Prominent actors, musicians, and authors demand Ahed Tamimi’s release

Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Cornel West, Angela Davis and others sign letter demanding Israel release the 17-year-old Palestinian from custody. 

By +972 Magazine Staff

Ahed Tamimi in the Ofer prison military court. December 20, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)
Ahed Tamimi in the Ofer prison military court. December 20, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

Dozens of major American actors, athletes, musicians, scholars, and political figures signed a statement published Monday by American human rights group, Dream Defenders, calling for the release of Ahed Tamimi. Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was arrested in December following the publication of a video showing her pushing and slapping armed Israeli soldiers on the porch of her family’s home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Tamimi is set to appear before an Israeli military court on Tuesday, after being indicted on charges of assault and incitement, which could potentially land her in prison for several years. She has been in Israeli custody since her arrest.

Signatories of the letter, titled “Dream Defenders & Allies Stand with Ahed Tamimi and the Palestinian Freedom Struggle,” include Angela Davis, Jesse Williams, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Rosario Dawson, Cornel West, Talib Kweli, Marc Lamont Hill, Michelle Alexander, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Michael Bennett.

Members of Dream Defenders, a Florida-based community organizing and racial justice group, traveled to Palestine last year, where they met the Tamimi family.

The statement emphasizes the parallels between the Palestinian struggle and that of African-Americans in the United States:

ICE, border patrol and FBI train with Israeli soldiers, police, and border agents, utilizing 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.

The statement also called on U.S. lawmakers to sign a bill introduced by Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum, titled “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.”