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Since the beginning of the illegal occupation of West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza (the Occupied Palestinian Territories or OPT), over 700,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel.*

This is approximately 20 percent of the population of the OPT.

Over 40% of the male population of the OPT has been imprisoned.

On 30 November 2010, the Israeli authorities held 5741 prisoners and detainees on that day. 4652 were serving sentences, 162 were detained, 3 were detained under legal combatant laws, 719 were detained until the conclusion of legal proceedings, and there were 205 administrative detainees. The data excludes those held on criminal counts.  

In December 2010, 30 children under the age of 16 and 180 children between 16 and 18 were held in custody by the Israeli security forces. Palestinian children under the age of 18 are considered adults in violation of Israeli law and in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child.

There has been a decline in the number of political prisoners held in 2010 over previous years, particularly those held in administrative dentention. However, this does not change the injustices inflicted by the legal system in the OPT, which criminalises political views and expression in violation of international laws as well as Israeli law within the Green Line.

The legal system under which these men, women and children are detained and imprisoned is certainly different to that in Israel and more properly resembles a police state or martial law. The military authorities of the OPT set the regulations under which Palestinians must live. Notice of new military regulations is not given and only known when implemented. The military commander is able to make new military regulations at whim. According to Miftah:

The military tribunals that try Palestinians are located within Israeli military centers in the Occupied Territories, and a panel of three judges appointed by the military presides over the cases. These tribunals usually lack governance by legally trained judges and rarely fall within the required international standards of fair trial.

Those arrested are routinely handcuffed and blindfolded (remember the detainee facebook photo scandal?) According to Addameer a Palestinian prisoner's support group,

They are not informed of the reason for their arrest, nor are they told where they will be taken. Physical abuse and humiliation of the detainee by Israeli forces is common. Based on numerous sworn affidavits, detainees have reported that they have been submitted to attempted murder, rape, thrown down stairs while blindfolded, amongst many other forms of physical abuse. During the arrest, detainees have often been forced to strip in public before being arrested. Family members have also been forced to remove their clothes in house to house arrest campaign raids.

Palestinian prisoners are now removed from the OPT to prisons and detention centers within the Green Line, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventions (esp. articles 31-33). They are often held in unhygenic and unsanitary conditions, and their families have often are unable to visit them due to travel restrictions. Detainees can be denied access to an attorney and according to a recent study, up to 90% of detainees interrogated by Shin Bet are not allowed to consult a lawyer even when they are legally permitted to do so.

Those placed under administrative detention are arrested under Military Order 1226 which allows detention for security reasons for 6 months. Just before expiration, the 6 months are extended again and this can occur indefinitely.  

Detainees and prisoners are also subjected to various forms of torture such as:

Routine: sleep deprivation, shabeh (position abuse), in which detainees are shackled to a chair in painful positions, squeezing of handcuffs, beatings, slaps, kicks, physical and psychological threats and humiliation;

Special methods: the body tied in a contorted and extremely painful position, pressure on different parts of the body, strongly shaking the detainee after being shackled for a long period of time, head covered with a filthy, soiled sack, strangulation and other means of suffocation, pulling of hair, multiple humiliations;

Inside the cells: sleep deprivation, handcuffed to the bed, exposure to extreme temperatures, prolonged and continuous exposure to artificial light, solitary confinement, tear gas inside the cells, inhuman detention conditions. See here and here.

The evidence obtained from torture is lawful and can be used in court. This treatment is in violation of the UN Convention Against Torture. Detained children often receive similar treatment.

The following is one child's story of arrest and administrative detention. Emad Al-Ashhab was 17 years old when he left Hebron with his father on a journey on 21 February, 2010 to visit the Bedouin area of Al-Khan al-Ahmar between the Israeli settlements Maale Adoumim and Kfar Adumim. At 9:30am they reached the Container Checkpoint between Bethlehem and Ramallah by bus.

Eventually, the soldiers stopped Emad’s bus. They asked to see all passengers’ identity cards. After a few minutes they asked Emad to get off the bus and without providing any explanation, they took him to a provisional detention room located at the checkpoint. Emad’s father waited three hours without being informed of the reasons for his son’s detention. Each time he made an attempt to inquire about his son’s well-being, the soldiers ignored his questions. Eventually, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Emad’s father decided to leave the Container Checkpoint and continue towards his work to alert a human rights lawyer of his son’s arrest.

