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Sandra Twang: No to Abduction of Dignity!


Posted on April 02, 2012 by Marivel Guzman

First American Citizen Activist that started the International Campaign of Non Violent Protest of Resistance joining Palestinians Prisoners in hunger strike

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21 days in hunger Strike for Justice

Sandra Twang: No to Abduction of Dignity!

Standing in solidarity with Hana Shalabi

 

by Sife Saleem – Original Posted Aljazeera Talk – Gaza 

Translated by: Jummana Al-Kahlout

A scream out for liberty exploded from the land of democracy and human rights, the United States of America. Sandra, an American citizen was inspired by a Palestinian hero fighting for freedom and now stands in solidarity with her, demanding justice. Her message is a call out to Barack Obama, the Israeli government and the international community’s conscience.

Sandra Rose Twang, the American peace activist has been on hunger strike since the 21st of March 2012 in solidarity with Hana Shalabi. She told Aljazeera Talk that her solidarity movement is a message to Barrack Obama pleading him to intervene in Hana’s case and attempt to end the inhumane and unjust imprisonment of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Sandra has spread her message on the internet asking people to support the cause and join the hunger strike to impose enough pressure to drive the American government to take action. “Hana Shalabi is a hero and a role model to me in her courage and power” Claims Sandra.

Twang has been interested in the Palestinian cause for the past two years and has educated herself enough to conclude that the Palestinian people are a strong nation who withstood suffering, injustice and discrimination for over 60 years.

Thus, she has joined their fight for liberation by standing in strong solidarity with Hana Shalabi in her hunger strike. She tells us “It was difficult to cope in the first few days, but I now feel fine. My youngest son supports me and so does my mother because they believe Palestinian’s have the right to live in dignity”  

“This is justice.” She adds. Hana is fighting for her basic human right, to live a decent life within Israeli prisons, which she is sitting in without even a hint of a fair trial! First degree murders receive a trial so why is Hana, whose crime is her “unacceptable” opinion, denied this right? She explains that it saddens her to see the international community failing to interact with Hana’s situation, expressing her sorrow at the evident reluctance.

“Palestinians are a symbol of courage” she says in a heart-felt manner.

Administrative detention is not just arrest. It is the abduction of dignity, land and life. The sole goal of this detention is to keep Palestinians deprived of basic human rights, consequently making their ultimate demand; to gain them back.

This is simply unacceptable. The United States has always been an advocate of human rights and international democracy, but Sandra fears that if the US continues to support the oppression of the Palestinian people, it is contradicting its own values and faces an almost inevitable backfire in the near future.

Sandra’s message to the Israeli government states “The world has stood by and allowed you to illegally occupy, kill and humiliate the people of Palestine; for this, you might think you have won, but a real country does not constitute of just land, a real country cannot stand on pillars of corruption, it is only a matter of time before you collapse”

The fate of 20,000 detainees illegally held in Israeli jails worries Sandra, and should worry the entire international community. Sandra is determined to fight for the freedom of these Palestinian prisoners and calls on people seeking peace and governments claiming justice to stand up and take a stance too.

Do not allow international silence to overwhelm you. Take action and enforce change.

US Senators Web Sites, and Direct Numbers

The silence protest staged by Palestinians Conscience Objectors is the best Non Resistance Weapon and only resource Palestinians have inside Israel Prisons,  Often denied  the rights of an attorney, which is the case in most of the detainees, they leave them with few option to exercise their rights. A silence hunger strike staged by an individual could be the lousiest of the protest can any one perform, the role of the press and the mouth to mouth news it is the key element to make it to succeed.

On March  23  the ethics committee of Israel Bureau of Prisons announced that Hana Shalabi was going to be forced to eat artificially using gastrointestinal tubes, a practice that it’s considered inhumane treatment by Amnesty International, because even though is propagated as a human practice to save the life of a prisoners it curtail their freedom of expression and rights to protest in a Non Violent Way. A Silence Fight It’s My Right! Hunger Strike For Justice

We have invented the most powerful flying machine, the smallest medical devices, the most dangerous weapon we can imagine and being so technologically advanced  we still can not comprehend in its entirely our humanity, but we are trying, little by little we understand more and more of us, our world become so important that we feel the necessity of help in the restoration and the unification of our human family.

What make us humans we ask ourselves? The Soul?, our Heart?, our feelings? what really do we have inside our bodies that make us compassionate or despicable beings? Does all the human beings are able to FEEL?. The Most Powerfull Weapon Our Humanity

“I am ashamed to say that my country in particular has acted in a most egregious way in its veto of any  UN response in holding Israel accountable for its crimes.

But now I want to tell you what drove me to this hunger strike.

