Dear brother, dear comrade,
As you continue to defy oppression and as you continue to struggle for freedom, in your name and in the name of every Palestinian and in the name of every conscientious human, listen to the voices around you. Listen to the voices of the walls of the dungeon that hold you captive, listen to their silent whisper, shameful of imprisoning your dignified spirit, shameful of burying you alive, shameful of you and your steadfastness. Listen to your body break the limits of hunger, break the limits of pain. Listen to your willpower break the walls of the dungeons, listen to your courage defeat oppression, listen to your voice break the silence. And listen to the voices beyond your dark cold cell; listen to the voices rising high and growing strong with every day and every hour, listen to them chant your name, listen to them demand your freedom, listen to them repeat your words: my dignity is more precious than food.
Listen to thousands of Palestinian mothers; Listen to them gathered in front of Red Cross buildings, march through the streets of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nablus and Gaza, protest in front of Israeli dungeons. Listen to them as they hug the pictures of their children, pass their fingers over the cherished faces. Listen to them murmur the names of their children, listen to them murmur your name while sitting in front of their homes, counting the days, the hours, the minutes until you return, until every one of you returns. Listen to thousands of Palestinian mothers say: I have two children in captivity: Mohammad and Khader… Baism and Khader… Amal and Khader… Issa and Khader. Listen to them say: Every prisoner in Israeli dungeons is my son, every prisoner in Israeli dungeons is my daughter, for a Palestinian has not one mother only, and a Palestinian prisoner has thousands of mothers. Listen to them wipe away their tears, for the pain of one Palestinian mother is the pain of every Palestinian mother. Listen to them as they raise their heads high in pride because their children are heroes, their children are writing history, fighting oppression with their mere willpower, defying world silence, defying injustice. Listen to your mother and every Palestinian mother say: Allah yerda ‘alek yamma.
Listen to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners locked up behind Zionist bars; Listen to them in interrogation cells, defying the torture, refusing to surrender and say: we are Khader. Listen to them in dark dungeons, defying harassment, fighting against injustice and say: we are Khader. Listen to them on sick-beds, defying the pain, defying medical negligence and say: we are Khader. Listen to them in isolation cells, defying time and place, defying death and say: we are Khader. Listen to their voices penetrate the walls of the dungeons, cut distances between one Zionist jail to another and unite all Palestinian prisoners. Listen to them say: Khader, you are not alone, your message is ours, your struggle is ours, your pain is ours, your hunger is ours. Listen to them knocking on the walls of the dungeons, hoping to wake up the sleeping world. Listen to them joining you in your hunger strike, one Palestinian body, determined to break the shackles of oppressions, determined to bring down the walls of captivity, determined to be free.
Listen to the millions of Palestinians; Listen to Palestinian men and women, listen to Palestinian children, to the youth and the elderly. Listen to the Palestinians in occupied Palestine and the Palestinians in the forced exile. Listen to them marching every day in the streets of occupied Palestine, protesting in front of Zionist jails, joining hunger strikes and erecting support tents and demanding justice for Khader, demanding your freedom, demanding the freedom of every Palestinian prisoner. Listen to Palestinian pupils writing your name in their workbooks and singing of freedom, listen to Palestinian students chanting your name and telling tales of resistance and determination. Listen to the Palestinian youth carry the flame, continue the struggle, swear never to give up, never to surrender until every Palestinian prisoner is free, never to surrender until Palestine is free, from the River to the Sea. Listen to the workers, the farmers and the teachers, listen to them defy oppression, face the occupation with their bare bodies and stand tall around you. Listen to the marching masses declare to the world: your captivity is our captivity, your freedom is our freedom.
Listen to Palestine; Listen to Haifa, listen to Beisan, listen to Nablus and listen to Jerusalem. Listen to Gaza, listen to Um Al-Fahim, listen to Nazareth and listen to Jenin. Listen to your name echo in the old city of Jerusalem, echo in the narrow streets of refugee camps, echo in the fields and the meadows of Palestine. Listen to the houses murmur your name; Every Palestinian house is your home, every Palestinian village is your home, every Palestinian town is your home. Listen to your mother Palestine; listen to her talk of your steadfastness in the face of oppression, making the olive trees stand tall and proud, making the creeks dance to spell the word dignity. Listen to your mother Palestine shout your name in pain, making the sky shed tears, making the sun hide in shame behind the clouds. Listen to Palestine tell the world: these are my children, these are my pride. Listen to Palestine one, united, behind you.
Listen to the people of conscience everywhere; listen to justice-supporters demanding justice for you and your comrades. Listen to them build bridges of solidarity with you and your comrades in every corner and every location. Listen to them break borders, extend their hands to hold yours. Listen to them come together for you, for every Palestinian prisoner. Listen to them come united for justice, for Palestine. Listen to them say: انا خضر, I am Khader, Ich bin Khader, Je suis Khader, Ta’ Me’ Khader, jo soc’ Khader, Khader naiz, 我卡德尔,olen Khader, eu son Khader, saya Khader, Είμαι Καντέρ, 私はKhader午前, मैं कादर हूँ, saya pagi Khader, jestem Khader,estoy Khader, Я Кадер, من خدر, ben Khader.
And if you listen closely, will hear something else…
You will hear the disgrace of the Arab League, too busy warmongering to hear your cry for justice, too eager to please the imperialists to hear your pain, too busy normalizing with the Zionists to care for your struggle. You will hear the cowardice in the shouts and threats of the Zionist jailors. You will hear their defeat in the sounds of bullets and tear gas canisters, shot at protests and support tents, to silence your name. You will hear the fakeness in the shy words of “condemnations” of those who claim “support for human rights” but ignore your legitimate rights. You will hear the lie in the cautious words of “support” from those who claim “all humans are equal” but consider you “less equal” because you dare defy the Zionist entity, you dare defy injustice. You will hear silence, nothing, nichts, nada, from those who rallied non-stop and every day for the release of an occupation soldier sent to kill and destroy, but ignored you and your thousands of brothers and sisters held captive in Zionist dungeons for fighting oppression. You will hear silence, nothing, nichts, nada, from those who rallied non-stop and every day for the release of an occupation soldier sent to kill and destroy, but ignored you the first day of you hunger strike, ignored you the second day, the 10th day, the 30th day, the 50th day and ignore you on the 60th day of your legendary hunger strike. Listen to them as they sweat cowardice with every minute of your hunger strike, listen to their faces cracking, listen to their fear, listen to their silence, listen to their disgrace, listen to their inhumanity. They wish you to lose your willpower, they wish you to surrender, they wish you to die, because with every day, with every hour, with every minute of hunger strike you expose them, expose their hypocrisy, expose their lack of conscience.
Dear brother, dear comrade,
Listen to these voices; listen to the voices of your people, your friends and your supporters everywhere. Listen to the thousands of mothers you have, listen to the thousands of brothers and sisters you have, listen to the thousands of comrades you have; their voice is your voice, their struggle is your struggle, their aspirations are your aspirations, their freedom is your freedom. Listen to their voices beyond the walls of your cell, listen as their voices unite with your voice, listen as they form one body to embrace you and protect you, to give you strength. Listen to these voices and know; you are not alone. Listen to these voices and know that you have defeated injustice, that your resistance has taught the world a lesson, has exposed its hypocrisy, has broken its silence. Listen to these voices and know that you are writing an epic in heroism, in steadfastness. Listen to these voices and know that we are telling the world, in one united Palestinian voice: Yes to the pain of hunger and no, a thousand no to the pain of submission.