Emad was kept, without food or water, in the provisional detention room at the Container Checkpoint until 1:00 p.m. During this time, he was not allowed to use the bathroom once. He was told to wait in a chair with both his feet and hands shackled. At 1:00 p.m., Emad was transferred to a different location but was not informed where. In an affidavit given to Addameer attorney Anan Odeh, Emad reported that during the transfer to the undisclosed location the Israeli soldiers covered his face with a woolen bag and beat him with a stick all over his body while both his hands and feet remained shackled. The soldiers also burnt his hand with cigarettes while they tightened the shackles around his wrists. From the first undisclosed location, Emad was then transferred to a second detention center, but again was not informed of its name or location. Later that evening Emad was transferred for a third time, and at approximately 7:00 p.m., he arrived in Etzion Detention and Interrogation Center near Bethlehem. At this point, he was allowed to use the bathroom for the first time all day.

Emad was held at Etzion for five days; during this period he was also taken to Ofer Military Base near Ramallah for interrogation sessions. Officers from the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) questioned him during these sessions about his political affiliations, but Emad denied all of the interrogators’ suspicions. Under the Israeli military orders that govern the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), membership in an organization – be it a political party or a charitable organization – that is declared illegal by the Israeli military commander is considered an offense and is classified as a "hostile terrorist activity"....On the fifth day of his interrogation, Emad was handed his first administrative detention order, informing him that he would be held without charge or trial.

Emad since had 4 renewals of his adminsitrative detention order with no charges laid against him. He has seen his family rarely and has not received the physiotherapy treatment necessary for Erb's Palsy, a condition he has suffered since birth. His current order is due to expire on 4 February 2011 when it will either be renewed or he will be released.

Emad is one of thousands who have not committed a crime yet are treated like criminals or worse. He has no blood on his hands yet he has spent almost a year in prison. While many Palestinians are detained for their activities (being a PLC member, protesting land and resource theft, political activity against the occupation) Emad's crime appears to be just being Palestinian and knowing Palestinians.

I would like Israel and Israelis to see the perverse logic of their actions towards occupied Palestinians. Before any peace can be made, Israel must decriminalize Palestinian political speech and activity. It must make working for Palestinian rights acceptable and not subject to military arrest, trial and detention. By continuing this aspect of the occupation, Israel sends the message to Palestinians that their desires and rights are not valid or legitimate. That Israeli security is a far greater need than justice for Palestinians. To continue to frame the subjugation of Palestinians as a security issue is to misunderstand the security situation that Israel finds itself in with regard to the Palestinians and it privileges the security needs of Israelis over political and human rights of Palestinians.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Note*The Israeli authorities no longer provide data on the total number of prisoners held but only the statistics on prisoners held on a certain day each month.
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About this series:
Adalah (Arabic for "justice") is a diary series about the Arab-Israeli conflict. The authors of this series believe that a just resolution respecting the rights and dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis is the only viable option for peace. Our diary entries will consist of news roundup and analysis. We invite you to discuss them in the comments or contribute with stories from the area which deserve attention. We ask only that you be respectful and that the number of meta comments be kept as close to nil as possible.

When dk4 comes out, we will create a group (called, surprise!, Adalah), which we hope you will follow. Until then you can follow the experimental version on the beta site, which can be found here.

Originally posted to Fire bad tree pretty on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 04:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

    by Fire bad tree pretty on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 04:29:57 AM PST

  •  Thank You for the Justice series (16+ / 0-)

    I'll be looking for the Adalah Group on DK4

  •  Sad But Excellent Diary (14+ / 0-)

    When does the horror end?

    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can always be honest.

    by mattman on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:02:57 AM PST

  •  This is a story that needs telling (12+ / 0-)

    Thank you for an informative and provocative piece. A question, though: Are Israeli forces operating in the Occupied Territories subject to Israeli law? The question is moot since international law is also clearly being violated, but I'd like to know the official extent of Israeli jurisdiction.

  •  "child" (2+ / 0-)

    I don't think anyone seriously believes a 16 or 17-year old Hamas member doesn't know what he's doing.

