The hunger strike should be on the front page of every paper

Posted on May 17, 2017


May 16, 2017 – Page 1 of the NY Times? Nothing. International section? Still nothing. HuffPost? Not that I could find. And The Forward? Nothing.

It’s Day 30 of a 1,600 person hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, and media is essentially silent.

The hunger strike should be on the fron page of every paper.

The NY Times, to be fair, did publish an op-ed by strike leader Marwan Barghouthi as the hunger strike began. But even then, they buckled to right-wing pressure and published a “correction” labeling him a terrorist.

So last week, we launched a Letter to the Editor campaign – and 1,000 JVP supporters like you wrote in to the Times asking for more and better coverage of this quite literally urgent story.

Still nothing. So we’re taking matters into our own hands.

Please, click here and help us pay to place this ad – reprinting highlights of Barghouthi’s piece – in Jewish and mainstream outlets. We have to get this story out, even if newsrooms around the country are going to sit on their hands.

We don’t have a lot of time, but I’m banking on finding 200 of our committed people today to give $36 so we can start placing ads now.

Because I can’t imagine going without food for 30 days, much less 31. And even if we exceed our goal, it’s still going to be a few days even before we can get the first and fastest print ad out there.

We aren’t going to be able to raise the alarm about the hunger strike and its demands without money.  Can you join in to get this story out?

In a nutshell, the demands are as follows:
•    Access to phones
•    The ability to have family visits
•    Basic and appropriate medical care
•    An end to solitary confinement, and
•    The end of administrative detention – indefinite detention without charges or trial.

On the one hand, they stand completely alone as legitimate. Even any one specific improvement in conditions would be a major shift for the better.

And on the other hand, they’re about so much more. This hunger strike is about piercing the core of what the Israeli military system is designed to do: dehumanize Palestinians, and especially Palestinian leaders.

Or, in the words of Marwan Barghouthi:

What is it with the arrogance of the occupier and the oppressor and their backers that makes them deaf to this simple truth: Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.

…[The state of Israel] turned basic rights that should be guaranteed under international law — including some painfully secured through previous hunger strikes — into privileges its prison service decides to grant us or deprive us of.

That op-ed should be re-printed in every paper in the country. The status of the hunger strikers should be on every newscast and every twitter feed.

Let’s do our part to push it out:

Click here to donate and we’ll get this ad upespecially in the Jewish press.

It goes without saying that there isn’t time to waste.

Imagine going without food for a day. A week. A month. Imagine being so thwarted in the search not for freedom, but for the basics of communication, of medical care, of legal rights.

I can’t, to be honest. But this is one way I know I can help.

So can you join me and chip in $36 now to make it happen?

Thank you for stepping up.




Ari Wohlfeiler
Deputy Director

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national membership organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people of Israel and Palestine. Become a JVP Member today.