Khader Adnan is starving for freedom again

Published in ElectronicIntifada

Adnan Mousa, left, attends a 23 May rally in Arrabeh village in the occupied West Bank, in solidarity with his son Khader Adnan who is on a total hunger strike against his administrative detention by Israel. (Ahmad Al-Bazz \ ActiveStills)
Adnan Mousa, left, attends a 23 May rally in Arrabeh village in the occupied West Bank, in solidarity with his son Khader Adnan who is on a total hunger strike against his administrative detention by Israel. (Ahmad Al-Bazz \ ActiveStills)

Maali was only 4 years old when her father, Khader Adnan, embarked on a 66-day hunger strike in protest at being held without charge or trial, a practice known as administrative detention, after his December 2011 arrest by Israeli occupation forces.

All she could understand back then was that her father was starving himself to be reunited with her and her sister Bisan — and to be next to their mother when she gave birth to baby Abd al-Rahman.

Adnan was released in April 2012. Three years later, at age 37, he is being held in administrative detention yet again — and has entered his second month of yet another hunger strike.

Maali, now 7 years old, explains that he’s doing it to “demand his freedom and defend the rights of prisoners.” She uses words you wouldn’t normally expect from a young child, but then again “normal life” is a luxury that Maali and her five siblings have never been granted.

Arduous journey

Khader Adnan’s experience of persecution and arrests stretches back to 1999, when the then undergraduate mathematics student at Birzeit University was arrested by Israeli occupation forces on charges of affiliation with the Islamic Jihad political party.

It was the first in a series of detentions — amounting to a total of more than six years in Israeli jails — during which Adnan has never been handed any formal charges or been given a trial even by the Israeli military courtswhich are notorious for failing to meet minimum international standards.

Two people who have been with him on this arduous journey are his parents, Adnan Mousa and Nawal.

They live in Arrabeh, near Jenin in the northern West Bank. Khader’s mother, Nawal, used to visit her son in the numerous Israeli prisons where he was held until she lost mobility and could no longer walk.

In 2012, Nawal attended one of his hearings in a wheelchair, but her health has since recently deteriorated and she cannot leave her home.

His father, now 78, goes from one protest to another in support of his son and other political prisoners. The elder accompanies Khader’s wife, Randa, to press conferences and vigils.

When Adnan Mousa told The Electronic Intifada that he was planning to go to Jerusalem for the protest in support of Khader Adnan, which took place on Friday, 5 June, his wife interrupted him.

“But I fear they [Israeli soldiers] would hurt you,” she said. He shrugged it off, insisting that he had nothing to lose.

“Hunger strike as a weapon”

For Randa, her husband Khader’s plight is nothing new.

“He used the hunger strike as a weapon, both in Israeli prisons and in the Palestinian Authority jails where he was arrested twice and on both occasions resorted to hunger strikes,” Randa told The Electronic Intifada.

Adnan’s 66-day hunger strike that began on 18 December 2011 secured his eventual release after it drew considerable popular support and international attention.

It also helped highlight the issue of administrative detention — a relic of British colonial rule continued by Israel, that occupation authorities use to intimidate and grind down Palestinians by holding hundreds without charge or trial. Prisoners are usually sentenced to six months at a time, but their detention can be renewed indefinitely.

In 2012, Amnesty International issued a report detailing the human rights abuses associated with administration detention, which, it said, Israel uses to “suppress the legitimate and peaceful activities of activists in the occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Amnesty called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of prisoners held under this policy.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, by the end of March, 412 Palestinian administrative detainees were being held in Israeli jails.

Escalated

Khader Adnan’s initial hunger strike also played a key role in sparking other individual hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners — most notably by Hana al-Shalabi, Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab. They were followed by a mass hunger strike that began on 17 April 2012.

Hunger striking as a tactic, however, has gradually lost efficacy to mobilize the wider Palestinian public.

This is partly due to the fact that it was used by individuals when it is often most effective when implemented en masse. Its use has also varied, with most of the long-term hunger strikers going through partial hunger strikes that include only returning some meals at the start and later receiving vitamins and other nutritional supplements, but no solid food.

In Adnan’s case, however, his lawyer and his family have confirmed that he is undertaking a complete hunger strike that started with only water and salt. He has since escalated the strike, refusing anything but water.

Adnan’s father told The Electronic Intifada that Jawad Boulos, head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club’s legal unit, had visited his son on Wednesday. Boulos tried to convince him to end his hunger strike, but Adnan strongly refused, despite drastic weight loss and deterioration in his health.

Currently held in solitary confinement in the Ramle prison clinic after being moved from Israel’s Hadarim prison, Adnan is also refusing treatment by any doctor employed by the Israeli prison authorities.

He insists he will only accept treatment by an independent doctor.

His wife Randa laments the lack of mobilization in support of Khader Adnan although it has been more than 30 days since he began the strike.

“[During] the last time, serious protests on the ground began only after the 45th day of his hunger strike and after he was nearing [danger to his life]. We cannot wait so long this time,” she said.

“Threat”

Adnan’s father believes that one of the factors contributing to the relative silence is fear. Not fear of Israel, however, but of the Palestinian Authority.

“The Palestinian Authority regards my son as a threat because while Khader supports all forms of resistance, the Palestinian Authority supports all forms of normalization,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority were quick to embrace Khader Adnan after his release in April 2012. However, it did not take a long time for him to be marginalized — and even threatened — by the PA.

Adnan’s continuous presence in the frontline of protests, his charisma and the admiration he garnered among Palestinian youth regardless of their political affiliations made him a leader and symbol.

Active and engaging, he regularly visited prisoners and the families of Palestinians killed by the occupation, usually accompanied by Randa. He visited the homes of more than 500 prisoner families and dedicated his life to the cause of the prisoners whether they were affiliated with leftist, Islamist factions or with Fatah, which dominates the PA.

“He returned to his work in the bakery only a week after his release,” Randa recalled. “He would go to the bakery at 2am and get back home at 12pm, but anytime there was a protest at Ofer [prison] or in Ramallah he would leave his work to attend it.”

“Yet during one of the prayers held after the killing of a Palestinian by Israel, he was harassed by Palestinian Authority security forces who tried to kick him out of the mosque. In another instance, he was detained for an hour by Palestinian security forces,” she explained.

Adnan’s father says that not a single PA official had called him to express his support. “We received messages of support from people in Aleppo who are under shelling. We received messages of support from Homs and Yarmouk refugee camp; from Ireland where they know very well what it means to starve for freedom. But we got no word whatsoever from the PA or the ministry of prisoners,” he said.

During the interview, Randa received a call from a prisoner’s mother whose son has been in Israeli occupation jails for 13 years. Such calls mean a lot to the family, as they show how overwhelmingly Adnan is admired.

“Partner in struggle”

“Khader is not just my husband,” Randa said. “He is a partner in struggle. I’ve been with him to protests and together we supported prisoner families. I never considered this a burden or an exhaustion but rather an asset.”

Randa was keen to stress how loving and gentle Adnan is.

“He always helped me look after the children, changing their diapers and doing stuff that some men never consider doing. During my pregnancy with triplets, Khader was the one cleaning the house and making every effort to keep me happy and comfortable,” she said.

While extremely concerned for his well-being, the family is both supportive of Adnan’s decision to go on hunger strike and confident that he will emerge victorious.

“We discussed the issue before he was arrested again in July last year,” his mother said. “I told him, please, if they arrest you again don’t go on hunger strike.’ He remained silent, but gave me a look that pierced my heart like a bullet — as if to ask me to respect his decision and not expect me to deprive him of the only weapon he would have.”

Khader Adnan informed his wife and his father of his plan to go on hunger strike in case Israeli authorities were to renew his administrative detention.

“Khader is not a nihilist,” his father said. “He’s not doing this because he wants to die and because he wants to hurt himself. On the contrary, he’s going through this because he loves life and believes that this is the only way to achieve freedom.”

 

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“I did all that I could do for Palestine,” says freed prisoner Said Tamimi

Budour Hassan
Originally published on Electronic Intifada

Celebration of freed Palestinian prisoner, Nabi Saleh, West Bank

If one thing can still unite and mobilize all Palestinians, regardless of their political affiliations or where they live, it is the struggle of our political prisoners in Israeli jails.