    •  I also don't think (18+ / 0-)

      anyone seriously believes IDF forces shooting and killing Palestinian pre-teen children don't know what they're doing.  Though I don't see what either has to do with the diary.

      When we are all Julian Assange, we will be free.

      by Kingsmeg on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 06:31:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Israel had any proof that (13+ / 0-)

      Emad was/is a member of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, then he would have been charged with that, since membership of a terrorist association is one of the more common charges made against Palestinians by Israel. However, the fact that his interrogators went on a fishing expedition while questioning him, trying to elicit information on others, suggests that they were using a common tactic - to try to scare people into giving information against others to save their own skin and perhaps becoming informers once they get out of prison.

      Palestinian children over the age of 16 are considered adult by Israel and treated accordingly. This has been repeatedly condemned (see this European Parliament resolution from 2008 for once instance) as a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is a signatory.

      "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

      by Fire bad tree pretty on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:00:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are ALL children subject (5+ / 0-)

        to the same treatment at the age of 16 according to Israeli law?

        Palestinian children over the age of 16 are considered adult by Israel and treated accordingly.

        the diaries that time put in a safe place

        by InAntalya on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:23:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Israeli law considers a child a minor (7+ / 0-)

          until he or she is 18.  Israeli military lawtreats a child as an adult beginning at the age of 16, and "criminal" activity including membership in a Palestinian political movement, can allow the Israeli military courts to hand down sentences as long as ten years.  

          While the minimal age for criminal liability is 12 for both Israelis and Palestinians, under the Israeli justice system, a person is a minor until age 18, but under the military justice system for Palestinians, a person is a minor only until 16.

          Military order 132 on "judging juvenile delinquents" lists three categories for minors: A "child" is under 12, a "youth" is between the ages of 12 and 14, and "young adults" are between ages 14 and 16.

          According to military law, the is no statute of limitations on offenses by Palestinians, even if the suspect committed the offense when he or she was a minor. Kuzmar said he once represented a 17-year-old who was tried for throwing a Molotov cocktail when he was younger than 12.

          While the new order ostensibly sets a two-year statute of limitations for offenses committed by minors, it also allows the military prosecutor to overrule this: "A man should not be tried for an offense committed when he was a minor if two years have elapsed, unless the main military prosecutor agrees to the trial," it states.

          Kuzmar, who has been defending minors in Israeli military courts for 11 years, said that in his experience, the military prosecution, as the prosecuting branch of an occupying power, does not pass on opportunities to try Palestinians.

          The order also does not change how the court hands down sentences, which are set based on the age of the person at the time of the trial, not at the time of the offense. Clause 132 states that "youths" between ages 12-14 at the time of their conviction can be sentenced to jail terms of no more than six months, while "young adults" can be sentenced to up to a year.

          However, the same clause makes an exception for "offenses punishable by more than five years imprisonment." Kuzmar says this covers a wide arrange of offenses, including stone-throwing (10 to 20 years) and membership in a prohibited organization (10 years).

          Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

          by soysauce on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 12:59:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only rule is there are no rules? It's amazing (7+ / 0-)

            they even bother to codify anything.

            As Nixon said, "If the President does it that means that it's not illegal."

            "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

            by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:18:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i.e. from the description they codify a universal (7+ / 0-)

              exception right along with the rules.  I always thought that the rules were codified and the indiscriminate application of the rules was because they were simply ignored with impunity.  

              Turns out the rules were being followed.

              Curiouser and curiouser.

              "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

              by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:29:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It rivals East Germany's Stasi. (8+ / 0-)

                One day all the documentation of the Israeli system will come to light and we will all wonder why it took so long to come down.  

                Look at some of these examples of military law:

                Selected Examples of the 2500 Military Orders
                Governing Palestinians
                Military Order #818--establishes how Palestinians can plant decorative flowers.

                Military Order # 998--requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to make a withdrawal from their bank accounts.

                Military Order #93 and amendment--gives all Palestinian insurance business to the Israeli Insurance Syndicate.

                Military Order #96--forbids transport or purchase of goods on a donkey.

                Military Order # 537--removes democratically elected Mayors of West Bank cities from their positions.

