General Strike in Palestine as Yarmulke-Wearing Trump Visits Western Wall

 

Trump, along with his wife and daughter, have visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with the president sporting a Jewish yarmulke–this as Palestinians prisoners are on day 36 of a hunger strike and as people throughout the occupied territories held a general strike in solidarity with the prisoners.

Mothers refusing food in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. “I cannot eat while my sons are starving,”

In Manger Square in Bethlehem, protestors gathered to protest Trump, who is scheduled to make a stop there tomorrow.

“We came to tell you that the one who decides the fate of Palestinian people are the Palestinian refugee camps and not the Americans, the cause of the camps is the cause of all Palestinians,” said one protestor.  “The fate of Jerusalem can’t be decided by Trump, for Jerusalem is Arab; Jerusalem is Palestinian, and we decide its fate, not the Americans. The only ones who supported Palestinian people are the heroic prisoners, they are strugglers, fighting with only their bodies.”

Meanwhile, US and Israeli companies are reportedly working together to siphon off natural gas from Gaza’s territorial waters, while a 16-year-old Palestinian boy has been shot and killed after allegedly attempting to carrying out a stabbing of Israeli forces at a check point near Bethlehem. Additionally, some Some 20 other people were shot and injured as protestors attempted to march from the West Bank city of Ramallah to Israel’s Qalandiya checkpoint. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators, using live ammunition as well as rubber coated steel bullets, from rooftops overlooking the main street .

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu greeted Trump and then told reporters that he and the president share a “commitment to peace.” Palestinians have called for a second “day of rage” to coincide with Trump’s visit to the West Bank on Tuesday.

So are these unruly Palestinians just illogical, irrational anti-Semites who simply hate Jews for no reason–or are their protests, hunger strikes, and days of rage motivated in some manner by Jewish behavior? I wonder if Trump, Ivanka, or Melania pondered that question in their visit to the Western Wall? Probably not.

Palestinians Hold General Strike ahead of Trump’s Visit

May 22, 2017

hunger strike hungry until freedom

Palestinians are holding a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza strip in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails ahead of President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of protesters blocked roads in cities and towns of the West Bank to observe a “Day of Rage” as the hunger strike entered its 36th day Monday. A Palestinian advocacy group says several of the hundreds of hunger striking prisoners were hospitalized. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities continue to prevent access to the hunger strikers and keep them isolated from other prisoners.

Stores and government offices closed down, public transportation ground to a halt and main thoroughfares in Palestinian cities were empty of people and cars.

The Palestinian prisoners’ affairs committee called for a “day of rage” on Tuesday, when Trump visits Bethlehem, for “the voice of the prisoners to be heard by the president.”

Palestinian factions also released a statement, calling for “unity and assimilation with our brave prisoners,” as they threw their weight behind Monday’s general strike.

They slammed Washington’s support for the Israeli occupation and called on the Palestinian public to join the action in a bid to reject a possible resumption of talks with Israel under the US sponsorship.

Source: Websites

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The speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah in the Israeli balance خطاب نصرالله في الميزان «الإسرائيلي»

مايو 15, 2017

The speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah in the Israeli balance

Written by Nasser Kandil,

In each word, speech, and step, each one of them cares about the other before anything else; this is described by one of the Israeli commenters on the relationship between the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah and the leaders of the occupation entity. So what is important is the impact of the speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah on the Israelis and how they read it, and what its position in the heart of this cumulative conflict in which the ideas, battles, weapons, and unstopped preparations participate in making its balances.

In the beginning, the Israelis stopped in front of Nasrollah’s announcement about the end of the north-east battles in Lebanon, and the end of Hezbollas’s mission in it, this front which the Israelis tried to open and to protect, as well as their rejoicing in the involvement of Hezbollah to fall in it, and their bet on its turning into a war of attrition that dismisses Hezbollah’s attention to concern about its war. It is the war from which Nasrollah emerged victorious after he has fortified the experience and the strength of his party; he has increased his popularity in cohesion and confidence. The Israelis wonder whether what Nasrollah has presented an example for the future presence of the fighters of Hezbollah in Syria will include the southern of Syria, or whether the bases of its south-east are different from the bases of its north, since it is related to Golan and the southern of Lebanon but the Israelis do not know the hidden about it.

