Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated that detained secretary-general of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Saadat, was moved to the Al Ramla Prison hospital due to health complications following 20 days of hunger strike.
Qaraqe’ demanded that the Red Cross visit Saadat and ensure he receives needed medical attention, especially since Israeli prison hospitals, treating Palestinian detainees, are basically clinics that lack the basic medications.
Qaraqe’ also called on all Human Rights groups to place pressure on Israel to abide by International Law, and to grant the hunger-striking detainees their legitimate rights, starting with removing all detainees from solitary confinement, and stopping the assaults against them and against their families.
Saadat is also an elected Legislator and one of the well-known leaders of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.
Qaraqe’ also said that after Saadat started his hunger strike from his cell, Israel confiscated the salt he mixes with water, the only “food” striking detainees have, adding that Saadat’s transfer to hospital indicates the seriousness of his situation.
The PFLP issued a press release expressing concern regarding the situation of Saadat, and called on all human rights groups and the Red Cross to ensure its leader receives all needed medical attention.
Mohammad Al Karm, a political leader of the PFLP stated that the Israeli Prison Administration is responsible for the situation of Saadat due to its ongoing violations and attacks against the detainees who had to declare their open-ended hunger strike demanding rights guaranteed to them by International Law.
Saadat, 53, leads the strike of PFLP detainees, declared at the end of September, along with leaders of the resistance, including leaders of the Al Qassam Brigades of Hamas, along with leaders of other groups and factions.
He had been in solitary confinement since 2009, and an Israeli court also stripped his family of the right to visit him since then; he also suffers from several health conditions.
In December 2008, an Israeli Military Court sentenced Saadat to 30 years imprisonment after holding him responsible for the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Zeevi.
Saadat is the successor of Abu Ali Mustafa who was assassinated when, on August 27, 2001, an Israeli war-jet fired a missile at his office in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israel also claims that Saadat is responsible for a suicide bombing that took place in Natanya in 2002 leading to the death of 3 Israelis.
Meanwhile, detained Fateh leader, Marwan Barghouthi, said that he was surprised when the mediated Prisoner-swap between Israel and Hamas was declared, adding that he, Saadat, and other imprisoned leaders, had no role in it and were not consulted about it.
According to Israeli media reports, Barghouthi, Saadat, and senior detained Hamas leaders were not contacted before the deal was signed.
The Arabs48 news website stated that Barghouthi said that nobody consulted them, and that the deal “violates vows made by the Hamas movement to release all detained leaders”.
Saadat, Barghouthi and other senior political, and military leaders of the resistance, are not included in the prisoner swap deal signed between Israel and Hamas.
Meanwhile, Hamas sources stated that the prisoner-swap deal will start on Tuesday at 11 in the morning.
The sources added that Shalit will be moved to Egypt via the Rafah Border Terminal after Israel releases the first phase of the detainees.
Detainees that Israel insists be forced into exile, will also be moved to Egypt via the Rafah Border Terminal.
Lizzie Phelan – a British journalist twice was in Libya, including in late August. Tripoli saw the storm of NATO. Detailed speech about NATO’s lies – in all its aspects, starting with “Revolution” 17 February to the current situation in Sirte, Libya, and other cities.
CCTV News October 12, 2011
A rather stinky Israeli espionage mole has just been exposed in Britain. Yesterday, Liam Fox the Defence Secretary resigned following revelations about his dubious relationship with Adam Werritty. Some 17 years younger than Fox, Werrity has been involved with Fox both in business and in the conservative Atlanticist think-tank ‘The Atlantic Bridge’. While Fox was Defence Minister, Werrity visited Fox at the Ministry on many occasions, accompanied Fox on numerous official trips, attended some of his meetings with foreign dignitaries and used official-looking business cards which announced him as an ‘adviser’ to Fox – and all despite having no official government post whatsoever. However, it has now also been revealed that Fox and Werritty were heavily financed by the Israeli lobby and ‘beyond’.
In the The Daily Mail Craig Murray wondered whether Mossad was using both Fox and Werritty as ‘useful idiots’.
