LET THEM DIE! May 9, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.
Increasing numbers of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have had the effrontery to go on hunger strike.
The Israeli response, including the decision of the High Court, has been as cold and cruel as the continued occupation and expropriation of Palestinian land. The case of Bobby Sands in Northern Ireland comes to mind, when Margaret Thatcher was similarly indifferent to the others. The others are not simply just people but dehumanized beings engaged in what in some eyes is a form of terrorism, that is, resistance to iron rule of Israel.
There is ongoing militant expression of Palestinian resistance to the abuses of Israel’s 45 years of occupation and de facto annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and five year blockade of Gaza taking the form of a series of hunger strikes. Recourse to this desperate tactic of courageous self-sacrifice is an extreme form of nonviolence, and should whenever and wherever it occurs be given close attention. Palestinians have protested by hunger strikes in the past but failed to inspire the imagination of the wider Palestinian community or shake the confidence of Israeli officialdom. Despite the averted gaze of the West, especially here in North America, there are some signs that this time the hunger strikes have crossed a historic threshold of no return.
These strikes started by the individual exploit of a single person, Khader Adnan, at the end of 2011. Dragged from his home in the village of Arraba near Jenin by a night raid by dozens of Israeli soldiers, humiliated and roughed up in the presence of his two and four year old daughter, carried away shackled and blindfolded, roughly interrogated, and then made subject to an administrative decree for the eighth time in his young life, Adnan’s inner conscience must have screamed ‘Enough!’ and he embarked on an open-ended hunger strike. He continued it for 66 days, and agreed to take food again only after the Israeli authorities relented somewhat, including a pledge not to subject Adnan to a further period of administrative detention unless further incriminating evidence came to the surface. Upon release, Adnan to depersonalize his ordeal insisted on visiting the families of other Palestinians currently under administrative detention before returning to his own home.
He has spoken out with firm gentleness and invited persons of conscience everywhere to join in the struggle to induce Israel to abandon administrative detention, and the accompanying violations of Palestinian human rights. . .
Khader Adnan has written an open letter to the people of the world (quoted by Richard Falk):
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,* Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.
Dear free people of the world
Dear oppressed and disenfranchised around the globe. Dear friends of our people, who stood with me with a stern belief in freedom and dignity for my people and our prisoners languishing in the Occupation’s prisons. Dear free women and men, young and elderly, ordinary people as well as intellectual elites everywhere – I address you today with an outpouring of hope and pain for every Palestinian that suffers from the occupation of his land, for each of us that has been killed, wounded or imprisoned by the state of terror, that denies anything beautiful in our lives, even the smile of our children and families.
I am addressing you in my first letter following my release – praying it will not be the last – after Allah granted me freedom, pride and dignity. I was an “administrative detainee” in the jail of occupation for four months, out of which I have spent 66 days on hunger strike.
I was driven to declare an open-ended hunger strike by the daily harassment and violation of my people’s rights by the Israeli Zionist occupation.
The last straw for me were the ongoing arrests, the brutal night time raid on my house, my violent detention, during which I was taken to the “Mavo Dotan” settlement on our land occupied 1967, and the beatings and humiliation I was treated to during arrest interrogation.
The way I was treated during the interrogation at the Jalameh detention center, using the worse and lowest verbal insults in the dictionary. After questioning, I was sentenced to imprisonment under administrative detention with no charges, which proves mine and others’ arrests serve only to maintain a quota of prisoners, to harass us, to restrict our freedom and to undermine our determination, pride and dignity.
I write today to thank all those who stood tall in support of my people, with our prisoners, with Hana al-Shalabi and with myself.
I call on you to stand for justice pride and dignity in the face of occupation. The assault on the freedom and dignity of the Palestinian people is an assault on free people of the world by a criminal occupation that threatens the security, freedom and dignity of all, no matter where.
Please, continue in exposing this occupation, boycotting and isolating it internationally.
Expose its true face, the one that was clearly exposed in the attack of an Israeli officer on our Danish cohort. Unlike that attack, the murder our people is a crime that goes by unspoken of and slips away from the lens of the camera.
Our prisoners are dying in silence. Hundreds of defenders of freedom are on hunger strike inside the prisons, including the eight knights, Bilal Diab and Thaer Hlahalh, who are now on their 61st day of hunger strike, Hassan Safadi, Omar Abu Shalal, Mahmoud Sarsak, Mahmoud Sarsal, Mohammad Taj, Jaafar Azzedine (who was arrested solely for standing in solidarity with myself) and Ahmad haj Ali. Their lives now are in great danger.
We are all responsible and we will all lose if we anything happen to them.
Let us take immediate action to pressure the Occupation into releasing them immediately, or their children could never forgive us.
Let all those free and revolutionary join hands against the Occupation’s oppression, and take to the streets – in front of the Occupation’s prisons, in front of its embassies and all other institutions backing it around the world.
With deep appreciation,
The supreme irony at work here is that Israel claims to be a state for the Jewish people, which in part must mean a claim to be a religious and a moral people. Justice might be blind in its process, but morality cannot be.
Khader’s ordeal struck a chord among people in Belfast:
- Illan Pappe, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Audio)
- Phillip Giraldi, A Tipping Point for Israel (AntiWar.com)
- Palestinian hunger strikes: Media missing in action (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Palestinians Rally Around Prisoners On Hunger Strike (wnyc.org)
- #PalHunger | Palestinian hunger strikes: Media missing in action ~ by Prof. Em. Richard Falk – @rfalk13 (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Statement of support from Palestinian prisoners to the Irish Hunger Strikers in 1981 (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Denial and solidarity meet hunger strike prisoners (jfjfp.com)
- News & World Events – Re: Israeli court rules against Palestinian hunger strikers (disclose.tv)
- #PalHunger | Empty Stomach Warriors (IV): Thaer Halahleh All in The Name ~ by @LinahAlsaafin (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Photo Essay ~~ April in Palestine (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- NGO Campaigns in Support of Palestine Hunger Strikers (ifaynsh.wordpress.com)
- Cast Iron Stomachs: The Beautiful Defiance Of Palestine’s Hunger Strikers (maskofzion.com)
- Hunger strikers near death as Israeli High Court rejects appeal (crikey.com.au)
- U.N.’s Ban calls for solution for Palestinian hunger strikers (jta.org)
- #unclosed ! (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)