The recent US-brokered deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to release prisoners, who were jailed before the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, has left many of us with conflicting emotions.

“Indefensible decision”

True, the release of any prisoner —let alone one who has spent over 20 years behind bars– is always a reason for celebration. Yet the announcement by the Israeli government that 104 prisoners will be released —a number that has now risen to 109— was part of a deal to start yet another round of futile negotiations between Israel and the PA.

As most Palestinians view these talks with suspicion and a sense of despair, the planned release of the long-serving prisoners was used by the PA to justify its indefensible decision to resume negotiations with Israel.

Furthermore, it was obvious from celebrations which the PA organized in Ramallah that it is seeking to exploit the prisoners’ issue to score political points and boost its low credibility among ordinary Palestinians.

Even worse, all three rounds of releases that have taken place so far have been accompanied by announcements from Israel that it will expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank. This underscores once again that Israel is using these negotiations to entrench the occupation.

Joy

Nonetheless, it is important to remember that the releases have brought joy to a number of families. One Palestinian activist who is related to a pre-Oslo political prisoner said: “Look, you might say I am selfish, but I support anything that brings about the release of those prisoners. You are talking about prisoners who have spent more than 20 years in jails, who have been forgotten by most of us and whose families are dying to see them free. And if negotiations are the only way to accomplish their release, then so be it.”

The activist, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “The Israelis are building new settlements and grabbing our land with or without negotiations. This is the first time that I support negotiations simply because it means the prisoners are going to be released.”

While such a position overlooks the dangerous consequences of the negotiations and is driven by emotions, it is easy to understand where it comes from, particularly when you meet some of the prisoners concerned.

Among the Palestinian prisoners released on 31 December was Said Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah renowned for holding regular protests against the Israeli occupation since 2009.

Said was arrested on 9 November 1993, along with Bassem Tamimi, who has played a prominent role in the protests over the past few years (As well as belonging to the same extended family, both men are close friends).

Torture

While Bassem was later released after enduring severe torture which caused partial paralysis, Said was convicted of killing an Israeli settler and sentenced to life imprisonment.

“The worst torture I suffered happened during the first few months of my arrest, especially in interrogations,” Said Tamimi told The Electronic Intifada. “Things got easier as years passed on, but the harassment continued. We were occasionally gassed, beaten or subjected to humiliating and violent searches by prison guards.”

Born in Nabi Saleh in March 1972, Said never met his father, who was murdered by the Israeli secret service Mossad in al-Baddawi refugee camp in Lebanon when Said was still an infant.

Said Tamimi’s involvement in Palestinian popular resistance began early in the first intifada that erupted in late 1987. Tamimi was studying at an orphanage in Jerusalem at the time.

His first arrest came when he was only 17. He was detained for almost a year.

Hiding

Shortly afterwards, Tamimi was forced to go into hiding as Israeli occupation forces began chasing him. His mother Fatima, now in her late seventies, said “They ran after him for almost two years before finally capturing him. I was thinking of him all the time, wondering where he was sleeping and if he was eating.

“On one rainy night I was sleeping and imagined hearing his footsteps and him shouting and calling my name. I opened the door and saw no-one outside. Apparently I was dreaming.

“Said’s two elder brothers were arrested too during the first intifada, and his sister was killed by militants from the Abu Nidal Organization,” a defunct armed splinter group that is believed to have been in the pay of several foreign governments.

“Said is the closest to my heart, perhaps because he’s the youngest and was deprived of seeing his father, but he is also the one who tormented me the most [through his involvement in resistance],” Fatima said.

For 16 of Said’s twenty years in jail, his mother —commonly known as Umm Said— was only allowed to see him through glass during visits. “The first time I was allowed to hug him because of my age, I passed out and lost consciousness,” she said.

“I could not believe that I finally hugged and kissed him. The prison guards were surprised at my reaction, and I remember telling them ‘You killed his father when he was a toddler and you are now imprisoning him for life.’”

“During one of my visits to Said I was ordered to take off my clothes to be allowed in. I had to do it because I wanted to see Said. There were other women with me who were visiting their imprisoned brothers. They refused to be strip-searched and since then they have been denied visits to their brothers.”

Anyone who attends the weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh knows Umm Said. She used to throw rocks at Israeli forces before her health deteriorated.

“Proud of my mother”

During one Friday protest, Israeli soldiers stormed into her house screaming that she was hiding one of the demonstrators. She responded by throwing shoes at the soldiers and kicking them out of her house. “I remember seeing her on television and I was incredibly proud of her, proud that she is my mother,” Said said.

Umm Said suffered a stroke on 1 June last year. Asked if he was afraid that his mother might die before his release, Said said: “My mother’s illness made me feel like I was inside two prisons. I wanted to get out to make up for all the suffering she has gone through during my absence, and also wanted her to compensate me for all the tenderness I have been denied. Yes, I was scared but my mother and I had made a pact when I was jailed that she would stay alive until my release.”

His mother said: “Perhaps the only thing that gave me power to survive was the hope of seeing Said soon … we knew that he would be released because his name was on the list, but we did not know in which round and that affected me greatly. Due to my condition of my health, I could not visit him for the last eight months.”

One particularly emotional moment came when the brothers Ahmad and Nizar Tamimi —two life-long friends of Said— were released as part of the prisoner exchange deal reached between Israel and Hamas in 2011.

“Nizar and Ahmad were crying for me because their happiness was not complete as Said was not released with them,” Umm Said said. “They bawled and embraced me, but I was happy for them. They were like my sons, they grew up with him. I told Said that now two of my sons have been released and the next is surely on the way.”

Said Tamimi, along with some other prisoners from the West Bank, arrived at the PA’s Ramallah compound, the Muqataa at 3am on 31 December. But his mother had to wait for two more hours to meet him in Nabi Saleh.

“I only believed that he was free when he entered the house and hugged me,” she said. “I actually still cannot believe that he is here. Even when he is sitting next to me, I still fear that this is a dream. I just hope that every mother can experience the feelings I had when I saw Said.”

No regrets

Now that he is finally free, his mother has talked to him about getting married. “She has already started looking for a wife for me,” Said said with a smile.

“But I think it’s still too early. Now I feel like a little child who is rediscovering life and getting to recognize all the new faces and places around him. Of course, I want to have a family and continue my studies but now I want to adapt to life outside prison and spend as much time with my mother as possible.”

Said Tamimi has no regrets. “I know that I paid a very heavy cost but I don’t regret taking the path of resistance because I believe in the cause and what comforts me is the knowledge that I did all that I could do for Palestine.”

Even for those of us who staunchly oppose the PA’s negotiations with Israel, it is impossible not to be overwhelmed with happiness for Said Tamimi and all the prisoners who are finally tasting freedom.

Solidarity helped me keep fighting, says released hunger striker Samer Issawi

Budour Hassan
Originally published on ElectronicIntifada

There was a distinctly different ambience at the home of the Issawis this time around. It would be the first time that we were visiting expecting to meet Samer Issawi himself.

This visit was not about offering solidarity and support, an act we undertook repeatedly when Samer was in prison. This time the visit was not to participate in a demonstration calling for his release.

We did not hear the tediously familiar sound bombs that usually accompanied our visits to the village of Issawiyeh in occupied East Jerusalem.

This visit was a celebratory and congratulatory one.

Finally, a week after her son’s release, it was possible to look Leila, Samer Issawi’s mother, in the eye and smile incessantly, free from the anxiety and agitated hope that saddled our hearts when we met her previously. In Palestine, moments of collective joy and triumph are so rare that we feel like we snatch them from the jaws of our occupiers.

The release of Samer Issawi on 23 December 2013 was one of those moments of joy that will linger in the memories of all who witnessed it.

Dawn raid

On the morning of his release, journalists and supporters of Samer Issawi began gathering at the family’s home. Israeli occupation forces had already raided the Issawis’ home at dawn and the previous night, warning the family not to hold celebrations.

“They raided the house while I was praying at dawn and ordered us to refrain from celebrating,” Samer’s mother told The Electronic Intifada. “But this was out of our hands. We could not control people and stop them from celebrating and we did not want to.”

Neither the intimidation nor the presence of Israeli military forces at the entrance to Issawiyeh could prevent the massive celebrations that accompanied Samer’s arrival.

