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High-profile actors, artists, athletes, and activists join Dream Defenders in supporting Ahed Tamimi

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Editor’s Note: Today, the civil rights organization Dream Defenders released the following open letter in support of Ahed Tamimi, who trial starts tomorrow. The signatories include prominent actors Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams, and The Practice’s LisaGay Hamilton; musicians Vic Mensa, Talib Kweli and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello; civil rights leaders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza (co-founders of Black Lives Matter), Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, and Alice Walker; political commentators Marc Lamont-Hill and Angela Rye; and Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman and super bowl champion Michael Bennett.  

On December 15th, 2017, 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi was shot in the face by an Israeli soldier while participating in an unarmed protest of Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. Just minutes later, his 16-year-old cousin Ahed rose up to protect her family’s home after two armed soldiers invaded her yard. For over 50 years, the Israeli army has stationed itself on Palestinian land in order to enforce its violent military occupation of the West Bank. Ahed stood her ground and asked the soldiers to leave. When they refused and tried to use her property as a base from which to shoot at protesters, she slapped one of them.

Ahed was arrested a few days later in the middle of the night. Her cousin Noor and her mother Nariman were also arrested. All three have been indicted by Israel’s military court, which has a 99.7% conviction rate and lacks basic fair trial protections. Ahed has been denied bail and her trial will begin February 12th. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for her release.

Dream Defenders logo

In the US, we know all too well what it’s like to be oppressed simply because you exist, because you refuse to give up your fight for freedom. Last year, a Dream Defenders delegation of artists traveled to Palestine to bear witness to life under Israel military occupation and met the Tamimi family in their village of Nabi Saleh. Songs and stories of struggle were shared, from the US to Palestine. The Tamimis spoke about their daily lives — the Israeli army patrolling and shooting into their streets as their children play, Israeli settlers stealing their water. The delegation learned that every year hundreds of Palestinian kids across the West Bank are arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers and police who kick, punch, and beat them. Torture is routinely used to get signed confessions from children, mainly on charges of stone throwing.  

While our struggles may be unique, the parallels cannot be ignored. US police, ICE, border patrol and FBI train with Israeli soldiers, police, and border agentsutilizing similar repressive profiling tactics to target and harass our communities. Too many of our children quickly learn that they may be imprisoned or killed simply for who they are. From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi – racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures.

In a bold move to protect Palestinian children like Ahed from widespread abuse by Israeli forces, Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota introduced an unprecedented bill last November entitled: Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. The bill has 22 co-sponsors and counting.

We the undersigned call on all US representatives to sign this bill and protect the lives and childhoods of Palestinian children.  

The Tamimi family stands up to Israel’s brutality because they believe Palestinians, like ALL  people, should be free. Dream Defenders stands with them and all Palestinians in their righteous struggle. Now, and always, we commit to building a more just and loving world for us all.

#FreeAhed #nowaytotreatachild

Danny Glover
Jesse Williams
Michelle Alexander
Rosario Dawson
Tom Morello
Angela Davis
Michael Bennett
Alice Walker
Vic Mensa
Talib Kweli
Angela Rye
Cornel West
Patrisse Cullors
Marc Lamont Hill
Alicia Garza
Tunde Adebimpe
Gary Clark Jr.
LisaGay Hamilton
Emory Douglas
dream hampton
Robin D.G. Kelley
B Mike
Tef Poe
Kam Franklin
Michael McBride
Jasiri X

Dream Defenders

Dream Defenders is an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing. The Dream Defenders develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power.

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27 Responses

  1. Citizen on February 12, 2018, 2:57 pm

    Good news! Let’s all spread this good news throughout the internet on every device and application we have.

  2. on February 12, 2018, 6:01 pm

    Just a few years ago I would have never thought that such public support for the Palestinians was possible. There have been some significant steps forward including this one and I only hope the Palestinians continue to work with all those who seek equality and justice for the marginalized and oppressed. Banding together under the flag of human rights will, imo, lead to real meaningful positive changes on how we see the world and each other.

  3. lonely rico on February 12, 2018, 9:03 pm

    High-profile actors, artists, athletes, and activists join Dream Defenders in supporting Ahed Tamimi

    I count 25 of them, and I salute every one of them for standing up for justice in the face of ugly racist oppression in Palestine.

    But where are the thousands of others, high profile and with a voice, who turn their gaze away, preferring not to see the cruel violence their indifference enables?

    Only 25 ? Wet dreams for jon s, Jon66, dimadok, jackdaw and the rest of the zionist bottom feeders at MW.

    To Ahed Tamimi. I stand with you and your family and pray that you and all of Palestine will soon be free.

    • Kay24 on February 13, 2018, 9:07 am

      Good question. Where ARE the others? It looks like they are still reluctant to do the right thing, by signing their names, and standing up for a young girl, who has been unjustly treated like an adult, and made to face a military court, for a crime had it been committed by a privileged Israeli kid, it would have already been dismissed and forgotten. I guess the thought of NOT getting lucrative contracts (with zionist influence) in their fields, must be making them forget about human rights. Pathetic lot.

