An Appeal from the Internationalist Socialist League
To all political parties, trade unions, groups and individuals that oppose the oppression of the Palestinian people,
We call upon you comrades, brothers and sisters and all advocates of justice and democracy, to demand from the Israeli government to release immediately Samer alIssawi who was imprisoned without charges and without trial. Samer chose to protest this inhumane and grotesque imprisonment by going on a hunger strike that has currently exceeded 200 days. Naturally, his life is now in grave danger.
Samer alIssawi is a Palestinian from Issawiya neighborhood in alQuds (Jerusalem). He is a freedom fighter in the resistance movement against the oppression of the Palestinians. He was twenty four years old, when in April 2004 he was arrested, accused of armed struggle and sentenced to 30 years in prison. You can learn from this that even the Israeli military forces didn’t accuse Samer of killing anybody, as if this was the charge he would be sentenced for life in prison.
In the past, Samer alIssawi’s release was secured by the prisoners’ exchange deal of October 2011 (in which Israel secured the release of its soldier Gilad Shalit). However, on July 7th, 2012, he was arrested again, passing through an army roadblock in Jerusalem. This time he was accused of parole violation by trying to reach Ramallah. The “Ofer” military court decided that Samer should be returned to prison to serve the remaining 20 years left to his original sentence.
Shirin alIssawi, Samer’s sister, has opened a Facebook page, where she published a letter from him. This letter says:
“I turn with admiration to the masses of our heroic Palestinian people, to our Palestinian leadership, to all forces, parties and national institutions. I salute them for standing by our fight to defend our right to freedom and dignity.
I draw my strength from my people, from all the free people in the world, from friends and the families of the prisoners who continue day and night chanting for freedom and an end to the occupation.
My health has deteriorated dramatically and I’m hung between life and death. My weak body is collapsing but still able to be patient and continue the confrontation. My message is that I will continue until the end, until the last drop of water in my body, until martyrdom. Martyrdom is an honor for me in this battle. My martyrdom is my remaining bomb in the confrontation with the tyrants and the jailers, in the face of the racist policy of the occupation that humiliates our people and exercises against us all means of oppression and repression.
I say to my people: I’m stronger than the occupation army and its racist laws. I, Samer al-Issawi, son of Jerusalem, send you my last will that, in case I fell as a martyr, you will carry my soul as a cry for all the prisoners, man and women, cry for freedom, emancipation and salvation from the nightmare of prisons and their harsh darkness.
My battle is not only for individual freedom. The battle waged by me and by my heroic colleagues, Tariq, Ayman and Ja’affar, is everyone’s battle, the battle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and its prisons. Our goal is to be free and sovereign in our liberated state and in our blessed Jerusalem.
The weak and strained beats of my heart derive their steadfastness from you, the great people. My eyes, which started to lose their sight, draws light from your solidarity and your support of me. My weak voice takes its strength from your voice that is louder than the warden’s voice and higher than the walls.
I’m one of your sons, among thousands of your sons who are prisoners, still languishing steadfasting in the prisons, waiting for an end to be brought to their plight, their pains and the suffering of their families.
The doctors told me I became exposed to stroke because of the disorder of my heartbeats, the shortage of sugar and the drop in blood pressure. My body is full of cold and I can’t sleep because of the continued pain. But despite the extreme fatigue and chronic headaches, as I move on my chair, I’m trying to summon all my resources to continue on the road till its end. There is no going back, only in my victory, because I’m the owner of Right and my detention is invalid and illegal.
Do not be afraid for my heart if it will stop, don’t be afraid for my hands if they will be paralyzed. I am still alive now and tomorrow and after death, because Jerusalem is flowing in my blood, in my devotion and my faith”.
A more detailed information in Arabic and Hebrew can be found in the Free Haifa blog.
We appeal to you to send your own demands to release Samer alIssawi to the office and Facebook page of Mr. Benyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel:
A Proposed Petition
We took the liberty to draft a short petition you may want to sign:
To Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minster of Israel,
It has come to my knowledge that Samer alIssawi, a Palestinian from Issawiya neighborhood in alQuds (Jerusalem), was arrested and subsequently imprisoned by your military regime that rules over the Palestinian West Bank. In 2011 he was released in the prisoner exchange deal for Gilad Shalit. On July 7, 2012, he was arrested again passing through an army roadblock in Jerusalem, accused of parole violation by trying to reach Ramallah. The “Ofer“ military court sentenced him to serve the remaining 20 years left to his original sentence. Against this inhumane and grotesque arrest Samer has chosen to go on a hunger strike which is already more than 200 days in progress. I demand his immediate release.
Name of organization:
An Appeal to Left Groups and Organizations
We call upon all left parties, groups and trade unions, that oppose the oppression of the Israeli apartheid state to demand, not only the release of Samer alIssawi, but also of all Palestinian political prisoners. We call for the establishment of an International Committee for Freedom to all the Palestinian Political Prisoners (ICFPP). Needless to say, all political parties, international tendencies and groups must have their freedom to express their own independent political views, and keep complete organizational independence. This committee could prove useful as a coordinator of international solidarity actions, the most effective of which being, in our opinion, working class actions that could put immense economic and strategic pressure on Israel.
Who are we?
The Internationalist Socialist League is a working class revolutionary Trotskyist organization active in Israel (Occupied Palestine). In our opinion all of Israel is occupied Palestinian land and that it is an imperialist apartheid state from the river to the sea. Even without counting in the Palestinian refugees, there is already an Israeli-Jewish minority rule over a Palestinian-Arab majority. While we support partial, democratic struggles and demands, we do not hide our position that the oppression of the Palestinian people will continue as long as Israel exists and that the only solution is a working class revolution.
We stand for demands such as:
For a Constituent Assembly of all the People Who Live in This Land Including the Palestinian Refugees Who Were Ethnically Cleansed from Palestine in 1947-48 and in 1967.
For the Complete Right of Return to all Palestinian Refugees to Their Historical Homeland.
For a Single Palestinian Democratic State from the River to the Sea. (The same demand the Trotskyists in South Africa raised in the 1930s)
At the same time we understand that the only way to achieve this demand is through a working class revolution. The Jewish workers who will participate in the socialist revolution on the side of the Palestinians will have the right to be a part of the new ruling class in the new workers’ state. This workers’ state must be a part of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East. Under this new workers’ state the Israeli-Jewish working and poor masses would have equal civilian rights. However, since the Palestinians are the majority it will be reflected in the national character of this workers’ state and for this reason we say:
For a Palestinian Workers State from the River to the Sea!
Until such a demand could be realized by the working class in this region, we would struggle for transitional demands such as:
Sliding Scale of Wages and Sliding Scale of Hours
Palestinian Independent and Democratic Trade Unions
Workers’ Control of Industry by the Palestinian Workers and their Jewish Supporters
Expropriation of Capitalist Industries Under Workers Control
Expropriation of the Private Banks and Nationalization of the Credit System, Under Workers Control
Defense of the Palestinian Peasants from Zionist Land Theft
Defense Guards that In Time Will Become Workers’ Militias of Palestinians and Jews who Side with the Palestinian Revolutionary Struggle