Beyond the Cusp

May 1, 2017

Barghouti Palestinian Hunger Strike and International Law

 

Most people have absolutely no idea what the International Law is concerning the treatment of prisoners who choose to stage a hunger strike. Most probably believe that it is the nation where the prisoners have declared a hunger strike responsibility to do everything possible to remedy the situation favorably. This would include caving to the demands of the prisoners if that is what was required. Obviously, these people have not figured this thing out and given it the depth of thought required. If caving to the demands was a required response, and if that is what was necessary to end a prisoner hunger strike, then there would be no prisoners anywhere as all any prisoner would need to do to be released is go on a hunger strike demanding their release and then wait for a couple of weeks and have some really intense hunger pangs. Then as their health became affected, they would be released in order to preserve their health, or at least their lives. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is if the prisoner has been determined to be of sound mind when making the decision, then any consequence of their hunger strike, including death, is on the prisoner and not the holding authority. The International Law does not even permit forced-feeding to keep prisoners alive; it actually forbids such considering forced-feeding as a form of torture which can be the basis of bringing charges against the offending government and nation. So, what exactly is the wording of the law? That can be found in the declaration of Tokyo: Declaration #6; which can be read below.


Declaration of Tokyo

International Law Concerning Prisoner Hunger Strikes

Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially. The decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner.

 

This Tokyo Declaration means that if the initial physician had determined that the prisoner or prisoners who decide on a hunger strike did so while of sound mind and while not under any coercion, then a second and independent physician is required to also explain the consequences of their actions at each stage of the strike and as long as the prisoner continues demanding they continue their hunger strike, then they must be permitted to continue. Even should their action result in their deaths, they must be allowed to continue their hunger strike. There is an exception which would permit their being force-fed and that is that should they become unconscious, then they can be determined to no longer be of sound mind and thus unable to rationally insist on continuing their hunger strike and can be fed by whatever means are necessitated. Waiting for prisoners to fall unconscious before feeding them is extremely risky, as once they have lost consciousness they would be so close to death that bringing them back from the edge would be a delicate situation. The percentages for saving their lives would have fallen well below optimum and may have fallen to a point where the chances would be negligible.

 

The difficulty Israel faces is the same ideal which the Arabs throw in our faces at every opportunity with their chant of, “We love death as much as you love life and that is why we will defeat you.” To be honest, this argument has never quite made sense to us and in my case, I remember a quote attributed to General George Patton in the movie “Patton” and attributed to the General in some references where he was reputed to have said, “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” Apparently, the Arabs have decided to make that easier for Israel if their threat is to be taken literally. The truth is the Arab leadership loves life just as much as any Israeli, what they do not have much regard for are the lives of those they command. Arab commanders send others to die while Israeli officers are at the tip of the spear where their command to move forward is always, “Follow me,” as they lead out. The other side of the Israeli love of life is that we also value Arab lives even to include the hunger-striking prisoners. Israel was threatened of being brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity for torturing prisoners. Most people in the Western World have heard the claims that Israel tortures Arab prisoners but they have no idea what criminal definition of torture Israel is guilty of committing. Under the Declaration of Tokyo, forced-feeding of a prisoner, even to save their lives, is defined as torture. The life of the prisoner is presumably of no concern for the holding governance; it is on the prisoner if they lose their life due to a hunger strike. Under International Law, the death of a hunger-striking prisoner is considered a suicide and not the concern of the holding government. Israel cannot accept such a trivial treatment of a human life, even the life of a hunger-striking prisoner.

 

Marwan Barghouti, arch terrorist serving five life terms for only five of the dozens of Israelis murdered by his bombs and terror plans as well as likely hundreds injured, many horrifically suffering from crippling effects of these attacks

Marwan Barghouti, arch terrorist serving five life terms
for only five of the dozens of Israelis murdered by his
bombs and terror plans as well as likely hundreds injured,
many horrifically suffering from crippling effects of these attacks

 