      Israelis are vicious people, and the ugly treatment of Palestinian children, are reprehensible. So much for the only “democracy” in the ME.

      • RoHa on February 13, 2018, 6:06 pm

        Forget it, Kay. It’s Hollywood.

  4. Citizen on February 13, 2018, 5:54 am

    Remember Vanessa Redgrave’s stance supporting the Palestinians?
    Now we have Meryl Streep. Is she really ignorant of the plight of the Palestinians? Natalie Portman said Streep disparaged Israel because Streep said Portman was from Jerusalem, not Jerusalem, Israel. Streep otherwise designated the country of those she named.

  5. niass2 on February 13, 2018, 9:54 am

    Hi! You can never tell! Guess what fellow travelers, The Lockn festival in arrington, VA, I think in august, is a three day hippy festival with the band that was The Grateful Dead headlining and many other acts also performing. BIG NAMES. Toots and the Maytals etc. . If ANYONE should be helpful/understanding/very aware of I/P I would think, it would, in the old days, be them, or Jerry himself. Matisyahu is scheduled to play the third day. I freaked out and went insane and told the contacts I have in Deadland that this must not be. So, let’s get the Deads official position on this. This is a YUGE festival with lots of LSD. I am not exaggerating. I have seen over 250 Grateful Dead shows, and I know Deadheads stand for peace and justice, at least they were supposed to. There comes a time when the blind man takes your and and says, don’t you see?
    Anyone have an idea? I contacted BDS or what I found on line. I also told Bob weir (OUR DEAR LEADER) on his facebook page (which I doubt he reads) directly that if he needs to have a confrontation that I, as a lifelong deadhead, am happy to challenge their lame scheduling of Matisyahu. They can weasel out and say they have no control, but that is far from true. WE should at least make them and their promoters respond. as Jerry said: ONE WAY OR ANOTHER THIS DARKNESS GOT TO GIVE. – I am happy to start something here I know Jerry would be totally pissed. He was into “Just [performing” but there comes a time when you are directly fucking with your own values. Recall, this band PLAYED IN GIZA AT THE PYRAMIDS in 1978. Not one but THREE NIGHTS. Then they brought HamZa El Din and had him play at many of their shows. They even knew the Saudis when they were in Berkeley and I think that is how they were able to play at the pyramids. THE PYRAMIDS. Could u imagine that happening today? No u can’t.. This is important. W could haves a high time, living the good life., High. And that song is not about dope.It isn’t. Its about the depression. It was a yuge diplomatic event. This is a big yuge thing and an opportunity to make some stoned friends. Now light one up and tell me how to proceed #420 #bds #deadandcompany I told Bob we will not be silenced or stand for this. Hemay completely agree. Run and see.

    • gamal on February 13, 2018, 12:47 pm

      Hamza el din?

      …big loose white turban sweet tight black voice

      i have no address, with the Subtitles,

      “I am bird with a white heart and a thousand tongues”

  6. niass2 on February 13, 2018, 11:14 am

    FYI the primary supporter of that event is named Peter shapiro. I do not know if he is a “liberal zionist” or not. But now I am more than worried. I love the fact these people’s paths are crossing (Deadheads Versus Matisyahoo) so we can edumacate heads about this. Deadheads are not special but they might try to understand. Its a group ripe with allies and stoners. Good people. I know I/P is wrong because of the ethics this band and Mr. Garcia instilled, which I kind of used as a substitute for Judaism when I was growing up. I don’t know a lot about Judaism because when my parents brought me to Hebrew school at Brandeis, I used to hide the entire three hours in the bathroom and then head home and say all was well. I have Deadhead values, not Jewish ones. Rastafari stands alone I and I penitentiary.

  7. genesto on February 13, 2018, 12:36 pm

    Great to see Danny Glover, once again, stand strong against the Zionists which, I know, he both despises and, because of his Hollywood career, has to fear. However, I still wish he had taken up my invite to join us on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and not come up with a rather lame excuse about it interfering with some possible movie work. If he had, he would be an absolute movie God in the Arab and Muslim worlds right now.

    Oh well!

  8. on February 13, 2018, 1:53 pm

    ‘A prominent New Zealand singer who goes by the name Lorde canceled a planned tour to Israel based on her concerns about the mistreatment of the Palestinians. End of story? No. She was promptly lambasted by the usual suspects including Howard Stern and “America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach and was then punished by the Grammys ceremony in New York City on February 8th, where she was told that she would not be allowed to sing one of her own songs even though she was up for album of the year. She was the only finalist who was blocked in that fashion and no one in the media, predictably, linked the two events and recognized that she was almost certainly being punished for not performing in Israel.’

    First I’d heard of this.

