|Palestinian protesters (Che T-shirt sighting!) outside Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem last week. Photo from Alakhbar English.|
Decades ago in the midst of another desperate struggle, imprisoned revolutionaries in Northern Ireland used the final weapon available, and went on a series of hunger strikes to bring attention to British repression. Several Irish Republican Army militants starved to death, including most famously Bobby Sands.
Today the desperate resistance tactic of the hunger strike is being deployed by some two thousand Palestinians in Israeli jails. Two of these protesters, in administrative detention without charges or recourse, are now said to be near death. Thaer Halahla, 34, and Bilal Thiab, 27, shown in the posters above, have been denied visits from their families and independent medical authorities.
Today the Israeli Supreme Court rejected their appeals to end their "administrative detention." At their hearing, one of the men fainted from weakness. The other, Mr. Halahla, is quoted saying, “I am a man who loves life, and I want to live in dignity. No human can accept being in jail for one hour without any charge or reason.”
These two men are not accused of any crime, merely of being "potential terrorists" by virtue of their membership in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad faction. Sound familiar? This is what the NDAA law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama authorizes here in the United States.
Save Thaer Halahla and Bilal Thiab!