Soapy is on hunger strike

Soapy is on hunger strike

As of yesterday members of Students for Justice in Palestine began a hunger strike in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. The following is a statement we released explaining our actions.

Whereas Palestinian political prisoner Samer al-Barq is on day 106 of his hunger strike in protest of his detention
Whereas Hassan Safadi is on day 76
Whereas Ayman Sharawna is on day 66
Whereas none of these prisoners have been charged with any crime or have received any trial in Israeli courts, a situation known as “administrative detention”
Whereas the continued use of administrative detention is in direct violation of the agreement signed by Israel with Palestinian prisoners this May
Whereas Palestinian detainees are routinely tortured by Israeli prison officials until they confess to crimes they did not commit
Whereas Palestinians are found guilty in 99.74% of cases brought against them in Israeli military tribunals

Students for Justice in Palestine has begun an open ended hunger strike until there is justice for the hunger striking detainees.

As of right now there are eight of us on day two of this hunger strike.

For more information about the hunger striking detainees visit http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=515

Please call or email the following members of the Israeli government to demand the release of Samer al-Barq, Hassan Safadi and Ayman Shawarna.

Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: arbel@mail.idf.il; avimn@idf.gov.il
Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326

Posted By

Soapy
Aug 9 2012 19:49

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Soapy
Sep 9 2012 23:54

my tummy hurts. Almost done with day 3. We have a little spot on the quad staked out where we sit all day and talk to anyone whose interested. So far been really positive reactions from other students. Been interviewed by the local campus paper and might get the front page which would be nice. Also Iranian state media haha.

working class s...
Sep 10 2012 20:03

Solidarity comrade!

kot motrozkin
Sep 14 2012 14:28

good luck!

Edited to mention that I agree with the people saying not follow through on killing yourself.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 02:58

I'm soooo hungry.

Please call the Israeli officials to demand the release of the prisoners!

Here's an update on the situation http://www.addameer.org/etemplate.php?id=516

Quote:
Immediately after receiving confirmation from the Israeli Prison Service that he would be able to meet with all three hunger strikers in Ramleh prison medical clinic yesterday afternoon, Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad entered to find prison authorities telling him he would only be able to meet with Ayman Sharawna, as Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi had just been taken to Assaf Harofeh hospital for unknown reasons. This is not the first time that Mr. Ziad has been told he would be able to meet with them and subsequently told they were no longer present, contributing to the horrific prevention of access to information about these two hunger strikers in most urgent conditions.

Samer Al-Barq is now on his 112th day of renewed hunger strike, while Hassan Safadi is on his 82nd day of renewed hunger strike. Both are at immediate risk of death. Ayman Sharawna is on his 72nd day of hunger strike, and Mr. Ziad noted after seeing him that his condition has become incredibly dire. He is now unable to see out of his right eye, cannot move his right leg, and is throwing up blood.

Urgent intervention is needed to save the lives of these courageous hunger strikers.

Caiman del Barrio
Sep 11 2012 12:58

Yeah sorry mate, but going on hunger strike in the US in an attempt to influence Israeli domestic policy? Next you're gonna tell me you're a stu...oh! wink

Joseph Kay
Sep 11 2012 13:06

If this is a publicity stunt aimed at raising awareness of the plight of the Palestinian hunger strikers, seems like it's being reasonably effective. If it's 'for real', I doubt one more body weighs particularly heavily on the minds of Israeli statesmen, given their track record. I assume the former, tbh.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:16

There are many reasons our organization decided to begin the hunger strike. First of all, solidarity hunger strikes were successful last February in securing the release of Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan. Second of all the hunger strikes raise awareness of our organization and have a deeply inspiring effect on anyone who cares to learn about what we are doing and most of all the families of the hunger strikers who have been told about our action. Furthermore, we have educated many people about the Israeli judicial system with the hunger strike, people who would never have learned about it were it not for our sacrifice.

In summary, it's a hell of a lot more effective than doing nothing.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:22
revol68 wrote:
So youse are on this till they are all released, so it's for realz then?

Let's see how long this last till your ma's come down to the quad, slap youse round the head and make you eat the sandwiches they loving cut into triangles.