The Israelis lost their Syrian bet in the war with Hezbollah in a way that cannot be denied, this is the first conclusion of the speech, Second, he stopped at the equations and the musical sentences that turned into symbolic slogans as” Israel is weaker than the cobweb” where the Israelis did not find in its confrontation but the game of the hidden voice behind the networks that do not reveal anything but the extent of the narrowness on one hand, and the disability on the other hand, as it revealed the fragility of the security communications system in Lebanon, but the equations of Al Sayyed remained and interacted despite the recorded messages most importantly ” we will be where we should be”.

 “Israel hides behind the walls but it became disclosed” is the conclusion of the two speeches of Al Sayyed which he drew as an assessment of the Israeli security procedures, it is an extrapolation of the path in which Israel moved from the loss of the bet on its ability to retain every land it occupied, it fell in the southern of Lebanon in 2000, its fall has been confirmed in Gaza in 2005, then the fall of the ability to re-occupy Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014  along with the fall of the deterrence ability in these wars,  Israel after years of raising the slogan of restoring the deterrence ability it reached to the recognition of the surrender from the ability to achieve this slogan, and the enter to the stage of walls.

The equation of “We will be where we should be” stems from this Israeli intellectual surrender as an outcome of breaking the strategy of awareness by the resistance, this strategy has been adopted by the Israelis with the Arabs, then the success of the resistance, led by its leader Al Sayyed Nasrollah by removing that awareness and the transformation to a reverse awareness. As the content of the awareness was to overcome the idea of confrontation and the resistance, the content of the reverse awareness is to fall the idea of the deterrence, and to restore the things to their primitive way of fighting man to man and army to army, the ground is the field where neither the trenches nor the walls benefit, so the call of Al Sayyed according to the equation “we will be where we should be is “will be is there any fighter?”.

The reasons of force turn into a burden on the same force, the implicit equation of Al Sayyed which is embodied by the policy of detention and arresting, and the huge stocks of fighting capabilities of chemicals and  nuclear weapons have become the bigger burden and the sources of fear and panic after the threat of Al Sayyed Nasrollah about knowing their places accurately , affecting them precisely, and destroying them strongly as every source of the force of Israel which it boasts of, from its Judaism which it will turn it into a system of minority that will plunge into the sea of the majorities from Palestinian and beyond, to its democracy which weakens the ability of taking difficult decisions in peace and war in fear of the change of the mood of voters towards its distinctive relationship with the West headed by America, so it has turned from  a reason for feeling of confidence to a source of fear of subordination, and the exposing to pressures.

The Israeli commenters and analysts say that Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah knows their people, leaders, and experts more than they know themselves, he has the keys of laughter, crying, security, and fear which he maters provoking and controlling them, without the ability of anyone of them to stop the terror that awaits them, till Al Sayyed will one day translate his equation” We will be where we should be” after he said after he withdrew from the eastern of Lebanon that he did what he did in the war of Syria and he emerged victorious and stronger for many reasons, so according to the Israelis and the Palestinians together the equation became” we will be where we should be” “the one who crossed the borders for the sake of Syria will cross it for the sake of Palestine.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

خطاب نصرالله في الميزان «الإسرائيلي»

 

ناصر قنديل

-كلّ منهما يعنيه الآخر قبل أيّ شيء آخر في كلّ كلمة أو خطاب أو خطوة، هذا ما يصف به أحد المعلّقين «الإسرائيليين» العلاقة بين الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله وقادة كيان الاحتلال، ولذلك يبقى الأهمّ كيف وقع خطاب السيد نصرالله على «الإسرائيليين»؟ وكيف قرأوا ما فيه؟ وما هو موقعه في قلب هذا الصراع التراكمي الذي تشترك في صناعة موازينه الأفكار، كما المعارك والأسلحة والاستعدادات التي لا تتوقف؟

