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That barbecue outside a hunger strike prison exposes Israeli settlers’ blind hatred

Settlers set up barbeques outside Ofer Prison while Palestinian prisoners held inside continue the fourth day of their hunger strike to demand their basic rights on 20 April 2017 [Joe Dyke/Twitter]
Settlers set up barbeques outside Ofer Prison while Palestinian prisoners held inside continue the fourth day of their hunger strike to demand their basic rights on 20 April 2017 [Joe Dyke/Twitter]

In their blind hatred, some Israelis have a tendency to score some spectacular own goals and I’d like to bet that the bizarre barbecue held outside a prison where Palestinian political prisoners are on hunger strike is one of them. Members of the far right party National Union said that the purpose of their rather pathetic stunt on Thursday was to taunt Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. It seems odd that grown men would invest so much of their time and energy to do this but those taking part said they wanted to “celebrate the hunger strike” and “break the spirit” of the strikers, in the hope that the smell of the meat would waft into the prison. Did they honestly think that prisoners who have taken the huge decision to go on hunger strike would abandon their protest just because they could smell some kosher lamb chops being done to a turn on the other side of the prison wall?

My guess is that the settlers’ efforts would simply have made the hunger strikers more determined in their heroic food boycott behind bars, which was clearly having the desired effect on their gaolers. As anyone who has ever organised a campaign knows, as far as an activist is concerned, the worst reaction towards their activism is complete indifference, so it is obvious to anyone watching that the hunger strike called and led by popular Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi is having a serious psychological impact on Israeli society.

VIDEO: Settlers set up barbeques outside prison to taunt Palestinian hunger strikers

The hunger strike has received widespread coverage within Palestine and around the world, with demonstrations and rallies of support. Lawyers acting for the Palestinian prisoners have also decided to suspend professional appearances in front of Israel’s military courts in solidarity with their clients.

International support for Palestinians is already increasing because of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which started with a 2005 call by Palestinian academics. Israel has poured millions of dollars and a huge amount of political capital into trying to crush BDS, but many of the western democracies targeted by the Israeli counter-campaign believe that its strong-arm tactics are designed to limit freedom of expression. It’s another epic fail by Israel.

Nevertheless, the right-wing Israeli activists went ahead and set up their portable grills outside the Ofer Prison to the west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and issued a press statement. Their barbecue, they declared pompously, would break the will of the prisoners as they breathed in the “smoke and suffer from the smell of the meat, and [we will] show them that we will not give in to their whims.”

Perhaps they should have invested more of their misspent youth reading Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra than frying chops, sausages and burgers. The men (and it was all men involved) might have realised that the stench of their hate revealed a lot about them and their mindset. “In time we hate that which we often fear,” says Cleopatra’s main lady-in-waiting Charmian in Act 1, Scene 3.

#StrikeDay5

In other words, the settlers’ barbecue was a clear demonstration that what the Israelis really fear is that the Palestinians are right about the injustice and primitive nature of their treatment in the Zionist state’s prison system, which is part of the inhumane apparatus of Israel’s military occupation. The hunger strike is a protest against Israel’s indefinite detention of Palestinians with neither charge nor trial, under the British Mandate-era “administrative detention” law. This abuse of international law and human rights has been exposed yet again.

And that’s not all. Thousands of prisoners are denied visitors on security grounds. The ban includes parents, wives and other close relatives. There are also serious concerns about medical facilities, or the lack thereof, with prisoners being denied adequate diagnoses and potentially life-saving treatment. Palestinian prisoners are not allowed access to public telephones in prison; in fact, there are none in the prisons where they are held, so they can’t even communicate with their lawyers, never mind their relatives. Basic human rights afforded to most prisoners in the civilised world are denied to Palestinians detained by Israel. The political prisoners have also asked for educational courses to be reinstated and have called for a halt to the mistreatment and abuse of all Palestinian detainees, men, women and children; yes, Israel is holding at least 300 minors.

Read: Israeli minister calls for execution of Palestinian prisoners

People around the world are learning about Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners and, thanks to the burning meat outside the brutal Ofer, we can also witness the burning hatred that some Israelis have for their fellow human beings purely because they are Palestinians. This sort of thing used to be called racism and was totally unacceptable. It still is in most parts of the world, except in Israel.

