As Khader Adnan enters his 63rd day of hunger strike, his plight has merited very little mention in the western MSM, aside from pieces like this in the Independent and The Guardian. Now cast your mind back and compare this paucity of coverage surrounding Khader with the near media saturation of the name Gilad Shalit. Throughout the 5 years of Shalit being held by Hamas in Gaza, western MSM routinely peddled the Israeli line that he had been ‘kidnapped’.
The ridiculousness of the idea that a soldier in a conflict can be ‘kidnapped’ by the enemy is one of the quirks of the Palestine/Israel conflict, particularly given this soldier was taken from a outpost which had tanks stationed at it, that routinely shell Gaza. Also remember the day before Shalit was captured, the IDF had committed an incursion into Gaza and taken two brothers, an event that was virtually unreported in western MSM. As Shalit’s name was seared into the memory of folks in the west, those same people would be hard pressed (very hard pressed) to name just one, just a single name of one of the hundreds of Palestinian children Israel has incarcerated.
The plight of Khader Adnan is another case in point. Israel has not charged him with anything, some media outlets have speculated that he is a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Harakat al-Jihād al-Islāmi fi Filastīn). Speculation is all fine and well, but as a self-styled ‘western democracy’ (or beacon) it is incumbent upon Israel to either charge the man, producing evidence to back up those charges, or failing that, release him. That Israel has neither charged nor released him should come as no surprise to those acquainted with the rather Victorian standards of the Israeli ‘justice’ system.
It is my opinion that Israel’s reluctance to charge Khader with any specific crime and their desire to keep him incarcerated, may be related to his involvement in the Palestinian reconciliation committee. Which as the name suggests, is a group concerned with bringing the various Palestinian factions such as Hamas and Fatah, together. Honest observers of the Palestine/Israel conflict will know that the idea of a united Palestinian people is an anathema to Israel. This also helps to explain why Israel steadfastly refused to release the man dubbed the ‘Palestinian Mandela‘ in return for Shalit. Speaking personally, here in Ireland we are well accustomed to the old colonial tactic of divide and conquer, we still bear the scars to prove it.
So as Khader Adnan’s life ebbs away, in place of the denunciations of Hamas for capturing an Israeli soldier enforcing an illegal siege, we have weasel words from the EU over Israel’s incarceration of a man, without trial or any semblance of due process, not to mention, as already stated, silence over the fate of Palestinian children.
The easiest way to explain why this obscene reality is the way it is, involves me juxtaposing it against one of my great loves….the Western. The MSM’s coverage of the Palestine/Israel conflict is I feel, akin to the manner in which the US used to depict Native Americans. Compare the old westerns from the 40’s and 50’s where the ‘injun‘ is depicted as a soulless, faceless savage – not to be reasoned with or sympathized with. He is either to be killed or pushed into the reservation. Manifest Destiny could not be sidetracked by the rights or concerns of some pesky brown natives. It wasn’t until the late 60’s, early 70’s with movies like Little Big Man and The Outlaw Josey Whales, that a reality dawned on American cinema, of the true nature of the creation of their state. The fact that it took American society as a whole, so long to recognize the pain and suffering that their vision had inflicted upon a people, whose only crime was to inhabit the land earmarked for their ambition, appears not to have been a lesson learned. With regard to an honest appraisal in the MSM, of the Palestine/Israel conflict, I fear we are still languishing in the 1950’s.
So whilst Khader Adnan drifts farther from this world, embraced by those cognizant of the truth – I offer this as a response to the silence greeting him from those who are seated in the front rows of 50’s cinema, those who have never been on the receiving end of oppression…
The Rhythm Of Time
There’s an inner thing in every man,
Do you know this thing my friend?
It has withstood the blows of a million years,
And will do so to the end.
It was born when time did not exist,
And it grew up out of life,
It cut down evil’s strangling vines,
Like a slashing searing knife.
It lit fires when fires were not,
And burnt the mind of man,
Tempering leandened hearts to steel,
From the time that time began.
It wept by the waters of Babylon,
And when all men were a loss,
It screeched in writhing agony,
And it hung bleeding from the Cross.
It died in Rome by lion and sword,
And in defiant cruel array,
When the deathly word was ‘Spartacus’
Along the Appian Way.
It marched with Wat the Tyler’s poor,
And frightened lord and king,
And it was emblazoned in their deathly stare,
As e’er a living thing.
It smiled in holy innocence,
Before conquistadors of old,
So meek and tame and unaware,
Of the deathly power of gold.
It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets,
And stormed the old Bastille,
And marched upon the serpent’s head,
And crushed it ‘neath its heel.
It died in blood on Buffalo Plains,
And starved by moons of rain,
Its heart was buried at Wounded Knee,
But it will come to rise again.
It screamed aloud by Kerry lakes,
As it was knelt upon the ground,
And it died in great defiance,
As they coldly shot it down.
It is found in every light of hope,
It knows no bounds nor space
It has risen in red and black and white,
It is there in every race.
It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
It screams in tyrants’ eyes,
It has reached the peak of mountains high,
It comes searing ‘cross the skies.
It lights the dark of this prison cell,
It thunders forth its might,
It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend,
The thought that says ‘I’m right!’