Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Khader Adnan ‘stable’ after surgery

Ma’an – 28/02/2012

RAMALLAH – Khader Adnan is in a stable condition after undergoing surgery on his intestine after his 66 day hunger strike, a lawyer for the Palestinian detainees’ center said Tuesday.

Raed Mahamid said after visiting Adnan in Zeev hospital in northern Israeli town Safed that his condition is good, and he is recovering from the anesthesia used during the operation.

Adnan underwent surgery after reporting severe pain in his abdomen two days ago, caused by an intestinal blockage, after he went for two months without food.

Israeli officials announced last week that they intend to release Adnan on April 17, shortly before his administrative detention term was set to end, and would not renew the order.

In return, Adnan agreed to end his hunger strike, the longest ever held by a Palestinian prisoner.

Female prisoner Hana Shalabi, who is being held under the same regulations permitting detention without charge, started a hunger strike on Feb. 16 after she was re-arrested, despite being freed in a prisoner swap deal in October.

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

PA: Khader Adnan to end strike

Ma’an – 21/02/2012

RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners affairs said Tuesday that Israel intends to release hunger striking prisoner Khader Adnan after his current administrative detention term.

In return, Adnan agreed to end his strike, according to Issa Qaraqe, the prisoners minister. The term will end April 17, he said.

Adnan has not confirmed he intends to end the hunger strike, but prisoners rights group Addameer said one of Adnan’s lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israeli military prosecutor freeing him on April 17 instead of in May 8.

He also received guarantees the term will not be extended, the group said.

Addameer lawyer Samer Samaan is “actively working to gain permission to visit Khader to confirm whether or not he will continue with his hunger strike,” the rights group said in a statement.

“Addameer’s main concern remains Khader’s health … Whether or not Khader continues his hunger strike, he must receive proper arrangements for observing his health condition,” the group said.

Israel’s Justice Ministry confirmed the deal to end the strike.

“There is a deal. (Khader Adnan) will stop his hunger strike. They will not extend his administrative detention and he will be free on April 17,” an Israeli Justice Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.

A High Court of Justice session was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but it was canceled upon the announcement of an agreement.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments

Valiance in the Face of Cruelty

Khader Adnan’s Hunger Strike

By CHARLOTTE SILVER | CounterPunch | February 17, 2012

A month ago only those who had met him knew Khader Adnan. Now all of Palestine and people across the world know his name and his cause.

Before December 17, when Khader was arrested for the eighth time from his home in Jenin, he was one of thousands of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories who had entered and re-entered administrative detention.

Administrative detention allows Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners without charging them, and potentially indefinitely. There is no specification as to why each person is held and the length of the detention has no legal limits.

In its very essence administrative detention is dehumanizing; its effects are to homogenize the Palestinian population and strip each man, woman and family that encounters it of his or her singularity and personal identity. Each person who enters administrative detention is the same as the one who came before, and the one who will follow. This endless cycle of incarceration paints all those who pass through it with the same brush, rendering the Palestinian population indistinct.

“The essence of totalitarian government and perhaps the nature of every bureaucracy, is to make functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of men, and thus to dehumanize them.”

Hannah Arendt wrote these words after observing the trial of Nazi leader, Adolf Eichmann, in Jerusalem. What is perhaps so remarkable about this sentence is the ambiguity of whom she is speaking. Arendt’s words note that both the oppressors and the oppressed become agents of, or cogs in, a regime of totalitarianism. In this understanding, there is no room in a system of oppression for individuals.

But Khader’s unbearably long hunger strike has stopped this process, clearing the fog of bureaucracy that turns humans beings into mechanisms allowing them to disappear into the monochromatic fabric of administrated tyranny.

He told his lawyers, “I am a man who defends his freedom. If I die it will be my fate.”

Khader is a graduate student of Economics, a father of two girls, a husband to Randa, who is pregnant with their third child, and a member of Islamic Jihad. He is a political activist and a baker at a pita shop, Qabatiya, near his home in Jenin.

We cannot know the internal process by which Khader came to his decision to engage in a hunger strike that may end his life. He began the strike as soon as he was detained, so it seems certain that he was neither surprised that he was detained yet again, nor unprepared for a different and meaningful response.

In a letter he wrote from an Israeli hospital on day fifty-six of his strike, Khader stated, “The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.”

