Hanna Kawas interview, part of Inheriting Resistance: A Community History Project

Posted by admin on Jul 22nd, 2012

No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories presents an interview with Hanna Kawas as part of “Inheriting Resistance: A Community History Project”.

Hanna Kawas is a Palestinian born in Bethlehem, Palestine. He has been active in anti-imperialist struggles and support work for liberation movements all over the world since he arrived in Canada in 1974. Hanna is the chairperson of Canada Palestine Association, which was established in 1980, and is also the co-host of Voice of Palestine that first went on air on September 1, 1987. Hanna says “The Canadian government refuses to recognize my country of birth as Palestine, and since 1997 refuses to issue me a Canadian passport with my birthplace as Bethlehem, Palestine.”


I was born in Bethlehem, Palestine and basically I came to this country in 1974. And since then, I guess that’s more than 20-30 years ago, and since then I have been active in the solidarity movement with Palestine and with other causes.

It is difficult really, especially for new immigrants, to come to this country. And it is true with most minority groups when they come, especially from the Arab world, they come with the impression that the authority is supreme. And you can’t say no to the authority, whether it is the police, the mukhabara (the intelligence services), or anybody else. So they get – most of them – they first want to try to forget what they were suffering in the old country. And they try to be ‘good citizen’; they don’t want to rock the boat. So that creates apathy.

But also the Left is fragmented and elitist, and usually they want to tell you what to do to your struggle. Not that they want your guidance, this is what’s good for my struggle. Which we haven’t faced, you know, in the Third Worlds Peoples Coalition nor with the Coalition for National Liberation Movements.

So again this mentality of superiority, which again we are familiar with with the Zionist movement because that is how they operate – you know from a supremacist mentality. And it’s not blatant; you can’t really explain it other than that: when they tell you what you should do, when they pretend they know better than us for our own struggle.

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