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A report released today by two Israeli human rights organizations (B'Tselem and HaMoked) charges Shin Bet security service in regularly torturing almost all Palestinian detainees. Despite Israel High Court of Justice ruling from 1999 limiting the use of force in investigations, B'Tselem and HaMoked reported torture methods includes beating, painful binding, back bending, body stretching and prolonged sleep deprivation.

According to the report, despite the ruling, prisoners are shackled to chairs in painful positions for protracted periods of time and subjected to humiliation, swearing and threats by the interrogators.

Despite more than 500 complaints have been filed since 2001, no criminal investigations have been opened against the Shin Bet by the 'Justice' system. It makes one wonder what type of Justice system did Israel adopt. The report also indicates that interrogators who abused interrogees in "ticking bomb" situations may be exempted from criminal liability. The exception was made in this case so that interrogation could prevent a terror attack planned to take place immediately. However, again, how many "exceptions" were made is a number that I leave for your imagination since Israel consider all Palestinians as terrorists and possible "ticking bomb."

The report identified seven "Routine Ill-treatment" and seven "special" kinds of torture. The key aspect of the "Routine Ill-treatment" is to harm, to varying degrees, the dignity and bodily integrity of the detainees. The combined exercise of these aspects last an average of 35 days. Not less Ill-treatmen, the "special" methods mostly involve direct physical violence.

The seven "Routine Ill-treatment" methods include: 1) isolation from the outside world; 2) holding in solitary confinement and in putrid, stifling cells; 3) preventing physical activity such as sleep disturbance and inadequate food supply; 4) painful binding of the detainee's hands and feet to a chair; 5) cursing and humiliation, strip searches, shouting, spitting etc.; 6) threat of physical torture, arrest of family members, etc.; and 7) the use of informants to extract information (the report clarifies that the last method is legitimate, but is dependant on use of more abusive practices).

The other identified seven "special" methods of torture includes: 1) deprivation of sleep; 2) "Dry" beatings; 3) painful tightening of handcuffs, sometimes while cutting off blood flow; 4) sudden pulling of the body while causing pain in the hand joints which are cuffed to the chair; 5) sudden tilting of the head sideways or backwards; 6) the "frog" crouch (forcing the detainees to crouch on tiptoes) accompanied by shoving; 7) The "banana" position - bending the back of the interrogee in an arch while he is seated on a backless chair.

"These practices are clearly classified as torture under International Law, and are neither common nor negligible," the report states.

While the international law is clear in prohibiting ill-treatment and torture, and it allows for no extenuating circumstances, the Israeli justice ministry quoted saying:

"The role of the Shin Beth is to ensure state security and to prevent illegal activities. To achieve these goals, it interrogates people suspected of terrorist activities."

One can wonder; how can you expect to "prevent illegal activities" if you are practicing "illegal activities"?

Among other recommendations, the report advises that the same laws be applied to Palestinian detainees as for Israelis, and it urges that those who allegedly abused the rights of Palestinian prisoners be brought to justice. But...

In my previous diary, some said that "hearing the individual stories is critical for Americans to understand what the reality of the Occupation is." Many readers confirmed that and I agree. However, some testimonies and real stories are very hard to digest and more disturbing to hear and watch than Nadia's story. My apology in advance, for following videos might expose real painful testimonies and scenes than one can stand.

The following are part II and III of a three parts video (15-minute total. Part I can be found here) in which you hear some testimonies of Palestinian prisoners tortured in Israel.

Captured Prisoners: the Whole Story, Part II

Captured Prisoners: the Whole Story, Part III

Finally, the following infamous video is one of its kind which documented torture of some Palestinian youths during the first Intifada.

Warning: This video contain 'violent content' that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community.

Since we are talking about prisoners, it is noteworthy that while one Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, 10,756 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (Source: If Americans Knew)

Cross posted at Sabbah's Blog

Originally posted to Sabbah on Sun May 06, 2007 at 12:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipjar (21+ / 0-)

    Shukran (Thanks) for reading and watching!

    Sabbah's Blog: An Uprooted Palestinian Blogger Searching For a Better Way Forward in the Middle East.

    by Sabbah on Sun May 06, 2007 at 12:17:26 PM PDT

  •  Hit and Run Diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, jhritz

    Cross-posted once again. Lame.

    •  I don't follow. (11+ / 0-)

      People cross post all the time. And there is a tip jar at least. What is it you are objecting to?

      •  The hit 'n run (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, jhritz

        aspect. He posts and then doesn't answer any questions. EVER. Basically using this site to spread propaganda, and ill-informed propaganda at that.

        •  so go to his blog and ask your questions (12+ / 0-)

          and what he is reporting here is NOT propaganada at all.

          an event in my town tomorrow night:

          Tom Stern and Tema Okum, a Jewish couple from Durham, who will speak at All Souls on Monday at 7 PM.  "While All Eyes Were on Gaza" gives a Jewish perspective on the beginning of the 40th year of occupation of Palestine by Israel, and a way to work for just peace in the region.  All Souls, Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the Circle of Mercy are sponsors.

          and I will be there

        •  The truth is only propaganda... (11+ / 0-)

          to those who would keep it hidden.

