2. chocopie
    March 28, 2016, 12:47 pm

    He’s amazingly brave.

  3. amigo
    March 28, 2016, 1:32 pm

    This man is worth any 10,000 zionists . Is counting zionists allowed??.

    Jon s might like to chime in.

    • chocopie
      March 29, 2016, 12:56 pm

      The Zionists will only come onto this thread to distract or re-direct. Courage makes them panicky.

  4. HarryLaw
    March 28, 2016, 2:55 pm

    This brave man said “The U.S. claims to support democracy in many Arab countries, except for Palestine” He is wrong, the US supports the most despotic regimes in the region including Saudi Arabia and other GCC satraps. This film by ITV gives a glimpse at one of the major US allies in the region Saudi Arabia. link to youtube.com

    • Egbert
      March 29, 2016, 4:10 pm

      To paraphrase South Park “And it’s gone” – the video, that is.

      Removed by YouTube because of a copyright claim by ‘Hardcash Productions Ltd”

  5. gamal
    March 28, 2016, 4:02 pm

    “He is wrong”

    ““The U.S. claims to support democracy in many Arab countries”

    you are saying the US does not claim to support democracy in many Arab countries?

    A Palestinian is going to know the reality, but he’s is addressing the absence of even a pretense of support for democracy, I think he has a point, Arabs are acutely aware of the reality of American policy, they experience it directly.

  6. a blah chick
    March 28, 2016, 6:27 pm

    One has to compare his bravery with that of the medic who shot a patient.

  7. Neil Schipper
    March 29, 2016, 3:04 am

    Arab, grew up under Saddam, lived through U.S. invasion and sectarian violence.

    Opposes Western leftist grievance mongering and incessant wailing about American capitalism and American foreign policy and Zionism.

    Opposes Western leftist apologetics for Islamism (like at Mondoweiss, where nary a word is spoken about the Islamist incitement behind these suicide stabbers).

    Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, progressive activist, who engages and networks with other Arabs hungry for honest conversations about Arab society and politics, secularism and overcoming sectarianism.

    Does not believe Arabs are too dumb for such conversations.

    Understands it’s a long game.

    Warsaw ghetto, my ass.

    • Neil Schipper
      March 29, 2016, 5:28 am

      Fixed link: link to youtu.be

    • chocopie
      March 29, 2016, 10:58 am

      Off topic. Your post should be removed.

      • Mooser
        March 29, 2016, 11:41 am

        “Off topic. Your post should be removed.”

        “chocopie”, why on earth should the Mods at Mondo do “Neil Schipper” any favors?
        If this is how he wishes to present himself, Jews, and Zionism, why stop him?

      • Conorcusack
        March 29, 2016, 12:39 pm

        Agree with Mooser. He does Israel no favours with this type of comment.

  8. HarryLaw
    March 29, 2016, 6:27 am

    gamal..”you are saying the US does not claim to support democracy in many Arab countries?”
    Whatever the US ‘claims’ is one thing, the reality is another as Abu Shamsiya is well aware as are most Palestinians who voted for the victory of Hamas in the last Palestinian election [deemed fair by most observers] until the US/Israel overturned the election results. equally the US does not recognize the 2014 Syrian election results because Assad won over 80% of the vote, also not happy when Hezbollah and allies win elections in Lebanon, but go quietly when the democratically elected President of Egypt Morsi is overthrown. The theory being that General Sisi maybe a SOB but he is our [US/Israel’s] SOB. Sorry all this is slightly off topic since the important thing is the safety of Abu Shamsiya who has been threatened by the IDF [when interviewed], and who should be protecting him from the braying scum surrounding his home and threatening him with violence.

    • El Cazador
      March 29, 2016, 9:15 am

      Your comment was appropriate and not wrong, but the readers missed your actual references to the US’ lying geopolitical support policies and other scams only the empires could be guilty of and get away with… Thanks for pointing them out!

  9. Ossinev
    March 29, 2016, 9:49 am

    @ a blah chick
    “One has to compare his bravery with that of the medic who shot a patient”.

    Remember that IDF medics are not required to take a Hippocratic oath. They are however required to take a Hypocritic oath.

    • amigo
      March 29, 2016, 11:44 am

      “Remember that IDF medics are not required to take a Hippocratic oath. They are however required to take a Hypocritic oath.” Ossinev

      Shouldn,t that be , an oath of hypocracy. A Hypocritic Oath is a contradiction in terms , ???.

      In any event , any oath taken by a zionist is pure hypocracy .

  10. Elizabeth Block
    March 29, 2016, 11:55 am

    I’ve just been in Hebron, and I just may have seen him, in the souk — there is a cobbler there, working on an old, sturdy, industrial metal sewing machine.
    We met people like him who are resisting the occupation. They all have incredible courage, and no, I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s not fair that in order to live what amounts to an ordinary life, you have to have extraordinary courage.

    As for the US, they claim to promote democracy, and the American people probably believe they do. But anytime it actually pops up, they crush it if they can. See what Emma Sky has to say (“The Unravelling”) about the election in Iraq, where the Iraqis definitively showed they wanted Maliki out, but the US wanted a strongman, so he stayed in.

  11. Conorcusack
    March 29, 2016, 12:19 pm

    Dear Mondoweiss

    I’m not sure this extra publicity on this poor man is helpful at all considering the threats against him!

    Perhaps you can create some sort of action to help ensure his safety too?

  12. Ossinev
    March 29, 2016, 1:00 pm

    @amigo
    “Shouldn,t that be , an oath of hypocracy. A Hypocritic Oath is a contradiction in terms , ???. ”

    Read it again my friend.

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