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World Must Pressure Israel to End the Scandal of "Administrative Detention" of Palestinians

By Khalid Amayreh

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 27, 2011


Khadr Adnan's agonizing ordeal, which lasted for 66 days and could have ended with his death at any moment, seemed to have succeeded in focusing on "administrative detention," the cruel Israeli practice meted out to peaceful Palestinians protesting Israeli occupation and oppression.

There are hundreds of Palestinian activists and intellectuals languishing in Israeli dungeons and detention camps, not knowing why they are being detained or when they will be able to go home.

The detainees include some of the most popular Palestinian leaders, especially in their immediate communities, such as Naef Rajoub of Dura, Muhammed Jamal Netshe of Hebron, and Aziz Dweik, the elected Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

One doesn't have to be a great expert in Israeli affairs to know that the apartheid state uses this form of cruelty, which is illegal under international law, to punish and torment peaceful protesters who otherwise wouldn't serve a single minute behind bars in any other country where the rule of law is truly respected.

We know and the world knows that the real reason behind the draconian practice of imprisoning innocent people indefinitely without charge or trial is to break their will to peacefully resist a sinister foreign occupation, seeking to obliterate the national existence of their people whose only fault is its enduring longing for liberty.

Israel claims that the sword of administrative detention, which is brandished almost exclusively against non-Jews, is aimed at preventing "terror."

This is obviously a lie, and, in any case, Israel is probably the last country on earth that is morally fit to invoke the issue of terror. After all, Israel is ipso facto a terrorist state, a gigantic war crime and a cancerous outgrowth upon the conscience of humanity.

It is this callousness, virulence and criminality that force young Palestinians to go on dangerous open-ended hunger strikes in order to gain basic human rights, rights that are taken for granted in any other country worthy of the democratic label.

Now, that Israel has blinked first by allowing Khadr Adnan to go home and get reunited with his wife and two daughters, it is no time for euphoria and ecstasy. Palestinians must make every possible effort to mobilize the international community, including international human rights organizations, to press and pressure Israel to terminate the cruel practice of administrative detention.

We certainly are indebted to Khadr Adnan for highlighting the grievances associated with the virulent and inherently unjust practice.

But we must keep the momentum in order to enlist sufficient international backing for forcing the apartheid Israeli state to treat our people with a semblance of decency and dignity.

Needless to say, we deserve justice as well as a dignified, civilized treatment by Israel, the occupying power. The apartheid state may think that Jews are a chosen people and that non-Jews are "water carriers" and "wood hewers" in the service of the Master Race. But, we the Palestinians, must do our part as well, by adopting the smartest ways to force our callous enemies to recognize our humanity.

We must raise the issue with all foreign officials, as well as other nations with which we have diplomatic representation.

We must cry out to the seventh heaven for simple justice and tell the world that it is unfair to take person from the warmth of his home and family and dump him or her in jail for years without charge or trial.

Just imagine how Jews in Israel and around the world react if a Jew was held for 10 years in some country without charge or trial. Imagine how many American and European officials and statesmen would be enlisted in order to gain freedom.

We have no illusions that Israel will transform itself into a libertarian state tomorrow or after tomorrow. The fascist mindedness of the Israeli military-political establishment simply doesn't allow for such optimism.

None the less, Israel does pay attention to her image and interests. And it is our duty to tarnish and besmirch her image as much as possible. For example we must expose Israeli "democracy" for what it is, a pornographic lie that is meant to mislead the international community, especially the West.

In all true democracies in the world, all people are innocent until proven guilty. In Israel , however , a given Palestinian is not only guilty until proven innocent; he is actually guilt even if proven innocent.

In highlighting our legitimate grievances, we can count on a lot of sympathy, backing and understanding from various quarters especially within the social media, now an increasingly effective alternative to the corporate media which has invested interests and parochial agendas.

Indeed, while the mainstream media, many of which are controlled or owned by pro-Israeli interests, has failed to sufficiently cover Adnan's story, Twitter has been at the forefront of the campaign to pressure the Israeli government to release the Palestinian activist.

And as my friend and colleague James Wall pointed out in his latest article "Khadr Adnan is a Requested Palestinian Gandhi; yet they saw him not," Twitter users have taken on the responsibility of filling the void created by the mainstream media.

So, let us keep the momentum.





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