But we do know that when Khader entered administrative detention on 17 December, he made the decision to interrupt the routine of administrative detention, a system whose banality defines its power.

His reaction, to go on hunger strike, marked a radical departure from obediently waiting out his sentence, as the steady stream of Palestinian detainees had done before him. After Khader refused his meal, Israeli soldiers proceeded to beat him, rip hair from his beard, smear dirt from a soldier’s shoe onto his face, force him into painful stress positions and verbally degrade female members of his family.

Even as Khader nears the end of his sixty-second day, the weakened man remains shackled to his hospital bed by both his feet and one hand—in a strange and symbolic recognition of how threatening and powerful this act truly is.

The might of Khader’s humanity and his valiance in the face of cruelty will not be met with a just response. There is no just response a master can give to a slave—for justice would see the end of the master/slave relationship. And while Khader’s strike will not and cannot lead to the end of Israeli tyranny over Palestinians, it is certainly a profound denial of its power to erase the humanity of Palestinians.

Khader has shown the face of a Palestinian. He has etched his name onto the hearts and thoughts of all who became aware of his plight, and in his quiet, agonizing determination he shows the world the man who Israel murdered with its savage weapon of “administrative detention.” That is a profound feat and for it, we owe Khader Adnan our deepest gratitude.

Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in Ramallah, West Bank and currently the editor of The Palestine Monitor.

February 19, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Washing your hands of Khader Adnan: Ali Abunimah’s response to weasel words of EU’s Catherine Ashton

By Ali Abunimah | The Electronic Intifada | 02/17/2012

Today my colleague David Cronin wrote about the weasel worded response of the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, for comment on the case of Khader Adnan. Here is my response, which I sent her by email.

European Union High Representative
Ms. Catherine Ashton
To: catherine.ashton@ec.europa.eu

Dear Ms. Ashton,

Forty-eight hours after my colleague David Cronin first requested it, your spokespersons found the time to issue a statement on the plight of Khader Adnan, who could die at any moment, shackled to his bed, now in his 62nd day of hunger strike against his arbitrary detention by Israel.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Carter Center, and numerous civil society groups all over the world have called for Israel to immediately release or charge Mr. Adnan, as well as the more than 300 other “administrative detainees” including 21 elected members of the Palestinian legislative council currently being held by Israel.

But you didn’t do that. Instead, you washed your hands of Khader Adnan, and to the extent that Khader Adnan has become a symbol of Palestinians’ desperate determination to stand up for their rights against overwhelming Israeli oppression, you washed your hands of all Palestinians too.

As Adnan wrote weeks ago:

“The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.”

Addressing you and other members of the “international community” he wrote: “I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.”

“It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners and force the State of Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans.”

But you decided to look away. Your weasel-worded statement merely “requests the government of Israel to do all it can to preserve the health of Mr. Adnan and handle this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law.” You even affirmed Israel’s right to use administrative detention.

What is this “case”? Let us remind ourselves that Mr. Adnan was abducted from his home at 3.30AM on 17 December. He was taken from his pregnant wife Randa and his two young daughters. He has not been charged with a crime, despite lengthy harsh interrogation, humiliation and abuse. This is what led him to go on hunger strike. He has not eaten since one week before Christmas.

Randa described what might be her last time seeing her husband on Wednesday:

“My father-in-law said to him: ‘We want you to stay alive. You cannot defeat this state on your own.’ He told him he wanted him to end the strike. I told him I wished he would drink a cup of milk. But he said: ‘I did not expect this from you. I know you are with me all the time. Please stop it…. I know my husband. He will not change his mind. I expect him to die.”

He is still alive and he wants to live. Randa Adnan recalled that her husband told one of his lawyers: “I do not want to go to oblivion or death. But I am a man who defends his freedom. If I die it will be my fate.”

You have frequently asserted that “human rights” are at the center of your policy. But we know that any such statements come with an asterisk. Palestinians are exempt from such rights, and Israel is exempt from any accountability. You proved that again today.

What makes this all the more revolting is that you spared no opportunity to call for the release of an Israeli occupation soldier who was held in Gaza, a soldier taken prisoner while bearing arms to enforce the deadly siege and occupation of Gaza.