"But hunny, they're your favourite"

"Okay then mom, but only one"

Is there an argument there or are you just trolling someone who's on day 5 of a hunger strike to make yourself feel better?

I should add that there are two of us who have to work real jobs along with all of our schoolwork while we are not eating, this is extremely difficult and shows the maturity and steadfastness of members of our organization

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:29

What the hell are you talking about? When did we ever say that our sacrifice is anywhere near the level of sacrifice being made by the hunger strikers in Palestine? First you criticize me for doing too much in terms of solidarity, then you criticize me for not doing enough while you sit at your computer and do absolutely nothing.

Caiman del Barrio
Sep 11 2012 13:29
Soapy wrote:
There are many reasons our organization decided to begin the hunger strike. First of all, solidarity hunger strikes were successful last February in securing the release of Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan. Second of all the hunger strikes raise awareness of our organization and have a deeply inspiring effect on anyone who cares to learn about what we are doing and most of all the families of the hunger strikers who have been told about our action. Furthermore, we have educated many people about the Israeli judicial system with the hunger strike, people who would never have learned about it were it not for our sacrifice.

In summary, it's a hell of a lot more effective than doing nothing.

So you accept that none of your reasons have anything to do with forcing the hand of the Israeli state? Do you honestly think that a handful of international calls to a Brigadier in the IDF will end this? I mean, is this even a coordinated action?

BTW the US has prisons with people dying in them too, y'know, probably on an order of magnitude larger than in Israel.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:30

Caiman notice that the first point I made was that solidarity hunger strikes led to the release of Khader Adnan

Also, members of our organization are also members of the local student group Justice not Jails which focuses on mass incarceration in the US

wojtek
Sep 11 2012 13:30
Quote:
Soapy wrote:
Furthermore, we have educated many people about the Israeli judicial system with the hunger strike, people who would never have learned about it

But you're not in Israel...

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:33

But seeing as Israel receives complete economic and diplomatic support from the US government, changing US public opinion about the conflict is of great importance

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:42

I don't even know if you are being serious at all at this point. Of course we are aware of the dangers of continuing this hunger strike for too long. It's ridiculous that you would even suggest that we have not considered this.

Devrim
Sep 11 2012 13:43
Soapy wrote:
Caiman notice that the first point I made was that solidarity hunger strikes led to the release of Khader Adnan

Also, members of our organization are also members of the local student group Justice not Jails which focuses on mass incarceration in the US

I don't think that solidarity hunger strikes in America had anything at all to do with it. In fact I didn't even know that there had been any. I think what prompted his release was not only the fact that he was nearing the point of death (anything after 52 days is dangerous) but also demonstrations (including mass limited hunger strikes) were beginning to become a public order problem in Israel and Palestine.

I would be completely amazed if anything you do has any impact at all on Israeli military decisions as I am absolutely sure that they will assume that a bunch of kids in America are not going to starve themselves to death, which I sincerely hope you don't.

Soapy wrote:
I should add that there are two of us who have to work real jobs along with all of our schoolwork while we are not eating, this is extremely difficult and shows the maturity and steadfastness of members of our organization

Well no, you don't have to. You don't have to be on hunger strike.

Devrim

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 13:50

The reasons for Khader Adnan's release can be debated but I do think that international solidarity played a major role.

Obviously we are not entirely sure if our hunger strike will have any effect on Israeli decision making, we are simply trying our best. We urge everyone we talk to to call the numbers that I posted to demand the release of the hunger strikers and we hope that this will show that Israel cannot just treat these prisoners in this way without some international outcry.

There are difficulties that we face in trying to change public opinion about Israel, and we are trying our best to confront them.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 14:06

So you've gone from juvenile mocking of us to claiming to be offended by the fact that we are taking an action that is borne from an intense feeling of solidarity, one of the most beautiful aspects of human existence. You'll have to understand if I don't feel bad.