A group of women of all ages marched from Samer’s house into the streets as Samer, his mother and his sister Shireen were making their way home after Samer was released from Israel’s Shatta prison.

The women and girls created a wedding-like atmosphere, chanting revolutionary slogans, banging on darbuka drums and singing traditional Palestinian songs adapted for the occasion. As soon as the bus carrying Samer and his family made it into Issawiyeh, the crowd erupted euphorically.

Celebratory gunshots were fired in the air, youth climbed atop fences to catch a glimpse of their hero and children kept chanting Samer’s name and the word “freedom.” It was a popular and festive protest, bringing together Palestinians of all ages and political affiliations, something that Occupied Jerusalem has not seen in a long time.

Samer’s 16-year-old niece, Leila, had taken part in numerous demonstrations and clashes demanding her uncle’s release. She noted that the arrest of Samer in July 2012 — not long after he had been released as part of a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas— had politicized an entire generation in Issawiyeh.

The extent to which Samer’s arrest and hunger strike have influenced the village was visible. You would see children as young as five engaging in political discussions and leading chants in protests.

“I felt like I was flying”

A protest tent set up by local youth in support of Samer was demolished over twenty times by Israeli occupation forces who subjected the entire village to collective punishment.

That only bolstered Issawiyeh residents’ determination to stand behind Samer.

With Samer surrounded by so many supporters and journalists, it was very hard to greet him and interview him on the day of his release. So we met one week later at his house.

We could not avoid asking his mother the predictable question about what she felt when she hugged her son after his release. “I lost count of the number of times I’ve had to answer this question,” she said. “My feeling could not be described in words. I was so happy that Samer finally got to breathe the scent of freedom and Palestine. I felt like I was flying.”

Samer’s mother has endured a litany of painful experiences. Her son Fadi was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces in 1994 during protests in Jerusalem following the Ibrahimi mosque massacre in Hebron.

“Hardly a moment passes without remembering Fadi. It’s been almost twenty years since his martyrdom but I still remember everything about him: his clothes, his favourite dishes and his smile.”

Entire family jailed

All of Leila Issawi’s other children — five sons and one daughter — have spent time in jail. “At one point in 2010, all of them were in jail: Samer, Medhat, Raafat, Shadi, Firas and Shireen. That was the first time they were reunited in 13 years, but then the Israel Prison Service separated them, jailing each of them in a different prison.”

Before his arrest in 2012, Samer had been arrested four times. He was arrested on 15 April 2002 during what Israel called Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale invasion of several cities in the occupied West Bank. Samer Issawi was sentenced to thirty years in jail on charges of possession of weapons and engaging in armed activities with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Samer Issawi was among over a thousand prisoners released in the October 2011 exchange deal. But like several other prisoners released then, he was soon re-arrested.

The excuse given by Israel was that he had violated his release conditions, which banned him from travelling in the West Bank. The pretext is all the more ludicrous considering Issawi had only visited the nearby village of Kafr Aqab, which Israel considers to be within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries.

Double-edged sword

In protest at his arrest, Samer Issawi began returning meals in August 2012 in a partial hunger strike that lasted for 266 days. Samer saw refusing food as his only option as he was facing twenty years of imprisonment, yet he believes that hunger strikes can be a double-edged sword.

“Of course, hunger strikes are much more effective when they are mass hunger strikes,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “I think that, for instance, administrative detainees held without charge or trial should go on collective hunger strikes rather than individual hunger strikes.”

“In my case, I had to go on an individual hunger strike because it was in protest at Israel’s violation of the prisoner exchange deal, but I’m aware that there is a big difference between collective and individual hunger strikes. In individual hunger strikes, we can take vitamins and glucose to last longer while mass hunger strikers only drink water. Mass hunger strikes are usually much shorter than individual hunger strikes and garner much more attention and popular solidarity.”

Samer believes that factional divisions among political organizations restrict the scope for mass resistance.

“We have to be honest and not shy away from mentioning our problems. The division along factional lines, particularly between Fatah and Hamas, has damaged the prisoner movement and unless all prisoners unite, we will not be able to improve conditions in jail or achieve freedom for all prisoners.”

In Samer’s case, the popular support and media attention he received particularly in the latter stages of his hunger strike proved crucial to put pressure on Israel to release him.

Women played key role

Samer and his mother Leila emphasized the important role that his sister Shireen has played.

“Shireen was the one shedding light on her brother’s case, writing about him on Facebook, speaking to the media and rallying local and international support,” said Leila. “Samer would not have emerged victorious without her efforts.”

Shireen, a lawyer, humbly downplayed her role by claiming she had done nothing special.

But her niece Leila insisted: “The ones who led the campaign to release Uncle Samer were women. Shireen and my grandmother, and so many of those who participated in solidarity protests were women as well, even outnumbering the guys.”

Banishment offers rejected

Throughout his partial hunger strike, Samer Issawi received several Israeli offers to be banished to Gaza but he rejected all of them. “Gaza is definitely part of Palestine, but I felt that accepting a deal that would expel me from my hometown Jerusalem would set a dangerous precedent and would betray the sacrifices of martyrs and prisoners.”

“Issawiyeh is my hometown and I never for a moment thought about accepting such a deal. On the contrary, whenever I was given an offer to be banished, I escalated my hunger strikes by refusing vitamins, for example.”

Buoyed by solidarity

Demonstrations in support of Samer — albeit not always particularly large — took place across Palestine. They included vigils at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City that were violently dispersed by Israeli occupation forces, daily sit-ins in Jaffa’s Clock Square that lasted for over forty consecutive days and protests outside Ramle prison hospital when Samer was held there.

Protests and solidarity actions also took place in Ramallah and Gaza and in many cities around the world.

“My lawyers repeatedly told me about those demonstrations and this definitely buoyed me,” Samer said. “Even at the start when there was little attention I was determined to keep fighting, but of course the support I got from Palestinians in Palestine and the diaspora, as well as all the free people in the world gave me a lot of confidence.”

But despite the popular solidarity, high-ranking Palestinian Authority (PA) politicians offered little support. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas even refused to meet Samer’s mother.

Yet, ironically, a number of PA politicians have celebrated Samer’s release.

“I know that there were many of them who did not support Samer and they know that, but when they called to congratulate I accepted their congratulations,” Samer’s mother Leila said. “At the end of the day, this is a victory for Samer and for the Palestinian people.”

Samer insisted that it was Palestinian people, not leading politicians, who made his release possible. Asked how he felt about being regarded by many as an icon, Samer said: “I don’t care how people consider me, but I will always remain an ordinary man. Nothing will change in my life.”

“I will continue to enjoy spending time with the kids. I’m not an icon but simply a soldier in the fight for freedom and dignity in Palestine.”

Palestine and the Syrian Revolution فلسطين والثورة السورية

أدناه النصّ الأصلي والترجمة العربية وفيديو يوتيوب الكلمة التي ألقيتها يوم 17 تشرين الثاني 2013 أثناء ندوة عن الثورة السورية في نيويورك نظمتها شبكة تضامن الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا. شكراً للرفاق في المنشور وفي شبكة التحرير لنشرهما النصّ (: This is a transcript and a YouTube of my presentation on 17 November 2013 at a Teach in on Syria in New York organized by the MENA Solidarity Newtork US. Thanks to comrades in Tahrir-ICN and al-Manshour for publishing the texts.

ملاحظة: فيديو اليوتيوب فيه ترجمة عربية، اضغطي على CC في الأسفل إن لم تظهر

في نيسان عام 2011، قالت مدونة مصرية شهيرة أن على الثوار السوريين رفع علم فلسطين خلال مظاهرات يوم الجمعة وذلك لإثبات دعمهم للمقاومة الفلسطينية ولدحض حجة النظام بأنه يدعم القضية الفلسطينية.

