Why are Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike?


When nearly 1,500 Palestinian prisoners declared an open hunger strike on April 17, protesting about unfair and degrading conditions in Israel jails, much of the US mainstream media ignored them.

There was a single exception. The New York Times allowed the leader of the strike, a top Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, to share with a wider audience the reasons behind the strike.

However, the backlash was instant.

So-called Honest Reporting, a pro-Israel media watchdog whose tagline is, oddly enough “defending Israel from media bias”, summarised much of the outrage that resulted from the Times’ decision to allow Barghouti to share his and the grievances of 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Under the title “Marwan Barghouti: New York Times Sanitises a Terrorist”, the media monitoring platform ran a synopsis of many reactions by Israeli officials and pro-Israeli editors and writers protesting about the supposedly heinous act.

Seemingly it had escaped this pro-Israel media watchdog that the New York Times, like most US mainstream media largely accepts Israel’s discourse on Palestine uncontested, had itself taken a pro-Israel line since the very start of the conflict.

Barghouti is a “terrorist” from an official Israeli point of view, exactly as every freedom fighter, Palestinian or South African or anyone else who had dared to fight military occupation and colonisation. He or she was almost always deemed a “terrorist” by his or her jailers…

Read more: Aljazeera, 09.05.2017