          ...moi aussi je n'aime pas ce bruit / moi aussi je n'aime pas ce bruit...

          by Diaries on Sun May 06, 2007 at 12:51:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Israeli newspaper: (8+ / 0-)

          Rights groups: Shin Bet torturing jailed Palestinians
          By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent, and AP
          http://www.haaretz.com/...

        •  He just doesn't (12+ / 0-)

          find it productive to interact with apologists for oppression.  Neither do I. Nothing that we say will change the minds of those who defend institutionalized racism and bigotry.  

          For many years our voices weren't heard, but the internet has changed all that.

          Both Haitham and I are relatively privileged and like Edward Said, we speak for those for whom no one speaks.  We seek to reach Americans because the USA pays for the depradations that Israel inflicts upon poor refugees and the people indigenous to Palestine.  We are thankful to Daily Kos, to the Los Angeles Times, to the San Francisco Chronicle, to the Chicago Tribune and others in the media who have finally come around.  It was a long time coming before people figured out that apartheid in South Africa was unjust, but ultimately it fell, and ultimately Palestine will be free and Israel will be a place for all of its citizens.  That's democracy, right?

          •  yes (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MBNYC, Shane Hensinger, jhritz

            you are correct....Israel will be a place for all it's Israeli citizens....

            you're well off - I get the feeling you're very well connected, rich even, umka, yet all you do is bash Israel and look for unreachable solutions destined for the dust bin. ''if you want to help your people , you'll embrace compromise and a way forward like your cousin (as you've claimed) Nisreen Shaheen has.

            where is she, she's someone who sounds like she'd be happy to interact with Kossacks.

            you sound a little snobby actually. if you can't or won't interact with people here, you don't really belong here. Most people here are decent folk looking for solutions, you seem to want to demonize and cast aspersions.

            he just doesn't find it productive to interact with apologists for oppression.  Neither do I

            do you always bash people and lump them all in the same boat? you've been here for how long?

            Good catch .. ./ weasel

            by Keith Moon on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:05:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not about personalities (5+ / 0-)

              Watch the videos, and then defend what Israel must do in order to maintain its Jews preferred and privileged status.

              No compromise with racism. Did slaves compromise with slaveholders for improved conditions,yet this is what Israel would have the quisling Abbas do.

              No compromise if it means my friends and relatives who were born in Jaffa may not return, but any Jew from anywhere in the world may immigrate.

              Palestinian politicians aren't free to state what the Palestinian poets state freely.  Palestine will be free; it is just a matter of time. You're beating a dead horse.

              •  well (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MBNYC, Shane Hensinger, jhritz

                you know, some's true, some's not....that's how it goes.

                but where's Nisreen who publicly called for a two state solution in her wonderful speech?

                I'm not beating anything umka, I just got up from the beach a little while ago, but your're rich right? I'd say you're definitely in the elite class of Palestinians.

                how close are you to Abbas and or Haniya?

                Good catch .. ./ weasel

                by Keith Moon on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:18:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  75% of Arab Israelis support (6+ / 0-)

                democratic, Jewish constitution for Israel.

                With all due respect, support for maintaining Israel's existence and the creation of a free and independent Palestinian state, along the the lines of the Clinton Peace Paramters and the Geneva Initiative is not either compromising with racism or defending oppression.

                But so long as one avoids dialogue and refuses to accept the legitimacy of the other side's desire for national self-determination, one is part of the problem and not the solution.

                Al Gore should be president.

                by another American on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:51:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sofia (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noah in NY, npbeachfun, Sabbah

                  has already provided an excellent rebuttal to this poll that you cite on another post.  The Jewish desire for national self-determination is laudable, but certainly not at the expense of my dear friends from Jaffa, Akka, Haifa, etc., who just want to return to their homes.  Why a teenage girl from New Orleans should have a right to immigrate to Israel when a Palestinian who was born there does not really is just not just.  

                •  Here's the post in case you missed it (9+ / 0-)

                  link

                  I'd take that poll with a huge grain of salt. I'd want to know what were the poll questions, and how did the pollsters define "Jewish and democratic"?  Without the answers to those questions the poll results the Ha'aertz article cites are likely deceptive.

                  In 2004 the Israel Democracy Institute conducted a similar poll, with similar results (actually I think it's a yearly poll).  At the time, Adalah (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) published the following analysis re. the IDI's poll, Constitution by Consensus’: By Whose Consensus?-- a few excerpts:

                  Recent reports published in the Israeli press, based on a public opinion survey conducted in the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), claim that a majority of Arab citizens accept the definition of Israel as "Jewish and democratic."

                  [..]

