Palestinian Prisoners Day, Divestment, & Resistance through Art

Artwork by Nidal El-Khairy
Nidal El-Khairy. Text reads: 250 Days of Steadfastness, 20 years of Oslo.
By Greg Hom
Apr 18, 2013

The issue of imprisonment continues to be a flashpoint for Palestinian activists on the ground.  April 17th news from the Jerusalem Post stated “ ”Prisoner Day,” an annual commemoration of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, who currently number 4,800, was held on Wednesday, with Israeli security forces on standby for possible protests.

The history of Prisoner Day is described here on Mondoweiss by the Center for Political and Development Studies, Palestine

Nidal Al-Khairy’s piece on the hunger-striking prisoner Samer Essawi makes a pointed reference to the Oslo accords of 1993.  For background on Oslo, check out the ¡Error! Referencia de hipervínculo no válida., a very useful resource.

I have also been paying more attention to the artwork of El-Khairy’s art in the past months and think it should be shared.

This is a depiction of Samer Essaqi, a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike on and off for 250 days. More of El-Khairy’s work can be seen here

Meanwhile in Berkeley, California, the student senate at the University of California is gearing up for another vote on divestment from Israeli companies.  The language of the bill can be found on the website of Students for Justice in Palestine at Berkeley.  Two years ago, a similar bill was supported, but vetoed.  See: http://electronicintifada.net/content/berkeley-moral-victory-despite-divestment-vote-loss/8809

In Berkeley, California, meanwhile, the student senate at the University of California passed a bill early this morning calling for divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Cement Roadstone Holdings, which are all companies that work with the Israeli military and prison system.

American Muslims for Palestine congratulated the students, and posted this letter  from their chairman, Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian-American and lecturer at the Berkely campus.

UC’s Irvine, San Diego, and Riverside have all recently passed some form of student legislation that divests from Israeli companies or corporations that have a relationship with Israel.  The Berkeley campus vote, with its historical connection to student activism, is a great morale boost to other student groups across the country who do Palestine solidarity work.  

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Greg has written book reviews for Left Turn Magazine, and volunteered with Prison Radio.

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