-بداية توقف «الإسرائيليون» أمام إعلان نصرالله نهاية معارك الشمال الشرقي في لبنان، ونهاية مهمة حزب الله فيها. وهذه الجبهة التي لم يُخفِ «الإسرائيليون» يوماً أيديهم في فتحها ورسائلهم الجوية لحمايتها، وفرحهم بتورّط حزب الله ليسقط فيها، ورهانهم على تحوّلها حرب استنزاف تصرفه عن الاهتمام بحربها، وتدفع قوته وناسه إلى تآكل لا قعر له. هي الحرب التي يخرج منها نصرالله منتصراً وقد زاد حزبه خبرة وقوة وزادت شعبيته تماسكاً وثقة. ويتساءل «الإسرائيليون» هل ما قدّمه نصرالله من نموذج لمستقبل وجود مقاتلي حزب الله في سورية، سيشمل جنوب سورية، أم أنّ قواعد جنوب الشرق غير قواعد شماله، وهو المتصل بالجولان وجنوب لبنان وله حكايات وحكايات يجهل «الإسرائيليون» المخبّأ منها؟

-خسر «الإسرائيليون» رهانهم السوري في الحرب مع حزب الله بصورة لا مجال لإنكارها. هذه أول استنتاجات الخطاب، أما ثانيها فتوقف أمام معادلات وجمل صوتية مقطوعة تتحوّل شعارات رمزية من نوع «إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت». لم يجد «الإسرائيليون» في مواجهتها إلا لعبة الصوت الخفي من وراء شبكات عنكبوتية لا تقدّم ولا تؤخر سوى كشف مدى الضيق من جهة والعجز من جهة أخرى. كما كشفت ركاكة أمن منظومة الاتصالات في لبنان، لكن معادلات السيد بقيت وتفاعلت ولم يقطع الطريق عليها ببث الرسائل المسجلة، وأهمّها معادلة الغد «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون».

-«إسرائيل» تختبئ وراء الجدران وباتت مكشوفة، خلاصة رسمها خطابا السيد في حصيلة تقييم إجراءات الأمن «الإسرائيلية»، وهي استقراء لمسار انتقلت فيه «إسرائيل» من خسارة الرهان على قدرتها الاحتفاظ بكل أرض تحتلها، وقد سقطت في جنوب لبنان عام 2000 وتكرّس سقوطها في غزة عام 2005، وتلاها سقوط القدرة على إعادة الاحتلال في لبنان 2006 وفي غزة 2008 و2012 و2014، وبالتوازي سقوط قدرة الردع في هذه الحروب، لتصل «إسرائيل» بعد سنوات من رفع شعار ترميم قدرة الردع إلى الاستسلام لليأس من القدرة على تحقيق هذا الشعار ودخول مرحلة الجدران.

-معادلة «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، تنطلق من هذا الاستسلام الفكري «الإسرائيلي»، كنتاج لكسر المقاومة لاستراتيجية كيّ الوعي التي اتبعها «الإسرائيليون» مع العرب، ثم نجاح المقاومة وعلى رأسها قائد هو السيد نصرالله بكيّ كيّ الوعي، والانتقال لكيّ معاكس للوعي. ومثلما كان مضمون كيّ الوعي، إسقاط فكرة المواجهة والمقاومة، يشكل مضمون الكيّ المعاكس إسقاط فكرة الردع، وإعادة الأمور إلى النزال البدائي للجيوش… رجل لرجل، وجيش لجيش والبرّ هو الميدان، حيث لا تنفع خنادق ولا جدران، ويصير نداء السيد بمعادلة «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، «هل من منازل؟».

-أسباب القوة تتحوّل عبئاً على القوة نفسها، معادلة السيد الضمنية، التي تجسّدها سياسة الأسر والاعتقال وتنفجّر بوجهها قنبلة موقوتة مع الأمعاء الخاوية اليوم، كما تجسّدها المخزونات الهائلة للمقدّرات القاتلة من مواد كيميائية وسلاح نووي، باتت العبء الأكبر ومصادر خوف وذعر مع تهديد السيد نصرالله، بالقدرة على معرفة مكانها بدقة وإصابتها بدقة وتدميرها بقوة، ومثلها كلّ مصدر للقوة تتباهى به «إسرائيل»، من يهوديّتها التي ستحوّلها نظام أقلية يغرق في بحر الأكثريات، من فلسطين إلى الأبعد، إلى ديمقراطيتها التي تضعف قدرة الذهاب بعيداً في القرارات الصعبة سلماً وحرباً خشية تبدل مزاج الناخبين، وصولاً لعلاقتها المميّزة بالغرب، وعلى رأسه أميركا، وقد تحوّلت من سبب شعور بالثقة إلى مصدر خوف من التبعية والإلحاق والتعرّض للضغوط.

