Wednesday, February 20, 2013

20-Feb-13: Samer Issawi and the efficacy of hunger strikes as a mask for ongoing terrorism

The caption on this AFP photo reads: "Samer al-Issawi's mother attends
a solidarity sit-in  
outside the Red Cross offices in Jerusalem"
[Image Source]

There is another sickening campaign getting underway to turn a hunger-striking convicted murderer into a figure of admiration for people who can't bother to understand terrorism or the people who do it.  

Samir Tariq Ahmad Muhammad is one of the 1,027 Palestinian Arab terrorists who walked free in October 2012 as Israel bowed to jihadist extortion in the Shalit Transaction to secure the release of a young hostage illegally held for more than five years by the terrorists of Hamas. You can see him in the published Israel Prison Service list issued at the time: look for ID number 037274735.

Like some other stupendously luckier-than-smart Palestinian Arab prisoners serving long terms in prison for acts of terrorism against Israelis, this one was re-arrested in April 2002 and put back behind bars to serve the balance of his term because of an infringement of the conditions (yes, there were certainly conditions) of his completely unjustified, unjust and wrongful October 2011 return to freedom and open society.

A report yesterday by Tamar Sternhall from the excellent CAMERA organization ("Neglected Facts About Hunger-Striking Samer Issawi") explains that this Samir Muhammad is now operating under the simpler name Samer Issawi. His home town is Issawiya, on Jerusalem's northern edge, and so in some places they call him Samer Tareq al-Issawi. As CAMERA's article points out, "multiple names are not uncommon among Palestinians".

Issawi was convicted of attempted murder, possession of weapons and explosives, and other charges relating to membership of a prohibited terrorist organization. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Then came the Shalit Transaction... and then some time after that his re-arrest. 

He is behind Israeli bars again and - for the present - there is no other Israeli hostage whose life can be cynically traded for the freedom of terrorists like him. So he and others have moved on to Plan B.

The jihadist is already on the
road to becoming an icon in
terrorism-friendly circles
By indulging in a kind of hunger strike (the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs says he has been observing it intermittently since August), he joins other murder-minded jihadists in bidding for media attention and sympathy for the hungry underdog via performance theatre [see this YouTube clip], protest clashes with Israeli police, Facebook pages, Twitter campaigns, online "action" alerts and muffin bake-offs (alright so we invented the last one). His chances of succeeding are not bad if you take into account how this kind of thing works. See, by way of illustration, what we posted here ["12-Feb-13: A picture, and the thousand words it does not tell"] a few days ago about the media's fawning and extremely selective attention on another freed/reincarcerated terrorist, Mahmud Abdallah Abd al-Rahman Abu Sariya. 

AFP's syndicated report says he is a long-term security prisoner who was freed and re-arrested on July 7, 2012 and began his hunger strike on August 1, 2012. Why was he originally arrested and sentenced to a long-term sentence? Don't ask AFP. Other than referring to him simply as one of the "long-term security prisoners who were initially released by Israel under a prisoner swap deal in October 2011", they're not telling.

Associated Press says nothing in its report about how this Issawi got onto the wrong side of the Israeli justice system in the first place. All its reporter manages to disclose on the subject is 
Issawi's original sentence was 26 years "for a terrorist act" but he had served only six years
which is a direct quote from the lady who serves as spokesperson for the Israel Prison Service. How hard can it be, we wonder, for someone working for one of the world's most influential sources of news reporting to find out how this terrorist got convicted and sent to prison in the first place? Doesn't it matter to them? Or to the consumers of their news reports?

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