                Military Order # 811 and #847--allows Jews to purchase land from unwilling Palestinian sellers by using a ‘power of attorney.’

                Military Order # 25--forbids public inspection of land transactions.

                Military Order # 58--makes land transactions immune to review so long as the transaction was carried out by an Israeli ‘acting in good faith.’

                Military Order # 58, Article 5--says any land transaction will not be voided even if proven to be invalid.

                Military Order #101--forbids a gathering of more than 10 people unless the Israeli military receives advance notice with names of all participants.

                Military Order #107--bans publications of works on Arabic grammar, histories of the Crusades and works on Arab nationalism.

                More absurdity here.

                Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

                by soysauce on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 08:21:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I just never grasped how seamless/crystalline (9+ / 0-)

                  the occupation is.  Apologies if you've posted this link before.  I never got to it.

                  More on the "process" from your link (great summary, btw):

                  Use of Military Courts to Suppress Opposition
                  • From 2002 to 2006, Israel’s military courts filed more than 43,000 indictments against Palestinians, of which only one third were security-related.
                  • Israel’s military courts do not comply with international standards of due process.
                  • There is no ‘presumption of innocence,’ placing the burden of proof on the defense.
                  • Palestinian defendants are not informed of charges against them until their firstcourt hearing. Defendants and their attorneys are then expected to respondimmediately, with no time to study the indictment.
                  • Indictments are written and presented in Hebrew – a language most defendants do not understand.
                  • Court decisions can be based on ‘secret evidence’ not provided to a detainee or his or her lawyer.
                  • Decisions of the court are not published.
                  • All judges are Israeli military officers, many without legal background or education.
                  • If a defendant refuses to plea-bargain, the result is a far more severe penalty.
                  • 95% to 97% of convictions are the result of plea bargains.
                  • The average hearing lasts just 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
                  • In 2006, the acquittal rate for Palestinian defendants was only 0.29%.

                  On water, I never knew that Israel had erected a physical barrier in the Gaza aquifer to stop surface water from recharging the aquifer.  I thought they just pumped so much that Gaza wells became brackish.  One's rationalize-able (maybe).  The other is just evil.

                  Gaza Aquifer, the only source of fresh water in the Gaza Strip
                  • Israel, through years of over-pumping deep-bore wells along the Gaza Strip, has drawn sewage and salt water contamination into the Gaza Aquifer.
                  • Israel has reduced natural recharge of the Gaza Aquifer by constructing a physical barrier or ‘verge’ to prevent fresh water from the Hebron Hills from reaching the Gaza Aquifer.
                  • Today 90 to 95% of the Gaza Aquifer is unfit for human consumption, much of it unfit even for irrigation or showering.
                  • Between 2000 and mid-2006, Israel destroyed 244 of Gaza’s wells and destroyed 6.2 miles of culinary water lines.
                  • By January 2008, 40% of the homes in Gaza had no running water.

                  And looking up that led to this:

                  The Palestinian-Israeli Joint Cooperation in the Water Sector
                  A need to Enhance Cooperation

                  By: M. Aiman Jarrar
                  General Director of Water Control
                  Palestinian Water Authority/West Bank
                  Former Member of the Joint Water Committee

                  ...In addition to the loss of more than 160 thousands dunums of the best agricultural lands in this stage of the wall, around 23 Palestinian wells pumping around 6.5 MCM/Yr which forms around 30% of the Palestinian share in the Western Aquifer Basin were lost inside the wall ... (Bolding mine.)

                  Highly coveted water on one hand.  Arcane and unappealable rules that would make Kafka blush on the other.  The more the water is coveted, the more control and/or diversion is needed, the more arcane the rules and process, the more prisoners.

                  Sorry to ramble OT (fbtp).  But the occupation seems like it is [is becoming?] self-constricting (this being just one specific/loop).  Is any of this realistically separable through negotiations?  Looks like a living example of the Gordian Knot parable.

                  Sooo, thanks for the link.  ;)

                  "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

                  by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:17:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Comments like this (3+ / 0-)

      show the desperation of you and your upraters.