اليوم أسأل نفسي، هل على السوريين القيام بذلك؟ هل على السوريين رفع العلم الفلسطيني لإثبات دعمهم لفلسطين؟ هل على السوريين تقديم أوراق اعتمادهم حتى يدعم العالم قضيتهم؟ الجواب كان واضحا بالنسبة لي: كلا، السوريون ليسوا بحاجة للقيام بذلك. اليوم أخبرني صديق سوري أنه عند بداية الثورة تجنبنا رفع العلم الفلسطيني ليس لأننا لا نؤيد القضية الفلسطينية، إنما لأن هذه القضية جرى استغلالها من قبل النظام إلى درجة تحويلها إلى مجرد أداة سياسية، نحن نحب فلسطين كثيرا لكننا لا نقبل بتحويلها إلى مجرد أداة سياسية، لذلك تجنبنا استعمال العلم. وأعتقد أنه على السوريين أن لا يفعلوا ذلك، السوريون ليسوا مرغمين على رفع العلم الفلسطيني لإثبات دعمهم لنا. لأن فلسطين ليست علما. بكل تأكيد، فلسطين هي أكثر من ذلك بكثير.

فلسطين هي اللاجئون في مخيم اليرموك الذي دعموا الثورة منذ اليوم الأول، الذين ساعدوا المهجرين السوريين كما شاركوا في المظاهرات، ووثقوا الثورة، وقدموا يد العون بقدر استطاعتهم. الثورة هي اللاجئون الفلسطينيون في مخيم الرمل في اللاذقية الذين تعرضوا لحملة قمعية شرسة خلال شهر تموز عام 2011. الثورة لا تكمن في قصور النظام، وليست شعارا يردده زعيم المقاومة الذي يظن أنه بمجرد قيادته لحركة مقاومة فإن ذلك يعطيه الحق في الكلام باسم الفلسطينيين، وقتل الأبرياء في سوريا ليس فقط باسم المقاومة إنما أيضا باسم فلسطين. لذلك، أعتقد أنه ليس على السوريين إثبات أي شي لأي شخص.

ثانيا، حتى لو افترضنا أن النظام السوري يدعم فعليا المقاومة الفلسطينية، هل ذلك يعني أن هذا الأمر يسمح للنظام السوري بالسيطرة على سوريا، ولمنع الناس من التعبير عن آرائهم، ولقتل وتعذيب مئات الآلاف من السوريين فقط لأنهم تجرأوا على قول لا لنظام قمعي استمر أكثر أربعين عاما؟ بالطبع لا. حتى لو كان بشار الأسد الشخص الوحيد القادر على تحرير فلسطين فإنني لا أؤيده، وأنا على ثقة أن العديد من الفلسطينيين سيتخذون الموقف عينه. لأن تحررنا لا يمكن أن يتم مقابل استعباد شعب آخر، وخاصة عندما يكون هذا الاستعباد استبعاد لإخوتنا وأخواتنا في سوريا.

في الواقع، النظام السوري لم يكن يوما داعما لفلسطين، بالنسبة للنظام السوري، كانت فلسطين دائما ورقة توت، وكانت دائما أداة سياسية. بدأ الأمر في السبعينيات مع مساعدة النظام السوري للميليشيات في لبنان لسحق اللاجئين في تل الزعتر. حصار ومجزرة تل الزعتر لا يمكن نسيانهما. والمجازر التي ارتكبتها حركة أمل بدعم من النظام السوري في لبنان خلال الثمانيينات ضد اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في لبنان وضد منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية لا يمكن نسيانها كذلك. والحصار الذي يفرضه النظام على مخيم اليرموك، ومنع الناس من الحصول على المساعدات الطبية أو حليب الأطفال، ومنع الناس من الخروج والدخول إلى المخيم، لا يمكن السكوت عنه ولا يمكن تجاهله، كما يفعل العديد من الناس للأسف حيث يعتقدون أن النظام يقوم بذلك من أجل المقاومة، وأن هذا النظام يحترم حقوق الإنسان بالنسبة إلى الفلسطينيين.

اليوم، كفلسطينية، لست بحاجة قول كل ذلك إلى الكثير من الناس لإقناعهم بعدالة القضية السورية. لأن رأيي شديد الوضوح بأن هذه الثورة هي ثورة الحرية والكرامة. ولكن للأسف بالنسبة إلى العديد من الناس هنا في فلسطين، لأن هناك حالة استقطابية بين الفلسطينيين، كما هو الحال في العديد من الدول العربية، حول النظام السوري، كان علينا أن نقول ذلك مرارا وتكرارا، وأن نحاول إقناع رفاقنا- أو رفاقنا السابقين- أنه عليهم التوقف عن دعم النظام السوري، وكل ما نسمعه عن دعم النظام السوري للمقاومة ليس سوى دعاية سياسية.

ولكن ذلك لم ينفع للأسف. يتمسك بعض الناس بآرائهم المؤيدة للنظام. وإذا كنا نريد الحديث عن ردة فعل الفلسطينيين تجاه الثورة الفلسطينيين، فنجد أنها متعددة. للأسف اليسار، بشكل أساسي التيار اليساري المهيمن، يدعم نظام بشار الأسد. وهنا تكمن المفارقة، لأن أحد الأطراف الأكثر تأييدا للنظام هو الحزب الشيوعي الإسرائيلي، الذي يدعم النظام لأنه، على حد قوله: “هذا النظام مناهض للإمبريالية”. ولكن في نفس الوقت، لم يجد هذا الحزب أي مشكلة للمشاركة في الاحتجاجات جنبا إلى جنب مع الصهاينة في تل أبيب، إلى جانب الصهاينة الليبراليين على سبيل المثال. فكيف تقول أن دعمك للنظام السوري لأنه ضد الإمبريالية من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى تشارك في الاحتجاجات إلى جانب الصهاينة؟

وهناك من يقول أنه أيّد الثورة السورية عندما كانت غير عنفية، ولكن، بعد ذلك، تحولت إلى ثورة مسلحة وبالتالي لا يمكننا دعمها بعد الآن، لأنها اختُطفت. نعم، الثورة السورية اختُطفت في الحقيقة، ونحن نعلم أن العديد من السلفيين والجهاديين والكثير من المجموعات، منها من هو مقرب من الولايات المتحدة والدول الإمبريالية الأخرى التي حاولت خطف الثورة السورية. ولكن هذا لا يعني أن الثورة السورية مشوهة، ولا يعني أنه لمجرد اختطاف الحركة الثورية يجب علينا الوقوف على الهامش والتوقف عن دعمها.

بالطبع، لا زال هناك الكثير من الثوار العاملين على الأرض، والعديد منهم من الحركة غير العنفية، وهناك العديد من الكتائب المسلحة غير الطائفية وهذا أمر لا يمكن تجاهله. وإذا اختطفت الثورة لا يمكننا البدء بلوم الناس على ذلك. نحن في الواقع نفعل كل شيء إلى جانب الشعب من أجل إعادة الثورة إلى السكة الصحيحة. وهذا ما لا يفهمه العديد من اليساريين.

اليوم، على الجانب الآخر هناك مجموعة واسعة من اليمينيين والإسلاميين الذين يدعمون الثورة في سوريا ولكن ليس لأنهم يؤمنون بالكرامة والحرية، إنما لأنهم يعتقدون أنها انتفاضة سنية ضد النظام العلوي. لهذا السبب كان من الصعب بالنسبة لي المشاركة في الاحتجاجات التي نظمها الإسلاميون دعما للثورة، لأنه بالنسبة لي، على الرغم من مشاركة حركات إسلامية في الثورة، فإنها تبقى ثورة من أجل الحرية والمساواة والعدالة الاجتماعية والكرامة. ولهذا السبب لا يمكن الاتفاق مع موقف الإسلاميين هنا في فلسطين الذين يدعمون الثورة لأنهم يرونها ثورة السنة ضد العلويين.

اليوم، هناك جزء صغير من اليسار الفلسطيني يدعم الثورة السورية ولا يقدم المحاضرات للسوريين حول ما يتوجب عليهم فعله، أو يقول أنها فشلت. نجحنا في تنظيم بعض الاعتصامات، في حيفا على سبيل المثال، وفي القدس، وفي أماكن أخرى من فلسطين. وعلى الرغم من قلة المشاركين في الاعتصامات لكن كان إظهار دعمنا للشعب السوري يعني لنا الكثير، لإظهار أن الفلسطينيين داخل فلسطين المحتلة يقفون معكم، وهناك أشخاص لا يمكن لدعاية النظام السوري السياسية أن تغشهم.