-يقول المعلقون والمحللون «الإسرائيليون» إنّ السيد نصرالله بات يعرف ناسها وقادتها وخبراءها أكثر مما يعرفون أنفسهم، وأنه يمتلك مفاتيح الضحك والبكاء والأمان والخوف التي تسكن نفوسهم ويجيد تحريكها، والتحكّم بها، من دون أن يتمكن أيّ منهم من إيقاف مسلسل الرعب الذي ينتظرهم حتى يترجم السيد يوماً معادلته «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، بعدما قال بانسحابه من شرق لبنان، إنه فعل ما فعل في حرب سورية وخرج منتصراً وأشدّ قوة، لأسباب كثيرة، لكن ليرث من هذه الحرب شعار «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، وليضيف «الإسرائيليون» والفلسطينيون معاً «مَن اجتاز الحدود لأجل سورية فسيجتازها لأجل فلسطين».

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PFLP Leadership on Mass Palestinian Hunger Strike


by Stephen Lendman

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat is one of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners hunger striking for justice.

In 1967, he founded the organization, dedicated to liberating Palestine from Zionist colonial occupation. In 2002, he was politically imprisoned for 30 years – because of his prominence and determination to continue struggling for freedom.

On May 11, Beirut-based Al Mayadeen aired a statement issued by the PFLP’s leadership, addressing Palestinians, the Arab world, and freedom-loving people everywhere, saying:

“Today, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is locked in the battle of freedom and dignity…with ever more determination to continue until the achievement of its goals.”

“It is armed with the weapon of its will, the unity of the prisoners’ movement and the justice of our cause, with the support and embrace of the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation and the forces of freedom in the world.”

“The prisoners face, after their declaration of the battle of the strike, a bloody war and ferocious Zionist repression that has intensified in recent days and in various prisons.”
“Dozens of leaders are isolated for participating in the strike, including Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Abbas Sayyed, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Kamil Abu Hanish and dozens of others.”

“This repression is reinforced by the prevention of legal visits in an attempt to cover up their situation and the circumstances of their confinement, while the occupation intelligence agencies continue to use techniques of psychological warfare in order to break the strike.”

“This has only made the prisoners even more determined to continue the battle and confront these Zionist attacks.”

“The Zionist occupation prisons are prisons of horror. There are tens of severely ill prisoners, some engaged in the strike and currently barred from treatment, suffering from the policy of medical neglect.”

“The clinics that are supposed to be places of treatment and alleviation of pain are instead sites of abuse and suffering.”

“The declaration of the occupation of the establishment of so-called ‘field hospitals’ is either an attempt to better its image in the media, or to create sites of pressure on the prisoners to attempt to break the strike and carry out threatened forced feeding.”

“A number of measures against the prisoners have recently escalated, including the closure of prisons, conversion of whole sections to collective isolation sections, massive bans on family visits and the imposition of thousands of shekels in fines on strikers.”

“Despite all these measures, we have also promised to you that we will not break or give in, and so from the womb of our suffering and despite the severity of repression, we will continue this battle until victory.”

“We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization in Israeli prisons deliver this statement to Al-Mayadeen TV channel in the context of the escalation of the battle of confrontation with the occupation.”

“We announce the enrollment of new batches of leaders and cadres in the coming hours will join the strike as well as prisoners from various political organizations.”

“(T)o the masses of our people: continue with all your determination and strength in the field of escalation of the clashes with the Zionist occupation at sites of contact.”

“We urge all forces, factions, youth, student and women’s organizations, and all sectors of our society in Palestine, in exile and in the camps to continue in this movement.”

