Barakeh_on_Israeli_CP_demoProtest is growing against the legal assault on Israeli communists. In November 2009 the Israeli judicial authorities stepped up their campaign to take out Mohamad Barakeh, one of the lion's of the middle east. Send support to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Barakeh, a mathematician and long time anti-war and anti-occupation campaigner, is centre stage in the accompanying photo.  


Barakeh is unrivalled as a champion of the rights of the Palestinian people and of Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab unity. A veteran MP and chairman of the Israeli communist party, he has served as deputy speaker of the Knesset for the last seven years - the Israeli parliament - and was instrumental in lobbying for the Arial Sharon bill which led to the removal of settlers from Gaza, thus returning it to palestinian control.


The authorities have long sought to silence Barakeh and he has been the object of death threats and restrictions on his movements. Four separate charges of violence  and obstruction have been brought against him. He faces a possible jail sentence of up to five years. Most of the charges, which date back to 2005 onwards relate to his leadership of mass demonstrations against occupation, incursion and, in particular, the erection of the so called security wall. They coincide with a sharp increase in Arab-Jewish action against the extension of settlements by the Netanyahu government.


Barakeh has long been an outspoken figure in Israeli political life, widely respected for his brave and principled positions. He drew criticism from within Arab circles recently for taking part in a Knesset delegation to Auschwitz. Attempts were made by Arab reactionaries in Gaza to dissuade him from attending and from Zionists who said an Arab could not sympathise with the plight of Europe's Jews.


To Barakeh the issue was one of fascism and humanity and he fiercely defended his right to attend. On his return he expressed solidarity with those who had suffered expressing incredulity at the extent and terrible nature of genocide stating of Auschwitz, "Things take on a new meaning here...You must learn the real lesson, you must fight oppression and repression in all places and times."


Demonstrations have taken place outside the courtroom and many leading figures from a broad range of Israeli politics have stepped forward to defend him. In his defence Barakeh recently stated to the Jeruslam Post, "All the charges involve incidents that occurred during political protests and I attended them as part of my political responsibilities."


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