في سوريا، هناك فرع للمخابرات، وهو أحد فروع المخابرات الأكثر شهرة في سوريا، اسمه “فلسطين”. هذا يعني أن الناس يتعرضون للتعذيب، ومن بينهم فلسطينيين، باسم بلدنا، وباسم قضيتنا، لأننا نؤمن بأنها مسألة تتعلق بالحرية.

اليوم، أقول للفلسطينيين وللذين يعتقدون أن النظام هو داعم فعلي لفلسطين، والذين لا يؤيدون الثورة، والذين يقفون جانبا يقولون: “لا، نحن لا نريد دعم الثورة”، أو الذين يقفون على الحياد إليهم أقول: لكم فلسطينكم ولي فلسطيني.

فلسطينكم هي فرع الاستخبارات في دمشق الذي يقتل ويعذب الناس، أما فلسطيني فهي الشهيد خالد بكراوي، شهيد من مخيم اليرموك، الذي اعتقل وتعرض للتعذيب حتى الموت. فلسطينكم هي خطاب بشار الأسد، أما فلسطيني فهي هتافات الحرية التي صدحت بها حناجر المناضلين في حماه. فلسطينكم مجرد كلام فارغ، أما فلسطيني فهي سكان بستان القصر الذين رفعوا صورة سامر العيساوي، المعتقل الذي أضرب عن الطعام داخل سجون الاحتلال الصهيوني.

فلسطيني هي الشعب من شمال إلى جنوب سوريا وهم يهتفون مع غزة خلال العدوان الأخير العام الماضي: “يا غزة، نحنا معاكِ للموت!” قاموا بذلك في وقت كان نظام الأسد يقصفهم. فلسطيني هي الشباب السوري الثائر في دمشق الذين رفعوا لافتة تضامنية مع فلسطيني النقب بعنوان: “برافر لن يمر!”

إذا، الثوار السوريون، حتى عندما يواجهون أفظع أشكال التعذيب، والاضطهاد، والقمع، لا يزالون يتذكرون إخوانهم وأخواتهم في فلسطين، وما زالوا يهتفون تضامنا معهم ولم ينسوا، كذلك، المعتقلين.

لذلك، أعتقد أنه من المهم تذكر، المئات الآلاف من المعتقلين السوريين والفلسطينيين الذين ما زالوا قابعين في سجون النظام، منهم على سبيل المثال علي الشهابي، الشيوعي الفلسطيني الذي اعتقل في سجون النظام السوري لمدة سنة تقريبا، وماهر الجاجة أيضا، شاب من مخيم اليرموك للاجئين، الذي اعتقله النظام لأكثر من سنة، ولا أحد يعلم مجريات قضيته حتى الآن.

كما لا يمكن نسيان الشهيد أنس عمارة، الذي اغتيل لمجرد أنه حاول إدخال مساعدات إلى مخيم اليرموك للاجئين في محاولى منه لكسر الحصار. فلسطيني هي أيضا جهاد أسعد محمد، الصحفي السوري الذي كان يكتب، قبل الثورة في سوريا، دائما تضامنا مع فلسطين، والذي مثله مثل الكثيرين لا يؤمن بأن فلسطين هي فلسطين بشار الأسد، إنما هي قضية تعني كل العرب.

لذلك، أريد أن أسأل سؤالا إضافيا: أطلب من الناس الذين يعتقدون أن بشار الأسد يدعم فلسطين أو يصدقون دعايته السياسية، إقرأوا القليل من التاريخ، إقراوا عما فعله والده لفلسطين وللمخيمات الفلسطينية. وإذا لم تقتنعوا، لا تنسوا هذه الحقيقة، لا تدعوا المكاسب السياسية تؤثر على دعمكم للثورة في سوريا. لأنه من الواضح أن الأمر لا يتعلق بالجيوسياسة. نحن لا نعرف ما إذا كان انتصار الثورة في سوريا سيؤثر على القضية الفلسطينية. من الممكن أن تلحق ضررا بها، لا أعرف. ولكن الأمر لا يهمني من ناحية أخرى. لأن دعمي للثورة في سوريا هو غير مشروط.

وأعتقد أنه على الرغم من أن الأمور تصبح أكثر تعقيدا، وعلى الرغم من أن كل المجموعات المروعة تحاول اختطاف الثورة في سوريا، وخاصة الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام، التي يعارضها العديد من السوريين، أنفسهم الذين تظاهروا ضد النظام يتظاهرون أيضا ضد الدولة الإسلامية، لذلك لدي ملء الثقة بهؤلاء الناس. لدي ملء الثقة بسعاد نوفل، وكل الثقة بأولئك المصرين والصامدين في دمشق ودرعا، مهد الثورة، وفي حلب والسلمية، المدينة الرائعة التي لا تزال تتظاهر منذ الأيام الأولى لانطلاقة الثورة.

لدي كل الثقة بهؤلاء الناس، وعلى الرغم من أن الأمور تزداد تعقيدا أكثر فأكثر، بأنهم سينجحون في الحفاظ على سيرورة الثورة، وحتى لو أضر ذلك بقضيتي لأنني في الواقع غير مهتمة. ولكن ما يعنيني هو حرية وكرامة إخواني وأخواتي السوريين والسوريات، وأرفض أن يتم استخدام اسمي أو اسم بلدي أو قضيتي بهدف قتل أخواتي وإخواني في سوريا.

* * * * * *

In April of 2011 a famous megastar Egyptian blogger told Syrian revolutionaries that they needed to raise Palestinian flags during the demonstrations on Friday just to prove that they support the Palestinian resistance and to deny the narrative by the regime that the regime supports the Palestinian cause.

Now I asked myself then, do Syrians have to do that? Do Syrians have to raise the Palestinian flag just to prove that they support Palestine? Do Syrians have to show their nationalist credentials so the world supports their cause? And the answer was clear to me then: No, Syrians do not have to do that. Now a Syrian friend told me at the start of the uprising that we avoided raising Palestinian flags and talking about Palestine not because we don’t support the Palestinian cause, but because this cause was exploited by the regime to a degree that turned it into just a political tool, and we love Palestine so much that we don’t agree to turn the cause into a political tool, and this is why we avoided using it. And I think that Syrians do not have to do this, Syrians do not have to wave a Palestinian flag to prove that they support us. Because Palestine is not a flag. Definitely Palestine is much more than that.

Palestine is the refugees in Yarmouk camp who supported the revolution from the first day, who aided displaced Syrians and who participated in protests, documented the uprising, and helped as much as they could. The revolution is also the Palestinian refugees in al Raml refugee camp in Latakia who took a hard beating by the regime and had to deal with a heavy crackdown starting from July 2011. And the revolution lives not in the palaces of the regime, nor in the speeches of a resistance leader who thinks that just because he leads a resistance movement this gives him the right to speak in the name of Palestinians, and to kill innocent people in Syria not just in the name of resistance but also in the name of Palestine. So this is why I think that Syrians do not have to prove anything to anyone.

Secondly, even though if we suppose that the Syrian regime does in fact support the Palestinian resistance, does it mean that this allows the Syrian regime to control Syria, to prevent people from expressing their opinions, to kill and torture hundreds of thousands of Syrians just because they dare say no to more than 40 years of oppression, to more than 40 years of injustice? Of course not. Even if Bashar al Assad was the only person capable of liberating Palestine I would not support him, and I’m sure that many Palestinians would not do so either. Because our liberation cannot be established on the enslavement of another people, particularly when this enslavement is an enslavement of our sisters and brothers in Syria.

And in fact the truth is that the Syrian regime has never truly supported Palestine; for the Syrian regime, Palestine has always been a fig leaf and always been a political tool. And it started from the 1970s when the Syrian regime helped other militias in Lebanon to crack down on the refugees in Tel al-Zaatar. The siege and massacre in Tel al-Zaatar cannot be forgotten. And the massacres that the regime helped the Amal party in Lebanon commit in the 1980s also against refugees in Lebanon and against the PLO cannot be forgotten either. And the siege the regime is imposing in Yarmouk refugee camp, preventing people from getting medical aid or baby milk, preventing people from going in and out of the refugee camp, cannot be tolerated and cannot be just ignored, as many are doing unfortunately just because they think that this regime is for resistance, and that this regime is for the human rights of Palestinians.