“We have full confidence in your great struggle and we are confident in your achievements. (W)e take this opportunity on Al-Mayadeen to make a plea to the Arab masses and Arab parties, trade union and student and youth associations to build wider solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people and to take the issue of the prisoners to the street.”

“We urge you to confront all attempts to divert your attention from the just cause of Palestine, especially normalization, which is a treacherous stab in all of our backs.”

“Be with the cause of Palestine in heart and soul, and do not allow our people to be alone, we are part of you and your national role in supporting Palestine is critical.”

“(W)e call on the free people of the world to continue to develop their solidarity and support for the cause of the prisoners. We are very proud and happy when we hear of the events, sit-ins and solidarity actions in the capitals and cities of the world.”

“We urge you to escalate this movement and besiege Israeli embassies and all complicit international institutions with the occupation to pressure them and deliver the message of the Palestinian people and the suffering of prisoners.”

“This is also part of the work to hold the occupation accountable, including forcing the occupation to apply international conventions on prisoners and bringing occupation officials before the International Criminal Court for their crimes”

“(I)t is important for us to address these areas to a satellite channel of resistance and truth. Although the censorship and media blackout practiced by the occupation against us means that we cannot hear directly from this voice of resistance, we hear about you from our comrades and loved ones, and we hope you find a way to bring your free voice to us in the castles of struggle.”

“(W)e extend our appreciation and thanks to you on behalf of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement and on behalf of the PFLP in the prisons of the occupation for your keen attention to the cause of the prisoners. We hope this interest will be strengthened by dedicating even more space to this issue.”

“You are an important voice for the masses and the people, confronting policies of submission and defeat that some are attempting to impose on our Arab homeland.”

“We promise, according to the circumstances to continue to send our messages from the prisons through you.”

“In this battle for victory and dignity, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is on its way to a major strategic achievement and as promised, we will not hesitate to walk on thorns in order to win a decent place under the sun. This is our pledge and our promise to you.”

Freedom and Dignity strike day 28. Israel refuses to negotiate. Even when it does, it doesn’t, systematically breaching things agreed to.

According to PA prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqe, Israeli prison officials called for a meeting with strike leaders, no further details provided.

The National Committee for Supporting the Hunger Strike said prison officials are willing to discuss Palestinian demands to split their unity in hopes of undermining the action.
Prisoners are adamant against talks without involvement of strike organizer Marwan Barghouti and PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat.
Stalemate prevails unless one side bends. On Sunday, the Addameer prisoner support group urged worldwide solidarity with courageous Palestinians, putting their bodies and lives on the line for justice.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
 Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

في اليوم الـ 28 لإضراب الكرامة: انضمام 11 أسيراً جديداً

بيادسة: نقل سعدات من سجنه لن يمنعنا من زيارته

مايو 15, 2017

رأت فرح بيادسة محامية الأسير أحمد سعدات إن نقل الأسير سعدات إلى سجن آخر هو لمنعنا من زيارته، ولكننا سنتوجّه إلى سجن أوهلي كدار الذي نُقل إليه سعدات للمطالبة بلقائه. وذلك في وقت بلغ عدد الأسرى المُضربين عن الطعام في معركة الكرامة 1800 أسير بعدما انضمّ أمس 11 أسيراً من سجن جلبوع إلى الإضراب.

وأضافت بيادسة قائلةً: «لن نسمح للاحتلال بتعطيل جهودنا للقاء الأسرى»، مُطمئِنةً إلى أن «صحته ما زالت جيدة. وهو صامد والأسرى يستمدون معنوياتهم منه».

وكانت اللجنة الإعلامية لإضراب الكرامة أعلنت أن إدارة سجون الاحتلال نقلت الأسير القائد أحمد سعدات صباح أمس من سجن «عسقلان» إلى سجن «أوهلي كدار».

وأضافت اللجنة الإعلامية، أن هذا الإجراء يأتي كسياسة ممنهجة لحرمان الأسير سعدات من زيارته التي تقررّت من قبل محامية مؤسسة الضمير.

