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Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour has been in Israeli custody for over a year for publishing a poem against the occupation. Many writers, artists and academics are between more than 200 signatories of a Hebrew petition in her defense. +972 translated it to English. Here is the full text followed by the names of the signatories.

A whole year of detention for publishing a poem –

Free poet Dareen Tatour and drop the charges against her!


On October 11, 2015, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested by Israeli police during a night raid on her home in the village Al-Reineh, near Nazareth. On November 2, 2015, an Israeli court indicted her for incitement to violence. At the center of the indictment was a poem Tatour wrote in protest of the killing of Muhammad Abu KhdeirHadeel al-Shalamoun and members of the Dawabshe family in Duma. The indictment cites the full translation of the poem, which was translated by an officer who has no qualifications in translation or poetry. Even according to this translation — which is full of inaccuracies, most of them giving the poem an extremist tone — there is a call to resist the occupation, but there is no incitement to violence.

Dareen spent three months imprisoned in various jails. After that she was transferred to house arrest far from her home, where she was forced to live with an ankle monitor and under severe restrictions. After more than half a year exiled from home, and only after numerous court hearings, was Dareen allowed to continue her house arrest in Al-Reineh (she was forced to continue wearing the ankle monitor and is not allowed to use the internet). She cannot work, and even in the six hours that she is allowed to leave her home, she must be accompanied by “overseers.” This cruelty continues all because she dared to publish a poem.

A situation in which a poet is arrested and put on trial for writing a poem contradicts the very foundations of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression. Over a year has passed since Tatour’s arrest, and over the past few months we have organized two events, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Haifa, in order to protest against the criminal policy taken against an Israeli citizen.

The treatment of Dareen Tatour by the authorities expresses a policy of severe discrimination against Arab Palestinian citizens’ freedom of expression. The attempt to present legitimate political protest as a criminal act prevents the possibility of honest discourse, and is intended to block dialogue between Jews and Arabs.

The protest against Tatour’s persecution has spread throughout the world, turning her from an anonymous poet into a symbol of the state’s cruelty. Jewish Voice for Peace, Pen International (which dedicated its International Translation Day to Tatour), Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker and hundreds of other authors and world-renowned cultural icons have all condemned the actions taken against the poet.

We, poets, authors, academics, and educators, who care for freedom of expression and the ability of Arabs and Jews to understand each other and build a life together with in this country, call on the state to put an end to Dareen Tatour’s persecution, to release her and immediately drop the baseless accusations against her.