  •  Thank you, Fbtp (18+ / 0-)

    Excellent work.   B'Tselemrecently came out with a report on Israel's illegal practices in it's treatment of Palestinian children suspected of rock-throwing in Silwan, East Jerusalem.   They reported the following:

    • Many arrests were made at night, by taking the minors from their beds and rushing them to interrogation at the Russian Compound, in most cases in order to obtain information on incidents that occurred a few days earlier.
    • Often, the interrogators prevented the parents from being present during the interrogation, although their right to be present is enshrined in law.
    • Many minors complained they were treated violently when they were taken from their home at night, and all the youths who gave testimonies to B'Tselem on their arrest by special forces reported severe violence at the time of arrest. Also, a few minors complained of violence and degradation while waiting to be interrogated at the Russian Compound. Their complaints of violence were disregarded or treated with scorn, and in the isolated cases in which the Department for the Investigation of Police opened an investigation, it was closed without any proceedings being taken against the persons responsible. B'Tselem knows of one case in which the investigation was carried out negligently, took a long time to complete, and did not include questioning of principal witnesses.
    • The police detained for questioning four minors under age 12, which is the age of criminal responsibility, meaning they are not subject to criminal proceedings. In one of the cases B'Tselem documented, an eight-year-old child was taken from his bed in the middle of the night only because his name was identical to that of another child who was suspected of throwing stones.
    •  Thanks for that sofia (12+ / 0-)

      It seems as though Palestinians in East Jerusalem are given the same treatment as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which is reflected in the fact that in 2008, according to B'Tselem, the Israeli authorities began to include Palestinians from East Jerusalem in their prisoner and detainee statistics.

      "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

      by Fire bad tree pretty on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When I was a kid, I threw rocks. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, Eiron

      I, my little brother, and all of our friends would throw rocks - at the side of our school building, other kids we didn't like, each other, even an occasional adult if we thought we could get away with it.  Had we the chance, we'd have thrown them at soldiers occupying our neighborhood.  But, there WERE no soldiers occupying our neighborhood.

      I don't believe for a second that the Pittsburgh Police would have arrested us for it unless they caught us breaking the windows of somebody's house or car - and then they'd only have taken us home to our parents who'd have had to pay for the damage.

      Taking children from their beds in the middle of the night is terrorism - pure terrorism.  Doing it because they are SUSPECTED of stone-throwing is even worse.

      Arresting children of ANY age for stone-throwing is a gross overreaction unless they've seriously harmed somebody.  Wasn't a Palestinian boy shot to death by a colonist for throwing stones?

      Are Israeli children (ALL Israeli children, not just SOME) subject to arrest for stone-throwing?  Anybody know?

      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      I support the Palestinians, so I may be suspended OR BANNED for it without notice or explanation.

      by Celtic Merlin on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:09:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. (15+ / 0-)

    Very good point the number of political prisoners held by Israel going down while the PA security apparatus strengthens.  Great work.

    Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

    by soysauce on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:55:37 AM PST

  •  Arresting minors, (13+ / 0-)

    holding them without charge, and torturing them takes a special kind of inhumanity.

    What other purpose do such actions have other than to terrorize the population? Sickening.

    Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

    by unspeakable on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:11:38 AM PST

    •  It is derived from need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rusty Pipes

      mostly to gather intelligence, the kids aren't criminals, but perhaps their parents, cousins, uncles, neighbors might be up to something.  The kids are easy to break, they spill, (even make stuff up to just satisfy the interrogtor and get out of there).  Adolescent males are easy targets for "the treatment".   They know stuff, but aren't hardened to interrogation.

      it also serves as an example to their peers.   "Fly straight or get your shit fucked up".  They think, who the fuck is this dude to come into my village and wreak this mayhem?  Kill my Abu by mistake?

      Unfortunately it radicalizes the strong ones, and inflicts despair on the weak ones, and another generation of terror militia is formed.

      Time to break the cycle.  

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:21:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fire Bad, Tree Pretty, (10+ / 0-)

    Diary Excellent.

    T&R

    Celtic Merlin
    Carlinist

    I support the Palestinians, so I may be suspended OR BANNED for it without notice or explanation.

    by Celtic Merlin on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 09:39:11 AM PST

  •  Comment and Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes

    First, thanks for the very good and informative diary.

