I published a post here very briefly a few days ago and several of you saw it and wondered where it went after I took it down. I submitted the post, Palestinian Hunger Striker Wins Victory in Battle of Wills With Israeli Army, to Truthout, where it’s now been published (publication here happened due to an error). It deals with Khader Adnan’s victory over the IDF and Occupation and the injustice they both represent.
One of the key points in it has been amplified by two other writers whose work I commend. Both Alex Kane in Mondoweis and Jalal Abukhater in Al-Akhbar English wrote about the power Twitter offered the human rights community in amplifying this message. Had my piece not been written several days ago, I would’ve happily included links to them in it. The daily trending of the #KhaderAdnan hashtag on Twitter forced Israel every day to confront the shame and affront of allowing a Palestinian activist to die on hunger strike.
My piece and Alex’s also note the less than stellar performance of the mainstream media covering this story. FAIR’s Peter Hart noted also that Isabel Kershner’s report allowed a typically anonymous Israeli security source to call Adnan a terrorist without offering any proof of the charge. This is a violation of NY Times policy regarding anonymous sources who must not be allowed to make unsubstantiated charges of a partisan nature without sourcing. In fact, this is precisely the issue the prisoner was making by going on hunger strike. In a true democracy, as opposed to whatever Israel is, a state arrests someone, goes to court and offers evidence of a crime, seeking a conviction and imprisonment. In Israel, in the name of national security, you can call virtually anyone (as long as you’re Palestinian) anything at any time and for any reason as long as you invoke the mantra of “terror.”
I have no doubt that Israel would’ve been just as happy for his to die had it not been for the bad PR it meant in the hasbara war. Not to mention that the IDF probably realized that the Supreme Court, due to hear the matter on the day the deal was announced, would’ve looked askance at such senseless brutality. Beating a tactical retreat represented the most cost-effective way of preserving the IDF’s power to fight another day against the Palestinian resistance.
You must emphesize that the guy is not a “Tzadik”
Piotr Berman says
A little problem is that if you compile the list of people call “terrorists” you see Muhammad Bakri (for making the movie “Jenin, Jenin”), Haneen Zoabi (for being a passanger on Mavi Marmara), ALL OTHER passengers on that ship (particularly if they got killed) etc. I think that this category includes the entire population of Gaza except for children under age of 12 and unspecified, but large, percentage of West Bank population.
There is also a separate, more narrow category of “terrorist leaders” and this is where Adnan Khader qualifies. IDF can arrest 70 leaders in one day by applying a dragnet to several villages (with a grand total of 250 detainees, of whom 180 were quickly released as non-leaders). When a Palestinian is denied exit visa it may be explained that he is a terrorist leader. Khader was deemed somewhat more “dangerous” because he was detained seven times, but each time released in few months so he could not be THAT dangerous.
Then we have a much more “elite” category of people who actually are alleged to do something, either directly (“blood on their hands”) or as helpers (usually, “masterminds”), and Khader was never accused of that.
“Democracy” is a slippery, evolving concept. In the USA, once widely described as a “democracy”, people the government wanted to lock away used to be tried for a crime (all as you suggest) and evidence used to be presented and cross-examination of opposing witnesses was the order of the day. In short, or to abbreviate, “justice”.
Now-a-days the government can use secret evidence if it wants, which the opposition cannot see, or can suppress secret evidence, if that’s its pleasure, and the government alone can say what is “secret”. No cross-examination of unknown and unknowable witnesses. Not so different, I should think, from how dictators do business.
And even more recently, the USA can arrest people, deny them contact (with family, lawyers, etc.) simply by arranging for someone (an envious neighbor? a debtor?) to accuse the arrestee of being a terrorist.
No more dangerous words or concepts (if you prize” justice”) than “national security” or “terrorist”. Very slippery.
Israel is not alone, maybe not the first. The “lights unto the nations” seem to be the worst, what with support for settler colonialism, establishment of war infinite in space and time, and erasure of justice.
No, he’s no tsadik. I sent Richard a video link of Adnan exhorting Pals to strap on suicide belts but Richard has not posted the link.
Richard Silverstein says
I will not feature videos for purely hasbara purposes. If you can find a video of Adnan which you can prove is credible & authentic & translated by a translator who is credible, then I’d consider watching it. But MEMRI & the other shmatteh groups you guys love are not such.