The trade union-backed Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK) is always quick to support hunger strikes — or any protest — by Palestinians jailed for terrorist offenses in Israeli prisons.
It doesn’t matter what those Palestinian prisoners may have done; they always get the full solidarity of groups like the PSC and the unions that fund and support them.
For example, earlier this year the PSC backed Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi. According to the Wikipedia, “Samer, who was affiliated with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, allegedly manufactured and distributed pipe bombs and in several instances fired indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. He was convicted of membership in an illegal organization, possession of explosives, and attempted murder.”
The organization he belonged to was famously behind the massacre at the Israeli school in Ma’alot in 1974 which resulted in the deaths of 25 hostages.
To the PSC, Issawi is a “freedom fighter,” or whatever.
Khalil Abu Laban, on the other hand, gets no sympathy whatever, from this “pro-Palestinian” group. They’ve almost certainly never heard of him.
Khalil works for the UN’s refugee agency, UNRWA, which has had a notorious record in recent years as an employer, failing to pay wages and so on.
Khalil works for them at the Deheisheh refugee camp just outside Bethlehem. Together with three other workers, he’s been on hunger strike as part of a month-long strike by the rest of the staff.
Last week he collapsed and was taken to hospital.
According to a report on the Ma’an website, UNRWA workers are on strike as “a result of a conflict with the organization over salaries and positions within the organization. The strike is also in protest of a decision to forbid anyone who was imprisoned in Israel to work for the UNRWA.”
That last sentence is significant.
It’s a demand that groups like the PSC would probably support, if they were paying attention.
But they’re not, because Khalil and his fellow strikers are simply off their radar.
This makes sense when you’re a pro-Hamas propaganda body, as the PSC is, but it makes no sense for the unions which support it.
They should be showing solidarity to the Palestinian strikers at the UNRWA. They’re not.
It’s a simple case of trade union solidarity that’s been forgotten because Khalil isn’t a convicted murderer — in which case, the PSC would certainly have sat up and noticed.