يأتي ذلك، بعد تحديد سلطات الاحتلال موعداً لزيارة محامي مؤسسة الضمير لسعدات والمضرب عن الطعام منذ أكثر من أسبوع والمعزول في عسقلان، أمس عصراً.

من جهة أخرى، أعلن رئيس هيئة شؤون الأسرى والمحررين عيسى قراقع أن سلطات الاحتلال سمحت للمحامي خضر شقيرات بزيارة الأسير مروان البرغوثي أمس، في أول زيارة له منذ بدء الإضراب، مشيراً إلى أن هناك لامبالاة إسرائيلية منذ بداية الإضراب وحتى اليوم في مناقشة أو حتى مجرد فتح حوار حول مطالب الأسرى جراء رفض الجانب الصهيوني فتح حوار مع قادة الإضراب واشتراطه فتح الحوار بعد وقف الإضراب.

من جهتها، قالت الجبهة الشعبية الفلسطينية إن «الأبطال الأسرى يخوضون معركة الحرية والكرامة بأمعائهم الخاوية، وهذه المعركة البطولية للحركة الأسيرة إنما هي أيضاً جزء من معارك شعبنا في رفضه النكبة ونتائجها الكارثية».

وفي بيان لها بمناسبة الذكرى الـ 69 للنكبة الفلسطينية قالت إن «لم تكن نكبة عام 1948 التي حلت على الشعب الفلسطيني والتي أدت لطرده وتشريده وتدمير قراه ومصادرة ممتلكاته النكبة الأولى والتي حلت بالأمة العربية، بل كانت تجسيداً لاتفاقات دولية استهدفت حاضر ومستقبل الأمة وفي القلب منها القضية الفلسطينية كقضية شعب وأرض وحقوق».

وأكّدت الجبهة أنه «بالوحدة والمقاومة يحقق الانتصار، وإن طريق التنازلات المجرّب والمفاوضات والتطبيع والتنسيق الأمني مع العدو لا يوصل لحقوق، وأوسلو باتفاقاته السياسية والاقتصادية والأمنية فشل بالحفاظ على الحقوق الوطنية أو استرجاعها».

واعتبرت أن «معركة الحرية والكرامة التي يخوضوها أسرانا البواسل باعتبارهم النموذج والقدوة هي الطريق الأقصر والمجدي لكسر إرادة الجلاد وهزيمة المحتل»، داعيةً إلى «ضرورة إعلاء صوت الشعب الفلسطيني وحركته في الشارع لإنهاء الانقسام واستعادة الوحدة الوطنية وإعادة بناء منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية كأداة كفاحية وإطار جامع وممثّل شرعي ووحيد لشعبنا».

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With Palestinians on Hunger Strike, British Medical Journal Devotes Whole Issue to Israel

[ Ed. note – Yesterday the British Medical journal The Lancet published a special edition devoted to “Israel’s achievements in health.” According to an executive summary on the journal’s website:

These five Lancet Series papers and accompanying comments outline Israel’s achievements in health and health care, towards a goal of attaining universal health coverage for an unusually diverse population. The papers explore Israel’s unique history, challenges, and accomplishments, and the religious and regional influences that have had an impact on health. The Series also offers an insight into existing collaborations and potential future opportunities, and outlines extensive recommendations to address the persisting inequalities between population groups, and to further strengthen health-care delivery systems.

The issue was probably timed around the 69th anniversary of Israel’s founding, but it’s publication date–May 8–coincides with day 22 of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners and moreover comes just as reports have surfaced that Israel is trying to recruit doctors to force-feed the prisoners in violation of medical ethics.

In fact, the prisoners, in response to reports about the planned force-feedings, have called for a “week of rage” against the Zionist state.

“Any attempt to force-feed any hunger-striking prisoner will be treated as an attempt to execute prisoners. We will turn these prisons into battle fields with our bodies, armed with our will and determination,” reads a statement put out by the prisoners.

