The Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike, initiated and being led by Marwan Barghouti, has refreshing subversive potential, and not necessarily against the Israel Prison Service.
As a number of prisoners' representatives outside the prisons say, it's not an adversarial or ideological strike.
One can see in the strike an attempt to get the Palestinians to shake off their fatalism and inaction in light of Israel's ever more powerful malevolence and rouse their quarreling leaders out of their complacency with the status quo and their delusion of sovereignty.
What are the individual hunger strikes if not privatization of the struggle? What are the stabbings, the knife-brandishing and the car ramming attacks if not the privatization of a revolt? The individual hunger strikes of administrative detainees were a burden on the prisoners' support organizations, but those groups were swept up in natural concern for the detainees' health, and they invested in the strikes a great deal of time and talk that went nowhere.
Beyond the regular prisons, Israel has created and continues to create all kinds of other means of imprisoning Palestinians.
The hunger strike is a means of liberation from the destructive effect of the multiple prison cells on the outside.
Its challenge is to build a collective of prisoners as a body that sets the Palestinian agenda, a body viewing the Palestinians on the outside as a dismembered, shattered collective that must be reunited.
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