I just got back from the Occupied West Bank, and I have to tell you what I saw: a new chapter in the history of nonviolent resistance is being written. Right now.
In protest of Israel’s long-standing policy of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial, over 2,000 Palestinian prisoners have begun one of the largest hunger strikes of all time.
And now our friends in Palestine and Israel have asked for our help.
Will you sign this petition to support an end to Israeli imprisonment of Palestinians without charge?
This history-making prisoner-led nonviolent movement is growing by the day.
Just yesterday, 1,000 residents of Dheisheh Refugee Camp, where I’m honored to have worked for many years, rallied in solidarity with the strikers. And in Ramallah, student activists staged a sit-in that shut down the United Nations building. Leaders of Palestinian nonviolent popular resistance and their Israeli allies are now calling for international solidarity demonstrations. And groups like Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, and the International Red Cross are weighing in.
Please sign the petition, and forward this to everyone you know.
Israeli policymakers, hunger strikers, the media and Palestinian citizens all need to hear from the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who support nonviolent resistance and oppose grotesquely undemocratic practices like “administrative detention” which allows Palestinians to be detained without charge.
Prisoners Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, who has been detained for 2 years without charges, started the strike and are at grave risk of death, now entering their 72nd day of fasting. For reference, Mahatma Gandhi ended his longest hunger strike on day 21; Bobby Sands died on day 66.
The International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Halahleh and five others were in “imminent danger of dying” and called on Israel to transfer them to a hospital and allow visits from their families.
Sign the petition now and show your support before it is too late for these brave activists.
The strikers are also protesting inhumane conditions such as egregious solitary confinement, denial of family visits, and the refusal to medically treat critical health conditions.
With your support, the prisoners’ historic nonviolent protest could put an end to such gross injustice. Please join me in demanding an end to administrative detention and inhumane prison conditions.
Fulbright Scholar at Bethlehem and Al Quds University