                  Given the importance of Arabs’ views of, as opposed to Arabs’ active participation in, the "Constitution by Consensus," the IDI commissioned a public opinion poll "examining positionsof the Arab population regarding the establishment of a constitution for the state of Israel." The poll was conducted in September 2004 by telephone among a representative sample of 504 respondents. When asked what they considered important for inclusion in a constitution, 100% of Arab respondents included "equal rights for Arabs" in the first, second, or third rank. The issue considered second most important - "economic situation" - received less than 30% of responses in all three ranks. The "Jewish and democratic" state was mentioned by none of the 504 respondents. Respondents were then asked to evaluate the importance of seven articles to be included in the constitution: 1. Israel as a state that guarantees complete freedom of occupation; 2. Israel as a state that guarantees the collective rights of different groups; 3. Israel as a state that guarantees free education; 4. Israel as a state that recognizes the Arab minority; 5. Israel as aJewish and democratic state; 6. Israel as state that guarantees equal rights for Arabs; and 7. Israel as a state that guarantees complete freedom of religion. More than 95% of the respondents said that all but one of these articles were either very important or moderately important. Only one issue stood out: Israel as a Jewish and democratic state: only 35% of the respondents said that this was very important or moderately important. When the respondents were asked to rank the
                  4 articles, only 5% of them ranked the article of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the first, second, or third combined; 85% gave it the lowest ranking. Unsurprisingly, 81% ranked equal rights for Arabs as first, second, or third in importance. Persisting with the issue of "Jewish and democratic", the respondents were asked if they would support "a referendum for a constitution that defines Israel as ‘a Jewish and democratic state that guarantees full equality for Arabs’". The findings reveal that 77.4% of the respondents would definitely support or support such a referendum. . [..]

                  However, in the context of the data that the IDI itself provides, it should be clear that what Arabs mean by a "Jewish and democratic state that guarantees full equality for Arabs" is different from what the project of a "Jewish and democratic" state intends Israel to be. For the Arab citizen, it seems, the message is that, if full equality is guaranteed, Israel can call itself Jewish and democratic. One way to understand this finding is that an Israel guaranteeing full equality to Arabs would be a democratic state in essence, and a Jewish state by fact of the Jewish majority, which would dominate its character. This message should not be confused with acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state in essence (or the state of the Jewish people), which enjoys only some democratic features, as it is now and as the "Jewish and democratic" state project wants it to be, with minor amendments, perhaps, in the favor of Arab citizens.

                  With that, I'm heading out to dinner. Maybe you can put those finely honed detective skills of yours'to work and find that poll online.

                  •  well (5+ / 0-)

                    I'd say the Israeli Arabs have some work of their own to do, namely full rights for women in their communities, considering only 13% of them are in the work force.

                    Good catch .. ./ weasel

                    by Keith Moon on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:50:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah... (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      unfounded, Keith Moon, blueness, jhritz

                      ...and maybe one day they'll stop killing their fellow Palestinians if they happen to be gay. And maybe their defenders in the West will one day finally condemn the murders.

                      "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                      by MBNYC on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:18:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hmm.. (5+ / 0-)

                        ..who are "their defenders in the West" who fail to condemn any murder of gay Palestinians?

                        I know that I utterly condemn the persecution of gays, whether in the developed world, or the developing world, including the OPTS.

                        •  Check the link nt (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jhritz

                          "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                          by MBNYC on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:15:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I' m aware .. (6+ / 0-)

                            ..of persecution of gays in the OPTS (Occupied Palestinian Territories), and I condemn them, as I condemn the persecution of gays everywhere in the world.

                            But you didn't answer my question -- who are these "defenders in the West" who fail to condemn persecution of gays in the OPTS?

                          •  Easy enough... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cecrops Tangaroa, MBNYC

                            ...check out the diarists by people who write about I/P.  It's largely a handful of the same people, many of which who were recruited to the site by a banned troll and sockpuppet.

                            Then check if they have written any diaries about Palestinian homophobia.

                          •  Duh (0+ / 0-)

                            ...I gave you the wrong link.

                            This is what I was thinking of:

                            Peter Tatchell deplores the Left’s failure to speak out against the torture and murder of gays by the Palestinian authorities

                            Tribune - London - 25 June 2004

                            Is there a revival of old-style 1970s leftist homophobia? It seems so. Diverse sections of the left - including individual members of the Socialist Workers Party, Respect and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) - are questioning the right of the queer activist group OutRage! to fight back against the officially-sanctioned persecution of queers in the Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank.

                             According to the PSC, OutRage! is "attempting to defame" the Palestine solidarity movement and is "damaging the cause of solidarity with Palestinians". In particular, it objected to OutRage! revealing how PSC officials and stewards had attempted to silence criticism of Palestinian homophobia.

                            Members of OutRage! joined the PSC demonstration in London on 15 May, supporting an end to Israel’s human rights abuses [sic] of the Palestinian people.

                            Contrary to claims by the PSC, we did not stage a "counter-demonstration". We were there in solidarity with the Palestine liberation struggle. Our placards said, "Israel: Stop persecuting Palestine".