Perhaps if Khader Adnan had been an armed Israeli occupation soldier, instead of a father who was at home with his family, you would have had more sympathy.

I have not lost hope that Mr. Khader can be saved. I dream of a day when people like you will lead instead of follow. But perhaps that isn’t your function.

What gives me hope still is that people all over Europe, all over the world, are joining the demands that Israel release Adnan, so he can return home.

Read some of their messages to him and his family. Perhaps you will rediscover some of the humanity that your shameful statement so painfully lacks, end your complicity and call on Israel to free this man and all other prisoners of its brutal, merciless, inhumane and EU-subsidized occupation.

Yours,
Ali Abunimah

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Raymond McCartney, former Irish hunger striker in message of support to Khader Adnan

By Linah Alsaafin – The Electronic Intifada – 02/17/2012

Raymond McCartney, the former Irish hunger striker and current Member of Northern Ireland’s Legislative Assembly for Sinn Féin is the latest from Ireland to send a message of solidarity to Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan, who is entering his 63rd day of hunger strike protesting administrative detention, a policy started by the British and which is illegal under international law.

McCartney, along with six other prisoners (Brendan Hughes, Tom McFeeley, John Nixon, Sean McKenna, Tommy McKearney and Leo Green) participated in what became known as the First Hunger Strike in 1980 in order to attain political status under the British occupation.

After weeks of delays by the British in implementing the promised changes, and confusion among the prisoners and their supporters, it became apparent in January 1981 that political status was not to be granted. The prisoners, faced with no alternative, would be forced to embark on a new fast that would have widespread repercussions in Ireland and abroad.

The Second Hunger Strike is the more famous one, with ten Irish prisoners hunger striking until death.

Oliver Hughes, the brother of Francis Hughes who died in 1981 after 59 days of hunger strike, had sent his message of support a few days earlier. Tommy McKearney, mentioned above, was the first of the former hunger strikers to record a message of solidarity.

Raymond McCartney, who was on hunger strike for 53 days, says that he “understands what [Khader] is feeling at this particular moment in time, so our thoughts are with him and his family.”

He goes on to say:

 ”All of us here in Ireland in particular those elected representatives should be doing all what we can to put pressure on the Israeli government to release this man. He’s been held by a form of internment, again a tactic well known and understood by people in Ireland. We need to have this man released and we need to ensure that we don’t have a death in present of this Palestinian who is struggling for his human dignity and the dignity for all Palestinians.”

Khader Adnan was arrested from his home at 3:30am in front of his pregnant wife and two young daughters on December 17th. He has not been charged with anything, and as a result has embarked on a hunger strike since December 18th, using his stomach to protest the immoral administrative detention that the incongruent Israeli Prison System characterizes itself with.

Amnesty International reports:

Administrative detention is a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial for periods of up to six months, which can be renewed repeatedly. Under administrative detention, detainees’ rights to a fair trial as guaranteed by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) are consistently violated.

Khader Adnan is one of 309 Palestinians currently held in administrative detention by the Israeli authorities, including one man held for over five years and 24 Palestinian Legislative Council members. Hundreds of other Palestinian detainees and prisoners have joined Khader Adnan’s hunger strike.

After 62 days of Khader Adnan hunger striking, the international community’s silence has been duly noted. Khader Adnan is a living legend, an icon of resistance and is determined to carry through with his hunger strike until he his released or charged, declaring that “My dignity is more precious than my food.”

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The EU’s shameful silence on Khader Adnan

By David Cronin – The Electronic Intifada – 02/15/2012

What does the European Union have to say about the plight of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan? Not one word.

I have just entered Adnan’s name into the search facility on the website for the EU’s diplomatic service. The result: zero hits. A moment later, I searched under the words “Gilad Shalit” and received 230 hits.

Catherine Ashton, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, publicly sympathised with the family of Shalit at every conceivable opportunity, never acknowledging that the Israeli soldier belonged to an army of occupation and was taking part in acts of aggression against the Palestinian people when he was captured. Does she regard his life as more important than that of Adnan, a man in detention without being charged or convicted of an offence?

Is she more worried about the oppressor, than the oppressed? It would appear so.

Almost 12 hours ago, I contacted Ashton’s office, requesting an urgent explanation for her silence on Adnan’s hunger strike. I have still not received a response.

Too busy?

