Khader Adnan will continue to work at a bakery and sell zaatar to remind Palestinians of their roots

Israel/Palestine
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Khader Adnan plays with his daughters on his first day out of Israeli jail in the West Bank village of Araba, near Jenin, April 18, 2012. (Photo: Activestills/ Oren Ziv)

Linah Alsaafin’s incredible interview with Khader Adnan.  What a man, what a hero, what a gift to the Palestinian people he is.  Above is a picture of Khader playing with his children, they stayed close to him upon his release.  The love in their eyes, both father and children is something that is almost unbearable to witness in its beauty. Oh but the Zionists will tell you that we don’t love our children, that we are not human.

Alsaafin:

When Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan called his mother at 11:30pm on Tuesday night, she burst into tears. “He told me, ‘Mother I am on my way home,’” she said. “For the first time in months my heart was at ease again.” For Palestinians, Khader Adnan has become a symbol of resistance and steadfastness, or sumoud, after he waged a 66-day hunger strike against the Israeli prison service. He began his hunger strike immediately after his violent arrest by Israeli soldiers on December 17, 2011. He was detained under what Israel calls “administrative detention”, a policy adopted from the era of the British mandate. Under administrative detention, Israel can detain a prisoner for up to six months, renewable indefinitely, without ever charging the prisoner or presenting any evidence against them.

There are currently more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, over 300 of those, in administrative detention. Adnan’s hunger strike, which eventually attracted international media attention and solidarity from around the world, inspired other administrative detainees to go on hunger strike. Hana Shalabi went on strike for 43 days before she was released and deported from her village in the West Bank to Gaza. Five others are now in the Ramleh prison hospital, including Bilal Thiab and Thaer Halahleh, who have not eaten for 52 days. After more than two months without food, Adnan’s lawyer brokered a deal in February with Israeli officials that saw him released on April 17. Coincidentally, that is the same day Palestinians commemorate Prisoners Day, which was marked this year by the open-ended hunger strike of 1,600 prisoners.

Sahar Francis, director of the Ramallah-based rights group Addameer, saw Adnan’s hunger strike as a catalyst for this current mass hunger strike movement. “I definitely think the successful hunger strike of Khader Adnan and his release was a main feature in inspiring the 1,600 prisoners to carry out this act now, which is a continuation of what they began in September 2011,” he says. “It should be noted that a successful hunger strike depends a lot on internal support, international pressure from the EU and UN, and the policy of the Israeli prison authorities.”

Khader Adnan, who was was reunited with his family just before midnight on Tuesday, after visiting the families of the prisoners in Arrabeh, seven of whom are serving life sentences, later spoke to Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera: You’ve undergone the most difficult experience of your life and have been separated for months from your family. Why did you first stop by the families of other prisoners before seeing your own, and how does it feel to be free again?

Khader Adnan: Every day we live through Prisoners’ Day and its special symbolism. I went to see the families of those imprisoned before seeing my own family as a token of appreciation for their support during my imprisonment and their enduring anguish at having loved ones behind the bars of the Israeli occupation.

My freedom is incomplete because of the prisoners who I’ve left behind. We salute all of the prisoners; Lina Jarbouni [the longest serving female prisoner], Sheikh Ahmad Hajj [the oldest prisoner on hunger strike], Omar Abu Shalalah, Jaafar Ezzedine, Hassan Safadi, and of course Thaer Halaleh and Bilal Thiab.

I was received by Bilal Thiab’s mother in [the nearby village of] Kufr RaI and relayed to her his message of endurance and commitment to his hunger strike.

After 66 days of refusing food, you spent 53 days recuperating. Did the treatment at the hands of the Israeli officers during your imprisonment improve after you ended your hunger strike?

No, not at all. Up until the last day in the prison hospital they would embark on ways to humiliate me, such as opening the door to stare at me whenever I would use the bathroom or shower.

When I was hunger striking, they would purposely eat and drink in front of me. They would insult me, call me a dog. One told me that they still haven’t done anything to me yet. Their manners are so unscrupulous.

They tried to provoke me by repeating that my wife was unfaithful to me, and that my daughters were not mine. What else could they do? They banned the media from covering my case, proof that they are afraid of the truth.

Even after I ended my hunger strike, as I was being transferred from the hospital in Safad to Ramleh, they did so in a way so that no one could see me.

They kidnapped me and pushed me through an inner garage. My appeal was held in the hospital cafeteria! Is Israel that afraid of showing its true face to the world?

How did you manage to find the resilience and strength in continuing your hunger strike, especially after the three times your family visited you?

[Hurried laugh] I don’t know how I did it. All strength comes from God, and when I began my hunger strike I knew that it would be until freedom or death … sometimes I am puzzled myself!

Israel granted permission for my family to see me not out of the goodness of their own hearts, but because they thought that the sight of my family would be enough to pressure me into eating again. It achieved the opposite effect, and I was further inspired to challenge my jailers.

I’ve spent many sleepless nights from the pain my body was going through. However, my family’s happiness, my people’s happiness, and the free people’s happiness all over the world made me forget that I’ve ever experienced pain throughout my hunger strike.