                            But we also called for an end to the torture and murder of lesbians and gays by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Our placards additionally read, "Palestine: Stop persecuting queers".

                            In the comments of this diary, you'll find sentiments similar to those Tatchell decries. I've mentioned the fact that the Palestinian government tortures and murders people like me here before; it's usually been met with a waddayagonnado shrug.

                            Palestinian advocates often accuse Israel's defenders of being morally blind to what they claim are that country's abuses; clearly, many of them have their own moral blind spot in ignoring Palestinian fascism.

                            "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                            by MBNYC on Mon May 07, 2007 at 06:54:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Palestinians in the WB (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Rusty Pipes, sofia, blueness

                          Are forced to live under Jordon law (I am Not a Lawyer) but my sister in law tried for 2years to get my neighbors Gay Family member out of the West Bank and allow the teen to live with family in Israel so the Teen would be safe under Israeli Law-

                          The Israeli courts turned down all requests to even hear the case. We all still worry about this now grown person, who I have been trying to bring to the US-

                          I only bring this up because Palestine is not a Country- so it they dont live under thier own laws.

                          "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

                          by npbeachfun on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:41:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Hmmm. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    unfounded, Keith Moon, zemblan, jhritz

                    That's an interesting analysis, but here's the key point:

                    Persisting with the issue of "Jewish and democratic", the respondents were asked if they would support "a referendum for a constitution that defines Israel as ‘a Jewish and democratic state that guarantees full equality for Arabs’". The findings reveal that 77.4% of the respondents would definitely support or support such a referendum. . [..]

                    There is one simple conclusion to draw from that: three out of four Arab Israelis accept Israel as their political home. If and when they finally get around to drafting a constitution, there's no doubt that it will include the standard Western verbiage about equal rights; so while Umkahlil would probably beg to differ, it's clear that among those Arabs most familiar with it, Israel is largely accepted. I'd assume that any polling of any minority in a state where one ethnic group predominates would hesitate to name priorities other than minority rights, so these numbers are quite remarkable.

                    Maybe it's time for their brethren to accept that; oh, and to build some actual democracies. If the best they have is Lebanon, there's some distance yet to travel until they reach accepted standards of governance and democratic participation; see my remarks about our diarist's home of Bahrain, below.

                    "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                    by MBNYC on Sun May 06, 2007 at 05:01:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Key point (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rusty Pipes, Noah in NY, npbeachfun

                      What I think you fail to understand is that for Palestinian citizens of Israel equal rights would entail the repeal or modification of Israel's law of return, and implementation of Palestinian right of return.

                      •  Just curious (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Keith Moon, jhritz

                        ...where's the data point that supports that reading of it? I don't see that in the text you provide.

                        "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                        by MBNYC on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:16:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Read the link.. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Rusty Pipes, Noah in NY

                          ..in my earlier post "Constitution by Consensus", but besides that, it's common knowledge that Palestinian citizens of Israel consider the most discriminatory law in Israel toward Arabs is Israel's law of return.

                          •  Even if they "consider" it discriminatory... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MBNYC

                            ...that does not mean it discriminates against them.

                            Arab Israelis are entitled to all the same rights of citizenship as Jewish Israelis.  The question of who is allowed to become a citizen is a different question.

                            The law of return simply does not deprive an Arab resident of Haifa or anywhere else in Israel of any rights or privileges.

                          •  I suppose you mean this? (0+ / 0-)

                            From your link(.pdf):

                            In the "Jewish and democratic" state envisioned by supporters of the "Constitution by Consensus," the law of return and Jewish immigration would be central. Similarly, the Zionist identity of Israel is fundamental to their formulation. Results from our survey indicate that 95% of all Arab participants in the sample believe that Jewish immigrants have no right to come to this country. With such a high percentage, one can safely conclude that there are no significant differences between various segments of Arab society – Druze, Bedouin, and other Arabs.
                            Furthermore, when participants were asked to what extent eight issues evoke in them a sense of security or a sense of concern on a five point scale (one indicating high concern, and five a high sense of security), the issue which induced the highest sense of concern was Jewish immigration (an average of 1.5 on the five-point scale), with very little difference between the various Arab groups.

                            Can't say that I'm surprised, because again, this would be in line with what we know of the opinions of minority populations in general; you'd probably find similar numbers if you polled Latinos in the U.S. on aspects of immigration policy. However, given Israel's role as a refuge for Jews worldwide, I don't see that any compromise is possible on the law of return. The political task for Israel, then, is to use the broad area of political acceptance and build on it. There are policy solutions that could do that, because my sense would be that Arab discontent with immigration policy arises from the perceived threat of further enhancement of their minority status. A broad civil rights law could allay those fears; in especially as, as JPhurst notes above, Arabs do have all the rights of citizenship. I don't read these findings, which are from a separate poll, as contradicting the basic findings of the IDI poll; this is a policy question, not a fundamental one. If I read the scale right, Arabs are concerned, but not as concerned as some here would have them be.