“Not only was Werritty being paid to act as an unofficial part of the Defence Secretary’s entourage, the money was coming from people who may have been ready to promote the interests of certain foreign governments, particularly the United States, Israel and Sri Lanka,” writes Murray. “While the United States is a very close ally, its commercial and other interests are not always identical to UK interests. Israel is not a military ally of the UK. There are often tensions between its interests in the Middle East and the UK’s interests, as in the attack on the Gaza Aid convoy which resulted in the death of Turkish citizens. Turkey is an ally of the UK, being a vital member of NATO.”
Murray suggests that “Key funding sources for Werritty were from the Israeli lobby and a rather obscure commercial intelligence agency,” and then wonders, “might Mossad be pulling Werritty’s strings, with or without his knowledge?”
I’m afraid the answer is only too obvious. For a long time I have contended that there are no Jewish conspiracies. Fox and Werritty were not ‘useful idiots’ – individuals who seem to naively support a foreign ideology or thought but in practice are cynically used by a foreign power. They knew exactly what they were doing and who they were aiding. Fox, who In 2006 said, “Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.” is a strong supporter of Israel and is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel. Fox also supported the illegal war against Iraq, a war regarded by many as just another Israeli war but fought by American and British soldiers and in 2003 he voted for the invasion of Iraq. He also supports action against Iran.
So Fox and Werritty were not naïve. They knew exactly what they were doing and who were their donors. They fully understood their role and willingly did what was required. And I’m just as convinced that PM David Cameron and his cabinet knew exactly what they were doing when they amended Britain’s jurisdiction laws two weeks ago just so visiting Israeli war criminals could enjoy their stay.
But the tide has changed. The duplicity of our elected politicians and their ties with the Jewish lobby is now being closely scrutinized. The time has come for all of us in this country to put as much distance as we can between ourselves and Jerusalem.
The relationship between a prisoner and interrogator is as an old theme in Western art and literature. The prisoner/interrogator dialogue is a flexible one, which can allow the society of the interrogator to examine itself, or for the society of the oppressed to find strength and virtue in the image of resistance.
The dynamic between Palestinian and Israeli societies has rarely been honestly explored in the West, outside of absurd and bigoted scenes in American action films. The Western dialectic of pro-Palestinian/anti-Semitic creates a wave of antagonism towards Palestinian perspectives in art and literature that has real world implications. We can see a recent iteration of this in the blocking of Gazan children’s art from an Oakland museum last month.
The legacy of this blackout creates an environment where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can bemoan inhumanity to the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, while presiding over a population of more than 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israel. Western media follows suit, as it did after the recent announcement of an exchange of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Shalit. The absurdly lopsided deal and the way it has been discussed in mainstream circles in the US speak volumes about how Palestinian and Israeli life and freedom differ in value.
The Western view lacks a philosophical narrative of the Palestinian prisoner/Israeli interrogator dynamic. Moreover, the crucial context of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship is invisible. Interrogation and imprisonment are constant facts of life for most Palestinians, not an occasional aberration — some 650,000 Palestinians have been arrested and interrogated since the beginning of the occupation in 1967. To a certain extent, it can be said that to understand the Palestinian Israeli relationship, one can first look to the relationship of interrogator and prisoner. Sadly, it is a perspective that is seldom seen in the West.
An innovative approach to the Palestinian prisoner narrative
Certainly, Palestinian playwright Valentina Abu Oqsa’s Ana Hurra (“I am Free”) won’t change that dynamic on its own, but it does appropriate the prisoner/interrogator dialogue in an innovative way to explore the story of Palestinian prisoners, as well as the dynamic of oppressor and oppressed within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Abu Oqsa’s one act play is sparsely set, with a simple table and chairs that effectively represent the focus of the relationship between the interrogator and the prisoner, where territory disappears to be replaced by a terrain of philosophy and ideology. There are only two characters: the physically imposing male Israeli interrogator and his prisoner, a Palestinian woman. Neither is given a name.
The play pointedly explores some sensitive issues of Palestinian culture. As a female prisoner, the protagonist is subjected to a series of challenges to her cultural and gender identity which are explored in detail. At several points within the dialogue the interrogator attempts to use her gender and cultural identity against her — at the most physical end of this spectrum is sexual violence, threat and psychological torture. But the interrogator also uses some of the shortcomings of a patriarchal Palestinian culture in an attempt to manipulate her. It’s a subtle critique, but it has a larger implication for those aware of the ease with which Israeli intelligence agencies debilitate Palestinian solidarity by using the society’s mores and taboos against it.
