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Only in Palestine... Hunger Is a Revolutionary!
Pierre Abi Saab

"Hunger is an infidel - wrote an activist on Twitter- but only in Palestine, hunger is a revolutionary!" The detainees and heroes in the occupation prisons are confronting the ‘Israeli' arrogance and brutality with their "empty intestines" for twelve days.

Only in Palestine ... Hunger Is a Revolutionary!

For twelve days the paralyzed Arab conscience - immersed in the marshes of betrayal, surrender and fragmentation and publically sponsored by ‘Israel' - has disregarded them.

The Arab conscience, which has been paralyzed by futile civil wars, is being moved by Washington and Tel Aviv. Its poison is being promoted by a Western media that wants to be "free" while equating with the trumpets of degeneration and Gulf backwardness. Only Palestine, in the time of the rebellions and resignations, lights up like the polar star in the dark night and leads us to the road. Only a handful of heroes are fighting for our national and human dignity. About 1500 prisoners began on April 17 a new round of the "dignity strike" [hunger strike] and forced even Mahmoud Abbas to adopt it reluctantly.

It's been 12 days and the battle is in its beginning. Yesterday, a new group joined the strikers "according to a program agreed upon nationally", including detainee Samer al-Issawi who recorded the longest-serving hunger strike [277 days] in 2012. Al-Issawi, a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, sent a message to his people and the public announcing that "the zero hour is near. And we, the prisoners, are unified in the decision, determined to go to the end of the strike of freedom and dignity."

The national organizations across Palestinian cities on Friday declared a "day of anger". Ahmed Saadat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called on all other prisoners to join the strike. It is expected that, after the day of the general strike yesterday, which cleared the streets of the occupied West Bank, the popular flame will ignite across the West Bank, to culminate on May 15 in the sixty-ninth anniversary of Palestine's Nakba. Saadat said that "it will be a remarkable day in the history of the struggle of the Palestinian people."

This 24th confrontation with the ‘Israeli' brutality in the prisons of occupied Palestine, since 1967 [the first collective hunger strike carried out in 1968 in Nablus prison] has entered its twelfth day. A long confrontation five detainees paid for with their lives. They were martyred during the hunger strikes. We remember the martyrs with pride: Abdel-Qader Abu al-Fahm in Ashkelon prison in 1970, Rasem Halawah, Ali al-Jaafari, and Ishaq Marawgha [who was martyred succumbing to his wounds three years later] in Nafha Prison [1980], Mahmoud Fritikh in Jneid prison [1984], and Hussein Nimer Obeidat in Ashkelon prison [1992]. We also recapture today the battle of the "Empty Intestines" that erupted in 2012.

The demands are the same; from the cessation of the policy of administrative detention and solitary confinement to allowing family visits without any restrictions. A few days ago, settlers barbequed and celebrated near the prison where the hunger strikers are calling for less brutal "detention" conditions. Meanwhile, the ‘Israeli' jailer confiscated the salt that the prisoners hid, to help them in their strike alongside with water, and which could be the ammunition for their courageous battle against the oppression machine and brutal occupation. The reaction of the occupation authorities in the face of the strikers is to double their usual brutality. It isolated the strikers from the outside world and prevented them from their lawyers' visit. But the ‘Israeli' is weak, a coward and afraid. He knows deep down that he is the loser, sooner or later.

Twelve days and these heroes have only their human dignity and national pride. They have only their bodies, their will, their determination and their solidarity despite the difference in their factions, affiliations and beliefs.

But perhaps we can add a little bit of support and solidarity that don't cost much in our Arab cities and towns that are on the same volcano and fighting the same fate for freedom, justice, dignity, and national rights.

On Twitter, an activist commented: "I was born in 1987. Karim Younis and Maher Younis, the deans of the Palestinian prisoners, have been detained since 1983." We can also read: "Prisoner Abdullah Barghouthi is sentenced to 67 life sentences and 5,200 years. He has the longest sentence in history." Also: "detainee Ahmad Kaabaneh marks his twentieth year in the prisons of the occupation, and is sentenced to two life sentences and six years in prison."

They are not asking for anything for themselves. We need them, not vice versa. We need to wake up from this death-like numbness. Let us think of each of them, individually, of their families, at the heart of this fierce battle. We draw strength from the words of Mahmoud Darwish, which the famous film maker Borhane Alaouié ended his famous film "Kafr Kasem" with: "I came back from the dead to live, to sing/ so let me hear my voice from the wound that is blazing and help me overcome the hatred that is implanted in my heart. I am wounded. The punisher's lashes taught me to walk over my wound. To walk. Then I walk. Then I resist.
Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

29-04-2017 | 07:56

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