‘Dignity Strike’ Day on Campuses Across US: Call to Action for ‘Solidarity’ With Hunger-Striking Palestinian Terrorists
University students across the US released a “call to action” for activists to fast on Tuesday in “solidarity” with Palestinian terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, who have been on a hunger strike for over a month.
The “Dignity Strike” has primarily been a social media initiative, with participants tweeting under “#DignityStrike36” and similar permutations of the phrase, but the campaign also has the official support of students from the following institutions: Northwestern University, University of Chicago, DePaul University, Columbia University, University of California (UC)-Irvine, UC-Davis, UC-Riverside, UC-San Diego, Hunter College and Stony Brook University.
Aviva Slomich, the international campus director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) on Campus, criticized campaign organizers for having described the striking Palestinians as “political prisoners.” She told The Algemeiner that a failure to recognize that many are terrorists “may come from a place of willful blindness, where the students are refusing to confront the truth of their heroes.”
Slomich noted that although the spring semester has already come to an end at some of the universities mentioned on the strike’s Facebook page, “the students can still make an impact in reaching their peers via social media.”
“In this day and age, it’s easy to make a statement without stepping one foot outside your door,” she said, adding that official student groups who “publicly honor convicted murderers should, at minimum, have their organizations suspended and the student leaders of the organizations should be considered for expulsion.”
Sponsors of the campaign include the Palestinian Youth Movement, which writes of “Zionist crimes”; The Dream Defenders, which endorsed the Movement for Black Lives platform demonizing Israel; For The People Artist Collective, a “radical squad” of Chicago artists who promote “resistance”; Addameer, a group reportedly affiliated with a terror organization; National SJP, which has sold shirts praising terrorism and used an Israeli flag as a doormat at its national conference; and the United States Palestinian Community Network, which reportedly pressured another organization into canceling a speech by an Israeli diplomat and supports terrorist Rasmea Odeh.
Campaign organizers have claimed that “[m]ore than 1,500” of the “6,300 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons” have been involved in the hunger strike since April 17, in an effort to obtain: “1. An increase in family visits; 2. Access to proper medical care and education; 3. An end to administrative detention and; 4. An end to solitary confinement.”
According to the Times of Israel, the hunger strikers’ demands — as dictated in a letter to Israeli officials by hunger strike leader and convicted terrorist, Marwan Barghouti — included: “20 channels of television, unrestricted books and magazines, air conditioning, a greater selection of items available for purchase in the canteen, family visits, the restarting of open university studies, public telephone use, and annual medical checks for prisoners.”
The “Dignity Strike” follows an effort called the “Salt Water Challenge,” in which activists videoed themselves drinking a cup of saltwater in support of the hunger strikers, and then challenged friends to do the same, as CNN reported.
Earlier this month, Barghouti was exposed in security footage released by the Israeli Prisons Service to be secretly eating in his jail cell, though Barghouti has denied the authenticity of the video.