Nuanced portrayal of characters
The characters are portrayed in a nuanced fashion. It is left to the audience to decide whether the central character is innocent or guilty of the “crimes” she’s accused of, or what those “crimes” even are. Her age, her background and marital status, even her own political beliefs and opinions of the conflict are left unspoken. The play thus leaves political ideology and worldview for other venues.
Abu Oqsa’s protagonist remains a simple woman facing her imprisonment and the oppression of her people in a universal way. She holds on to meaning and identity by revisiting literature and culture, which play a central role throughout the play, indicating that what animates the idea of sumoud (steadfastness) is its cultural connection, not political slogans or hero-worship. Resistance to torture and imprisonment becomes a human response without discernible ideology — dignity in the face of tyranny is innately human, and accomplished through the strength of one’s people.
On the surface, the interrogator is a manipulator who uses his knowledge of Arabic culture to cajole his victim into compliance, before resorting to threats, bullying and physical violence. But there is also another way of reading the interrogator that speaks to the underlying nature of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship. The interrogator is a lover of Arabic culture, food and an autodidact on Arabic literature; he subsequently demonstrates this with an intimate knowledge of literature that seems unlikely if it were merely an interrogating tool. He claims to be a product of the kibbutzim, and thus ideologically opposed to violence. Interestingly, the interrogator reveals almost everything about himself in a few short minutes, almost as if he is looking for approval.
What follows is a complex scene, where the interrogating antagonist faces an equal, if less physically dangerous struggle to maintain his own identity. The interrogator must maintain his particular sense of humanity while defending the fragile construct of the ideology that sanctions the descent into the madness that is torture and oppression.
For Abu Oqsa’s torturer, it is even more urgent that he turn his prisoner, that they become friends in a sense, to maintain his connection to Arabic culture and to his ideas about his own state. The dynamic recapitulates the relationship between Israeli culture and the Arabic Palestinian one. Israel, stripped of its authentic ethnic diversity by nationalist dictates, looks longingly to that of its subjects — like a lonely bully reaching out violently to a victim.
If he cannot break his victim, it means that everything that he has been taught is a sham, and that there is no moral justification for his acts. At a certain point, “I am free” becomes the refrain of the interrogator, as he tries to convince himself that the deprivations he helps visit on Palestinians are appropriate and excusable.
Confronting the comfortable
In this way, the narrative also confronts the comfortable nature of the occupation for most Israelis. A feature of its normalization is represented by the interrogator’s disinterest in the prisoner’s guilt or innocence. For his own sanity’s sake, she must remain a file to him, nothing more — a part of his job, which he struggles to dehumanize and fit into a briefcase which can be opened and shut at his convenience. His goal is to close the file and put away nagging questions about justice and morality. His prisoner prevents this by reminding him that his so-called freedom is little more than a pause in his relationship to her as a monstrous abuser.
Abu Oqsa, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, spent a year meeting and interviewing Palestinian political prisoners in preparation for the script. The story is a gestalt, and declines to date the interaction, leaving it as a testament to the violence and dehumanization that have been part of the Israeli occupation through all of its iterations, including the present one. The tour has coincidentally overlapped with a hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, and so, unfortunately, is as timely as it has been every month of every year for decades.
Ana Hurra will be touring the US until 25 October. See the play’s website for locations and schedule. The play is in Arabic, with English translation projected on an overhead screen.
Jaime Omar Yassin has been involved in alternative media for nearly 20 years. He has written for Extra!, Meatpaper, and other publications. He writes a blog for The Electronic Intifada and maintains his own blog at Hyphenated Republic.
HEBRON — Israeli forces closed down a school in Hebron’s old city for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, a local official said.
Sameeh Abu Zakiye, an official in the Department of Education in Hebron, said that soldiers gave students orders to evict the building before forcibly removing them from the property, official news agency Wafa reported.
The school’s janitor was also detained after being accused of attacking Israeli soldiers, Abu Zakiya said.
Around 800 Jewish settlers live among 30,000 Palestinians in the parts of the ancient city that are under Israeli control.
Israeli restrictions on movement and access, many of them dating back to the Palestinian uprising at the start of the decade, have turned parts of the old city into a ghost town. Poverty has risen in a city that was traditionally an engine of the Palestinian economy.