The fuse that sparks the final intifada?

Tunisia had Mohamed Bouazizi.   محمد البوعزيزي  

Egypt had Khaled Mohamed Saeed.       خالد محمد سعيد

Protesters demonstrate beneath a poster of Mohamed Bouazizi near the prime minister’s office in Tunis on Jan 28. Habibi / AP

Khaled Mohamed Saeed

Will Palestine and Israel have Mahmoud al-Sarsak?   I pray not.

Mahmoud Al Sarsak – Palestinian soccer star.

Mahmoud has been sitting in an Israeli prison without charge or evidence of any wrong-doing for nearly 3 years.   He decided 88 days ago that a hunger strike is his only hope for freedom — freedom from Israel’s prison or from his life under Israeli Occupation.   There is no recorded hunger strike lasting this long and surviving.  I fear the worse.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton haven’t uttered a word.

The Israeli press has been silent about this Palestinian soccer player dying in their prison, while Prime Minister Netanyahu has reportedly pulled a tendon playing football.  He is recovering.

Do they understand the desperation that drives a young man to starve himself to death?

Do they understand the impact his death will have on Palestinians and Arabs and supporters around the world?

Apparently not.

Tonight I am praying for Mahmoud Al-Sarsak.

Writing in the Nation on May 10, Dave Zirin wrote, “Imagine if a member of Team USA Basketball—let’s say Kobe Bryant—had been traveling to an international tournament only to be seized by a foreign government and held in prison for three years without trial or even hearing the charges for which he was imprisoned … Chances are all the powerful international sports organizations—the IOC, FIFA—would treat the jailing nation as a pariah until Kobe was free. And chances are that even Laker-haters would wear buttons that read, ‘Free Kobe.'”

Al-Sarsak is the Bryant of his people. 

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Filed under Israel, Occupation, People

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