The youth contingent of the National Unity Party is cooking a massive barbecue on Thursday, upwind from the prison in which over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are holding a hunger strike. The succulent aroma of cooking meat will waft through Ofer Prison where the prisoners, most wanted for security offenses against Israelis, are protesting for better conditions.
“The time has come to stop listening to the hunger strikers and show them that we are not giving in to their whims,” said Ophir Sofer, secretary-general of the National Union party. “We call upon the government and its leader to further worsen conditions for terrorists and to act with conviction for the release of the soldiers Goldin and Shaul who fought for us all.”
The hunger strike was called after a year and a half of negotiations with prison officials.
Chairman of the National Union Youth, Avichai Greenwald, asks “Surrender to a hunger strike? It is not even clear why there is no death penalty for terrorists. We wish the terrorists success in the strike. Let them go through with it all the way.”
The hunger strike became the focus of controversy on Monday when its organizer, Marwan Barghouti, announced it in an op-ed in the New York Times. The NY Times presented Barghouti as ““a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian”, without mentioning that he is in an Israeli prison after being convicted of five counts of murder. The NY Times earned the ire of many, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said, “Barghouti is a politician like Assad is a pediatrician”
Many believe the hunger strike is a ploy by Barghouti to shore up his waning political presence. Barghouti has been caught on video eating in his cell during hunger strikes he has called.