Tunisia had Mohamed Bouazizi. محمد البوعزيزي
Egypt had Khaled Mohamed Saeed. خالد محمد سعيد
Will Palestine and Israel have Mahmoud al-Sarsak? I pray not.
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?
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.