Did you know that two thousand plus imprisoned Palestinians have been on an hunger strike for months demanding basic human rights and an end to detention without trial? Did you know that two of them have not eaten since February 28 and are hovering between life and death? Did you know that thousands of Palestinians have been protesting in support of the strikers in growing demonstrations throughout the West Bank?
Alas, while it’s been reported fairly regularly via the world media, there’s been a near-total silence from the American government on the matter. Actually, that’s not quite correct – at a recent press briefing, spokesperson Victoria Nuland remarked that the State Department doesn’t “have anything to say (about it) one way or the other.”
As journalist Robert Naiman recently observed, the State Department did manage to speak out in support of Bahrainian Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, also on hunger strike to oppose his unjust detention. Yet 2,000 Palestinian hunger strikers do not rate even an official acknowledgement?
At present, Egypt is attempting to broker a solution – and as Naiman rightly points out, “a few words from the State Department could help tip the balance toward a more positive resolution.” I encourage you to join me in signing this petition urging Hilary Clinton to end her silence and use her good offices to help save the lives of these nonviolent Palestinian protesters.
For a deeply moving meditation on the hunger strikers campaign, I commend to you this post by Vicky at Bethlehem Blogger:
Through the hunger strike, the prisoners have demonstrated that there are some things that can never be taken from them – dignity first of all. Maher Halahleh, whose brother Thaer is in a critical condition after seventy-four days without food, said today, “This is a new weapon that is stronger than a nuclear bomb. Israel is fighting people who have no weapons, only their will.”