February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24th, 2012
By Kristian Davis Bailey
Fadi Quran ‘10, a Palestinian Stanford graduate from the West Bank and U.S. citizen, was arrested today in Hebron, West Bank, for allegedly pushing an Israeli soldier, according to tweets from journalists and activists in Palestine.
A Facebook video of altercations between Israeli security and Palestinian protesters shows a visibly and audibly upset Quran gesticulating and speaking to Israeli soldiers, before being grabbed by multiple soldiers and pushed toward a police van. The video shows an officer spraying pepper spray onto Quran’s face during the encounter and Quran’s abdomen and head hitting the rear bumper of the van, as soldiers attempted to put him inside of it.
Quran is then briefly shown lying in the street behind the van as journalists and soldiers stand around him. The videographer then retreats from the scene with his camera, as his footage shows soldiers shooing the press away.
The last footage of Quran shows him still lying in the street.
According to The Atlantic, Quran could in theory spend months detained without having charges filed against him.
Quran, who graduated from Stanford in 2010 with a double major in international relations and physics, returned home to the West Bank to work in the alternative energy field and advocated nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, according to The Atlantic piece.
Quran also became part of a loosely associated group of activists – he identified the group as a collection of “bubbles” waiting to congeal, according to a March 2010 Time Magazine feature on him.
Time Magazine called Quran “the face of the new Middle East,” describing his allegiance to broader movements organized around social-networking sites, rather than to the two largest Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah.
Quran was an active participant in campus dialogue and action surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict during his undergraduate career.
He was an organizer for the Campaign Restore Hope (CRH), a coalition of students who worked to raise awareness about perceived human rights violations in Israel and Palestine and encourage divestment from four specific companies: Elbit Systems Ltd., Hadiklaim Ltd., Tarifi Cement Ltd. and Dar Alnashr Lilhaya’a Masria Iilijaz AlIlmi.
With CRH, Quran distributed petitions across campus to encourage the ASSU Undergraduate Senate to pass legislation urging the University to divest from the four companies.
CRH eventually dropped its campaignfor student legislation, with Quran saying in an interview with The Daily, “Going through the Senate led to too much emotional backlash, so we changed direction.”
Quran encouraged collaborative efforts and person-to-person dialogue to address issues of injustice, which he expressed in an op–ed to The Daily.
“One of the things I learned at Stanford, an intrinsic American value, is that we should never turn our backs to an issue because it’s too complex, difficult or divisive,” he wrote.
Members of Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights (SPER) posted Quran’s response to a 2010 Israeli raid on a flotilla, in which nine activists were killed, on Facebook throughout Friday.
“Today is a reminder of the challenges that we all face in standing up for justice,” Quran said. “Yet we will not waver in this struggle for freedom. The upcoming years are full of promise. And I have no despair about the future.”