The recent hunger strike of over 1000 Palestinian prisoners is a protest against oppressive practices by the Israeli government, asserts Marwan Barghouti in an Op-Ed for the New York Times. He alleges that the Israeli government has arbitrarily arrested and abused Palestinians in an attempt to undermine political resistance. According to him, such arrests have targeted journalists, academics and human rights activists. The hunger strike aims to highlight these actions as well as improve prisoners’ conditions, declares Barghouti.
Rather than protesting Israeli actions, Marwan Barghouti is using the hunger strike as a political tool to free himself and become the leader of Palestine, speculates Grant Rumley of Foreign Affairs. He suggests that the protest, which seeks concessions from Israel, including Barghouti’s liberty, was intended to stir up Palestinian support for him. His political competitors at home are forced to endorse him or seem unpatriotic, infers Rumley. He theorizes Barghouti is mainly motivated by the political gains to be made, which could potentially be significant.