Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another First for Israel's Cutting Edge Thuggery?

I've heard of guys in wheelchairs being assaulted by sadistic thugs on the streets, but never before of emaciated hunger-strikers in wheelchairs being assaulted by sadistic thugs in uniform, in a courtroom, in the presence of a judge.

Is this, the latest twist in the saga of Palestinian hunger striker Samer Al-Issawi, another first for Israel's cutting edge thuggery?

You can read all about it, and more, in this report* from Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network:

"Today [11/1/13] is Palestinian political prisoner Samer Al-Issawi's 160th day on hunger strike. His fellow prisoner, Ayman Sharawna, who had been on hunger strike for nearly 6 months before suspending his strike for a week, is once again fasting for his freedom. Both are held in an Israeli jail without charge or trial. According to the internationally brokered deal to release captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, Issawi and Sharawna should today be free men but Israel reneged on its agreement and rearrested both after Shalit's release.

"So, in light of the BBC's stated mission to 'inform' and 'educate', and its claim to provide 'trusted World news', you might think they'd have covered the story of Issawi and Sharawna and updated it as it's developed over the last 6 months. However, despite Google currently listing over 21 million items for the BBC, among all of those 21 million there is no reference whatever to either man, although both are nearing death after nearly 6 months without food.

"If, on the other hand, we Google the BBC for 'Gilad Shalit', we get around 1,120 items, including around 50 from 2012 alone. Despite being released over a year ago, in October 2011, Shalit is still as newsworthy as ever for the broadcaster. The last item, from October 18, 2012, came on the anniversary of his release. It reported on how he has had to 'cope with the psychological effects of his ordeal at the same time as trying to come to terms with his fame'; on how the Israeli media simply couldn't 'resist showing his first bicycle ride after he returned home' or reporting on his meetings with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg; on how, 'at a concert of the popular singer, Shlomo Artzi', he had 'a song dedicated to him'; and on his presence 'at various sports events and on the set of the US television drama series, Homeland...'

"Contrast Shalit's 'ordeal', still so newsworthy for the BBC, with that of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, Issawi and Sharawna TODAY. Just 2 weeks ago, Samer Al-Issawi, a wheelchair-bound skeleton of a man, barely breathing after 140 days without food, was brutally attacked by Israeli guards in court in front of an Israeli judge, who didn't intervene as they punched the dying man in the head and chest, breaking his ribs. They then went on to attack his mother and sister. These assaults were captured on camera for any news channel to use, but the BBC has shown no interest. Apparently, their mission to 'inform' and 'educate' doesn't extend to Palestinians. While the plight of a dog, which had lost half its bodyweight after being abandoned by its owner, had been covered by the BBC, the plight of Samer Al-Issawi, who had lost half his weight after 160 days without food, has received not a mention." [*edited by MERC]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, the only democracy in the Middle East is at it again and again and again.

Imagine if an Arab or Muslim country tried to get away with this routine thuggery of those helpless individuals the state did not like and still pretend they were a country that observed customary international law and maintained the rule of law in their own courtrooms.

The BBC would be all over the [highly newsworthy] story shouting it from the rooftops with wall to wall coverage. They would not be alone.

Where is the outrage from the I.C.R.C. the U.N., Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International et al?