What would you do if soldiers came to take your land away? Would you be brave enough to stand up to them, with your family in harm’s way? What if a soldier pointed a gun at your daughter? Would you be able to push it away, and not pick up a gun yourself?

Perhaps if you had the courage of Abdallah Abu Rahmah. And yet, his courage is not unique. It is shared by the great majority of Palestinians, who commit larger and smaller actions of nonviolent resistance to the occupation with dignity and steadfast determination every day of their lives.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah helped to organize that resistance into weekly protests, capturing the attention of the world. He has hosted a group of Nobel Laureates and other international leaders known as The Elders, pictured here paying their respects to Abdallah’s cousin, Bassem, who was killed by the Israeli army last year in one of these protests.

The Israeli authorities want to make an example out of Abdallah. In August, he was unfairly convicted of organizing illegal marches and of incitement and now awaits sentencing. The prosecution has demanded that Abu Rahmah be sent to prison for a period exceeding two years, stating that a harsh sentence is required to serve as deterrence to others who may follow in his footsteps.

We follow in his footsteps, as do many others. Across the globe thousands of people have written and called their governments with a simple message: Abdallah Abu Rahmah has committed no crime, and we demand his freedom!

We who draw inspiration from his actions must speak now. Now is the time to raise our voices and ensure that Abdallah Abu Rahmah is free to organize and advocate for the rights of his community. We stand with Abdallah.

Israel must realize that leaders like Abdallah offer the best hope for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. We need to tell our governments to use their influence with Israel to free Abdallah Abu Rahmah.

In solidarity,
Jesse Bacon,
Jewish Voice for Peace

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