                            "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

                            by MBNYC on Mon May 07, 2007 at 07:37:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  If you believe that (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            varro, unfounded, MBNYC, zemblan, jhritz

            then why is this your idea of the map of Palestine?

            "I hate Illinois Nazis" - Jake

            by dfb1968 on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:10:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  why bother (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    npbeachfun, esquimaux, Diaries, umkahlil

    with human rights and justice ?
    This always happens to someone else.....
    What are you going to do when you are next ?

    Blame God and you'll get away with anything.

    by langerdang on Sun May 06, 2007 at 12:26:53 PM PDT

  •  the truth is bad enough: (12+ / 0-)

    you don't need to exaggerate it.

    The report states that it is:

    "based on the testimonies of 73 Palestinian residents of the West Bank who were arrested between July 2005 and January 2006 and interrogated by the ISA. Although it is not a representative sample, it does provide a valid indication of the frequency of the reported phenomena."

    It further states:

    "About two thirds of the witnesses (49 of 73) reported that they had undergone at least one of these forms of abuse, which are defined by international law as ill-treatment and may reach the level of torture."

    You summarize this as:

    A report released today by two Israeli human rights organizations (B'Tselem and HaMoked) charges Shin Bet security service in regularly torturing almost all Palestinian detainees.

    The hyperbole simply isn't necessary. The situation is damning enough if you just report it accurately. Attempting to push the envelope just encourages nit-picking.

    That said, let me add that I am against the use of torture (or "abuse") by the Israeli government. Alleged "ticking bomb" scenario or no. And I would think that anybody who opposes the torture policies of the US government, should oppose those of Israel as well. And those of any other government, or group, or person, anywhere.

    •  I recommend- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness

      Because I agree with most of you points.

      IMHO I dont care if its "almost all" or 2 out of 3 people: That suffer and are tortured, makes little difference to me- It is FAR too many.  

      "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

      by npbeachfun on Sun May 06, 2007 at 09:55:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ....please do (0+ / 0-)

        I have family all over Israel so if a 4,000year old mixed city is not your thing- I can find you a more "Western" place~

        I dont know if you saw this but I love and miss, my old city by the sea....

        "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

        by npbeachfun on Mon May 07, 2007 at 09:51:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sorry wrong post Im an ass- (0+ / 0-)

        "people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same" George Orwell~1984

        by npbeachfun on Mon May 07, 2007 at 09:52:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Funny how those torture methods (6+ / 0-)

    sound almost exactly like what the US was doing at Abu Ghraib and continues to do at Guantanamo...

  •  Three points. (9+ / 0-)

    First, the diarist has misrepresented the B'tselem-Hamoked Report. According to the diarist:

    The report "charges Shin Bet security service in regularly torturing almost all Palestinian detainees."

    Not so. The report claims: "About two thirds of the witnesses (49 of 73) reported that they had undergone at least one of these forms of abuse, which are defined by international law as ill-treatment and may reach the level of torture."

    The additional measures are used, the Report believes, "probably [against] those [prisoners] considered 'ticking bombs'," that is, when it is believed that a prisoner has information about an imminent terror attack.

    "These measures are defined as torture under international law. Their use is not negligible, even if not routine."


    Second, routine ill-treatment is bad enough. To the extent Israeli authorities engage in or countenance violations of legal norms, much less actual torture, they ought to be condemned. Moreover, it does no good to point with pride to Israeli court decisions proscribing torture without taking care to see that these decisions are enforced.

    But the diarist hurts his own credibility by misrepresenting the Report's findings. Also, the response of the Justice Ministry should have been noted:

    "The report is fraught with mistakes, groundless claims and inaccuracies," the ministry said, adding that it was "based on unrepresentative examples chosen in a tendentious way to distort the existing reality."

    But blanket denials are insufficient. The recent Winograd Committee report once again demonstrates Israel's ability to investigate itself at the highest levels. A similar investigation is called for on this issue.

    Third, what is to be done? Proper treatment of prisoners, of course. But the aim should be creating a situation in which Israel does not feel constrained to take and hold Palestinian prisoners. This means achieving an end-of-conflict peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

    The general shape of the final status is well-known. One has only to consult the Clinton Peace Parameters or the Geneva Initiative: a free and independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

    Getting there, that's the problem. The diarist could make at least a small contribution in that direction by acknowledging the need for a two-state settlement and the compromises on both sides achieving it necessarily entails.

    Al Gore should be president.

    by another American on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:15:15 PM PDT

    •  Pretzel much? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa, npbeachfun

      I've never seen such a twisted set of arguments...

      •  Except for your logic (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        livosh1, MBNYC, Keith Moon, jhritz

        that's pretty twisted too.

      •  No. (5+ / 0-)

        Point 1 is entirely empirical. Just read the report and you'll see how the diarist distorts it.

        Point 2 itself has three parts:

        • condemnation of wrongful practices

        • the factual point that the diarist has failed to provide the government's response

        • my opinion that the government's response is insufficient.