There is a young woman, Hana Shalabi, now imprisoned in Hasharon Prison in Israel,  arrested on February 16, 2012 and is being held under  administrative detention,  detention without charge or trial. She is not allowed to know what she is accused of, to examine any of the evidence against her, thereby rendering her capability for due process null and void.”  Sandra Rose Twang


Second American Citizen to Join Hunger Strike-Gandhism

March 26, 2012 3 comments

Posted on March 25, 2012 by Marivel Guzman

Palestinians Supporters Join in Hunger Strike in Solidarity with Hana Shalabi

How To Fight a Non Violent Resistance Movement such Hunger Strike? Do Israel strike the Fighters with Food?

We have invented the most powerful flying machine, the smallest medical devices, the most dangerous weapon we can imagine and being so technologically advanced  we still can not comprehend in its entirely our humanity, but we are trying, little by little we understand more and more of us, our world become so important that we feel the necessity of help in the restoration and the unification of our human family.

What make us humans we ask ourselves? The Soul?, our Heart?, our feelings? what really do we have inside our bodies that make us compassionate or despicable beings? Does all the human beings are able to FEEL?. The Most Powerfull Weapon Our Humanity

Confronted by these questions we find people around the world that have reached that point where they need to become part of the solution, and they found the way to join the struggle in a pacific way, a way that can not be fought with weapons, or propaganda, the Non violent movement in Palestine is finding voices around the globe, making the Israel-Palestinians conflict a Matter of Global Affairs.

Sife Saleem a young journalist from Gaza brought to my attention Sandra Twang Letter to President Obama, a story that needs to be shared, it is very important  for all of us in the US to raise our voices on the issues that matter to all of us. For one it is inhumane what it is happening in Palestine and second our money it’s being used without our consent.
Every year our congress allocate more than 3 billions of our tax money to send to Israel, it is not fair, not fair for us as a citizens of the US, being that the Government have cut so many social services and cut to education, and we do not give our permission for such transfer of money to a foreign country, that we know have spied on the US government, have killed Americans..and It is not fair for Palestinians, and it is illegal to be used against innocent civilians.
“When you see a foreign people supporting you and making stand with you, we feel happy  specially when you look around, and  you see your brother of the Arab world, who  don’t look at you and pretend they ignore our struggles.  The Solidarity is very helpful in the case of Palestine
to let the world to know the Palestine case,  it is strike for Israel because it loses international support,  and that help us  as Palestinians to share our case and present the  right picture to the world.” Sife Saleem writer in Aljazeera Talk.

The first American Citizen to Join the Hunger Strike was Sandra Rose Twang on March 21, and Nancy Williams will join on March 30, 2011 in solidarity with Hana Shalabi.

“On March 30, 2012, I will begin my hunger strike for Palestine. The reason why I choose this date is because I cannot participate in the Global March to Jerusalem. I am a natural born citizen of the United States of America and I oppose the actions of the Israeli government towards the Palestinians. I also oppose the support that my government gives to Israel, while ignoring the fact that the Israeli government violates international human rights laws, on a daily basis. My government does not teach us the truth about what has happened and is still happening there, so I learned for the first time about Palestine in 2010. How I first learned was when I became contacts with someone in Khan Younis, who then told me about Ken O’Keefe. Then I became contacts with him and began following his experience, until now. Also, since 2010, I have been blessed by meeting and speaking with new friends in Palestine, who have shown me nothing but love. I cannot sit here, as an American citizen and not take action”.  Nancy Williams

A Plea from an American Peace Activist Sandra Rose Twang to President Obama, announced on March 21 that she will join Hana Shalabi and

70 other prisoners in Israel Jails under administrative detention in a Non Violent Protest against Israel inhumane practice, Sandra Twang has expressed also her commitment to maintain her hunger strike in protest for President Obama public support for Israel crimes, and financial backing for a state that have violated every single International Law, and ignore numerous UN resolutions.

In her Letter from Sandra to U.S. President

“I am ashamed to say that my country in particular has acted in a most egregious way in its veto of any  UN response in holding Israel accountable for its crimes.

But now I want to tell you what drove me to this hunger strike.

There is a young woman, Hana Shalabi, now imprisoned in Hasharon Prison in Israel,  arrested on February 16, 2012 and is being held under  administrative detention,  detention without charge or trial. She is not allowed to know what she is accused of, to examine any of the evidence against her, thereby rendering her capability for due process null and void.”  Sandra Rose Twang

Gandhi Legacy, Non Violent Resistance

Gandhi was not a pacifist; he believed in the right of those being attacked to strike back and regarded inaction as a result of cowardice to be a greater sin than even the most ill-considered aggression. Gandhi’s calls for the sacrifice of lives in order to shame the oppressor into concessions can easily seem chilling and ruthless.

But Gandhi’s insistence that, in the end, peaceful resistance will always be less costly in human lives than armed opposition, and his understanding that the role of a protest movement is not primarily to persuade people of something new, but rather to get them to act on behalf of what they already accept as right – these principles have profound resonance in both the Israel-Palestine conflict and the wider movement for justice and democracy that began to sweep the world in 2011.