David Grossman, A.B. Yehoshua, Tuvia Ribner, Prof. Avishai Margalit, Prof. Shimon Zandbank, Tsibi Geva, Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld, Prof. Moshe Ron, Tal Nitzan, Dr. Ilana Hammerman, Agi Mishol, Ayman Sikseck, Nir Baram, Iris Leal, Esti G., Rela Mazali, Dr. Dana Amir, Oded Peled, Prof. Zohar Eitan, Dr. Dror Burstein, Dr. Michal Ben-Naftali, Liat Kaplan, Rachel Peretz, Assaf Shor, Dr. Yuval Eylon, Sherry Gutman, Dr. Dana Olmert, Meital Nissim, Tahel Frosh, Noam Partom, Dr. Dorit Shiloh, Sigal Ben Yair, Hadas Gilad, Sharon Es, Dr. Amalia Ziv, Dr. Diti Ronen, Eli Hirsch, Leah Pilowski, Riki Cohen, Ila Ben-Lulu, Hila Lahav, Navit Barel, Meital Nadler, Lee Maman, Alma Miryam Katz, Roy Chicky Arad, Daniel Oz, Bat-sheva Dori-Carlier, Hila Aharon Brick, Yonit Naaman, Oren Agmon, Yulie Khromchenco, Inna Ardel, Suzi Reznik, Ofra Shalev, Tali Litovsky, Hamutal Fishman, Sivan Baskin, Ron Dahan, Keren Koch, Amit Mautner, Prof. Ron Barkai, Dr. Ofir Mintz Manor, Yuval Tzoren, Hadas Carmi, Josef Sprinzak, Dr. Diana Dolev, Sharon Dolev, Noga Eitan, Omri Livnat, Ibtisam Mara’ana, Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, Vardit Shalfi, Tsipa Kempinski, Vered Kofitz, Prof. Yaakov Katriel, Dr. Uri Davis, Yosefa Mekaiten, Dr. Hannah Safran, Bilha Golan, Prof. Avner Giladi, Dr. Anat Matar, Dr. Ilan Saban, Dr. Yuval Yanai, Prof. Vered Kraus, Prof. Michah Leshem, Mira Livne, Dr. Avner Cohen, Prof. Tamar Kartiel, Michal Kristal, Dr. Osnat Barthur, Tsili Goldenberg, Moran Ezran, Ofer Neiman, Rivi Diamond, Yael Ben-Zvi, Matan Israeli, Prof. Isaac (Yanni) Nevo, Michal Goldberg, Dr. Irena Botvinick, Prof. David Enoch, Prof. Elizabeth Freund, Prof. Shlomi Segel, Yanay Israeli, Dr. Lin Chalozin-Dovrat, Dr. Zohar Weiman-Kalman, Dr. Yael Shenkar, Prof. Ben-Zion Munitz, Dr. Meir Amor, Alma Itzhaky, Dr. Tamar Razi, Prof. Haim Bereshit, Tamara Rickman, Nitzan Shoshan, Prof. Ruth Weintraub, Prof. Oded Goldreich, Dr. Amos Goldberg, Dr. Dalia Zakash, Prof. Yigal Bronner, Dr. Snait Gissis, Dr. Tamar Hagar, Avital Barak, Prof. Tal Siloni, Dr. Chaim Deuelle Luski, Dr. Nihaya Daoud, Adam Maor, Dr. Arnon Levy, Dr. Eyal Shimoni, Dr. Tamar Berger, Prof. Rachel Giora, Dr. Anat Barkai, Atty. Yifat Solel, Dr. Dafna Hirsch, Dr. Smadar Sharon, Prof. Shlomo Moran, Prof. Yossi Dahan, Prof. Yehuda Shenhav, Dr. Almog Behar, Dr. Itay Snir, Anat Asher, Prof. Alon Harel, Dr. Michal Arbel, Anat Even, Yaen Maayan, Dr. Yael Berda, Prof. Aner Perminger, Tammy Riklis, Dr. Tali Bitan, Na’aman Hirschfeld, Dr. Hagit Benbaji, Prof. Yosef Neuman, Dr. Roi Wagner, Dr. Julia Resnik, Prof. Naomi Shir, Dr. Anat Rimor Or, Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy, Gideon Spiro, Yosef Grinfeld, Tammy Barkai, Tamara Santos Traubman, Irit Sela, Ron Maklef, Ofer Shor, Dr. Ayelet Ben Yishai, Prof. Kobi Peter (Peterzil), Prof. Jérôme Bourdon, Dr. Elisheva Sadan, Prof. Amir Shpilka, Prof. Hagai Ginzburg, Dr. Yoav Kani, Dr. Shaul Seter, Yaron Cohen, Prof. Dana Ron, Pioter Shmugliakov, Leah Eini, Einat Weitzman, Itay Tiran, Prof. Natalie Rothman, Dr. Ofer Cassif, Prof. Avner Ben-Amos, Dr. Naomi Zusman, Dr. Catherine Rottenberg, Prof. Neve Gordon, Dr. Yonit Efron, Yuval Gluska, Dr. Aronon Keren, Yifat Mohar, Liat Segal, Iris Bar, Yoav Haifawi, Dr. Yosi Amitai, Eilat Hen, Rotem Reptor, Rina Shomron, Itay Tiran, Einat Weitzman, Doron Tavori.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets. Read it here.