Fasting for Palestinian Justice and Dignity
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 29 May 2017
27 May 2017 – Today is the first day of Ramadan. Muslims in many parts of the world begin their month-long fast today. Most of them are not aware that 1500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on a hunger strike that began almost six weeks ago.
These prisoners have undertaken a hunger strike to protest the denial of their basic human rights in prison. When they began their strike, they were only drinking salt water to survive. It is reported that many have stopped drinking water altogether. Their health is deteriorating rapidly. They are in dire straits.
Their hunger strike is not just about prison conditions. In a larger sense it is against the occupation of Palestine and the oppression and injustice that have occurred through the decades. It is a strike for liberation from Israeli domination. It is a strike for human dignity. This is why the strike has been described as the Dignity Strike.
The world has to all intents and purposes ignored this mass strike partly because the media both mainstream and alternative have given so little coverage to it. It is a reflection of Zionist power over the global media.
Faced with this situation, civil society groups with a conscience should speak up. They should use the channels available to them to express their support for the Dignity Strike. As more and more groups and individuals take a stand, the Israeli authorities will be forced to respond.
By giving support to the Strike those of us who are fasting will be enhancing the meaning of our own fast. For our fast is also about dignity and justice. It is not just Ramadan that carries this meaning. In the Jewish tradition itself exemplified by the teachings of the Prophet Isaiah fasting is also about justice.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, and president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). He is the author of the e-book ‘Whither WANA?-Reflections on the Arab Uprisings,’ which is accessible through the JUST website, www.just-international.org.
Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 May 2017.
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