“There is a need to revive the spirit of liberation” By Adri Nieuwhof

10 September 2019 — The Electronic Intifada

Two men standing together smilingAmeer Makhoul, right, seen with Raed Salah, a community leader among Palestinians in Israel, at a court in Haifa in August. (via Facebook)

Almost a decade ago Israeli forces raided Palestinian community leader Ameer Makhoul’s home in Haifa and arrested him.

After corresponding with Makhoul during his nine years in prison, I spoke with him recently via Skype, for his first interview since his release.

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EI: Palestinian heritage vandalized | Thomas Friedman | Ameer Makhoul on prisoner swap | And more …



Israel’s vandalism of Palestinian heritage
By Abe Hayeem, 7 November 2011
Amongst the fallout of Palestine’s admission as a member state, Israel’s warning that it “will now reconsider its cooperation with UNESCO” is the biggest irony.

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No positive evidence supporting accusations against Ameer Makhoul By Rela Mazali

11 October, 2010 — The Only Democracy?

makhoul.jpgOn May 8th, Jewish Peace News posted news of the arrest or, more precisely, abduction, of human rights defender Ameer Makhoul, “Director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations – … in the dead of night, while he and his family slept in their home in Haifa.” The arrest of this “Israeli citizen [and] … high-profile activist … [was] placed under a gag order … Israeli reporters, news outlets and even blogs” were forbidden from writing about it. On June 20th, JPN followed up with a letter from Makhoul, composed after he “had spent 3 weeks in prison without access to even pen and paper, not to speak of lawyers, family visits, due process, humane and legal conditions.”

Makhoul has been in prison for five months now. Amnesty International has described his imprisonment as: “pure harassment designed to hinder his human rights work.” His trial is viewed by many as “a message to Palestinian citizens of Israel … formulated by extreme right wing parties in the current Israeli government” that have targeted Makhoul as “a legal, legitimate, and effective voice of a politically disadvantaged group – Israel’s Palestinian Arab citizens.” This, I might add, is the same government that is now poised to demand that applicants for citizenship (predominantly Palestinian ones) take an oath of loyalty to the “Jewish and democratic” state.

Click here for further background and details on Makhoul’s abduction, detention incommunicado, and on what the Committee for the Defense of Ameer Makhoul describes as his “tortuous interrogation” – deprived of sleep and crucial medical care.

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Palestine: Harrowing Update from Family of Ameer Makhoul

27 May, 2010 — The Only Democracy?

Ameer-Makhoul.jpgAmeer Makhoul, Director of Ittijah, a coalition of Palestinian Israeli Community Organizations, was arrested three weeks ago from his home in Haifa. Makhoul was unable to see his lawyer for the first weeks of his arrest and now his lawyers and his family, having seen him, assert that he has been tortured.

Makhoul has not yet been charged with any crime, but the Israeli government is clearly paving the way for his indictment soon, and in the process using extreme, though vague, language about “security” concerns designed to repress any public questions about Makhoul’s treatment.

Seen as part of a long line, in the past year, of arrest and persecution that includes Ezra Nawi (who went to jail on Sunday for protecting a Palestininan home from destruction), the campaign against the NIF and human rights organizations in Israel, the arrests of Jamal Jum’a and Mohammed Othman, and the ongoing arrests and raids and arrests in villages like Bil’in and Ni’alin, it is clear that Israel’s strategy in the face of its human rights violations and crackdown on dissent, is to attack, persecute, and attempt to destroy those who speak out.

What follows, in its entirety, is a press statement from the family of Ameer Makhoul on his arrest and treatment, titled, “We Accuse.” Continue reading

Ittijah General Director Ameer Makhoul Arrested by Israeli Authorities

7 May, 2010 — The Only Democracy?

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Condemn Arrest as Arbitrary and Seek Immediate International Intervention

AmeerMakhoul.jpg[Ramallah, 6 May 2010] This morning at 3:10 a.m., Israeli Security Agency (GSS) agents accompanied by Israeli police raided Ameer Makhoul’s family home in Haifa and arrested him. Mr. Makhoul is a human rights defender and serves as the general director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and as the Chairman of the Public Committee for the Defense of Political Freedom in the framework of the High Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel.

The 16 ISA agents and police officers immediately separated Mr. Makhoul from his family, including wife Janan and daughters Hind, 17 and Huda, 12, and conducted an extensive search of the home. According to Janan, the police confiscated items including documents, maps, the family’s four mobile phones, Ameer and Janan’s laptops, the hard drives from the girls’ two desktop computers, a camera and a small tape recorder containing un-transcribed oral histories Janan collects as part of her work. At one point during the police search, Janan says, one officer violently restrained her, twisting her arm and pushing her when she attempted to leave the home’s living room to observe the confiscations. The security forces also refused to identify themselves and showed her a warrant authorizing Mr. Makhoul’s arrest only after she repeatedly insisted. The order was signed on 23 April 2010 and cited unsubstantiated “security” reasons as the grounds for Mr. Makhoul’s arrest.

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