"Yes, we will not die\yes, we will live\ even if the chains eat our bones\even if we are ruptured by the tyrants' whips\even if they set fire to our bodies\yes, we will not die; But we will uproot death from our homeland"
Like bats, the Israeli police force came in the last watch of one night in May 2010; looted everything they could lay their hands on, and then kidnapped Ameer Makhoul. The “1948 Palestinian human rights defender Ameer Makhoul is being held by Israel due to his activities to promote the human and national rights of the Palestinian people, particularly those within the state of Israel. Makhoul, Executive Director of Ittijah: Union of Arab Community-Based Associations was taken from his home in Haifa on 6 May 2010 and held incommunicado for several weeks, with no access to legal counsel or visits from his family. Israel is accusing Makhoul of espionage and assistance to an enemy during wartime, charges that Makhoul vehemently denies”. They deprived him from sleep, tied him up to a small chair and kept him for long hours in an inhuman situation. They did not allow him to meet his lawyer; asked him to admit what they think he has done:"to explain to them in a very detailed way how I did what I had not done at all". After 21 days of solitary confinement, torture and false accusations; the cry of his youngest daughter Huda penetrated the sky: "Do not be afraid father; they are the ones to be afraid of you".
Is there anything new in the way they arrested the social and political activist Ameer Makhoul? Is it different from the way they arrested the political activist Dr. Omar Saeed or Nael Saleh Barghouti, the oldest Palestinian captive who was in the Israeli jails since 1978? Fuad Al-Razem, the oldest Jerusalemite captive jailed since 1981? Saleem Kayyal, the oldest captive from Gaza Strip, jailed since 1983? Sami Yunis, the oldest captive from Palestinian 1948 territories, imprisoned since 1983?
Despite the arrest and imprisonment of thousands, detention will never be something ordinary for the prisoner or his family; and we should not allow it to become ordinary. Every time an arrest happens, it will be the first time for the prisoners, their families, their loved ones and friends. While the captives are placed in the cellars of prisons, their families continue to live, but in larger prisons. In reality, the Israeli occupiers do not arrest individuals only; they arrest whole families. When we count the number of prisoners, we should add to them the average number of their families, as families’ lives halt and cease to move following the detention of their loved ones. They do not sleep night or day, waiting for a visit permission that could be delayed for months, if it will come at all…
When a family gets this permission, the family members become subjected to a humiliating inspection, waiting hours and hours in the burning sun or the heavy rain, threatened by a denial of visit for the simplest reasons. If the visit takes place, it does not exceed forty minutes at best, while the family and the prisoner are banned from hugging or shaking hands. The situation is not different for the lawyers of prisoners. Although the law gives them the right to meet their clients in appropriate circumstances and allows direct contact without glass barriers, the testimonies of the lawyers and some legal centers show that the law is never respected on this matter. An indication of this violation was published in July by Adalah(The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) concerning the detainee Ameer Makhoul, when his legal defense team asked the State Prosecutor to order a prompt criminal investigation for the use of a wiretap to listen to the discussions the defense team had with Ameer in prison following his indictment. Adalah Attorneys argued that Makhoul's constitutional right to consult with his lawyers privately and confidentially as required by law has been severely violated.
Jenan Abdu, the researcher and the social activist, talks about the psychological war she faces as the wife of Ameer Makhoul. And like all prisoners' wives, this war made their struggle an issue of defiance and perseverance.
Jenan Abdu has never thought of herself as just a wife:"I always considered myself Ameer's partner in life and activities, but these days, and while waiting with other wives for *the visit*, I find myself thinking of the classical Christian marriage covenants that say:" the ones who are united by God, will not be separated by a human being" unless he is an Israeli jailer…! It is a battle; and we will not surrender. It is a personal and collective battle; and we will not back off. Like the process of giving birth to a child; you cannot raise your hands and say: I will not continue; it is a difficult and harsh experience…and the price to pay is very high on the personal level. It is a battle that we did not choose, they put us in this situation; and- historically- we did not choose. This was imposed on us; and our role is to stand firm and resist, using all the legitimate and legal ways to maintain our identity and existence. On the personal and collective level, I look at it as a battle of survival. As for what we go through as a family, it is the personal price we pay in contribution to the collective battle".