Posts Tagged ‘Bassam Aramin’
(plain text follows embeded flyer)
A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE OF
“BASSAM – A Story of Hope”
by IDAN MEIR
Translated from the Hebrew by DANIEL WADE
Produced and Directed by
SUNDAY 12TH JULY 2009
16:00 AND 19:30
26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT
TICKETS FROM £15.00 AT THE DOOR
To reserve a SEAT please call
0207 387 6617
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND
DONATIONS TO THE FUND ENABLING BASSAM TO TAKE UP HIS MA STUDIES PLACE
should be sent to:
d 9126 Aramin Scholarship
University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford. BD7 1DP
Bassam Aramin’s 10 year old daughter Abir was killed outside her school on January 16th 2007. Despite this appalling tragedy, Bassam has steadfastly and publicly maintained his belief in non-violence as the way to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is co-founder of Combatants For Peace bringing former fighters from both sides to promote this message; he coordinates sports in the West Bank for the Peres Centre for Peace; he is President of Al-Quds Democracy & Dialogue.
“BASSAM – A Story of Peace” was originally performed to acclaim at the Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv.
All proceeds from the UK performances will go to the Scholarship Fund to enable Bassam to improve his knowledge and skills as a professional in conflict resolution. If you can’t make the performance, please make a donation.
In an interview with Haaretz only days after Abir’s death Bassam said: “I’m not going to exploit the blood of my child for political purposes… I’m not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I’ve lost my heart, my child. I will continue to fight in order to protect her siblings and her classmates, her girlfriends, both Palestinians and Israelis. They are all our children.”
Bassam Aramin is my personal hero and friend. A man I admire, a symbol of hope and an icon of the human spirit. For years Bassam has been campaining with the same unyielding passion and commitment for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for a just and honest enquiry into the death of his 10 year old daughter. Come and support him, and be inspired by his story.
Neta Osnat says:
The last days of the year 2008 are filled with blood tear in Gaza and in the south of Israel. These bloody times are a reminder to us all of how endless and vicious the cycle of violence is.
As Combatants for Peace we are sending our sincere regrets to all the people who have been hurt on both sides, and call all parties to cease the fire and look for a peaceful resolution through dialogue, instead of violence.
Please eco our voice, let other people know there is an alternative to the madness and that there are many who still support our way and believe in peace both in Palestine and in Israel.
For updates on our activities and in order to support us by donations, visit our website at: www.combatantsforpeace.org
Democracy Now interviews Yonatan Shapira and Bassam Aramin (22 January 2008)
And two days ago:
Some of you may remember the amazing talk Bassam Aramin gave at the goodenough college a few months ago. Bassam is now registered for peace studies at Bradford University, but since he missed the scholarship deadline, he needs help from private donations.
Bassam Aramin has been accepted to the University of Bradford’s Peace Studies Program and plans to attend in Sep, 2009! This is an especially important opportunity for the thoughtful co-founder of Combatants for Peace and his family, struggling to find a way to survive with the loss of their daughter and sister, 10 year old Abir Aramin.
We ask your help to raise the $73,875 (£37,500 – see attached budget) to bring Bassam Aramin and his family of seven to Bradford, England in time for the children to start school on Sep. 1 2009. The fund is administered directly by the University of Bradford, without fee so and 100% of donations will go to meet the family’s needs. Our committee, friends of the Aramin Family, is working with the University of Bradford to spread the word.
To donate, please mark the following reference number: “d9126 Aramin Scholarship” in the memo field of your check and send it to:
Maxine Daglan-Smith, Finance Department
University of Bradford
Bradford, BD7 1DP Great Britain
If you wish to donate by credit card please telephone the University of Bradford cashier’s office at 44-(0)1274-233123 to give your credit card number over the phone. Be sure to state it is for the “d9126 Aramin Scholarship Fund.”
This story came from my friend Bassam. His 14 year old son, Arab, went with his friends on a trip to Tiberias. It ended with long hours of abuse and humilation. The story has been published on karmalised and mepeace.org, and commented on by velveteenrabbi. I still choose to bring it here, unedited.
I cried when I read Arab’s story. I cried for his pain, I cried out of shame for the soldiers who pretend to represent me, and in the end I cried out of admiration for his courage. I think he, at the age of 14, is more of a man than a platoon of “national security” brutes together. I wish every child in Israel will hear his story.