As the late, great Maya Angelou once observed, “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” Now there’s some real food for thought instead of the ersatz barbecue meat served up by Jewish settlers. If their spiteful juvenile prank encourages anything at all, it will be more non-violent resistance which reminds the world of the continued brutal Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands and people.

Such heroic resistance is now burning bright inside Israeli jails with 1,500 of the 7,000 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. They now know that Amnesty International is supporting their demands by calling on Israel to end its “unlawful and cruel” policies. If the knowledge that death awaits long-term hunger strikers doesn’t deter such brave souls, how could those settlers think for one moment that barbecue smells would? Their hatred deludes them, and now the whole world knows it.

Israel puts at least six hunger-strikers in solitary confinement

Image of a solitary confinement unit [PRODanny Bradury/Flcikr]

Image of a solitary confinement unit [PRODanny Bradury/Flcikr]

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  • Helen4Yemen

    In order to really get to know these European foreigners are on Arab land, we need to study these expulsions and find out what caused each and every one of them. What had they done? You see, if the Palestinians had the power, they would have expelled these Lithuanians, Hungarians, Ukrainians..too.

    Expulsions of the Ashkenazi from Europe

    – 250 Carthage – 415 Alexandria – 554 Diocèse of Clermont (France) – 561 Diocèse of Uzès (France) – 612 Visigoth Spain – 642 Visigoth Empire – 855 Italy – 876 Sens – 1012 Mainz – 1182 France – 1182 Germany – 1276 Upper Bavaria – 1290 England – 1306 France – 1322 France (again) – 1348 Switzerland – 1349 Hielbronn (Germany) – 1349 Saxony – 1349 Hungary – 1360 Hungary – 1370 Belgium – 1380 Slovakia – 1388 Strasbourg – 1394 Germany – 1394 France – 1420 Lyons – 1421 Austria – 1424 Fribourg – 1424 Zurich – 1424 Cologne – 1432 Savoy – 1438 Mainz – 1439 Augsburg – 1442 Netherlands – 1444 Netherlands – 1446 Bavaria – 1453 France – 1453 Breslau – 1454 Wurzburg – 1462 Mainz – 1483 Mainz – 1484 Warsaw – 1485 Vincenza (Italy) – 1492 Spain – 1492 Italy – 1495 Lithuania – 1496 Naples – 1496 Portugal – 1498 Nuremberg – 1498 Navarre – 1510 Brandenberg – 1510 Prussia – 1514 Strasbourg – 1515 Genoa – 1519 Regensburg – 1533 Naples – 1541 Naples – 1542 Prague & Bohemia – 1550 Genoa – 1551 Bavaria – 1555 Pesaro – 1557 Prague – 1559 Austria – 1561 Prague – 1567 Wurzburg – 1569 Papal States – 1571 Brandenburg – 1582 Netherlands – 1582 Hungary – 1593 Brandenburg, Austria – 1597 Cremona, Pavia & Lodi – 1614 Frankfort – 1615 Worms – 1619 Kiev – 1648 Ukraine – 1648 Poland – 1649 Hamburg – 1654 Little Russia (Beylorus) – 1656 Lithuania – 1669 Oran (North Africa) – 1669 Vienna – 1670 Vienna – 1712 Sandomir – 1727 Russia – 1738 Wurtemburg – 1740 Little Russia (Beylorus) – 1744 Prague, Bohemia – 1744 Slovakia – 1744 Livonia – 1745 Moravia – 1753 Kovad (Lithuania) – 1761 Bordeaux – 1772 Deported to the Pale of Settlement (Poland/Russia) – 1775 Warsaw – 1789 Alsace – 1804 Villages in Russia – 1808 Villages & Countrysides (Russia) – 1815 Lbeck & Bremen – 1815 Franconia, Swabia & Bavaria – 1820 Bremen – 1843 Russian Border Austria & Prussia – 1862 Areas in the U.S. under General Grant’s Jurisdiction[1] – 1866 Galatz, Romania – 1880s Russia – 1891 Moscow – 1919 Bavaria (foreign born Jews) – 193845 Nazi Controlled Areas – 1948 Arab Countries

  • Justice Not Propaganda

    Lousy propaganda supporting murderous terrorists. You should be ashamed. If the subhuman vermin on their “hunger strike” were to all shrivel up and die, the world would instantly become a much better place.