Khader Adnan is a criminal, plain and simple.
To the extent that we can be sure, he is a member of an internationally recognized terrorist organization that is responsible for the deaths of many. While his precise role in the organization has been subject to debate, he has recently been detained by Israel as a “threat to national security.”
The “detailed evidence” that provided grounds for Adnan’s detention has been presented twice before a judge, and upheld both times. Although he has been charged, it was not in a civilian court, as that would necessitate publicizing the details of the case, which in turn would endanger the lives of others.
His cynical recourse as attempted in October 2010 following a previous arrest by the Palestinian National Authority security services was to begin a hunger strike. Cleverly, as time progresses, law enforcement officials are pinned between a rock and a hard place as they are forced to choose between the immediate physical security of their citizens or facing down a torrent of international condemnation. Khader ended his hunger strike this week when Israel, choosing the former option, agreed to end its investigation and release him.
Following his release, Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon said that Israel had “capitulated to terrorism” adding that “this deal renders the Israeli values system meaningless.” Other senior officials also decried the move. A video showing Adnan calling for the killing of Israelis that emerged on YouTube confirmed their sentiments.
Crucial to the success of the efforts that forced Israel to cave, was a concerted and well organized international social media effort that focused on forcing their agenda into Twitter’s ‘trending topics.’ For many journalists, Twitter trends are a real time representation of the most potent issues of the moment.
The effort which was spearheaded by folks managing the @KhaderAdnan account, organized their supporters through disciplined, clear messages and directives posted via Twitter and through an email list.
Here are some of the tweets:
“Tweeps, please make sure to join us tomorrow at 11am PDT, 2pm EST, 7PM UK time, 9pm Gaza time to trend for Khader Adnan again.”
“Please wait to tweet, until the time indicated in the email. If you are still unsure about what time you should tweet, then follow us here.”
“420 mentions in the last two minutes tweeps. #KhadersVictory4Palestine”
“Tweeps, we are no longer trending but we did an excellent job of occupying twitter today. #KhadersVictory4Palestine”
In truth, the core of the ‘terror task team’ on Twitter, can’t be significantly more numerous than those tweeters that care about Jewish safety and for that matter global security. However some suggestions that may promote effectiveness in presenting the facts as they are may be in order.
With some initiative, freedom loving Twitter activists could apply a catchy Twitter handle that captures the crux of what is at stake here and I propose #TerrorTrending. Running simultaneously to the Adnan campaign or any similar initiative in the future, those that follow Twitter trends would be immediately informed of what exactly is at stake here, and what the #KhaderAdnan campaign represents.
On a similar note, at around this time of year, ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ is observed by anti-Israel activists who set up mock check-points and security barriers and also sometimes put on dramatic street performances depicting supposed ‘Israeli crimes.’ The response of Jewish activists on campuses around the world could take on a similar form.
As one activist suggested, wouldn’t it put things in perspective if Jewish students on campus erected monuments to Arab crimes, including bombed out cafeterias, school buses and hotels, and performed shows that portrayed the brutal murder of Israeli children while asleep in bed, or the slaying of students in their study halls.
With a little creativity, ingenuity and organization young Jews around the world can take back our narrative.