A heroic and historic victory
Yesterday morning I felt chills talking to our close allies in Palestine/Israel as they shared with us the news: nearly 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners holding one of the largest hunger strikes in history had succeeded.
As details emerge, we should all look to Palestinian civil society leaders to interpret the nuances of the agreement.
But for now, there is one thing all of us can all agree on. This agreement marks a historic moment in the long history of Palestinian nonviolent resistance to unjust Israeli actions. The success of the massive hunger strike may very well inspire a new generation of unarmed struggle.
Yesterday, as long term strikers entered their 77th day, and 2,000 more approached a full month of refusing all sustenance, Israel was compelled to allow family visits for prisoners from Gaza, end the policy of solitary confinement, and significantly reduce and limit the use of detention without trial, also known as administrative detention.
The hunger strike inspired unprecedented support throughout Palestinian society and the world. And Jewish Voice for Peace supporters were an important part of the story.
The leaders of unarmed resistance in the villages of Palestine, the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, came specifically to Jewish Voice for Peace to ask for our help.
And we did not let them down!
Just hours before the strike ended, we delivered our 8,000 signatures to the United States State Department with our friends at the US Campaign to End the Occupation. And over 500 of us from 350 cities around the world had already volunteered to lead solidarity protests on Thursday. Many thousand more were set to join us.
The news yesterday is surely cause for celebration, and it’s also a great reminder of what will be possible if we redouble our efforts in the nonviolent movement for justice in Palestine/Israel. This morning our allies in Palestine/Israel issued a statement about the hunger striker victory and a call for further action.
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