Palestinian prisoners in Israel begin humor strike
By Cobias Gluck in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – More than 1,200 Palestinian prisoners held in an Israeli detention center threatened to begin a humor strike to protest what they say is the harsh treatment received by Palestinian detainees in Israel. Qaddura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, said that a large number of detainees had given the Israeli authorities until the end of the month to meet their demands. “If not, all the prisoners will take part in the strike,” he said. “Our Israeli oppressors have come to expect us to make wry jokes about the food and living conditions in the prison. For example when given his nightly soup by the Zionist guards, Ahmed can be relied upon to make a crack like “What is that, cream of yesterday?”” Mr. Fares added that the prison staff always get a big kick out of “Crazy Mousa” who shouts “no soup for you!” every single time he is served his soup.
But the strikers have made clear that they will not limit their strike to soup. “We have stocked up quite a lot of first class material during our years in detention” said Muhamed Muhamed, “whenever I introduce myself to one of the Zionist pigs, I say “I’m so nice, they named me twice” referring to his same first and last name. “This has always earned me a chuckle” he added.
Moshe Cohen, a guard at the prison since 2006 insisted that the prison staff will not be intimidated by this new tactic. “Look, I enjoy a giggle as much as the next guy, but if they think they can squeeze concessions out of us because Mustafa is going to stop telling his inane “knock knock” jokes, well it won’t work.” Mustafa is Mustafa Bargwan, sentenced to life in prison for helping to plan several unsuccessful terror attacks in the 1980’s. “They absolutely love my knock, knock jokes” said the corpulent Bargwan who shared his favorite with this reporter. “Knock Knock”, “who’s there?” answered this reporter, “Cab” said Bargwan to which this reporter responded “Cab who?” struggling to contain his laughter, Bargwan answered “Cab-boom!, get it? Kaboom! Because you know, I’m a terrorist, get it?”
One detainee, Ahmed Muzwani seemed less than enthusiastic about the strike. “ I just finished writing a new routine on how Americans can’t tell the difference between Tehina and Humus. I mean one is made out of sesame seeds the other out of chik peas, what’s the difficulty here people?!” But Muzwani said he was willing to sacrifice his fresh material on the altar of Palestinian aspirations. “Sacrifices have to be made, did you hear the one about the infidel who tried to sacrifice his middle aged wife in place of the traditional sheep… age before beauty, he explained”.
Should the Palestinian prisoners stand by their threats, this particular detention center will become a somber place indeed.