Now the thing is that me as a Palestinian, I don’t need to say this for many people just to convince them about the justice of the Syrian cause. Because in my opinion it is very clear that this revolution was a revolution for freedom and dignity. But unfortunately for many of us here in Palestine, because there is a polarization among Palestinians, as is the case in many other Arab countries, about the Syrian regime, we had to say it over and over again and to try to convince our comrades — or our former comrades – that they need to stop supporting the Syrian regime, that all we hear about the Syrian regime’s support of resistance is nothing but propaganda.

Now unfortunately it didn’t really help. People mostly stick to their opinions regarding the regime. If we want to talk about what the reaction of Palestinians toward the Syrian revolution is, it varies. Unfortunately the left, mostly the mainstream left, supports the Assad regime. And here lies the irony, because one of the most supportive parties of the regime is called the Israeli Communist Party, and it supports the regime because, it says, “Well, this regime is against imperialism.” But at the same time these people had absolutely no problem in participating in protests alongside Zionists in Tel Aviv, liberal Zionists for instance. So how can you say that you support the Syrian regime because it is against imperialism and on the other hand participate in protests with Zionists?

And also there are others who say that we supported the Syrian Revolution when it was nonviolent, but then after it got violent we couldn’t support it anymore, and it was hijacked. So yes, the Syrian Revolution was indeed hijacked, and we know that there are many Salafis, many jihadists and many other groups, and many pro-America and pro-imperialist groups that tried to hijack the Syrian Revolution. But that does not by any means tarnish the Syrian Revolution, and it also doesn’t mean that just because a revolutionary movement was hijacked that we should stand on the sidelines and stop supporting it.

Of course there are still so many revolutionaries working on the ground, many of them are nonviolent, and there are even many nonsectarian armed brigades that we cannot ignore. If the revolution was hijacked we don’t just go and start blaming the people for it being hijacked. We actually do everything to side with the people in order to get the revolution back on the right track. And this is what many leftists couldn’t understand.

Now on the other side of the spectrum you have the right wingers and the Islamists who support the Syrian Revolution but not truly because they believe in the right of freedom and dignity, but because they think that it is a Sunni uprising against an Alawite regime. Now this is why it was for me very hard to participate in protests organized by Islamists in support of the Revolution, because for me, although of course there are religious movements inside the Revolution, it still a Revolution for freedom, equality, social justice and dignity. And this is why I cannot agree with the line of the Islamists here in Palestine who support the Revolution just because they see it as Sunni versus Alawite.

Now there is a small section among the Palestinian left that supports the Syrian Revolution that doesn’t lecture Syrians about what they have to do, and how they failed. And we managed to organize a few protests, in Haifa for instance, in Jeruslaem, and in other places in Palestine. Although they were small protests I think it meant a lot for us to show the Syrian people that yes there are people in Palestine who stand with you, and there are people who don’t buy into the regime propaganda.

I mean it says a lot that in Syria right now there is an intelligence branch, one of the most notorious intelligence branches in Syria, it’s called “Palestine.” That means that there are people being tortured, including Palestinans, by the way, that are being tortured in the name of Palestine, in the name of our country, in the name of our cause, because we believe it is a cause for freedom.

Now to those Palestinians and to those people who believe that the Syrian regime is truly supportive of Palestine, and who do not support the Revolution, who stand on the side and say “no, we don’t want to support the Revolution, or who remain neutral: I say you have a Palestine and I have my own.

Your Palestine is an intelligence branch in Damascus that kills and tortures people, while my Palestine is Khaled Bakrawi, the martyr from the Yarmouk refugee camp, who was arrested and tortured to death. Your Palestine is a speech by Bashar al-Assad, while my Palestine is the chants of Syrian freedom fighters in Hama. Your Palestine is just empty rhetoric, while my Palestine is people in Bustan al-Qasr raising the picture of Samer Assawi, the hunger-striking prisoner.

My Palestine is people from the north to the south chanting in solidarity with Gaza during the recent war on Gaza last year and saying “Oh Gaza, we are with you ‘til death.” They did it when they were bombarded by the Assad regime and they were shelled. My Palestine is that of the Syrian Revolutionary Youth in Damascus who raised a pamphlet in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Nakab and said “Prawer shall not pass!”

So Syrian revolutionaries, even when they face the most terrible cases of torture, of persecution, and of crackdown, they still remember their sisters and brothers in Palestine, they still chant in solidarity with them and do not forget about the prisoners.

So I think it is very important to remember that, and to remember the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Palestinian prisoners who still languish in regime jails, for example Ali Shihabi, the communist Palestinian who has been detained in Syrian regime jails for almost a year, and Maher al-Jajeh also, another youth activist from Yarmouk refugee camp, who has been detained by the Syrian regime for more than a year and no one knows what is going on with his case now.

Also we will not forget the martyr Anas Amara, who was murdered simply because he was trying to get aid into Yarmouk refugee camp and trying to break the siege. And my Palestine is that also of Jihad Asad Muhammad, the Syrian journalist who even prior to the Syrian Revolution was always writing in solidarity with Palestine, and who like many others did not believe that this Palestine is Bashar al-Assad’s Palestine, but this is a cause that interests all Arabs.

So I just ask one last thing: I ask people who think that Bashar al-Assad supports Palestine or still believe his propaganda, just go over history a little bit, read more about what he and his father did to Palestine and to the Palestinian camps. And even if you are not convinced, don’t let this fact, don’t let political gains affect your support of the Syrian revolution. Because it is obviously not about geopolitics. We do not know whether if the revolution wins in Syria how will that affect the Palestinian cause. It might indeed damage us, I do not know. But I do not care on the other hand. Because my support of the Syrian Revolution is unconditional.

And I do believe that even though it is getting more and more complicated, and despite all the terrible groups that are trying to hijack the Syrian Revolution, especially the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, which we obviously oppose like so many Syrians, the same Syrians who started protest against the regime and are also protesting against the Islamic State, so I have faith in these people. I have faith in a woman like Souad Nofal, I have faith in those who are so resilient and steadfast in Damascus and in Daraa, birthplace of the Revolution, and in Aleppo and in Salamieh, the fantastic city that has been protesting since the first days of the uprising.

So I have faith in these people, that even though things are getting more and more complicated, that they can manage to keep the uprising going, and even if this means bad things for my cause I really do not care. What I care about is the freedom and dignity of my Syrian sisters and brothers, and to reject that my name or my country or my cause be used or coopted by the Syrian regime to kill and persecute my sisters and brothers in Syria.

المرأة والثورة في فلسطين: حلمي يقود خطاي

lakom  في ما يلي حوار معي لصالح موقع المنتدى الاشتراكي في لبنان (المنشور) حول دور المرأة والثورة في المنطقة بمناسبة يوم المرأة العالمي. شكراً للصديق وليد ضوّ وللأصدقاء في موقع المنشور.

وليد ضو: شهد الكيان الصهيوني خلال صيف العام 2011 حراكا اجتماعيا، ونظمت خلاله اعتصامات مفتوحة، وقد شارك فيه فلسطينيون وفلسطينيات حيث تعرضوا/ن لحملات عنصرية ودافعت عنهم/ن مجموعات إسرائيلية معادية للصهيونية، ما هي قراءتك لهذا الحراك، ولهذه المشاركة؟

بدور حسن: كان سقفُ توقّعاتي من هذا الحراكِ منخفضًا من البداية ولكنني قرّرتُ ألّا أتّخذَ أحكامًا مسبقة، فكان تشاؤمي حذرًا. شعرتُ أنّ هنالك أمورًا إيجابيّةً قد تنبثق عن الحراك وأنه قد يُحدث تغييرًا معيّنا في المجتمع الإسرائيليّ ولكنني لم أعتقد للحظة واحدة أن هذا التغيير سيكون جذريّا.

فقدتُ ثقتي بالحراك تماما عندما زرت خيم الاعتصام في تل أبيب. هذا الحراك هو حراك، بالأساس، صهيوني، باستثناء الخيمة التي أقيمت في جنوب تل أبيب ودعمت نضال اللاجئين الأفارقة والفلسطينيّين وخيمة ال48.