        Point 3 advocates a free and independent Palestine alongside Israel.

        You're welcome to disagree with my opinions. But what is twisted?

        Al Gore should be president.

        by another American on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:00:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's twisted is the way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          npbeachfun, Sabbah

          you insist on disagreeing with the way the diarist makes the point while acknowledging that the point is -- for the most part -- factually accurate.

          blueness faced similar problems in his/her post, which made almost the exact same point as yours (albeit posted twenty minutes before you).  However, s/he avoided your problems by simply pointing out the apparent inconsistency between the report and the diarist's summary, and then stating his/her own opinion.

          Your problem came from attempting a sustained refutation of the diarist's argument.  Unfortunately, the inconsistency you object to simply isn't that great.  Two-thirds is certainly not "almost all," but it is "most."  There's a bit of slippage there, but the diarist in fact is pointing to a very serious problem faced by Palestinians in Israeli custody.

          You'd be better off simply agreeing with him, while chiding him gently on the mis-statement.

          But you can't do that, can you?  Sabbah, after all, is Palestinian...

          •  twist and shout . . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            litho, sofia, callmecassandra

            Two-thirds is certainly not "almost all," but it is "most."  There's a bit of slippage there, but the diarist in fact is pointing to a very serious problem faced by Palestinians in Israeli custody.

            It is a serious problem. And in this arena, the combatants are always looking for some edge, no matter how slight, with which to grab and throw the opponent. That's why I suggested to the diarist that it was unnecessary, and in fact counterproductive, to stretch "two-thirds" into "almost all." I mean, jeebus, two-thirds is bad enough!

            I'd also suggest to aA, if he's (he, right?) reading, that it's probably pretty silly to suggest that "the response of the Justice Ministry should have been noted." To me, this is the equivalent of "noting" the response of BushCo to torture allegations. Or the beastie boys of Putin. Or the armtwisters of Syria, Iran, or the PA. Fact is, once any government has definitively been proved to have engaged in torture--and it is a fact that Israel has--you just can't believe what it says anymore.

            I diaried yesterday about how the Canadian government, confronted by a statement from one of its own colonels that prisoners it had transferred to Afghan troops had been beaten, responded by calling the beatings "roughhousing."

            That's what governments do, when confronted with accusations of torture. Lie. Twist. Belittle. Deny. Hair-split. Not just the US government. Not just the Israeli government. All governments.

            I'll note here too, because I don't want to pop in all up and down the thread, that I am thoroughly disheartened by my fellow "Is" here in this diary whose only response to this piece is to denounce it as "propaganda," and/or deny that it has any connection to Democratic politics. Defend Israel, all you want, and by all means, but please do not defend it when it engages in abuse and torture. We cannot countenance from Israel what we daily blister on this blog BushCo for. Torture is wrong wherever it occurs, for whatever reason. In our demand that BushCo cease engaging in torture and conform to international law, implicit is the further demand that all nations so conform.

            "Is" here become enraged--justifiably, in my view--when "Ps" seek somehow to "explain" suicide bombing. The moral high ground is lost if somehow there is an attempt to "explain," "ignore," or simply denounce as "propaganda," Israeli abuse and torture.

            (P.S. For future reference, litho, I'm a "he." ; )

            •  Respectfully disagree. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Five Thirty, zemblan

              Just as we as Democrats treat any reportage from Faux News with a healthy dash of suspicion, so we should treat this diarist and his efforts with circumspection; which is what you're seeing here. I don't see a single comment here defending or promoting torture; what I do see is studied indifference to any comparable activities on the other side - to use that expression with all its faults - including judicial murder, murder of gays, the human rights record of our diarist's jurisdiction, and so on and so forth.

              The simple fact is that these diaries are uniformly characterized by a special pleading and distortion that makes even Faux News look like a paragon of journalistic virtue; pointing that out does not entail a value judgment on what the diary text is about. In the reality-based community, we should be averse to overt propaganda, of the kind presented here and elsewhere; I'm thinking specifically of this diarist's recent effort, Portrait of a Great Taboo: The Power of the Israel Lobby in the United States. It's completely at odds with our understanding of ourselves as Progressives to take this offering out of the context established by the diarist's history, which shows not a willingness to critique or discuss policy, but rather a disturbing propensity for Murdochian, agenda-focused propaganda. It's not just that the diarist doesn't mention the critique of the Justice Ministry, but there's also no discussion of the reaction of the Israeli public; presumably because that reaction is negative, which wouldn't further the diarist's goals. That's Rush Limbaugh territory.

              There's a difference between making that observation and defending torture, methinks. The simple fact is that the nature of the I/P discussion on DKos, precisely because it has become such a partisan cesspit, is not conducive to any issue that could lend itself to such partisanship; and as far as Israel's human rights record is concerned, I'd suggest that it's precisely the concern-trolling of the advocates that makes any realistic or Progressive discussion impossible.