Over 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained since 1967 under Israeli military orders, which govern nearly every aspect of life in the occupied Palestinian territory. There were 36 Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli prisons prior to the exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas in October 2011. Hamas reported that Israel agreed to include all female political prisoners in the exchange deal. However, two women, Lina Jarbuni and Wurud Qassem, who have been in prison since before the first phase of releases on 18 October 2011, and an additional two women, Salwa Hassan and Alaa Jubeh, who were arrested before the second phase of releases on 18 December 2011, are still in Israeli detention.

UNITED NATIONS – A UN human rights expert Wednesday called on Israel to release Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian woman prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for nearly a month. “The situation of Ms. Shalabi is morbid and life-threatening,” said Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. “This is an appeal to the conscience and to humanity and a desperate call to all of us.” Falk urged the international community to intervene on her behalf. “Israel ought to end its inhumane treatment of Ms. Shalabi. Release her immediately.”

Shalabi supporters join hunger strike, boycott courts
Ma’an News Agency, Mar 20, 2012

Thirty Palestinian prisoners have joined the hunger strike of Hana Shalabi, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Monday.PA Minister for Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that Shalabi was hospitalized on Monday evening after consuming only water for 33 days. Her lawyers and doctors warned last week that she was suffering spells of dizziness, muscular wasting and loss of consciousness.Shalabi, who has been held without trial since Feb. 16, is protesting Israel’s practice of administrative detention.Prisoners in jails across Israel have designated different day-long strikes in addition to the continuous hunger strikers, prisoner society chief Qadura Fares told Ma’an.Israeli prison authorities transferred detainee Nael Halabi from Ofer prison to an unknown destination after he announced he had joined Shalabi’s hunger strike, a detainees center said Monday.Court boycottsIn Ofer jail, 70 administrative detainees have boycotted Israeli military courts since March 1, and detainees in Magido jail will join their refusal, as well as launching an open hunger strike, on April 1, representatives in the jails said.Fares said the society is working on an agreement for all administrative detainees to join the boycott by April 17, which is Palestinian prisoners day.Prisoners can either refuse to appear in court, or tell judges they refuse its authority, as academic Ahmad Qatamish did in his recent trial, the prisoners society chief said.Seeking compromiseA hearing on Shalabi’s case on Tuesday morning will try to agree a compromise deal as Shalabi’s health deteriorates. Fares said the Israeli judge wants to prevent a deal similar to former hunger-striker Khader Adnan’s, in order to preserve the credibility of the charges against the administrative detainees.Adnan was guaranteed early release and non-renewal of his detention order in exchange for halting his 66-day hunger strike in February.Shalabi refused a deal in early March to reduce her sentence by two months, saying she would continue her strike to end administrative detention.The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners said on Saturday that Israel offered to deport hunger-striker Shalabi to the Gaza Strip, but the government rejected the offer.Israeli authorities say they have information she is a threat to Israel’s security and safety of its people.”If they are afraid of her returning to her Jenin community, she can come to Ramallah and work with us and register at the university,” the prisoners society head said on Monday.‘Fighting for dignity’Shalabi is one of around 300 Palestinians jailed in Israel without trial.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Thursday expressed his support for Shalabi after meeting her parents at his office in Ramallah.

“She is fighting for her dignity,” the premier said.

Last month, Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, expressed “longstanding concern about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charge.”

Ran Cohen, of Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, told Reuters TV on Friday that Shalabi could be risking her life if she remains on hunger strike.

I am ashamed to say that my country in particular has acted in a most egregious way in its veto of any any UN response in holding Israel accountable for its crimes.

But now I want to tell you what drove me to this hunger strike.

There is a young woman, Hana Shalabi, now imprisoned in Hasharon Prison in Israel,  arrested on February 16, 2012 and is being held under  administrative detention,  detention without charge or trial. She is not allowed to know what she is accused of, to examine any of the evidence against her, thereby rendering her capability for due process null and void.

Letter from Sandra to U.S. President -Sandra Twang Hunger Strike

March 24, 2012 2 comments

Posted on March 24, 2012 by Marivel Guzman

A Plea from an American Peace Activist Sandra Rose Twang to President Obama

by Sandra Rose Twang

President of the United States Barak Obama
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Sandra Twang,  a 56 year old woman who lives in a very small rural village in central New York.

I am writing this letter to inform you that I am on a hunger strike,  I have almost finished my second day,  have eaten nothing for 2 days and I plan to continue, unless something is done about the gross oppression and genocide of the Palestinian peoples.

I learned of Palestine only a few years ago and have been educating myself on the subject since.

What I learned has created such pain in my heart for these people that I can no longer bear it.