الحراك ليس صهيونيّا فحسب، بل تجاهل قضية أن إسرائيل هي دولة استعمارية، كيان غير شرعي. الهدف منه لم يكن تغيير نظام الفصل العنصري. الهدف من هذا الحراك كان تجميل صورة إسرائيل، يعني “مكياج”. انحصر في المطالبة بالعدالة الإجتماعية لليهود فقط. كما وأنه جغرافياً ركز على مدينة تل أبيب. لم أشارك في هذا الحراك. تفهمّت مسألة مشاركة بعض الفلسطينيّين في الحركة الاحتجاجية في البداية، ولكن بعد شهر صرت أنادي بشكل صريح لمقاطعة هذا الحراك لأنه لا يمثلنا وخاصة بعد الهجوم على غزّة عقب تفجيرات أم الرشراش (إيلات).

نتائج انتخابات الكنيست الأخيرة في “إسرائيل” أثبتت أن هذا الحراك كان حراكا صيفيا عابرا وأثره كان محدودًا. لم تكن ثورة كما أرادها الكثيرون أو كما وصفوها.

في الوقت عينه، لا يمكن إنكار التأثر الذي أحدثه هذا الحراك في فتح فضاءات حوار ونقد داخل المجتمع الإسرائيلي وتقوية حركات اجتماعية مثل حركة دعم اليهودية العربية وحركات اجتماعية أخرى مناهضة لشركات رأسمالية مثل عميدار التي تضطهد الفقراء بما في ذلك الفلسطينيّين. ولكن مجددا، هذا التأثير كان محصورا وقصير الأمد.

يقدم الكيان الصهيوني نفسه للعالم الغربي، بأنه كيان “يحترم” حقوق المثليين والمثليات… أو ما يسمى (Pinkwashing) ما هو موقفك من هذه القضية؟

كمدافعة شرسة عن حقوق المثليات والمثليين وكناقدة للأحزاب الفلسطينيّة لتجاهلها هذا الموضوع ولعدم إثارتها في الحيّز العام، كما إن ادعاءات إسرائيل بما يتعلق بدفاعها عن حقوق المثليين والمثليات تزعجني كثيرًا.

أعتبرُ تشدق إسرائيل بما خص حقوق المثليين والمثليات هو تماما كتشدق نظام الأسد بالعلمانيّة. نظام الأسد ليس علمانيّا والنظام الإسرائيلي يستخدم حقوق المثليين والمثليات والمرأة كشماعة لتعليق جرائمه ضد الفلسطينيين.

نعرف أن الكيان الصهيوني يرفض بشكل مستمر طلبات الفلسطينيين والفلسطينيات المثليين والمثليات للجوء السياسي، ونعرف أيضا أن القانون الإسرائيليّ لا يحمي حقوق المثليين. بالمقابل المحكمة الإسرائيلية في عهد القاضية أهراون باراك- التي كانت ليبرالية (صهيونية)- وانشغلت بموضوع الدفاع عن حقوق المثليين والمثليات والاعتراف بالكثير من حقوقهم وحقوقهن.

في الوقت عينه، لا يمكن إنكار أن الكيان الصهيويني هو متقدّم نسبيّا فيما يخص حقوق المثليين والمثليات، حيث سجل تقدم هائل في العقود الأخيرة رغم محاولات تيارات صهيونية محافظة يمينية ومتدينة محاربة هذا التقدم.

ولكن دفاعك عن حقوق أقلية مضطهدة معينة لا يبرر اضطهاد شعب بأكمله، ولا يجعل من إسرائيل جنة للمثليين. فهنالك جرائم كراهية ترتكب ضدهم. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، تجدر الإشارة أن هنالك عدة ناشطين مثليين يساريين مناهضين للصهيونية في إسرائيل يرفضون محاولات إسرائيل لاستخدام حقوق المثليين لتبرير جرائمها وللترويج لشرعيتها فتجدهم يشاركون في مؤتمرات دولة وبمحافل عالمية متحدثين بصفتهم كمثليين وإسرائيليين للتوضيح أن إسرائيل لا تمثلهم وأنهم يرفضون هذه المحاولات جملة وتفصيلا.

لطالما شاركت المرأة الفلسطينية في مختلف جوانب المقاومة الفلسطينية، وقد قدمت تضحيات كبيرة في سبيل ذلك، في هذا الوقت يتوزع الفلسطينيون/ الفلسطينيات على ما يشبه ثلاث دول، الكيان الصهيوني، قطاع غزة، والضفة الغربية، بالإضافة إلى دول الشتات، السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه هنا ماذا قدّمت المقاومة للمرأة الفلسطينية؟

هذا سؤال متشعّب ويمكن كتابة كتب بخصوصه. للأسف، عند مناقشة هذه المواضيع يلجأ الكثيرون للتنميط والشعارات الفجة والفارغة. فبعضهم يقول أن المقاومة الفلسطينية نسوية وأن وضع المرأة الفلسطينية مثالي وأفضل من نظيراتها في الوطن العربي، والبعض الآخر يجيب بالعكس فيقول أن المقاومة همشت المرأة وأساءت لنضالها. كلتا الإجابتين تختزلان الواقع ولا تجسدانه.

المقاومة الفلسطينية المسلحة قبل الانتفاضة الأولى همشت دور المرأة إلى حد كبير. نساء مثل ليلى خالد ودلال المغربي كنّ الاستثناء الذي يثبت القاعدة. مشكلة النضال المسلح أنه يهمش إلى حد بعيد دور أولئك الذي لا يحملون السلاح أو لا تتوفر لديهم ولديهن القدرة على حمله. وأسلوب المقاومة الفلسطينية التي تمركزت خارج فلسطين لم يخدم المرأة كثيرا ولم يحدث تغييرات على مستوى وضع المرأة الفلسطينية داخل فلسطين. وكان هنالك فصل مستمر بين السياسي والنسوي وكأنهما أمران مختلفان.

الانتفاضة الأولى أحدثت ثورة حقيقية بما يخص المرأة. لم تعد المرأة أم الشهيد وأخت الأسير وزوجة المعتقل والمناضل فحسب بل أصبحت مناضلة أيضا، تنظم التظاهرات وتقود المجتمع في كل المجالات، في المقاومة والثقافة وإدارة المنزل بغياب الرجل وتربية الأولاد وأثبتت أنها قادرة على تقمص كل هذه الأدوار بنجاح. أثر هذا بدوره على المجتمع فأصبح المجتمع أكثر انفتاحا وأقل هرمية وبالتالي أقل أبوية، كان أقرب ما يكون إلى المجتمع الأناركي الذي أصبو إليه.

مع دخول حماس إلى الانتفاضة أصبحت تضع القيود على مشاركة المرأة. فجميعنا يذكر النساء اللواتي تعرضن للهجوم بماء النار لمشاركتهن بالتظاهرات. قيل للمرأة أن عليها الرجوع إلى مكانها الطبيعي “البيت” وطبعا هذا أيضا ساهمت فيه التحرشات الإسرائيليّة. أكبر عدو لحقوق المرأة الفلسطينية هو الاحتلال ولكن المقاومة أيضا قد تكون ذكورية في كثير من الأحيان. وهذه الذكورية لا تقتصر على الإسلاميين فالمرأة مغيّبة عن اتخاذ القرار السياسي ضمن إطار منظمة التحرير “العلمانية”. ولا يجب أن يغرنا مشاركة نساء مثل حنان عشراوي لأن هذا الأمر هو أيضا استثناء الذي يثبت القاعدة. وعندما نتحدث عن مساهمة المقاومة في ترسيخ حقوق المرأة، علينا ألا ننسى أن المرأة الفلسطينية ليست كيانا موحدا. هنالك نساء فقيرات ونساء ينتمين إلى الطبقة الوسطى ونساء برجوازيات، وهنالك أمهات وأرامل، ونساء تعرضن لقمع في أسرهن قبل أن يقمعن على يد الاحتلال وهنالك نساء ريفيات وحضريات… . وكل مجموعة تتأثر بالمقاومة بشكل مختلف وترى المقاومة بشكل مختلف. وضع المرأة في غزة يختلف عن وضع المرأة في الضفة ولوضع المرأة في رام الله يختلف عن وضع المرأة في الخليل.

دور المرأة في تظاهرات النبي صالح يختلف عن دورها في مظاهرات نعلين رغم أن كلتا القريتين في قضاء رام الله. ولكن المجتمع الفلسطيني عموما تحكمه الأبوية وجميع النساء الفلسطينيات تعرضن للقمع من قبل هذا النظام بدرجات مختلفة. الانتفاضة الثانية للأسف ألغت الكثير من التقدم الذي حققته الانتفاضة الأولى وبعدها نبعت حاجة لإعادة ترسيخ دور المرأة من جديد في المقاومة وفي المجتمع.