(If someone can translate to Hebrew, please email me, I’ll post it here)
The Palestinian Bar-Mitzvah
By Bassam Aramin
Translated from the Arabic by Miriam Asnes
My son Arab is 14, just past the age that his Jewish Israeli peers are celebrating their bar mitzvahs. This ceremony in Jewish culture is a rite of passage that marks a boy’s entrance into the realities and responsibilities of adulthood. And last week, my son experienced something akin to the Palestinian bar-mitzvah.
It was a beautiful day on Friday the 12th of July when Arab went with his friends to the beach in Tiberias. He spent all of his time in the days leading up to the trip trying to convince me that I should let him go. At first I refused—he’s young to be traveling so far in a group without his parents. But then I remembered the
regret I still feel about the death of my daughter Abir.
Abir was ten when she was killed by the Israeli Occupation Force on January 16^th , 2007 in front of her school in Anata. That morning, when she asked her mother and me for permission to play with her friends after school, I’d refused. I told her, “Don’t even think of coming home late, come back right away so you can prepare for your
next exam.” And she answered me with the last words I ever heard from her, petulant and innocent. “Well, I’m /going/ to be late.” She was angry with me. She was late that day, but not because she met her friends. A bullet from an Israeli border patrolman found her instead, and she never came back. I regret having refused her request, not knowing that it would be her last—that she would be late despite me and despite herself.
When I saw how much Arab wanted to go, I thought of Abir and gave my permission with the condition that he look after himself and be in constant phone contact with me.
Arab and his friends Rafet, Saleh and Mohammad got themselves ready for a day at the beach, and the bus set out at 7am. There were about 45 passengers: Arab and nine of his peers, who range in age from 14 to 17; the rest were families and children and a group of girls Arab’s age, all legal residents of Israel with East Jerusalem IDs. I was pleased with how happy Arab was during the each time he called to check in. Arab loved Abir fiercely, and her death was an awful blow especially to him, the oldest of her siblings. I was so glad to hear joy in his voice again.
At 11pm Arab called me and said they had almost made it back and he’d be home in half an hour. But 11:30 came and went. At exactly 12am I called him, angry that he was late. He answered in a hushed voice with words that chilled me.
“There are a lot of soldiers here. The police stopped the bus, we don’t know why, and we’re in Jerusalem —the soldier is asking us not to talk on the phone, I’ll call back later.” And he hung up the phone. I didn’t know why they went all the way into Jerusalem proper and where exactly they were in the city, and I was in this terrible state of not knowing what was happening to my son, trying to call him and getting no answer until an hour and a half later
when he answered the phone and said quickly, “we are now in the Israeli police station, they’ve detained everyone from the bus, they are checking us all and I am not allowed to talk to you now and they’ll let us go soon”—and again he hung up.
There are no words for the state I was in during those hours, waiting for his next call and dreading it would not come. Then at 2:30am he called again to say that they were at the Maskubiyah detention center in Jerusalem . I asked him why they were being detained, and he said he did not know. I told him, “Go up to the solider and tell him, you have to talk to my father, he does not know where I am.”
He replied that he was scared to do so, they’d already beaten many of the kids there because they had talked and talking was not allowed. “But I trust you, Dad.”
I told him he was brave, and that he shouldn’t be scared of the soldier. “Talk to him in Hebrew,” I said. I made sure to teach all my children Hebrew from a young age. I could hear Arab go up to the soldier and tell him, “Please, can you talk to my father?” But the solider told him to shut his mouth and hang up the phone.
“If your father wants to see you tell him to come here,” he said.
I was beside myself. I yelled in my loudest voice, “You murderers! Where is my son? Do you want to kill him as you killed his sister a year ago?” I told Arab to turn on the speakerphone so the soldier could hear what I was saying, but he had a better eye on the situation and said to me, “Dad, don’t be afraid. I am okay. They are going to let us go in a bit like they said, I’ll talk with you soon.” And he hung up.
At exactly 3am the Israeli Occupying Forces let the group go, and I waited on pins and needles until 3:40am for Arab to come home. He was exhausted, so I told him to please go to sleep and we could talk in the morning. The most important thing was that he was okay.
The next day I returned from work in the evening to find Arab and Rafet in the house, and I heard what had happened.