The whole situation is considered a win-win by the Arab terror organizations which is why there are three or four hunger strikes called virtually every year. They realize there are only two results which can come from their hunger strike. They realize that there is little if any chance that they will be allowed to die as a result of their choices and actions. This means either they will have their demands met which usually amounts to several of the strikers being freed and other concessions. This result often comes when nations of the world demand that Israel not force-feed the prisoners and ties their demands to threats to take Israel before the ICC or the ICJ with charges of torture by force-feeding prisoners against their will. Simply put in everyday words, usually at the behest of the Arab League and numerous Arab governments, through behind the scenes communications, call for numerous European nations or the European Union to threaten Israel with charges of preserving human lives of their sworn enemies and often terrorist lives through the torture of forced-feeding them against their will. Prisoner rights groups and the family of nations pressed for and got the decision that the forced-feeding of prisoners was torture such that International Law made it punishable before the community of nations thus leaving only one means for a civilized people to save the lives of hunger striking prisoners, surrender to their demands. Before the decision that forced-feeding was torture there were two choices for governments, they could give in to the demands or they could force-feed the prisoners while it was still safe and would guarantee their survival. With the removal of feeding as a solution, there still remain two choices which save the life of the prisoner, giving in to their demands or waiting for them to pass into unconsciousness and then feeding them. The waiting for unconsciousness is a very risky means as some prisoners will die at the point of losing consciousness, others will be able to be saved and for far too many, the probabilities for survival would be very slim. None of these options are acceptable to Israel, not to her government and not to the vast majority of the people, even including the ones who might act tough and say, let them die, who if they had to make the call they would not allow them to die and would choose life.

 

The prisoners know that when they start to refuse food then either their demands will be met or Israel will face the screams across the globe from leftists and the anti-Semites that Israel is guilty of torture and is once again torturing their prisoners. The accusations continue and are louder every time there is a prisoner who is force-fed. Torture, torture they cry with the prisoner rights groups up in protest supported by numerous others from left wing groups plus there are the Soros groups who live to accuse Israel of crimes, BLM, BDS, pro-Palestinian groups, anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and all the rest of the anti-Semitic groups, European nations and their funded NGO’s, B’Tselem, the numerous peace groups and the list is nearly endless. Torture, torture ringing across the globe and the sun never sets on the various protests against Israel for saving lives. Imagine the outcry were Israel to permit just one hunger striking prisoner to die. The world screamed and demanded investigations for close to a year, some still ringing that bell, when one prisoner died from a stroke. The claims were that Israel somehow brought on his stroke, exactly how was never stated, it was just accepted that Israel not only could cause a prisoner to suffer a stroke but that Israel actually had caused the Arab prisoner to suffer a stroke. Israel faces three choices which range from bad to unthinkable and all but one will raise instant worldwide and vehemently loud demonstrations. Should Israel feed the prisoner the screams of torture rise up. Should Israel obey International Law and allow the prisoner the right to dignity and die for their cause, the screams of murderers rise up. Only if Israel surrenders to their demands will Israel not be derided before the world, the only result of giving in to their demands will be an immediate new strike demanding even deeper concessions and another after that and another and another on and on. Where would that end? The end result would be Israel having to return to choosing feeding the prisoners and facing torture charges or not feed them and allow International Law to work to its final end result and the prisoners start to die and facing murder charges. Israel is in a no win situation and the Arab terrorists understand this so they hold hunger strikes and wait to scream that Israel is a monster and tortures prisoners or murders prisoners. Israel will choose accusations of torture by forced-feeding the hunger strikers. Sometimes doing the right thing and deciding on the side of life is difficult because we live in a strange and often cruel world but Israel will always choose life. This does not mean Israel will capitulate to demands but it does mean that Israel will risk the accusations of torture if that is what the world defines preserving human lives when that choice presents itself. Fortunately, most Israeli physicians also side with life and will claim that any prisoner pressing a hunger strike to the point where it will likely cause permanent damage is a decision which is proof of a lack of sanity and thus permits forced-feeding. The world does not agree, they want Israel to permit the hunger-striking prisoners to die as demanded by International Law such that they can then instead of having to settle for claiming that the Israeli forced-feeding is torture to Israel is murdering prisoners. Where is sanity, we ask you, where is sanity?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — May 3, 2017 @ 10:02 AM | Reply


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