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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.


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]

ArticleIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestine
  • 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.

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      But you invader Zionists are the ones that brought terror to Palestine.

      Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
      Middle East – Tom Suarez on January 1, 2017

      Britain’s wake-up call regarding the Zionists’ indoctrination of children came on the 8th of July, 1938. That day, the Irgun blew up a bus filled with Palestinian villagers. Now, this was not the first time the Irgun had done something of this sort, but this time the British caught the bomber. She was a twelve year old schoolgirl.

      Teenagers, both boys and girls, were commonly used to plant bombs in Palestinian markets and conduct other terror attacks. Teachers were threatened or removed if they tried to intervene in the indoctrination of their students, and the students themselves were blocked from advancement if they resisted, even being taught to betray their own parents if those parents tried to instill some moderation. Jews who opposed and tried to warn of the emerging fascism were assassinated, and indeed most victims of Zionist assassinations—that is, targeted, rather than indiscriminate—were Jews.


      • Justice Not Propaganda

        How creative. Use lies and propaganda to try to support other lies and propaganda. I’m sure you have plenty of juicy crap from fake news rags like Mondoweiss. Can I suggest electronic intifada, too. They make up plenty of exciting anti-israel fiction stories, too. But I would expect nothing less from a terrorist-supporting piece of crud who attacks the indigenous victims while promoting the ethnic cleansing efforts of Arab nomads. Oh, by the way, garbage-brain, you neglected to mention that the Irgun only arose in response to repeated massacres of Jews by Arab savages. But then again, facts are always inconvenient for terrorist-supporting lying swine.

        • TecumsehUnfaced

          Well, that certainly defines you, doesn’t it? If anyone wants to know what a Zionist is, just look at its accusations. It always accuses others of its own crimes.

          Let’s dispose of your lies about Arab nomad, ethnic cleansing, and terror.

          Palestinian Society

          There were over one thousand villages in Palestine at the turn of the 19th century. Jerusalem, Haifa, Gaza, Jaffa, Nablus, Acre, Jericho, Ramle, Hebron and Nazareth were flourishing towns. The hills were painstakingly terraced. Irrigation ditches crisscrossed the land. The citrus orchards, olive groves and grains of Palestine were known throughout the world. Trade, crafts, textiles, cottage industry and agricultural production abounded.

          Eighteenth and 19th century travellers’ accounts are replete with the data, as were the scholarly quarterly reports published in the 19th century by the British Palestine Exploration Fund.

          In fact, it was precisely the social cohesiveness and stability of Palestinian society which led Lord Palmerston, in 1840, when Britain had established a consulate in Jerusalem, to propose, presciently, the founding of a European Jewish settler colony to “preserve the larger interests of the British Empire”. [15]

          Palestinian society, if suffering from the collaboration of feudal landowners [effendi] with the Ottoman Empire, was nevertheless productive and culturally diverse, with a peasantry quite conscious of its social role. The Palestinian peasants and urban dwellers had made a clear, strongly felt distinction between the Jews who lived amongst them and would-be colonists, dating from the 1820’s, when the 20,000 Jews of Jerusalem were wholly integrated and accepted in Palestinian society.

          When the colonists at Petah Tikvah sought to push the peasants off the land, in 1886, they were met with organized resistance, but Jewish workers in neighboring villages and communities were wholly unaffected. When the Armenians escaping the Turkish genocide settled in Palestine they were welcomed. The genocide was ominously defended by Vladimir Jabotinsky and other Zionists in their attempts to obtain Turkish support.

          In fact, until the Balfour Declaration [1917], the Palestinian response to Zionist settlements was unwisely tolerant. There was no organized Jew-hatred in Palestine, no massacres such as the Czar and Polish anti-Semites prepared, no racist counterpart in the Palestinian response to armed colonists (who used force wherever possible to drive Palestinians from the land). Not even spontaneous riots, expressing pent up Palestinian rage at the steady theft of their land, were directed at Jews as such.


  • Fasdunkle

    A handful of people had a bbq

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      Correction: a handful of raging bigots had a bbq in front of people being treated so dreadfully that they had a hunger strike.

      • Fasdunkle

        They probably are raging bigots. The hunger strike is political, it has nothing to do with conditions.

        • TecumsehUnfaced

          There you go again, trying to cover the horror of Zionist prisons.

          Patterns of Torture in Post-’67 Occupied Territories

          Each detention center features interrogators with “apparent predilections.” The Russian Compound [Moscobiya] interrogators in Jerusalem “favor assaults on the g3nitals, besides endurance tests such as holding a chair with outstretched arms or standing on one leg.”

          The specialty of the military center at Sarafand is to blindfold prisoners for long periods, assault them with dogs and hang them by their wrists. The specialty at Ramallah is “an@l assault.” Electric shock torture is used almost universally. [136]

          Fazi Abdel Wahed Nijim was arrested in July 1970. He was tortured at Sarafand and set upon by dogs. Arrested again in July 1973, he was beaten in Gaza prison. Zudhir al-Dibi was arrested in February 1970 and interrogated in Nablus where he was whipped and beaten on the soles of his feet. His test!cles were squeezed and he was hosed with ice water.

          Shehadeh Shalaldeh was arrested in August 1969 and interrogated at Moscobiya. A ballpoint refill was pushed into his pen!s. Abed al-Shalloudi was held without trial for sixteen months. Blindfolded and handcuffed while at Moscobiya, he was beaten by Naim Shabo, an Iraqi Jew, Director of the Minorities Department.

          Jamil Abu Ghabiyr was arrested in February 1976 and held in Moscobiya. He was beaten on the head, body and g3nitals and made to lie in ice water. Issam Atif al Hamoury was arrested in October 1976. In Hebron prison the authorities arranged his rap3 by a prisoner trustee. [137]

          In February 1969, Rasmiya Odeh was arrested and brought to Moscobiya. Her father, Joseph, and two sisters were detained for interrogation. Joseph Odeh was kept in one room while Rasmiya was beaten nearby. When they brought him to her she was lying on the floor in blood-stained clothes. Her face was blue, her eye black. In his presence, they held her down and shoved a stick into her vag!na. One of the interrogators ordered Joseph Odeh “to fvck” his daughter. When he refused they began beating both him and Rasmiya. They again spread her legs and shoved the stick into her. She was bleeding from the mouth, face and vag!na when Joseph Odeh fell unconscious. [138]

          The patterns of torture reported by the Sunday Times are similar to those found in hundreds of testimonies published by Israeli lawyers, Felicia Langer and Lea Tsemel, by Palestinian lawyers Walid Fahoum and Raja Shehadeh, by Amnesty International and the National Lawyers Guild and the series of accounts this author documented from former prisoners. [139]

          This record is established in the West Bank as early as 1968, one year after the occupation began. Although the International Committee of the Red Cross does not, as a rule, make public declarations, it had prepared in 1968 a finding of torture. Its Report on Nablus Prison concluded:

          A number of detainees have undergone torture during interrogation by the military police. According to the evidence, the torture took the following forms:

          1. Suspension of the detainee by the hands and the simultaneous traction of his other members for hours at a time until he loses consciousness

          2. Burns with cigarette stubs

          3. Blows by rods on the g3nitals

          4. Tying up and blindfolding for days

          5. Bites by dogs

          6. Electric shocks at the temples, the mouth, the chest and test!cles. [140]


  • Jasmine Sims

    Zinost troll busted

    • Fasdunkle

      liar debunked.