In the industrial neighborhood of Wad Al-Joz in Jerusalem , a group of Israeli special forces troops on motorcycles along with police and army reinforcements were stationed on the path the bus from Tiberias was taking to get its passengers, all legal residents of Israel , home. They demanded that the driver stop immediately. One of the soldiers got on the bus and said, “Anyone who moves his head, I’ll put a bullet in it.” Arab said to me, “At that moment all I could think of was Abir, who really /was/ shot in the head by a bullet.”
The soldier continued, “We are from national security.” He then told the young men, about ten of them, to begin taking off their clothes in the bus, in front of the women and girls. Then he took them out one by one and had them lie down on the filthy street, littered with stones and pieces of glass. They began with Ahmed, who was 16 years old. Then all the young men had to strip and get out of the bus and lie on the ground. One of them was injured in
the stomach by a piece of glass. Arab asked me, “How can they ask the men to undress in front of the women? They don’t have morals!”
I asked him, “Do you think they perhaps have at least some basic morals?”
His answer was definitive: “None at all.” I explained to him that humiliation by forced nakedness didn’t just happen to his friends: it is a longstanding problem in the Israeli military. When we were in their prisons without any way to defend ourselves, our guards would take sadistic pleasure in seeing us naked, in humiliating us.
Arab, the youngest of the boys, stayed in the bus with the women and children. Then one of the female soldiers got on the bus and called out to another soldier who he couldn’t see, “Avichai, come bring the dog.”
Arab said, “At first I thought that Avichai was Avichai Sharon,” my friend and colleague in Combatants For Peace who also is a part of the partner organization Breaking the Silence, an organization that publicizes the barbaric and criminal practices of the Israeli Occupying Forces in Hebron. Arab wasn’t so scared of the idea of a military dog because he thought that the Avichai that he knew would be its master. But then he saw that this Avichai was not our
friend, and he didn’t resemble him in any manner except his first name. This soldier would let out the dog’s leash in the direction of women and children and then pull him back at the last second. He looked pleased with himself when the leader of the trip, Um Shams, fainted, and he also smiled when two children, ages 4 and 5, urinated out of fear and terror. The soldiers checked everyone, even taking off the diaper of a baby who was under one year old. “They’re even afraid of our unweaned babies,” said Arab in amazement. “They cursed us with all the ugly expressions and slurs they could think of. One of them said that all Arabs are trash—they are racist!” All the passengers on the bus had the absolute legal right as residents of East Jerusalem to travel anywhere within
Israel that they please.
I told my son, “Some of them are, but not every Jewish Israeli is like that. There are a few who aren’t affected by this racism, but nevertheless it colors Israeli society. It’s no wonder that the United Nations determined that Zionism was a racist movement over 30 years ago.” True, that decision was overturned, but the racism has
remained deeply ingrained. Most don’t consider the continual discrimination against Palestinians, be they residents of the West Bank and Gaza , residents of East Jerusalem , or Israeli citizens to be racism. They try to spin it as necessary “for ongoing security reasons.” But at least some people in Israeli society see the shameful truth as it is, without attempting to whitewash it. And they are not alone. Recently a delegation of human rights activists, lawyers and judges from South Africa , a country which suffered under the yoke of Apartheid, visited our region. They declared that what they saw in Israel was more than just racial segregation—it was government-sponsored racism, discriminatory policies against Palestinians.
Arab kept asking me why the Israeli soldiers were doing what they were doing to the Palestinians. At one point I thought he was about to explode in anger. And then his voice changed, and he said something very unexpected. “I wish that you had been there with us, Dad. I’m sure you would have taught them a lesson, and spared all of us that indignity. You would have spoken to them in Hebrew and made them understand that they were wrong, like you always do with soldiers at checkpoints, like when that soldier yelled at us at the Wad al-Nar checkpoint when we were going to visit the Galilee . Then, you spoke with him and he ended up apologizing to you and wishing that we could all live together in peace.”
Then he said something even more surprising. “I want you to take me with you when you go to one of your lectures in Israel so I can tell the Israelis about the practices of their soldiers on that night.” I asked him if he was serious—Arab has always questioned my willingness to talk with the other side and sit down with Israelis
in forums like those Combatants for Peace provides. But he insisted, saying, “They have to know what happened so the parents of those soldiers can forbid their children to act that way towards women and children again.”