You can go here to access an essay on why force-feeding prisoners is considered a violation of medical ethics, but a key paragraph from the article reads:

So, despite the doctor’s dilemma, if the prisoners are making rational, informed, and uncoerced choices to continue their hunger strike, then every international code of ethics, including that of the World Medical Association (WMA), supports the prisoners’ actions. The WMA Declaration of Tokyo states: “Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially” [3]. To ensure that the physician is making the correct determination, the WMA goes on to add, “the decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner”

To give credit where credit is due, Israeli medical professionals have refused to participate in the force-feedings, and they have also called upon foreign doctors to refuse the Israeli government’s efforts at recruiting practitioners from abroad willing to violate the code.

But in addition to force-feeding, is it possible Israel may also start levying fines against hunger strikers? The following is reported by Ma’an News:

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe announced Monday that the committee had also decided to suspend payments it provides for prisoners so they can purchase items from the prison commissary where hunger strikers have been getting salt to balance their healths, after IPS [Israeli Prison Service] started to deplete hunger strikers’ accounts by 200 to 500 shekels ($55-140).

The same article says that the IPS has banned lawyer visitations for hunger-striking prisoners, and an additional article reports that hunger-strikers have been placed in solitary, transferred to other prisons, and undergone nightly cell raids and confiscation of personal belongings.

And that’s where things stand now. Enter: The Lancet. You can go here to access the prestigious medical journal’s special issue, which is entitled, “Health in Israel.” One of the articles, an essay headlined “Medical Ethics in Israel: Bridging Religious and Secular Values,” contains the following passage:

Nevertheless, the law [of the state of Israel] also permits actual coercion of life-saving treatment upon an otherwise competent patient if the institutional ethics committee, after careful consideration, agrees that the patient would give his or her consent retroactively after treatment. Several court cases have now taken place to impose treatment on a non-consenting individual. In one case, the court mandated force-feeding a hunger-striking prisoner on the basis that in Israeli culture, human life takes precedence over human dignity. The ethics committee of the Israel Medical Association, by contrast, is opposed to force-feeding a hunger-striker because they consider it affront to autonomy and human freedom.

The article makes no mention of the current hunger strike.

Whether the editors at The Lancet were aware the strike is going on is unclear, though one would think that publishing an entire issue extolling “Israel’s achievements in health”–this at time when the Zionist government has designs on carrying out a gross violation of medical ethics–would be some cause for embarrassment.

The article below, published today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, offers some insight why the Lancet’s management may have decided (or felt compelled) to venture into such a publishing foray at the present time. And just beneath the article you will find an RT report on the hunger strike, also just posted today. ]

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British Medical Journal The Lancet Publishes Issue Devoted to Israel

JTA

The British medical journal The Lancet published a special issue on Israel three years after publishing an open letter that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza.

The special issue, titled “Health in Israel: Progress and Challenges in a Region of Conflict,” was unveiled Monday in Tel Aviv. It was guest edited by A. Mark Clarfield of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and also staffed by Orly Manor of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Services Research and Zaher Azzam of the Rambam Health Care Campus.

The issue is part of The Lancet’s series of country analyses investigating progress toward universal health coverage, and explores the unique aspects of health and health care delivery in Israel. The papers, authored by academics and policymakers in Israel, offer constructive recommendations for strengthening the country’s health care system, improving health and addressing health inequalities in Israel.

In the August 2014 issue of the Lancet,

“An open letter for the people of Gaza” accused Israel of a “massacre” in Gaza during the war between Israel and Hamas, as well as “cruel” and “vicious war crimes.” Physicians, researchers and Israeli officials decried the letter, which was signed by several dozen Western doctors.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, visited Israel that October and then wrote in an editorial that he regretted publishing the letter and said,

“This schism helped no-one and I certainly regret that result. I have seen for myself that what was written in the Manduca et al letter does not describe the full reality.” He announced in that editorial that he would devote an issue to health care in Israel.

Horton said in a statement issued Monday,

“This Series was conceived in the aftermath of a tragic conflict in 2014 between Israel and Gaza, and following publication of a letter that divided world medical opinion about that conflict. Through the generous and courageous outreach of the authors of this Series, we have sought to show that medicine and science can be a bridge to a better understanding of complex and seemingly intractable geopolitical challenges. Our future commitment is to work intensively with both our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues to provide the foundations in one aspect of society for peace and justice.” 