    Question though that I haven't gotten a satisfactory answer yet to: What purpose does Israel have for this? "Terrorizing the population" doesn't seem to really serve much an interest for Israel honestly in this case, or at least not a primary one to justify all this.

    I can't give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma- Wizard of Oz; If you have half a brain you won't need a diploma- Frank Levey

    by weathercoins on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 01:39:32 PM PST

    •  The Israeli's and the IDF (0+ / 0-)

      are almost as much victims of dumbass and short sighted policy as are the palestinians.

      The IDF security forces need to quell, disrupt, prevent  violent acts, and the population is caught in a deteriorating  spiral of no win zone.  No opportunity, no respect, no future.  Non violent resistance begets violent reaction.  Violent resistance  gets violence.  No win.  
      it escalates, and gets worse.

      As long as the Israeli inkblot in the WB expands, it is a price Israel is willing to pay, even as the treasure of their humanity is expended.

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:27:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Palestinians (9+ / 0-)

      live under an occupation that is administered like a dictatorship. None of their rights are guaranteed, so all of them can be and are violated. And the main purpose for these arbitrary violations is demonstrate control and authority.

      Just read the testimonies of occupation soldiers themselves, which were collected by the group Breaking the Silence in one book that can be found here.

      Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

      by unspeakable on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:30:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the OPT absolutely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        under military rule + creeping displacement by colonists.  The entity with the power makes the rules.  Military law rules

        Within Israel behind the green line, it is civil law, albeit under "a state of emergency " which has existed since Independence, which allows near free reign to oppress an marginalize the Arab in the name of security.

        Lots of work to do to get it right.

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 03:37:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent and horrific and beyond (7+ / 0-)

    poignant diary, fbtp.  I would just quibble with this one statement of yours:

    It [Israel] must make working for Palestinian rights acceptable and not subject to military arrest, trial and detention.

    I agree with it completely.  But in addition I would go further and say that Israel must make Palestinians living their daily lives not subject to military arrest, trial and detention.

  •  Excellent diary, fbtp! (3+ / 0-)

    Well-researched and written -- an asset to the reality-based community.

    A small quibble with your concluding paragraph:

    I would like Israel and Israelis to see the perverse logic of their actions towards occupied Palestinians. Before any peace can be made, Israel must decriminalize Palestinian political speech and activity. It must make working for Palestinian rights acceptable and not subject to military arrest, trial and detention. By continuing this aspect of the occupation, Israel sends the message to Palestinians that their desires and rights are not valid or legitimate. That Israeli security is a far greater need than justice for Palestinians. To continue to frame the subjugation of Palestinians as a security issue is to misunderstand the security situation that Israel finds itself in with regard to the Palestinians and it privileges the security needs of Israelis over political and human rights of Palestinians.

    Israel's actions are not motivated by security, but by control.  "For security reasons" is the excuse for every repressive action taken by GOI against its own citizens and against Palestinians since the founding of the state.  "For security reasons" continue to be the reasons that Israel is a militarized society and that its civil institutions default to military rule without enforceable appeal.  Whatever parties have been in power, GOI has exploited the fears of its population in order to continue to act outside of not only International Law, but Israeli Law "for security reasons."  An external threat, real or imagined, is still necessary to keep the Israeli population fearful and willing to subordinate their civil rights and those of others, "for security reasons."

    It isn't nice to go to jail ... but if that's freedom's price

    by Rusty Pipes on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 01:45:11 PM PST

    •  I think this is a really important point, (3+ / 0-)

      as we saw with the Republicans after 9/11.

    •  Thanks Rusty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rusty Pipes, soysauce

      That's a really good point. To clarify: the reason that I put it they way I did is that I wanted to speak to what Israelis themselves say is the reason for this repressive apparatus they have put in place. I keep reading that 'security' is the reason that Israelis use to justify what is going on and absolve themselves from the moral consequences of the outcomes. Control is the mode through which the stated desire for security is implemented but by always focusing on it rather than how that security is achieved, I think that Israelis achieve a moral distance from the aim (security) to how the aim is achieved.

      I guess what I was ulitmately trying to say is that all this security is not making Israelis more secure.

      "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

      by Fire bad tree pretty on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 06:52:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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