The final indignity of that Friday night was when Saleh, Arab’s friend, had to go to the bathroom and asked many times if he could get up from his prone position on the asphalt to go relieve himself. Avichai refused his request each time. Saleh talked quietly with Rafet, who has a limited range of motion in his hand and left foot, and they decided that Rafet would ask if /he /could go and Saleh could volunteer to help him. At last Avichai gave his permission to let Rafet go to the bathroom on the condition that Saleh would not relieve himself. Saleh did not know this protector of the security of the State of Israel was following them on their base errand until he was squatting in the middle of his “terrorist operation,” trying to relieve himself, and Avichai began using his hands and feet to hit him across the face and head as a lesson to others as to what happens when you fail to carry out a military order. Let me remind you, Saleh and Rafet are legal residents of the State of Israel.
What happened is deeply embarrassing and shameful, but it is the truth. I asked Arab, “Did they apologize to you when they finally let you go?”
He said, “Sure they did. They said to us, ‘Looks like you were naked on the beach in Tiberias by day, and naked on the “beach” of Wad al-Joz by night. Now scram.’” He repeated these words to me with an ironic expression on his face that I have never seen before. And I thought, with an equal measure of irony, “Today, he is a man.”
Bassam sent me this letter a few days ago. I thought its should be shared. I can’t say I agree with every word, or with every tone, but I think Bassam deserves an answer. More than that – he deserves justice.
An open letter to the Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak
by Bassam Aramin, co-founder of the movement “Combatants for Peace”
translation by Mimi Asnes
Honorable General Ehud Barak, you don’t know me personally. I am a seeker of peace, and I struggle with all my strength and ability for the realization of a just peace that will bring calm and prosperity to Palestinians and Israelis together. I have suffered personally from your criminal occupation and I have paid a heavy price. Firstly, I was imprisoned when I was 17 years old and wasted seven years of my life in your barbaric prisons. Secondly, have you perhaps read or heard about what happened to the young girl Abir Aramin? She was a ten-year-old that your soldiers killed with a rubber bullet from a distance of 15 feet on January 16th, 2007 in front of her eleven-year-old sister Areen. Despite this I, the father of Abir—may she rest in peace—believe in the right of the Israeli person, as in the right of all people, to exist and to live in peace and security. So why do you not believe in our right to enjoy these same things, sir?
Where was the democratic nature of your state when your heroic soldiers killed my daughter before the eyes of her friends at the entrance to her school in Anata? Where were your democratic ideals when you closed the investigation file into Abir’s murder for lack of sufficient evidence, this despite the fact that the crime is clear and was committed in front of more than ten witnesses? Was Abir really a threat to your soliders, sir?
I carry on, in my possession the weapons with which Abir threatened those soldiers. I have in my hand her school backpack, reinforced and armored, of course—the mechanical pencil she had, laden with dangerous lead cartridges, and her math book in which class she had a test the same day, which of course included detailed instructions on how to prepare chemical weapons. In addition to all this, she had a sharp ruler, which could for sure be used as a weapon to stab someone. Lastly, I found in her possession two pieces of chocolate that perhaps contained a bit of enriched uranium that would have certainly brought devastation upon your state, if she hadn’t been tempted to take them in her hand for a taste seconds before she was shot.
Here I have to give your soldiers credit in their incredible ability to incapacitate and kill with such deadly accuracy. The bullet hit Abir exactly one centimeter from her hypothalamus—this caused her to immediately enter a coma and she died thereafter and went to dwell in the presence of God, sparing her the continuing pain and heartache herein expressed.
Thus, Abir Aramin can be added to the list of great successes and security accomplishments in the name of the State of Israel. But I request, Minister and General, in that I am the father of this young girl, at the very least an admission of responsibility for this murder, or its cause. It is your duty to bring the soldier who murdered Abir to court so he may be tried and judged a murderer and criminal.
I believe that there is no military solution to the conflict and when those cowards murdered my daughter, I announced that I did not want revenge, I wanted justice, even though revenge is much easier. The real fighter is one who chooses the harder path of the two for the sake of peace, and revenge is the path of the coward.
Sir, the Palestinian people cannot forever pay the price of the fear and suspicion of the Israeli people. Free my people from this abominable occupation so that your people may live in prosperity and be free from fear.
For sixty years, the Palestinian people has paid the price of the Israeli military occupation an occupation which, in celebration of the Israeli state’s inception, carries out acts of outright antagonism that spill the blood of Palestinian fighters, women, children and elders indiscriminately. It is the Palestinian general public that provides a target for your war machine that does not protect the small from the grown. Our people has faced the same murderer since Gaza in 1956—and the never-ending series continues.
