Canadian human rights activist: The response of the international community to the Abu Hawash case was disappointing

At a time when the Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash was able to withstand his hunger strike for 141 days, which resulted in a decision to release him on February 26, there were a large number of activists supporting his cause and the prisoners in general.

Among these activists is the Canadian teacher Jane Large, who has been calling for his release since day one, when she fired electronic petition Through it, she called on the people of the countries of the world to support the cause by communicating with their representatives from governments and political organizations with weight.

The “Sanad” agency for monitoring and news verification in Al-Jazeera network contacted Jane to have a lengthy dialogue about her recent position in the Abu Hawash case, how she began her work on the prisoners’ file, the fears of the Israeli lobby in Canada, and how she sees the Palestinian cause, in addition to the proposed solutions from a point of view. Its consideration to stop the violations of the occupation, and here is the text of the dialogue.

  • In the beginning, what is your comment on the decision to release the prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash?

I am very happy for Hisham and his family, especially his children, from my point of view this is justice, he has been imprisoned for so long without being charged or having a trial or even seeing any of the supposed evidence that is used to justify his arrest.

However, it was unfortunate that it took this long because his health was greatly affected.

  • How did you launch the petition calling for Hisham’s release?

I started my activity with the Palestinian prisoners in the summer of 2021. The first petition I submitted was to the prisoner Ghazanfar Abu Atwan after his release. His family asked me to continue to defend the Palestinian prisoners.

At about that time Hisham went on a hunger strike with a large group, that small group released in the summer for all the hunger strikers who were on strike at the same time, as well as to demand the release of all administrative detainees.

Then, I added other actions people could do through the Google Doc that I created, such as communicating with their government representatives via tweets, and the last action was to directly contact the occupying authorities.

Canadian activist Jane Large has been calling for the release of prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash since the first day (communication sites)
  • Have any governmental and international organizations in the world contacted you regarding Hisham’s case?

While working on his case I have been reaching out to various organizations, yet I can honestly say that the response from politicians worldwide has been very disappointing, a small group of us have been working hard with the goal of notifying organizations and governments of what is happening.

  • Did you face any pressure from the Israel lobby in Canada?

No, I personally have not faced pressure from the Israel lobby in Canada and I am not afraid of it. I know what I do is stand up for human rights and this is the right thing to do. Everything I have shared is simply about human rights and is not aimed at Jews or the Jewish community.

Nothing I do has anything to do with anti-Semitism or ill feelings toward Jews, and I have never published anything hateful or hateful toward the Jewish population at any time. The human rights of Palestinians have nothing to do with that in my understanding.

  • In your opinion, how can activists and the public support the prisoners in the occupation prisons?

I believe that the best way to support prisoners in Israeli prisons is to obtain information first and foremost. There are excellent resources in Addameer and B’Tselem for people who are not familiar with the situation and need factual and accurate information.

The next thing that people can do is reach out to their government representatives and urge them to stand up for the human rights of Palestinian prisoners, especially in the West, foreign policy must be in line with human rights, so we can ask our representatives to provide that.

Another way is that people can attend protests and post on social media, as well as participate in campaigns similar to the ones you’ve created.

  • Are there other prisoners besides Hisham, do you intend to demand their release soon?

I intend to continue working for the liberation of administrative detainees and Palestinian child prisoners.

  • How do you view the Palestinian issue and the struggle on land with the Israeli occupation?

I used to see it as a conflict, but I really don’t see it anymore, I see a large part of the story not being told, for example most Westerners have no idea what happened to the Palestinians in the creation of Israel, they have no idea that Palestinians are being intimidated They were expelled from their homes, villages and lands by Jewish military gangs such as the Irgun (before 1948).

Then after 1948 when partition was made by the United Nations most of the Palestinians were forcibly removed and not allowed to stay (except for Nazareth and two other cities), we have no idea about those lands and bank accounts and property seizures, and the Palestinians were not compensated, so I don’t see it anymore It’s a struggle anymore.

The Palestinians who have been living in Palestine for centuries the British and the United Nations ceded their land without their consent, there could have been other ways that would honor the Palestinians, but this is not the colonial mentality at the time, it was that mentality that created this.

As for the reality on the ground now, I think this is a direct result of how Israel was created. What happened is a natural result because the ethnic cleansing continues by Israel, like the continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

Sometimes I really wonder what people think the Palestinians should do. The partition plan promised a homeland, that homeland keeps shrinking and shrinking day by day with the unconditional support of the international community.

Are the Palestinians supposed to sit back and do nothing when their land continues to be taken to build settlements for Israeli Jews? Are they supposed to sit back and do nothing and let that happen, because they certainly don’t get the support of the international community?

  • What solutions do you think will deter the Israeli occupation from its brutal practices against civilians?

I think something similar to the sanctions that were imposed on South Africa may be the only way things will change, because at the moment Israel has been given a free pass by the international community, due to the West’s sense of guilt about not taking any action in the Holocaust due to fears of He described it as anti-Semitic.

In this context, the international community is also ignoring its duty towards the Palestinians who are currently living under conditions of apartheid and a military occupier that systematically discriminates against them.

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