Progressives and occupiers need to learn from Palestinians a thing or two about Freedom and Dignity. You do not get what you want from powerful oppressors by begging. If something is worth getting, then be ready to fight for it. Don’t ask, demand. If they don’t grant it, then fight for it. If the only way you have to fight is to throw your body into the gears of power then do it enthusiastically. Never surrender.
So stop whining about Trump and Russia undermining your democracy. That will not get you single payer healthcare and free college. That money has already been spent on wars. They gave it to the banks, oil companies, privateers and war mongers. It is time to stop eating Cheetos, get up off the couch and hit the streets. Demand an end to wars. Demand social and economic justice. Stand up for economic freedom. Show your dignity. That is the Palestinian way.
Palestinians are among the most oppressed people in the world. They live under an illegal brutal fascist occupation. Every day Palestinians must face down their oppressor. Israel has the tanks, bulldozers and the guns. Palestinians only have stones and their bodies. Their message is: you can steal our land and olive trees; and you can wall us in, block us off, lock us up, and kill our bodies…but you cannot take away our freedom and dignity unless we surrender it.
For anyone that says the Palestinian Prisoner hunger strike was not a complete success, they should try not eating for 40 days and 40 nights. After 20 days the fat is gone. After 30 days the body is surviving on muscle, bone marrow and internal organs. By the 40th day there is permanent damage and organs begin to fail. After 40 days you are ready for the angel of death.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ “Freedom and Dignity Hunger Strike” was a complete success. It was a huge victory for all the Palestinian People. They deserve our highest respect and congratulations. We need to learn from them.
The hunger strike achieved the prisoners’ demands, such as improved healthcare, increased family visits and use of the canteen. Those are important prisoner rights and worth fighting for. But the hunger strike was also about Freedom and Dignity. Palestinians showed the world that they still have their freedom and dignity, no matter how hard the oppressor tries to oppress them. And overwhelmingly the people in Palestine, Europe, Asia, Africa, and in the Americas responded in solidarity.
Netanyahu said he would not negotiate with ‘suicide terrorists’. He called the hunger strike ‘psychological terrorism’. He said he would not meet with Marwan Barghouthi, the Palestinian ‘Nelson Mandela’. Avigdor Liberman saidlet the prisoners die of starvation. Some Israelis made jokes and roasted bar-b-que outside the prison walls. Pizza Hut ganged on with an ad that said, let them eat pizza. In the end Israel negotiated with the prisoners, met with their leader Marwan Barghouthi, and agreed to their demands. What more does one need to call the hunger strike a complete success?
Netanyahu said he was ‘psychologically terrorized’ by the Palestinian Prisoners. That is because the Palestinians exposed the corruption and moral bankruptcy of Netanyahu and Liberman. People around the world rallied in solidarity with Palestinians.
Just because Palestinians will not surrender their freedom and dignity does not make them terrorists, regardless that it terrorizes Netanyahu. The Palestinians are freedom fighters. They have a right under international law to resist their oppressor, even if it is by the use of violence against the military occupiers. It is the Netanyahu’s and the Liberman’s who are in violation of international law. They have repeatedly ignored resolutions from the United Nations, judgements by the International Court of Justice, and condemnation from the international community, hypocritically including the USA.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘Freedom, Dignity and the Future of Palestine’.