              "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

              by MBNYC on Mon May 07, 2007 at 08:19:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  49 vs. 10,000 (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JPhurst, dvo, unfounded, MBNYC, zemblan, jhritz

        The only pretzel-like twisted logic is to take 49 cases and claim that that's almost 10,756.  Next time I have to pay my rent, I should pay $12 and say that according to Sabbah and Litho, that's almost all of the $1,478 monthly rent!

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Sun May 06, 2007 at 07:54:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whoever changed the tags on this diary (9+ / 0-)

    should recall what MissLaura wrote back on April 25:

    First, and most importantly, you need to know that tag abuse is a bannable offense.  If an administrator sees you've engaged in tag abuse, you will be formally warned. Repeat abuses can result in banning at any time without a follow-up warning. This diary should be taken as a warning in itself - now that we are unequivocally on the record about this, we will be more willing to take action against tag abusers the first time we see it.

    So do not express your dislike of a diary or diarist in tags.  Reserve that for the comments.

    Tag abuse includes deletion of tags in order to replace them with "troll diary."  We have been tolerating the addition of the "troll diary" tag without appreciating it, but if it continues to be applied to diaries that are not clearly, absolutely, 100% definitely troll diaries, its use will be prohibited as something that starts a lot more fights than it is worth.

    I don't know what the original tags on this diary were, but I can guarantee you it wasn't "Propaganda."

    I am changing the tags to "Israel, Palestine, Prisoner abuse, Torture."  I do not know if those are the ones the diarist intended, and I welcome him to come back and put the correct tags back on.  I am also sending an email to MissLaura advising her that tag abuse may be occurring in this diary.  Whoever is doing it should stop.

  •  Meanwhile in Palestine.... (5+ / 0-)

    ...Palestinian authorities have summarily executed a man accused of collaborating with Israelis.

    And of course, Hamas isn't exactly abiding by the Geneva Conventions by refusing to allow outside communication with Gilad Shalit.

    But our diarists like to give Palestinians special pleading.  Because they can't do any wrong.

  •  So here's the funny thing. (5+ / 0-)

    Our diarist, per his blog, hails from Bahrain, a tiny feudal despotate on the Persian Gulf. So I'm just going to come right out and question what this diary is doing on an American blog about American issues and more specifically, the furtherance of the interests of one American political party. This because the gentleman that wrote this has no connection to America whatsoever that I can see, and he's not even writing about us or to us - he's trashing one of our trusted allies, for reasons that have nothing to do with this country.

    As Shane says, this is pure propaganda. What grates especially is that our diarist, like all residents of almost all Arab states, has some human rights issues a little bit closer to home. From the Department of State 2006 human rights report on Bahrain:

    The following human rights problems were reported:

    • inability to change the government
    • political parties prohibited
    • impunity
    • restrictions on civil liberties--freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association
    • lengthy pretrial detention
    • lack of judicial independence
    • allegations of corruption in the judicial system
    • discrimination based on gender, religion, sect, and ethnicity
    • infringement of citizens' privacy rights
    • restrictions on freedom of religion and of movement
    • violence against women
    • trafficking
    • restrictions on labor rights

    For the first time, the government allowed a local human rights organization to inspect prison conditions.

    The most recent HRW report on Bahrain is headlined simply: Bahrain: Activists face prison for political leaflets.

    So, as I said, propaganda, and not particularly good propaganda at that. Our diarist is probably scared to write about the appalling conditions nearer home; bad things happen to people that criticize the government of his country. Most Arab countries, in fact. It's easier to pontificate on an American blog about Israel, of course. Shergald sure can pick them. And while you're looking at Sabbah's blog with the Shergald apparition, take a look at this comment, which I've also pointed out before.

    "I have not been so cowardly as to keep silent". - Alexis de Tocqueville

    by MBNYC on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:42:42 PM PDT

  •  This diarist IS speaking to America (5+ / 0-)

    "Our diarist, per his blog, hails from Bahrain, a tiny feudal despotate on the Persian Gulf. So I'm just going to come right out and question what this diary is doing on an American blog about American issues and more specifically, the furtherance of the interests of one American political party. This because the gentleman that wrote this has no connection to America whatsoever that I can see, and he's not even writing about us or to us - he's trashing one of our trusted allies, for reasons that have nothing to do with this country."

    First point: The U.S. military relationship with Bahrain began in 1949, with the stationing of three naval warships in the country. Since then, Bahrain has allowed an increased U.S. military presence and facilitated U.S. access to the Middle East in times of crisis, such as the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and Operation Desert Storm. In 1995, Bahrain became the headquarters for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

    Second point:  The diarist is an uprooted Palestinian who lives in Bahrain because he cannot live in the country where his family hails from because Israel will not allow him to return there.

    Third Point: This may be an American blog, but it is America which gives more money per capita in foreign aide to Israel than all other countries combined.  
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/...
    The estimate of daily U.S. aid to Israel is based on the minimal total aid to Israel during 2006 reported the Washington Report article "A Conservative Estimate of Total Direct U.S. Aid to Israel: $108 Billion," by Shirl McArthur.

