Have you ever met someone on campus that you were positive would change the world?
For myself and many others, Fadi Quran, Stanford ’10, is that person. He is an empathetic soul with a passionate and powerful voice and a very real commitment to justice. He’s also got a great sense of humor- he once made me laugh so hard that milk came out of my nose!
Which is why it’s especially hard to watch the following video of Fadi being pepper-sprayed, beaten, and arrested by Israeli police during a non-violent protest in Hebron on Friday:
The Stanford Daily and The Atlantic have reported that Fadi was being detained in an Israeli prison in Moscowbya awaiting a hearing. At the hearing Monday morning, the judge decided not to release him; instead, Fadi was moved to a prison in Ofer for another hearing the next day.
At Stanford, Fadi was an active promoter and participant of campus dialogue about Israel and Palestine. Since graduating, he has been a part of other non-violent activism such as the Freedom Riders (modeled after those of the US Civil Rights movement), in which he and five other Palestinians rode buses to demand the right to travel freely. The protest in Hebron which he took part in called for Shuhadda Street, a street in West Bank closed to Palestinians, to be reopened.
The petition for Fadi’s release currently has over 2100 signatures (including Noam Chomsky’s and several Stanford professors), and the Stanford Daily has had consistent coverage, but we need to do more. Check out www.freefadi.org, sign the petition, tweet #FreeFadi, share on Facebook and in person— spread the word.
I know that people see the words Israel or Palestine and decide that this is a political debate which will upset people… something so complicated that they shouldn’t even bother. But this is not about politics, it is not an attack, and it is not complicated. This is about a friend, a member of the Stanford community, an American citizen, a human being peacefully and non-violently standing up for what he believes in and being beaten and detained for it. In the words of one of Fadi’s own heroes and role models, Martin Luther King Jr., “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” Fadi’s detention is an injustice that stands in the way of true and lasting peace. Do something about it: join the coalition for his release.