Opinion

Doctors From India, Guards From Chechnya

Evil is the only inclination guiding the Israeli response to the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners. All the rest is pretense about security

Demonstrators in East Jerusalem hold pictures of jailed relatives during a protest in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, April 27, 2017.
AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

Not far from our home, hundreds of people are starving; thousands can’t sleep at night as they worry over their starving loved ones. They have no idea how they are doing; no one is allowed to visit them. For 21 days now, no food has passed their lips, only salt water.

The Israel Prison Service is abusing them. At first they took away the salt, then they isolated them, fined them and increased the weight of the already cruel load. The Israeli media hardly reports their strike. It knows the heart of its consumers: Most Israelis don’t care about the strike, while some are happy over it; let them die.

Soon they’ll start trying to force-feed them. If all physicians in Israel comply with the courageous, moral and proper stand of the Israel Medical Association – and that’s doubtful, trust the doctors of the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Prison Service – there will be no one to force the tube into their helpless, starving bodies. So Israel has threatened to bring in doctors from India to carry out the task. Then perhaps it will also import prison guards from Chechnya to shoot the starving people to death, if the evil of the Israeli prison guards does not suffice.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is orchestrating this evil. Erdan is not a bad man, certainly no worse than the average, but he knows that the evil toward the prisoners, like all evil toward Palestinians, will help in the Likud primary. And so he orchestrates it. Thus, Erdan ends up being worse than the evil ones.

Evil is the only inclination guiding the Israeli response to the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners. All the rest is pretense about security and hollow political excuses intended only to cloak the evil. And why not allow people serving life sentences to be photographed with their families? Why not give them another quarter of an hour of visiting time? That’s pure evil. Not to negotiate with the hunger strike’s leaders is evil. And to wait until the first ones lose consciousness is evil. And to let them be driven to the brink and only then to begin negotiating is evil. And to agree to some of their demands only after the first hunger strikers are almost dead – that’s evil. And above all, not agreeing to their demands (all of them justified) is incomparable evil.

Things are simple, black and white. The prisoners want their conditions to revert to what they were a few years ago. Even then, they were not extraordinary. But the Israel of the current government wants abuse.

You will hardly find a word of truth in the Israeli media about the living conditions of the Palestinian prisoners, only the nefarious lying descriptions of the “villas” and the “feasts.” Nor a word about the fact that most of them are political prisoners. They are all “terrorists,” and so they all deserve the same treatment. Not only is their identity maliciously blurred, so are their demands:

Who even knows what they want? To destroy the State of Israel, that’s what they want, according to the popular ignorance. In fact, not one of their demands is political. Nor is there a single demand that is exaggerated, unless the construction of decent toilets for the families waiting hours outside is an exaggerated demand when it comes to Palestinians.

Now the sides are waiting to see who blinks first and whose is bigger. Until then, the strikers will be tortured almost to death. There are among them young and old, healthy and sick, and they are all being tortured because their struggle is just and their sacrifice is great. Israel might also be allowed to appreciate this. The end will not be decided by the Israel Prison Service but by the Shin Bet, the evil agency that is responsible in Israel for everything that happens in Arabic.

The agreement to be reached at the end of the strike could have been made on its second day. But then the “terrorists” would have been spared a dose of suffering, and that, of course, is bad for the Jews. So first we’ll punish, isolate, force-feed, import doctors, export evil, and only then will we give them another 15 minutes for their family visits and maybe even an air conditioner at the Nafha Prison.

Why not now?