    Fourth Point: This gentleman CERTAINLY has a connection to the US because he is at the recieving end of US foreign policy.  Now combined with the fact that he is posting here as a representative of the recieving end of US policy and it seems to be his intended purpose to educate the voters of America, and this site consists of VOTERS who elect those who are responsible for implementing our foreign policy.  

    Fifth point:  Is it not true in America that it is our right as American citizens to question our politicians?  Why is it that Israel is just so easily dubbed "our most trusted ally".  Have any of you ever asked the question why? But more importantly, questioned the reasons given when you ask this question?  Because it does not take too much digging to find that the reasons given for our blind support of Israel are mostly false.  If you would wish, you might try listening to those in Israel itself who oppose their government's actions and those here in the States such as Jews for Peace and Peace Now, LARGE groups of Jewish individuals who abhor their government's policies against the Palestinians.  

    Sixth Point: "For reasons that have nothing to do with this country" Well, I hope the above information clearly shows that the torture of Palestinians in Israel DOES have something to do with us, because it is the US that PAYS for Israel to continue with these policies by the HUGE foreign aide package we give them.  

    Seventh Point: (my own) As a life-long Democrat, I will be questioning and questioning ANY Democratic candidate on their position on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.  As someone who expects my party to stand for human rights, that is the LEAST I can do to hold their feet to the fire when they claim they are one thing but on the other hand continue to be unbalanced in this matter.

    •  Wow, you're on a rant! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Five Thirty, MBNYC, zemblan

      First point:  Agreed.  And that shows that Bahrain benefits as much, if not more, from US aid as Israel.  See below.

      Second:  The diarist is not "uprooted."  He is by his own description born in Jordan and living in Bahrain.  It's kind of like saying that I'm an "uprooted Belarussian."

      Third:  The only reason American foreign aid to Israel is comparatively high is that we classify it as "foreign aid" while classify other assistance protecting our allies as "defense spending."  It costs a lot more to keep the Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, protecting our despotic oil buddies, than does the annual aid package to Israel.

      Fourth:  He lives in a country that receives direct U.S. military protection.  We assist Israel via aid.  We assist Bahrain by putting our soldiers directly in harm's way.  So yeah, he's on the receiving end of foreign policy.  To that I say "You're welcome."

      Fifth:  Of course we can question our politicians.  Such questions should be intelligent.

      Sixth:  The Israeli aid package largely goes to purchase military equipment which is used to defend against threats.  As far as I know it doesn't go to hiring Shin Bet interrogators.

      Seventh:  Go ahead and question.  Most Americans I know, Democratic or Republican, will do so as well, and expect our politicians to support democratic countries who are being attacked by eliminationist regimes.  Which means they support Israel.

  •  Thanks for the diary, Sabbah! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel, sofia, umkahlil

    The reality-based community benefits from learning about realities from reports by B'Tselem, Israel's leading Human Rights monitoring organization.

    Evenhanded Democrats, because "the role of honest broker must once again be played by Washington"

    by Rusty Pipes on Mon May 07, 2007 at 08:35:00 AM PDT

  •  I didn't realize I was "ranting" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sofia, callmecassandra, umkahlil

    I'm new here, so I wasn't aware that addressing commenter's comments was a "rant".  I also didn't know that self-claimed Progressive Democrats had taken up the Hannity/Limbaugh tactic of attacking the messenger because it is a preferred method rather than using one's "noodle" to discuss a topic.

    "It costs a lot more to keep the Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, protecting our despotic oil buddies, than does the annual aid package to Israel."
    and......
    " So yeah, he's on the receiving end of foreign policy.  To that I say "You're welcome."

    Funny thing is I didn't know that Sabbah was a "despotic oil buddy", the same ones referred to by the other poster who instead of discussing the subject presented here told the diarist he should be addressing problems in Bahrain (and went on to list abuses there)

    Sorry, but you cannot have it both ways.  Say again, you want him to THANK you for "protecting despotic oil buddies"

    As for the term "uprooted Palestinian", I DO suppose that if YOUR family was forced to flee in a war in which you lost your country and NO ONE from that generation downward could EVER return there to live, you MIGHT think in terms of being "uprooted" also.

    And please, WHO is the Fifth Fleet and all other such US entities in the Middle East protecting, THE UNITED STATES via propping up despotic governments as you stated yourself who are IN BED with US business interests.  I guess those "locals" just ought to be greatful for all this "protection"

    "Progressive Democrats" also RAIL against Bush thwarting the UN, yet..

    "On Nov. 11, 2006 the United States for the 38th time since 1972 used its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel from condemnation for murdering Palestinian civilians in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun."http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/u_s__won_t_condemn.html

    As for the torture victims being discussed here:
    "Israel’s Attorney General receives 40 torture complaints in past year, investigates none"(date Nov 6,2006)
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/...

     

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