Joseph Kay
Sep 11 2012 14:14

I think the deeper disagreement here is that you feel the personal responsibility to 'do something' to help Palestinian prisoners, while others don't. I don't doubt your sincerity Soapy, but I think not doing anything about Palestine is fine. I mean, Israel does some nasty shit. But I mean, 'what are you doing about the civil war in DRC?', 'what are you doing about HIV/AIDS in sub-saharan Africa?', 'what are you doing about repression in China?', 'what are you doing to stop women being stoned in Saudi?' and so on.

The world is full of really horrible shit, injustice is everywhere, and it's not my or your personal responsibility to take the burden upon ourselves to solve it all (especially stuff we have basically zero power over, like the policies of states thousands of miles away). The stuff we can change is much closer to home (for student activism, look at CLASSÉ). And paradoxically, once you have the power to change things closer to home, you're in a better position to offer meaningful international solidarity (e.g. historically, IWW dock workers in Philly who refused to ship arms to General Franco).

I realise you've obviously thought this through, and you're unlikely to change your mind because some people on the internet criticise you/call you names. But there's a political point in amongst the cheap shots at student politics.

Soapy
Sep 11 2012 14:18

You are correct in thinking that I've thought all of this through many many times. To respond to your first point, I'm not trying to criticize people who are doing nothing about the situation in Palestine, what I am trying to say is that why are people criticizing me for trying to do something? Isn't trying to do something better than doing nothing?

In regards to student organizing, while on hunger strike I have still been playing a very active role in the organizing efforts surrounding our attempt to build a student union on campus, the two actions are in no ways mutually exclusive.

Joseph Kay
Sep 11 2012 14:34
Soapy wrote:
Isn't trying to do something better than doing nothing?

I think this is the heart of it. Only if the something is better than nothing. If the 'something' is pointless, or even counter-productive, then it's worse than nothing (in the first case, for wasting your time, in the second for making things worse). So something isn't inherently better than nothing, it depends whether the something has any likelihood of making any difference. I suspect your action doesn't. I mean, basically there's lots of bad things we don't have the power to change, so I think it's better to do nothing about them, and to focus on things we do have the power to change instead.

revol68 wrote:
How are they cheap shots?

I mean I'm aware they are easy and obvious

I stand corrected, easy and obvious shots at student politics.

wojtek
Sep 11 2012 17:36
Quote:
Soapy wrote:
In regards to student organizing, while on hunger strike I have still been playing a very active role in the organizing efforts surrounding our attempt to build a student union on campus, the two actions are in no ways mutually exclusive.

And when you've got no energy? What makes you any different from Rachel Corrie?

Fleur
Sep 11 2012 19:12

I feel like I should be wearing kevlar and hiding behind a concrete barrier, coming into this, I'm really not in the mood for a fight, it's been a shit week and it's only Tuesday, but how about playing nice? If anyone has an issue with Soapy & his group's motivations and the efficacy of their actions, a reasoned discourse might be more appropriate, rather than trading barbs.
I am assuming, and correct me if I am wrong, that Soapy et al are hoping to raise the profile of the Palestinian hungers strikers and issues around Palestine in general. You have to remember that in North America the pro-Irael lobby is very powerful and pervasive, much more so than in Europe. From time to time I join my friends (God, I'm pulling the some of my best friends are Palestinian argument embarrassed ) standing in protest outside the Israeli Consulate. I don't think that it will do jack shit to do anything to change Israeli domestic policy and neither do they, but some times you just want stand with someone to show that what matters to them matters to you too. Joseph Kay is right when he says that the world is full of shit that you can't do anything about, but that shouldn't preclude people wanting to do something, even if that just feels like screaming into the void.
On a wider scale, some people get into politics through solidarity politics ( I'm not suggesting this is Soapy's motivations, I'm just talking generally) - once you change your mind and explore a single issue, it's not a huge leap to change your perspective on how you see the world, including that bit of it you are living in. Personally I did a lot of stuff around South African issues, back in my misspent youth, I was already fairly lefty, but it lead me to getting involved in local issues, through the people I met, stuff that was tangible and important and at the end of the day was far more effective than anti-apartheid politics. I think what I'm saying, in my usual rambling sort of way, is that if you can challenge someone's opinions on one subject, in this case Palestine, then it's not inconceivable that they might change their opinions on the bigger issues. And you know what? It really wouldn't hurt to have a few more people on our side, however they got there.
I know that all sounds a bit let's all just love each other and be nice, but sometimes I think that's not an absolutely terrible thing.
Soapy - I'm assuming that you're not actually going to starve to death, that it's a symbolic solidarity action aiming to bring the plight of Palestinian prisoners to public attention, so a bit of unsolicited advice, make sure you drink water! And we know where you are now, you've posted the video, so if you do decide to go on to the bitter end, it's not happening mate, I'm sure that some North American libcommers will turn up and take advantage of your weakened state to get some soup into you!
Take care.