What is even more painful is my governments active participation in this genocide by providing 3 billion dollars a year to the government of Israel, military hardware, and the most heinous provision , a blind eye to this genocide of an entire people..

In all instances the United States has stepped away from its legal responsibility to denounce this incredible theft of land and the building of Jewish only settlements pushing the Palestinians into smaller and smaller enclaves which are rapidly becoming open air prisons with the building of an apartheid wall , hundreds of checkpoints and Israeli only roads.

The gross treatment of the Palestinians and the neglect of recognition of their human rights is appalling, their mobility is limited and defined by a government which seems to me to have no understanding of international law.

Their children are stolen from their beds in the middle of the night, by the Israeli Defense Forces who then take them to prison to be interrogated and many times tortured. Many as young as 12 years old, their parents are not allowed to accompany them and there is no legal counsel provided.

The Non-violent protestors, human beings confronting the building of 30 ft cement prison walls around their entire villages , for many the only way out through is a gateway which is a checkpoint with IDF soldiers attending.

A curfew set for when they can leave and when they must return by.

Many Palestinians are farmers, their olive groves on the other side of this prison wall, unable to access them unless the Israeli government allows it,  with this cutting them off from their only source of income.

Many non violent Palestinian protestors have been killed while exercising their right to protest these injustices, as has our own youth Rachael Corrie, whose death was dismissed and given no dignity for her incredible sacrifice in her fight to protect the Palestinians.

Then there is the story of Gaza, an enclave totally surrounded by prison walls.

The people of Gaza cannot leave Gaza they are truly prisoners.

In December 2008 thru January 2009, the Israeli government bombed this enclave for 22 days killing  more then 1387 people, 320 were children under the age of 18, 107 were women and 773 were civilians only 330 took part in the hostilities. ( B’Tselem’s investigation which is an Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories). Report
.
Because Gaza is totally surrounded by a razor wire and a prison wall there was no place for the civilians to go. Both Israel and Egypt blocked all crossings , and there are no bomb shelters in Gaza because the Israeli government will not allow cement into Gaza.

The severe oppression of Gaza is so horrendous that international activists and human rights organizations around the world have tried to break this horrible siege and blockade .

The people of the world are aware of this crime and because of a lack of response by the governments have taken it upon themselves as human rights defenders to attempt to break this blockade.

The atrocities in Gaza are particularly grotesque in that they involve the random firing of missiles into urban areas , the shooting of farmers whose land lies close to the prison wall , shooting at fisherman who dare to go out beyond 3 miles from their shore . These atrocities go on and on year after year with the international community doing nothing.

I am ashamed to say that my country in particular has acted in a most egregious way in its veto of any any UN response in holding Israel accountable for its crimes.

But now I want to tell you what drove me to this hunger strike.

There is a young woman, Hana Shalabi, now imprisoned in Hasharon Prison in Israel,  arrested on February 16, 2012 and is being held under  administrative detention,  detention without charge or trial. She is not allowed to know what she is accused of, to examine any of the evidence against her, thereby rendering her capability for due process null and void.

She was only released from prison 4 months ago from administrative detention of 2 years, the day of her arrest from her home, violated by the arresting soldiers who beat her and provided no information to her why she was being arrested.

She has protested her arrest and the unjust legal system and refusal to allow her due process by going on a hunger strike. She is as I write this 36 days into her strike and dying , with the Israeli government, cold heatedly refusing to answer her charges of illegal detainment and freeing her.

Hana confirmed that on 16 February, she was forcibly strip searched by a male soldier and assaulted, merely hours after soldiers brought her to Salem Detention Center following her arrest. In the affidavit given to Addameer Lawyer Samer Sam’an, Hana described the forced strip search and assault at the hands of the soldiers of the Israeli Occupying Forces as “utterly degrading” and that what they did to her was “not acceptable in all customs of the world”. She subsequently began her hunger strike and was placed in solitary confinement.

There are more then 300 Palestinians at this time being held under this type of detainment. Many are on hunger strike demanding their right to due process.

I cannot believe that my country allows this type of international crime and continues to support a corrupt government who has no respect for international law or respects for human rights laws or due process.

My heart cries for her but in the same breath her courage is breath taking and I feel that I can not abandon her, and if I do not join her, then I would be as guilty as those who are taking her life.

My own governments silence fills me with fear of who we are. Our silence screams criminality in our continued support of Israeli crimes against these brave people.

So, I am letting you know that I will continue not to eat until you, Mr. Obama, address this issue with a heart and a respect for international and human rights laws.

The Palestinian people have a beautiful culture and  they are very intelligent.

Their problem is,  they have no saying and have not for some time of their own destiny . If Israel is allowed to continue with these crimes I fear for the Palestinians, because I do not know what happens to a people who are forced to live under such severe oppression generation after generation.

Respectfully and with high hopes,

Sandra Rose Twang

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