Sixteen hundred Palestinian prisoners are on their third day of an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails demanding improved living conditions, including the right to family visits and the right to receive family photographs. Will this tactic succeed in translating a popular resistance movement outside of the prison walls amongst Palestinians?

My stance will always be with the prisoners, whether next to them, behind them, or in front of them. From the Gaza Strip to the West Bank to the ’48 territories and the exile, every Palestinian is obliged to stand united.

We are all the children of the same cause, and one people living under the same occupation. I saw so much support from our family in 1948 Palestine, from the Palestinian doctors and nurses, the Palestinians in Haifa, the school girls from Nazareth who wrote an assignment on me … I will never forget their love.

The mass hunger strike is a signal to all oppressed and vulnerable people everywhere, not just Palestinians. It’s a message to everyone suffering from injustice, under the boot of oppression. This method will be successful, God willing, and will achieve the rights of the prisoners.

I ask God to move the consciences of the free people around the world. I thank them all, especially Ireland, for they have stood by my hunger strike. I ask them to stand in solidarity with all the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the past, present and future, with our tortured and oppressed people who live under the injustice of occupation day and night.

As the Palestinian prisoner to go on the longest hunger strike and survive, how does it feel becoming a symbol not just for Palestinian steadfastness but for resistance among other oppressed people?

During my days in the [Meir Ziv] hospital in Safad, occupied pre-partition Palestine, I was reminded of the holiness and the glory of this land. Being close to the resisting countries of Lebanon and Syria all gave me further incentive to defy the Israeli prison authorities, which I don’t recognise.

I have barely presented anything worth of value to the Palestinian cause. I work at a bakery and sell zaatar, and will continue to do so to remind every Palestinian that their roots are deeply entrenched in this land, among the olive trees and the zaatar. Source.

No Responses Yet

  1. seafoid
    April 20, 2012, 11:32 am

    “When I was hunger striking, they would purposely eat and drink in front of me. They would insult me, call me a dog. One told me that they still haven’t done anything to me yet. Their manners are so unscrupulous.

    They tried to provoke me by repeating that my wife was unfaithful to me, and that my daughters were not mine. What else could they do? They banned the media from covering my case, proof that they are afraid of the truth.”

    Hevenu shalom aleichem

  2. seafoid
    April 20, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Za’atar is magic food.

  3. Pixel
    April 20, 2012, 2:15 pm

    …what a human being.

  4. Fredblogs
    April 20, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Funny, I’ve never heard anyone say the Palestinians don’t love their children. Only that they hate Israel more.

    He saluted Lina Jarbouni. An Israeli-Arab, a traitor to Israel, convicted of helping suicide bombers mass murder people. Someone who has served about 10 years of an incredibly light 17 year sentence. Can you see a judge in America giving a suicide bombing conspirator such a lenient sentence?

    How nice that he is going to go back to work at his bakery. One hopes he won’t also go back to work as a senior leader in the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

    • seafoid
      April 20, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Tzipi Livni still has a passport, Fred. If she was Belgian and had ordered Wallonia to be bombed with white phosphorous she’d be in the Hague by now. Think about your own sociopaths.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 20, 2012, 6:55 pm

      “Funny, I’ve never heard anyone say the Palestinians don’t love their children. Only that they hate Israel more.”

      Do I really have to explain why this vile bigotry is objectionable? How about this: “No one ever said the Jews don’t love their children, they just live money more.” Is that okay? Or should Fredblogs finally be banned for his bigotry?

    • Dex
      April 21, 2012, 12:55 am

      It amazes me that you are an American with NO connection to Israel. Yet, you seem to love Israel more than America. Why is that?

    • Walid
      April 21, 2012, 1:29 am

      “How nice that he is going to go back to work at his bakery. One hopes he won’t also go back to work as a senior leader in the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.”

      From the above picture of Khader Adnan with his dughters, he sure doesn’t look like a terrorist to me. From the Jazeera interview, he doesn’t sound like one either. The terrorists were his Israeli jailers.

      About the zaatar in the title and how it plays in the Palestinians’ roots as Adnan is saying here, a reminder to go back to Jeff Klein’s Mondo article of last June and how the Israelis are out to steal and control one of the last vestiges of Palestinian patrimony:

      “… Lately, Palestinians in 1948 Israel have had to buy cultivated thyme rather than collect it wild, as was the tradition. The Israeli authorities have declared za’atar a “protected plant” and forbidden its harvesting on “state land.” Whether this is a sincere conservation measure, rather than a form of cultural repression, may be doubted. Cutting the wild thyme leaves allows the roots to remain intact and grow a new crop within a short time. And, of course, what the Israeli government calls “state land” was originally the expropriated collective property of the native Palestinians.”