    • genesto on February 13, 2018, 2:49 pm

      Piss off the Zionists, especially if you are a celebrity, and they will do everything they can to destroy you! That’s their MO – punish you so badly that you, and anyone who knows or follows you, will never think about opposing them ever again! So, anyone that continues to stand up to them, especially after they have gone after you, is a true hero in my book. Tops on the celebrity list is Roger Waters – although, with his fame and fortune, he can basically tell the ZioNazis to go f##k themselves, and he has a number of occasions already.

    • genesto on February 13, 2018, 2:50 pm

      Of course, if you are a REAL threat to their ‘mission’, they will kill you!

    • Marnie on February 14, 2018, 2:26 am

      That’s the first thing that I (and many others) thought when she wasn’t allowed to perform. However, the ‘news’ instead spun a story about the way she looked when Pink was performing and chalked it all up to sour grapes. Bullshit. She was punished, plain and simple by the right wing zionists and their enablers in the u.s. entertainment industry.

  9. inbound39 on February 13, 2018, 7:49 pm

    The main reason the court gave for blocking access to media and European Govt Reps was they say done in the best interests of Ahed. The truth is they do not want the global community to see what a farce their military courts are. It is time for the Global community to demand of their Govt Representatives that they stop making excuses and put the Israeli Military Occupation of Palestine on trial and free the Palestinians from the perpetuation and torment and torture of the callous Israeli Occupation.

    • Citizen on February 13, 2018, 10:48 pm

      Yes, both Ahed and her family expressed a desire they wanted total media access; Ahed’s lawyer made the motion, the judge turned it down, saying it wasn’t in Ahed’s best interest. LOL.

  10. Citizen on February 13, 2018, 11:15 pm

    AhedTamimi trial proves to be a spectacle for foreign journalists & diplomats as they did not speak Hebrew or Arabic: via @timesofisrael

  11. niass2 on February 14, 2018, 7:10 am

    Ok if no one really cares that Matisyahu will play to thousands of hippies and no one will know the truth, whatever. I figured it was an opportunity. Yes I probably have a lot in common with Peter Shapiro in that we have similar DNA and both love the grateful dead. Not sure what that is supposed to mean actually. If its an insult that’s fine. THESE are the people who will listen but again, as Jerry said “I GUESS IT (The Palestinian’s) Doesn’t matter anyways. If you aren’t going to engage them, NO ONE WILL. I can’t do it myself I am just one Deadhead in a sea of millions, all liberal good stoned, yes stoned people who DEFINITELY would listen. What a colossal untold story that could be told at each of their scheduled 29 shows.
    That’s only a few million people who could be leafletted etc. Who cares, right?
    Not addressing this is a huge opportunity down the drain, unless I am wrong that having Matisyahu play in front of that crowd is sacriligious. Back to some other cause if this is hopeless. Bummer. “As Jerry said, you can’t win for trying.” Sorry I bothered to get my password back and let you all know. Stupid me. BDS also didn’t write back. as us stoners say “Whatever”. again, as Jerry says “He’s Gone” and the HE is Palestine. and that is unacceptable.

    I’ll find some other cause to jump into. Goodbye and fare Thee Well. My wife and Mom won’t listen to me about this either. I figured you all would. stupid me. There is no hope if this is the case. Goodbye. How depressing is this? As if they even have a chance to get what they deserve. This is so fucked up and I give up. John Jerome Garcia is laughing at me and you saying “I told them there was no time for hate.” But they were too young too listen.

    Why did I come back on here to tell you all this. Because I care deeply and always will.

    • RoHa on February 14, 2018, 8:44 am

      But you haven’t made it clear what you would like us to do.

    • Mooser on February 14, 2018, 12:00 pm

      “Not sure what that is supposed to mean actually.”

      I’m sorry if it came out wrong. I was encouraging you to get in touch with Peter Shapiro, the concert promoter.

  12. Ossinev on February 14, 2018, 9:52 am

    “The main reason the court gave for blocking access to media and European Govt Reps was they say done in the best interests of Ahed. The truth is they do not want the global community to see what a farce their military courts are”.
    Well put. I would however go a little bit further. They can be seen and described as farcical but it must also be stressed that they are war crimes.Read the words of the late Jo Cox the UK Labour MP murdered by a far right extremist who would have been right at home amongst his fellow travellers in Zioland.

    The”judge” in the so called “trial”, one Menachem Lieberman , is in fact a Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF ! ! and with that moniker could well be a Moldovan import just like his bouncer namesake.He opined (bless his humanitarian socks):
    “I didn’t think it’s good for the minor that there are 100 people in the courtroom,”
    Having said that he presumably has no qualms about 100 IDF SS goons surrounding and breaking into Palestinian civilian homes at 0300 am seizing and taking away minors and holding them at Ziolands pleasure without charges,access to solicitors or parental access.
    Anyway it is a tragedy that we won`t be able to witness Zioland`s “Military Justice” system failing to light up nations.
    There is a saying : “The more they try to hide , the more they reveal”

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