I will not remind you now of the massacres that your government committed against my people; you know them far better than I. I read about them, heard about them—but you took part in them.
The question I pose to you is this: in light of your rich military experience, and as someone who himself has seen sixty years of conflict go by, when will Israel have the strength to finish the conflict militarily and realize a complete victory over the Palestinian people? Do you continue to believe that what cannot be done by might may be done by more might? Does the occupation conceal in its bag of tricks additional methods of killing that the Palestinian people have not yet had the misfortune to know?
If this is the case, perhaps it is a good idea for the Israeli government to try and use those methods. And perhaps they will be able to accomplish that tantalizingly complete victory…in another 60 years.
Sir, when will you understand that the conflict between us cannot be ended with an army? For despite all the effort and conceit of the occupation, it could not stop the stones of our children from hitting your occupying soldiers. How will you be able to stop the Palestinian uprising? This is a dream that will never come true, even in another 1000 years. Why are you not telling this truth to the residents of Ashkelon and Sderot, that there is no solution that will stop the Qassam missiles flying at them from a destroyed and blockaded Gaza except if there would be an end to the occupation?
This is the truth you’ve been running from for a long time.
Believe me, sir, that you will gain nothing out of continuing to detain people. More than 750,000 Palestinians have been detained from 1967 until today. What result has been achieved except an increased determination on our part for confrontation and resistance?
The policy of occupation only creates more and more people who rise up to fight occupation and refuse to accept its burden. The Palestinian prisoners who sit in your jails are among the most learned and erudite of our people, those are the most sensitive and humanistic. They have become educated in the tradition of liberty and democracy—and for this reason they will never agree to accept the occupation and subjugation. It is these men and women who will fight for peace, and if you want to realize peace you have no option but to set free these soldiers of peace first and foremost.
How much have you really benefited from your strategy of home demolitions, uprooting of trees, confiscating lands for questionable reasons and then establishing illegal settlements on those same lands? How much has it helped you to set up disgraceful checkpoints in every corner and every road of the West Bank and Gaza and at each intersection for the purpose of humiliating the residents of those areas, among them workers, students and political leaders. What is the expediency of all this, sir?
When will the bloodthirsty bullets of your soldiers be sated from the blood of our children? When will you be satisfied with our blood that you have already spilled and leave us? When will you leave our waters and our heavens? Do you not see the helmets upon which your soldiers write, “I was born to kill”? Do you not see your brave men killing children every day? How can you decide to prevent the people of Gaza from acquiring cooking gas and at the same time send them teargas and tanks and warplanes?
Only now do I understand the will of an Israeli woman in Italy—my colleague Eidan and I met her when we participated in a peace march from Perugia to Assissi as representatives of Combatants for Peace. When I asked her, “You aren’t planning to return to Israel?” She answered me: “I swore that if Ehud Barak won the election, I will leave Israel forever.” She continues to live there because you act according to a policy that says there is no Palestinian partner.
I cannot begin to express in this short letter the enormity of the moral failures that have harmed Israeli society. The newspaper “Yediot Ahronot” said that 40% of new recruits to the IDF have criminal files and this may go a long way in explaining the long list of acts against Palestinian civilians that they commit during their service. This is supposed to be the most distinguished, moral army in the entire world, no? Is this why we find that 25% of the soldiers of the army of the occupation took part in instances of torture and punishment of innocent civilians or were witnesses to such acts?
Sir, I want to submit that I have read the shameful report that says that every man of conscience would be horrified by, that talks of the torture of children in Hebron. And this—the strangling of Palestinian children by soldiers to test how much time they can stand without breathing, incidents that were committed by captains in your army, the most moral army in the world–this is the crown of shame on the brow of the occupation.
Sir, how do you justify your soldier’s use of children aged 10 as personal shields that they tie to the front of your patrols when they search for wanted persons or break up a demonstration? Where does international law permit this? I am trying to understand if this use of children as human shields is in some way related to the science of modern warfare, for the accusation that I hear in all instances of the killing of children in particular and in the killing of Palestinian citizens in general is that the Palestinians fighters use citizens for human shields to hide behind. How can there be a legal justification and distinction even in the Israeli terminology, but not in the international terminology, between Israelis and Palestinians?
How can you justify the deaths of those innocents just trying to peacefully pass though the checkpoints that your soldiers put up at all entrances to villages, cities or camps that prevent pregnant women from walking to hospitals to deliver? Would you ever agree to let this happen to your wife? What would you do then?