تجدر الإشارة إلى أن خطاب حركة فتح والسلطة الفلسطينية في حقوق المرأة – هذا الخطاب البرجوازي السخيف- لا يمثلني، كما لا يمثلني بالطبع خطاب حماس.

النضال النسوي والسياسي في جميع أنحاء فلسطين يجب أن لا ينفصل، والنضال ضد الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وعليه أن لا ينفصل عن النضال ضد الاحتلال الأبوي الذكوري.

كثيرا ما انتقدتُ في تظاهرات عديدة لترديدي شعارات عن الثورة النسوية. مثل هذه الشعارات تزعزع أركان النظام الأبوي وتزعزع الاحتلال وتغيظه وهي ضرورية للتأكيد على أن الاضطهاد واحد ولا يتجزأ. القول بالتأكيد أسهل من الفعل فطالما نرزح تحت الاحتلال سيكون نضالنا الاجتماعي ونضالنا الجندري محدودا ولن يصل للمستويات التي نرغب بها، ولكن علينا أن نواصل الحركة النسوية الفلسطينية، فمجموعة “ثوري ع كل سلطة” التي تأسست في الجامعة العبرية في القدس على يد مجموعة طالبات فلسطينيات أثبتت أن النضالين يمكن توحيدهما. والمجموعة تشارك في تظاهرات ضد الاحتلال وأيضا تركز على مواضيع نسوية مثل العنف ضد المرأة وغيرها.

شهد العامان المنصرمان حراكا اجتماعيا في قطاع غزة، وفي الضفة الغربية، كان من مطالبه، بالإضافة إلى تحسين الظروف الحياتية والاجتماعية للفلسطينيين/ات، إنهاء الانقسام والاحتلال، وقد جرى مواجهته بعنف شديد سواء من قبل السلطة الفلسطينية أو من حركة حماس، وقد شاركت المرأة الفلسطينية في هذا الحراك بفعالية كبيرة، من هنا، ما هي الدوافع وراء هذا الحراك، والقمع الذي تعرضوا/ن له؟

هذه الحركات –على الرغم من قصر عمرها- توضح أمرا واحد أساسيا وهو نقطة انطلاقتنا: لا يمكن إسقاط الاحتلال بدون إسقاط الاستبداد الداخلي. نظاما حماس وفتح يمارسان الاستبداد والقمع والظلم والتسلط. بالإضافة إلى قمعها للحريات هي أيضا تشبه الاحتلال خاصة حين ينوبان عنه في تنفيذ أعماله القذرة باعتقال الفلسطينيين وقمعهم ومنعهم من التظاهر ناهيك عن الفساد المستشري.

الفلسطينيون يرزحون تحت الاحتلال ولكنهم ككل شعب آخر لديهم مطالب مشروعة بالعدالة الجتماعية والمساواة وحرية الرأي وأنظمة الاستبداد في غزة والضفة تمنعهم من تحقيق مصيرهم وليس إسرائيل فحسب.

القمع جاء لأن السلطة وحماس لا تختلفان كثيرا عن الأنظمة العربية ولا تحترمان حقوق الفلسطينيين وحريتهم.

أنا بالعادة أعارض المقارنة المطلقة بين حماس وفتح لاختلاف الوضع العام، ولكن النقطة المشتركة أن السلطتين لا تضعان مصلحة الفلسطينيين على سلم أولوياتهما.

السلطتان يجب إسقاطهما والحديث لا يجب أن يكون عن إنهاء الانقسام إنما عن إسقاط السلطتين.

* “حلمي يقود خطاي”: من قصيدة طباق، إلى إدوارد سعيد- من تأليف محمود درويش

Weam Amasha: Fighting Occupation and Tyranny

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When Weam Amasha was released on October 18, 2011 in the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, hundreds of Syrians from the occupied Golan Heights welcomed him with bellowing chants in support of the Syrian revolution. The euphoria that accompanied his release, however, would soon die down and be supplanted with hostility and even violence against him and his family because of his staunch opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Born in Buqa’ata, a village in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Amasha’s first arrest by Israeli occupation forces came when he was only 16 after he set fire to an Israeli police station. He was released after serving an 18-month sentence but was re-arrested shortly after his release while suffering wounds due to a landmine that exploded in his hand. Amasha was sentenced to 20 years in occupation prisons after he was convicted of membership in a resistance group that planned to capture Israeli occupation soldiers. In May of 2011, Amasha wrote a letter in solidarity with the Syrian revolution from his cell in Gilboa prison. He stated that he would go on a hunger strike in protest of the killings of unarmed protesters by the Syrian regime and in solidarity with protesters’ demands for freedom, dignity and a modern and civil country.

It was his outspoken and uncompromising support for the Syrian uprising that deprived him of the warmth and community support that typically overwhelms released political prisoners in the Golan.

“When I was released, I expected to be embraced by my community after long years of suffering behind Israeli bars, but instead, our home was attacked by regime supporters; they broke my father’s leg, assaulted my brothers. We were even boycotted,” Amasha told me. “It’s much more painful when your own people do this to you,” he added, heaving a tormented sigh.

Divided by the revolution

The small population in the occupied Golan has long been known for its strong unity and its tight-knitted, largely homogeneous social fabric. However, the Syrian revolution–which some regard as a Gulf-backed imperialist conspiracy–has markedly divided residents of the Golan. Regime supporters have held several large rallies pledging their loyalty to the regime and the Syrian Arab Army as well as expressing their unshakable faith in the promised reforms. On the other hand, anti-regime activists have been holding small weekly vigils to support the uprising and call for the downfall of the regime. This polarisation, Amasha says, is “an extension of the chasm we’re seeing in the Arab world in general. As patriarchal societies, we’re not fully prepared yet for radical changes brought up by youth.”

However, Amasha admits that the Golan has its own unique situation. Amasha affirms that although the people of the Golan are under Israeli occupation, they haven’t escaped the vigilant surveillance of the Palestine Branch–one of the most notorious intelligence branches in Syria.

“The Syrian regime has embedded its own agents in the Golan and their job is not to spy on Israeli occupation forces, but rather to spy on residents and file reports about any anti-regime activity,” he said. “This explains why, despite not being under its direct control, the barrier of fear hasn’t been broken here, especially for those who study in Syria or have family members there.”

Amasha added: “While the Syrian regime was committing the Hama massacre in 1982, the people in the Golan were collectively rising up against the Israeli occupation’s decision to annex the Golan Heights and the attempt to force Israeli citizenship on us. This popular mobilisation for freedom actually rankled the Syrian regime because it did not want any segment of the Syrian people to find their voices and perhaps inspire other Syrians. This is why it’s been important for Hafez and then his son to keep the Golan under the boots of the mukhabarat.”

A bulwark of resistance?

I asked Amasha to explain why so many prominent resistance activists in the Golan and Palestine, including former prisoners who spent decades in Israeli occupation jails, vehemently back the regime: “You obviously cannot question the patriotism and the ethics of these freedom fighters. They genuinely believe that this regime is part of the resistance axis, and overthrowing it is a massive blow to resistance.”

When I asked him whether he thinks that this regime is indeed a bulwark of resistance, he replied: “For the regime, supporting resistance is not a moral and principled stance, but rather a position based on interests. The regime monopolised the idea of resistance and used it to subjugate and maintain control over the Syrian people, on the one hand, and as a bargaining chip in international arenas, on the other hand. If the Syrian regime was principled about its support for resistance,” Amasha wonders, “why did it disperse by force pro-Palestinian protests in Damascus during the Second Intifada? Why did regime forces attack demonstrators against the war on Iraq? The history of this regime is full of massacres against Palestinian resistance movements in Lebanon, but not once has it come close to firing a bullet at the Israeli occupation army since 1973.”

“Freedom cannot be compromised”

Amasha’s message to resistance activists who insist on siding with the Syrian regime against what he describes as the “popular revolution in Syria” is clear: “You cannot oppose a foreign occupier but accept the oppression of a local tyrant. Freedom cannot be compromised and divided”.

Published in friend DarthNader’s blog