      “… Every Sunday the villagers of Al-Araqib, some now living in tents at the site of their destroyed homes — along with many children who have been forced to move in with relatives away from the town — gather to demonstrate at a nearby highway junction for the return of their land. One of their chants goes:

      Samidoun, Samidoun,
      Ma baqiyye Za’atar wa Zeitoun

      We are staying, we are staying
      As long as the Za’atar and the Olive remain”
      (Jeff Klein)

      Full Klein article:

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Fredblogs
        April 23, 2012, 11:55 pm

        If all terrorists looked like terrorists, and all non-terrorists didn’t look like terrorists, we’d have much quicker lines at the security checkpoints. As for the Jazeera interview, what’s he going to do, openly swear vengeance? That would just get him locked up again. Let’s hope he stays away from his former Islamic Jihad associates and Israel doesn’t have to lock him up again.

    • talknic
      April 21, 2012, 5:53 am

      “One hopes he won’t also go back to work as a senior leader in the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization” Logic dictates that one has to first have been a senior leader in a the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization before ‘going back’. He was charged with ….what…. ???

      Nothing. That’s right dear Fred. Your fertile imagination is full of the finest fertilizer know to the propaganda world today … Ziocrap.

  5. Fredblogs
    April 20, 2012, 4:05 pm

    The problem with giving in to any form of hostage taking extortion, is that it simply leads to more hostage taking extortion. This is true even when someone is holding himself hostage.

    I predicted back when Israel caved on Khader Adnan that the result would be far more hunger strikers. Apparently, I was 100% correct. Now they can either let go every terrorist, murderer, and thug in their prisons, or force feed a whole lot of people, or let them die.

    • seafoid
      April 20, 2012, 4:46 pm

      “The problem with giving in to any form of hostage taking extortion, is that it simply leads to more hostage taking extortion”

      That’s why Israel has more than 14000 Palestinian prisoners.
      You are very earnest, Fred, and you do try hard but sometimes you just walk into them.

      • Fredblogs
        April 23, 2012, 11:58 pm

        Actually, it has that many prisoners because 13700 of them have been convicted or are awaiting trial for various crimes. The other 300 of them are in administrative detention based on evidence that Israel doesn’t trust them enough to let them see.

    • Bumblebye
      April 20, 2012, 6:33 pm

      So fredfrog believes that Israel can take hostages (ie, political prisoners) and hold them without trial indefinitely, simply because they do not accept Jewish overlords or theft of their nation? That it “caved” by agreeing to release him?
      Fred, it’s ISRAEL that holds political hostages. Thousands of them. After the peace treaty in Northern Ireland, even bombers were released. Now, just like ‘former’ Israeli terrorists (their terrorism continues, as they support and fund the theft of Palestine with the cloak of respectability), they are part of the government.

    • dbroncos
      April 21, 2012, 11:12 am

      “This is true even when someone is holding himself hostage.”

      Fred, you’re a hostage to Zionist ideology. A creature to be pitied. Cold, naked in the dark, lunging and knashing your teeth at any rational person who cracks the door of your dungeon.

    • Mooser
      April 23, 2012, 9:20 pm

      “I predicted back when Israel caved on Khader Adnan that the result would be far more hunger strikers.”

      Gosh, shouldn’t we listen to a man who can see into the future? Will we ever have an opportunity like this again? Does Fredblogs give stock tips, or earthquake warnings? Is he like the most total mass twerp you ever saw in your puff?

  6. Refaat
    April 20, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I would fast a thousand days if they stand between me and my kids, let alone between me my freedom, dignity, AND my kids. And this hug.

  7. Emma
    April 20, 2012, 6:25 pm

    What a beautiful, inspiring man.

  8. Woody Tanaka
    April 20, 2012, 6:27 pm

    ” Now they can either let go every terrorist, murderer, and thug ”

    Yeah, because the judeo-fascists NEVER hold an innocent person…

  9. yourstruly
    April 20, 2012, 8:06 pm

    “my freedom is incomplete because of the prisoners I’ve left behind” and “from the gaza strip to the west bank to the ’48 territories and the exile, every palestinian is obliged to stand united.”

    ask any palestinian these same questions and one will get the same answers

    proof once again that a people united can never be defeated

    short of genocide, that is.

    • Fredblogs
      April 24, 2012, 12:02 am

      That’s unfortunate. Getting defeated is sometimes the best thing for a people. The Japanese and Germans are much better off for their defeats in WWII. I imaging if the Germans had stubbornly stayed Nazis and had a campaign of terrorist bombings against the Allies, then we would still be there holding them down.

  10. kalithea
    April 22, 2012, 3:57 am

    Pure joy. That picture speaks a thousands words, meanwhile Fredblogs stews in his hate. Delicious glimmer of justice.

    • Mooser
      April 23, 2012, 9:18 pm

      Gosh, I wonder how many Jews are converted to fervent, or more fervent Zionism every day by Fredblogs? I can imagine hundreds of Jewish highschool and college students reading Mondoweiss and telling themselves: “When I grow up I want to be just like Fredblogs, or that erudite, sophisticated Hophmi!”

      • Philip Weiss
        April 23, 2012, 11:03 pm

        yes and… on the other hand?

    • Fredblogs
      April 24, 2012, 12:03 am

      The only words it speaks are that he loves his kids. Big deal. I imagine if Sirhan Sirhan had any kids he’d love them too.

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