There are, however, military men, Israeli soldiers that used to do battle with the Palestinian people who at the moment of truth found that they are no more than pawns in the hands of the occupation. They had the courage and the valor to announce unanimously that they refuse to be occupiers. They exposed the falsehoods of their leaders who claim that Israel is reaching out her hand for peace but she has no partner on the Palestinian side. They discovered that they had never met a real Palestinian fighter face-to-face in combat, and that instead their day-to-day work was chasing schoolchildren, enforcing closures, destroying houses and putting up checkpoints and roadblocks to stop children who aren’t even 13 years old. They took a moral and courageous stance and without any difficulty found themselves a Palestinian partner from within the heart of the Palestinian movement, people who wasted the spring of their youth in the prisons of your occupation. Together they founded the organization Combatants for Peace. The name itself exposes the false promises and the policy that says there is no partner for peace. This organization, united in courageousness and and morality, is made up of people from both sides who understand that there is only one shared enemy that conceals the path of realization of peace and life together as two nations. This enemy is the illegal and immoral Israeli occupation. I am a member of this organization, and I call upon all who are searching for a true peace to join us.
We tell our peoples the truth, only the truth. We are committed to nonviolent resistance to the occupation, and I call here, in this very missive, to the people of our Palestinian nation that has been written in the pages of history as the epitome of resilience, that has had the humanity to withstand decades of abuse and occupation with the purest steadfastness. I call also upon the people in Israel to accept moral and historic responsibility for the establishment of these two states together, and for a national, humanistic, peaceful intifada, a rising up against this unjust occupation that has transformed your children into war criminals and to abject murderers. You Israelis—stop sending your soldiers—your sons—to kill our children, because the blood of our children and the blood of all those Palestinian innocents will chase your soldiers and the generals of your army to judgment in international courts as the rest of the war criminals in the world. You must learn this lesson. The honorable general must surely be aware that the majority of captains and generals in the Israeli army are forbidden from entering any European state for they will be wanted persons there, to be arrested and taken to court as war criminals and for crimes against humanity?
One last word – the blood of Abir will remain as a black crown on the brow of every Israeli and every Jew in the world until her murderer is brought to justice and passes the remainder of his days in jail, among the murderers and the criminals.
Co-founder of Combatants for Peace
Bassam will be speaking at the Goodenough college on Monday. If you want to come, drop me a line.
Bassam Aramin is co-founder of Combatants for Peace, a movement of Palestinians and Israelis who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence and have decided to put down their guns, and to fight for peace together. Bassam’s determination was tested in 2007 when his 10 year old daughter, Abir, was killed by the Israeli border police on her way home from school. With the help of supporters from across the world, Bassam’s friends have built a garden in her memory.
Bassam grew up in Seir, near Hebron. He spent seven years in Israeli prisons. Since his marriage, he has been living in Anata, between Ramallah and Jerusalem. He works at the Palestinian National Archive Center in Ramallah.
A documentary about combatants for peace, featuring Bassam Aramin and Yonathan Shapira, was one of the highlights of the Pangea day event last Saturday:
Bassam Aramin was a co-founder with Yonathan Shapera of Combatants for Peace.
He had spent many years in an Israel prison for his involvement with Palestinian
militancy, but came to the conclusion that engagement and dialogue are the only way
forward. Following the founding of Combatants for Peace, his new beliefs were sorely
tried by the killing of his 10 year old daughter, Abir, by the Israeli border police on
her way home from school and by the Israeli authorities refusal to investigate her
death properly. Combatants for Peace and local people are making a garden in her
name next to the school, supported by Jewish Groups across the world. A new play
featuring Bassam’s lifestory was performed in Jaffa recently, by well known Israeli actors.
Raed Al Mickawi is a compelling speaker who weaves his own personal story of growing
up Bedouin in the Negev with the larger civil and human rights issues facing Bedouin and
Arab people living in Israel—20% of the overall population. Learn more about the
“unrecognized” villages, the relationship between the situation of Palestinians inside and
outside the Green Line, and environmental and social policy towards Bedouin people.
Hear about BUSTAN’s role in building a sustainable, just future for ALL residents of the
Negev through small-scale, grassroots projects that advocate for human rights, cultural
preservation, and sustainable land use and development.
If hope, courage and determination have a face, it is the face of Bassam and Raed.