Apparently a hunger strike by over 1000 Palestinian prisoners, under way since April 17th, is not newsworthy. It seems these people are the wrong colour, wrong religion and critically, they live on land that others want to steal, and, of course, they have no significant media control.
It’s difficult to know the exact numbers of prisoners involved, reported figures range from 1000 to 3000 and many are now being held in isolation.
In Ireland we have a long history of hunger strikes and we understand the consequences all too well – from the death of Lord Mayor of Cork – Terence McSweeney in 1920 to the H-Block strikers in 1981. In McSweeney’s case he was arrested on charges of sedition. Fast forward to 2017 and Israel can jail you for sharing a social media post about someone who has died. And if you can believe it, prison time for that act can be determined by the number of likes and shares the post received. You can also be locked up for for being a member of a political organisation, handing out leaflets, standing in a group of more than 10 people, the list goes on…
Palestinians are tried by a military court. Approximately 6300 are currently detained, including about 500 children. Some are locked up for up to 6 months and longer without any charge. They call that ‘administrative detention’.
We should all express our solidarity with these oppressed people against a brutal occupation. More power to Dublin City Council for flying the Palestinian flag over city hall, every city and town in this country should do likewise.
The mainstream media are spineless and servile. I learned all about South Africa and Palestine from RTE back in the day when they cared less about upsetting Britain, The United States or Israel. They are spineless and speechless now like the rest of the corporate media and they can stick their request for a license payment up their hole.