Monday, May 15, 2006

Israeli Bloggers Rally Around Jailed Egyptian

On 7 May 2006 at a peaceful pro-Democracy rally in Cairo 11 Egyptian pro-democracy activists were arrested, part of 49 in total in a two week period. Among them was a well known blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, who writes for Manal and Alaa's Bit Bucket. (Manal is Alaa's wife.) Bloggers around the world are rallying in support of Alaa demanding he be freed. A Free Alaa blog has been started for their campaign and an an online interactive petition is also up and running.

Among those rallying around Alaa are a large number of Israeli and Jewish bloggers (updated 16 May) including:Lisa Goldman. who writes On The Face, has been particularly active in getting word out.

While I am personally not sure about the idea of Google bombing I do happen to think this is a worthwhile cause and we all need to spread the word and make our voices heard.

Yesterday on Blogs of Zion Aharon raised the issue of racism in Israel. The current conflict with the Palestinians has hardened many Israeli attitudes towards Arabs. Watching Israelis and Jews rally to help an Egyptian, a man who, as a blogger, we think of as one of our own somehow, shows that tolerance is alive and well in Israel and that we Jews can find common cause with Muslim Arabs. My one hope from all this is that some Arabs are aware of this and start finding common cause with us. The one thing that can certainly end a conflict is if there would no longer be public support for violence and terrorism.

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