Choccy
Sep 11 2012 20:05
revol68 wrote:
But you could have done an info picket, even a symbolic protest fast?

Announcing youse are on hunger strike is crazy because a hunger strike is meant to be a last ditch thing, born of absolute desperation, it isn't just another piece of agit prop to be suggested in the student union.

Frankly I find your "hungerstrike" insulting, displaying a complete lack of understanding of it's seriousness.

Pretty much this. Completely fucking indefensible action, and seemingly ignorant of the maximal desperation which would normally precipitate a hunger strike.

I seriously doubt you'll follow this through Soapy and actually hope you don't, for your own health.

Bet down, 5 quid one week.

PartyBucket
Sep 11 2012 22:05

Remember the shop stewards who went on hunger strike outside Transport House in Belfast in protest at what their own union had done to them ?
Even that seemed a bit OTT for the situation they were facing, but at least it was done over something that had happened to them, themselves, their own struggle, not a feeling that they had to 'sacrifice' themselves for others.

Arbeiten
Sep 13 2012 13:51

i typed something here. Deleted it. Typed it again. Deleted again. I don't want to wade too far in, but i think revol has hit the nail on the head here....

mons
Sep 13 2012 19:48

I agree it doesn't seem that sensible or communist political action, but criticising it in the way revol etc. do is just as much a weird and shitty product of activism than the actual action (tho I do agree with the political criticisms of it). Most people, even if they don't agree with the motives of this protest would probably at least offer sympathy and say something like 'oh wow thats impressive, good luck to you' or something... But cos we're all too obsessed with the right politics to act more normally, we react as though soapy and co are actually doing something bad. Obviously they're not ffs!

Choccy
Sep 13 2012 19:52

What the fuck is wrong with libcom that this shit doesn't get fuckin pounced on.
The fact that Arbeiten felt stifled enough to delete his personal opinion speaks volumes about the culture on here.

mons
Sep 13 2012 20:03

Yeah and for every Arbeiten who was too stifled to post their personal opinion, i wonder how many felt too stifled to post at all cos of the weird culture you and revol promote here (haven't read much on libcom recently so that could be unfair, mainly basing it on this thread) - I certainly was when I read this thread yesterday and wrote a much longer post, then deleted it for good.
You say you think this stuff should be 'pounced on', are you taking the piss?! Pounced on? Even Zionists wouldn't 'pounce' on this.
Can we start treating each other like human beings not perfectly rational communists who should be pounced on for deviating from the one true path? I don't think it's healthy and maybe it's one of the reasons activists are rightly regarded as a weird bunch of irrelevant people who can't relate to the 'ordinary daily life' we so love to preach about.

jef costello
Sep 13 2012 20:08

It does seem a bit of a low blow to criticise someone who's doing something, but that is part of the problem. I'vebeen wondering about posting or not.
Hunger strikes pretty much rely on the shame / guilt of your opponent and at best on the compassion of your captors. As a tactic hunger strikes are desparate and destructive and come from a place where you've got little or no option, and otherwise they are just a good way to kill committed militants. A solidarity fast, which is what I hope you're doing, is a much better idea as has been mentioned above.
Also trying to guilt trip the Israeli state is one of the least effective tactics I can think of.

Choccy
Sep 13 2012 20:13

When someone posts 'my tummy hurts' in their first line of what is a defense if the indefensible it's actually appropriate for people to tell them to cop the fuck on.
'my tummy hurts', fuck sake