In the wake of the Gaza letter, the journal issued new guidelines to deal with “submissions that lie at the difficult intersection of medicine and politics.”

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Palestinian Prisoners Enter 21st Day of Hunger Strike

Face Growing Threat to Their Health and Continuing Repression

Global Research, May 09, 2017

On their 21st day of hunger strike, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are facing an ever more serious health situation, as an increasing number of strikers experience loss of balance, muscle wasting and heavy fatigue, reported the strike’s Media Committee.

1500 Palestinian prisoners launched the strike on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, for a series of demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Strikers have faced sharp repression, including frequent late-night raids by repressive forces, abusive transfers from prison to prison, solitary confinement, denial of legal and family visits and confiscation of personal belongings, sometimes including salt. Hunger strikers rely on consuming only salt and water to preserve their lives during the strike.

As the strike has grown and more prominent Palestinian prisoner leaders have joined the strike, repression has also intensified. Some prisoners have been transferred four times since the strike began. Today, the Israeli prison administration reportedly plans to transfer 100 prisoners from Ohli Kedar prison to section 10 in Eshel prison. Meanwhile, 30 of those prominent leaders, including imprisoned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, fellow PFLP leader Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Hamas leader Abbas al-Sayyed, longest-held Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi and imprisoned journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq were transferred on Sunday morning to isolation in Ashkelon prison.  All of these transfers also involved barring legal visits for the transferred prisoners.

Image result for palestinian prisoners day

As the health crisis for hunger-striking prisoners looms ever larger, hunger striker William Rimawi was transferred on Sunday morning, 7 May, to the Ramla prison clinic, according to Ma’an News. The prisoners warned of the threat of forced feeding, especially as Israeli far-right Minister of Internal SecurityGilad Erdan reportedly threatened to import doctors from other countries to forcibly feed Palestinian hunger strikers in military “field hospitals” set up in Israeli jails.

“This trend carries with it preparation for a targeted crime against the prisoners with the intention of murder. It is clear that we are in the next stage now, that of repression, abuse, and attempts to break the strike through threatening the lives of the prisoners. The ongoing preparations indicate that there is a decision taken against the prisoners to their deaths at the hands of a gang of fascists in Tel Aviv. This is what makes this confrontation an extraordinary moment,” wrote the prisoners in their statement.

Meanwhile, on Saturday evening, 6 May, the Media Committee of the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society stated that there were still no serious negotiations from the Israeli prison administration aiming to end the strike.

Israeli occupation police in Jerusalem are repeatedly attacking and forbidding events in support of the prisoners organized by their families in the occupied city. Amjad Abu Assab of the Committee of Families of Prisoners of Jerusalem said that the Israeli occupation police declared that they would not allow any event for the prisoners in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and threatened to forcibly disperse any assembly. In addition, on Saturday, 6 May, during a gathering outside the International Committee of the Red Cross building, the police surrounded the families of the prisoners and threatened them with attack as they supported the prisoners’ demands.

Events throughout Palestine and internationally are continuing in support of the prisoners, especially as the prisoners urged a “week of outrage” to demand implementation of their demands and support for the strikers facing harsh repression. Prominent figures like Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled and Catholic patriarch Gregory III Laham have joined students around the world on hunger strike in support of the prisoners; in addition, nine mothers of prisoners and a number of former prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes of support.

In Lebanon, four Palestinian youth in Nahr el-Bared camp and six youth from Beddawi refugee camp announced a hunger strike while events and rallies took place on Saturday, 6 May in the refugee camps and in the Khiam former prison in Southern Lebanon, in support of the prisoners’ strike.

Internationally, events and actions were organized in Istanbul, London, Birmingham, Whitstable, Norwich, Sheffield, Oxford, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Uppsala, Dublin, Limerick, Newry, Derry, Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, Paris, Auckland and San Diego on Saturday, 6 May in support of the prisoners, while actions are planned on Sunday in Sydney, Amsterdam, Cagliari, Munich, Portland, Fremantle and Quito. Events around the world are available at Samidoun’s global event page.

Graphic by Hafez Omar

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