Today Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian civil society leader from Haifa, marks his 54th birthday in an Israeli prison.
Makhoul has been convicted by Israel of trumped-up security charges on the basis of a coerced confession and is serving out a nine-year sentence.
Letter from prison greeting solidarity movement
Recently Makhoul wrote a message to international solidarity activists campaigning on the recent (and ongoing) hunger strikes. The Electronic Intifada was sent a scanned copy of his handwritten letter (the full letter may be viewed below).
In the letter, Makhoul reiterates what he wrote in an essay published earlier this month by The Electronic Intifada — that the mass hunger strike launched in Israeli prisons on 17 April changed the rules of the game.
Makhol adds: “All of the achievements are not the outcome of Israeli ‘good will,’” but instead thanks to the will of “Palestinian prisoners of freedom,” “supported by their community and people, and supported by the worldwide solidarity movement.”
To this movement, Makhoul says: “I’m sure you don’t feel comfortable to [hear] ‘thank you’ although you deserve more. … Be sure that Palestinian prisoners of freedom highly evaluated your support and recognize you as a partner of the victory, hope, freedom and justice.”
Makhoul emphasizes that Palestinian political prisoners closely followed the solidarity movement’s activities and viewed them “with great respect.”
However, Makhoul warns that Israel will take “every step possible … to confiscate the prisoners’ victory outcomes,” and mentions punishments the Israeli Prison Service has already meted out to political prisoners — including the delaying of delivery of letters sent to prisoners.
Defy Israeli prison walls, write political prisoners
One way to continue to support Palestinian political prisoners is writing to them in prison, thereby not only keeping up prisoners’ morale but also defying Israel’s attempts to cut them off from the outside world. The act of writing a letter of solidarity is all the more powerful considering how Israel is punitively delaying the delivery of mail to prisoners.
Birthday greetings and messages of solidarity to Ameer Makhoul can be sent to:
Gilboa, 10900 Israel