Perhaps her advisors too busy with matters they consider more pressing than the imminent death of a prisoner. Yet on Monday, her team was able to drop whatever other work it was doing and hastily respond to the attacks on Israeli embassies in India and Georgia. That same day, she (or her aides) found time to express concern about how Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi have now been under house arrest for an entire year. Her statement noted (properly) that these men – and Moussavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard – have been detained “without any legal process.”

Khader Adnan is in jail without any legal process. Why has Ashton not protested at his treatment?

Dignity and freedom

Marking Human Rights Day in December 2011, Ashton recalled that “human rights are universal and that people everywhere aspire to live in dignity and freedom.”

Khader Adnan is undertaking a courageous and awe-inspiring protest to defend the rights of Palestinians to live in dignity and freedom.

And what does Catherine Ashton have to say? Not one miserable word.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Al Jazeera English Doesn’t Care About Khader Adnan

By Linah Alsaafin – The Electronic Intifada – 02/10/2012

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan has entered his 55th day of hunger strike. He has long passed the critical stage and is in danger of organ failure any moment now. In other words, Khader Adnan is dying.

The silence from international media is deafening. Much of the publicity highlighting Adnan’s case came from social media via Twitter and blogs.

Does a young father of two arrested in the dead of night from his home, held under illegal administrative detention i.e. no charges have been brought against him, beaten and tortured during his interrogation, hunger striking since December 18th—a day after his arrest—not warrant headlines?

Does his identity as spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad cloud the editors’ judgments? Does his long beard — most of which has now fallen out due to the effects of starvation — not make for sexy media attention?

Yesterday a group of Palestinians called up Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem Bureau, demanding to know the reason for the bureau’s nonexistent coverage regarding Khader Adnan. Why Al Jazeera English? Why not the myopic BBC—who’ve recently proclaimed their censorship of the word “Palestine” from their music programmes—or The Guardian or CNN? (The last one was a joke.)

As an Arab news source based in Jerusalem, Al Jazeera English holds the responsibility to report what is happening to Palestinians.  Not only are they not covering the bombings in Gaza, but they are ignoring the ethnic cleansing happening under their noses in Jerusalem. They have also completely ignored the weekly, daily popular protests in Palestine, while at the same time attempting to present themselves as the voice of the people who are revolting against oppression in the Middle East.

The litany of crimes that Israel commits on a daily basis against Palestinians is long and ranges from land theft, ethnic cleansing, violence against men, women, and childrenbi or tri-weekly bombing campaigns on the besieged people of Gaza, political arrests of dozens of Palestinians on a weekly basis including children as young as 13 years of age and institutionalized racism and discrimination that Palestinians face every day which prohibits them from living anything resembling a normal life.  As a result many of us turn to blogs and twitter to find out what is happening which begs the question, what exactly is AJE correspondent Cal Perry being paid to report on in Palestine?

Furthermore, while all political prisoners are a shame to the countries imprisoning them, what was the criteria that Al Jazeera used to determine that a self professed Egyptian Zionist, Maikel Nabil, was more worthy of coverage than a Palestinian anti-Zionist?

Coverage of Maikel Nabil from Al Jazeera English:

Al Jazeera simply cannot state that Khader Adnan’s hunger strike is not news worthy as international human rights organizations have expressed alarm and condemnation over his detention and concern for his deteriorating health.

The following conversation took place between one caller and a woman from Al Jazeera English Jerusalem office, in response to that caller’s question about why Khader Adnan has been receiving so little exposure from Al Jazeera English.

“But there are other important stories we’re covering.”

“But Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike for 54 days in administrative detention and he’s dying.”

“But there are people dying everywhere.”

The caller was then directed to the editor, who said:

“With all due respect, it’s not up to you to tell us what to cover. I’m only accountable to my superiors in Doha.”

The editor continued to say that there will be a story on the website today so perhaps “you should wait before passing judgments.”

Did that mean that the caller should wait until Khader Adnan dies before he can get decent coverage?

The disrespect and arrogance that Al Jazeera English has shown to Palestinians with the lack of coverage has been nothing short of shocking. If Al Jazeera cannot commit itself to doing actual reporting about the cruelty of the Israeli occupation on a daily basis against Palestinians then it would be best for them to move their office to Tel Aviv or head back home to Qatar.

February 10, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 654 other followers