“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

bilal❶ 10 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayid
❷ The terror of the children
❸ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar

Background from New Zealand International Review

Background from Public Health Ethics

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ 10 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS JOIN MASS HUNGER STRIKE IN SOLIDARITY WITH BILAL KAYID
Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had deteriorated sharply after almost 50 days without food.
___Qaraqe told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that ten prisoners from Israel’s Ramon prison joined the open strike, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was reportedly moved to solitary confinement after joining the strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
___Kayid, a member of the PFLP, Palestine’s most popular left-wing political faction, has been on hunger strike for 47 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without charge or trial under undisclosed evidence — on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.      MORE . . .    

❷ THE TERROR OF THE CHILDREN
Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Reprinted from El Pais (English)
Mario Vargas Llosa
July 25, 2016
[. . . .] The operations designed to induce panic are generally carried out at night by masked soldiers who first throw grenades into homes accompanied by shouting, with the aim of frightening families – above all, the children. These raids come out of the blue and are carefully orchestrated. The teenager or child who has been betrayed by an informer is blindfolded and handcuffed. The young suspects are then taken away in a truck, usually on the floor of the truck with the soldiers’ feet on top of them and the odd kick to keep them scared.
___In the interrogation room, they are left tied up on the floor for five to 10 hours. This helps to lower their morale and frighten them further. The subsequent interrogation follows a pattern; they are advised to admit to throwing stones, which will get them no more than two or three months behind bars. Otherwise, they will have to wait seven or eight months for their case to go to trial, which could means a worse sentence.       MORE . . .    

From New Zealand International Review
On 17 April 2012, Palestine Prisoners Day, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions. Reported Richard Falk, ‘I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners.’
[. . . .]
___Since the 1967 war, an estimated 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population in the occupied territory has been in detention in Israeli jails. Israel makes widespread use of arbitrary detention; no charges, no trials. Some prisoners are held this way for years, just by renewing the arbitrary detention.
___Twenty-seven Palestinian parliamentarians and two ministers are being held. Human rights activists, taking part in nonviolent protests against the wall as it is expanded, are targeted.
___Political prisoners are held in Israel jails, against the Geneva Convention. Dostoevsky said you should judge a country by examining its prisons.  Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.   SOURCE 

From Public Health Ethics
Abstract
The present article focuses on the case of the 2012 hunger-strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We analyze the ethical dilemma involved in the way the Israeli medical community reacted to these hunger-strikes and the question of force feeding within the context of the fundamental dual-loyalty structure inherent in the Israeli Prison Services—system. We argue that the liberal perspective that focuses the discussion on the dilemma between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger-strikes take place. Emphasizing hunger-strikes as political acts implies that health practitioners’ conducts cannot be analyzed only through the prism of clinical medical ethics. It requires a public health ethics’ approach, an approach that understands health in the context of the complex relationship between society, state, organizations, communities and individuals. The authors are both academics and volunteers in Physicians for Human Rights—Israel thus our analysis is based both on sociological and public health ethics principles and on the continuous work and advocacy for the right to health of prisoners. Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE 

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

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