As I write this a 33 year old Palestinian man, Khader Adnan, is into his 62nd day of a hunger strike. Adnan, a son, a husband, a father, a graduate, a baker, an activist, a Palestinian, has not been charged with anything – he is one of hundreds of prisoners held in administrative detention by apartheid Israel. He has not eaten since 18th December 2011, I can hardly remember that day it seems so long ago. For Adnan, it was the beginning of this amazing act of resistance, of defiance, of refusal of the illegality of the system he is being held under.
Although thousands of people in Palestine and all over the world have held vigils, have emailed, tweeted, posted, made phone calls and representsation to politicians, the Israeli authorities, the EU’s foreign affairs representative, the so-called international community has been predictably silent on this case. While Catherine Ashton had many words for the family of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and often called for his release, she has had nothing to say about Khader Adnan until today when the usual vague statement calling on Israel to do what it could to “preserve the health” of Adnan, never calling for his release was issued. Having presided over 61 days of Adnan’s hunger strike, Israel clearly has zero interest in preserving his health or his human rights. Such a statement is an insult to Khader Adnan, to his family, to all Palestinian prisoners, unfortuatley this is standard stuff from the EU. My email to Catherine Ashton is below, I have received no answer. Until today the Irish media had not touched this story.
I wish I could do something for Khader Adnan, I can’t. All I can do is hope that all these messages of solidarity will be of comfort to his family and that his courage and will to resist help to end Israel’s brutalisation of Palestinians, and administrative detention. Yesterday I wrote this on the Facebook page Solidarity Letters to #KhaderAdnan رسائل دعم لخضر عدنان, it’s all I have: “Khader Adnan, your humanity shines so brightly, especially in the face of Israel’s utter inhumanity. Your soul is beautiful and free, your struggle for justice is an inspiration – they will never break your spirit. We are with you. Kulna Khader. Much respect, solidarity and love, Zoe”
Email to Catherine Ashton
Dear Catherine Ashton,
Why have you not made any attempts to intervene on behalf of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian man into his 61st day of hunger strike? Khader Adnan has not been charged with any crime and is being held in Israeli administrative detention, like hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners. Khader Adnan is shackled to his bed. This ‘legal system’ is a sham and Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including Adnan, is barbaric.
You made statements in sympathy with the family of Gilad Shalit, where are your statements now? Are you an honest broker in the Middle East or another politician barely paying lip service to justice while the Palestinian people continue to be oppressed and occupied by Israel?
As a citizen of the EU and as a human being, I find your silence on this case reprehensible and unrepresentative of most European citizens who in fact do not support apartheid, administrative detention or people having to starve themselves to death to protest the inhumanity and illegality they are subjected to by Israel.
I await your response with interest. Meanwhile, time is running out for Khader Adnan.
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