Analysis News

New academic boycott effort — still the wrong target

Over 1,000 American anthropologists have signed onto a boycott Israel petition. What this type of activism fails to do is to target the occupation in its essence – as an international system, sustained by an array of multinational interests.

By Gil Hizi

Illustrative photo of boycott advocates. (Photo: Brian S / Shutterstock.com)

Illustrative photo of boycott advocates. (Photo: Brian S / Shutterstock.com)

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) will hold its annual conference in Washington DC next week. This year there are several panels scheduled to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian issue, with particular focus of how to promote sanctions on Israeli academic institutions. At present, almost 1,000 anthropologists have signed a petition in support of a boycott and the AAA will supply plenty of ink for scholars who wish to add their signature to the cause.

The occupation is a grave matter and international intervention is necessary. Yet what this type of signature-activism fails to do is to target the occupation in its essence – as an international system, sustained by an array of multinational interests.

The AAA petition explains how Israeli universities participate in the occupation. It demands very generally to end the siege on Gaza, to provide Palestinian refugees the “right of return” and to guarantee equal citizenship rights to Israeli Arabs. While one letter of reply from Israeli anthropologists supports this petition, the official response from the Israeli Anthropological Society is highly critical of the boycott. It laments that the AAA, the largest anthropological association in the world, is exercising its power over Israeli anthropologists and the fact that the boycott ignores the “complexity” of the conflict.

Read also: The academic boycott of Israel: No easy answers

Another response, a worldwide petition of anthropologists against the boycott, emphasizes that the occupation must end immediately and that Israel carries responsibility for the situation. Its criticism of BDS lies in the probability that sanctions will only serve the interests of the Israeli government, which wishes to mute radical voices inside local academia. Left-wing anthropologists such as Dan Rabinowitz, Edna Lomsky-Feder and Eyal Ben-Ari, who have all dedicated the last decades to criticizing Israeli institutional power, are supporters of this initiative.

While that second message expresses important ideas, even it fails to point out the...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Gaza quiet shows Hamas' pragmatism

Despite violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, for the past three months Hamas has maintained calm on the Gaza border — curbing rocket-fire against Israel.

By Aaron Magid

A Palestinian youth holds a mock rocket as thousands of Palestinians celebrate Hamas' 25th anniversary in the West Bank city of Hebron, December 14, 2012. This is the first time since 2007 that the Palestinian Authority has allowed Hamas to celebrate its anniversary in the West Bank. (photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth holds a mock rocket as thousands of Palestinians celebrate Hamas’ 25th anniversary in the West Bank city of Hebron, December 14, 2012.
This is the first time since 2007 that the Palestinian Authority has allowed Hamas to celebrate its anniversary in the West Bank. (photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Opponents of Hamas often accuse the Islamist organization of acting irrationally. In a National Review article titled, “Hamas’ Suicidal Tendencies,” the author writes, “[w]hy is Hamas pursuing such a self-destructive strategy? Ideology.” Yet, in the months since the Gaza war, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza has repeated its pragmatic approach by not launching rockets into Israel, instead choosing to downgrade its ideology so that it may fight Israel more effectively in the next war.

After the bloody summer war, the Gaza-Israel border has remained remarkably quiet. Hamas has deployed a special unit to guard its border with Israel and prevent smaller militant groups from shooting rockets at Israel. A Hamas security source told Al-Monitor, “Gaza’s border will not be violated by group firing rockets at Israel in light of a national consensus for a cease-fire.” Hamas security forces have been successful in preserving the calm — only one rocket has been fired in three months at Israel — despite the growing unrest in Jerusalem and the West Bank. After this rare cease-fire violation on October 31, Hamas criticized those responsible and quickly arrested the five suspected individuals. This dramatic reduction in Gaza attacks dispels another myth: that Hamas is incapable of cracking down on other Gaza militants.

Read also: How Israel taught Hamas that violence is effective

Although Hamas leaders have offered mixed appraisals about future violence, senior official Ahmad Yousef emphasized that with the growing reconstruction needs, the current situation “mandates a cessation of armed operations for two or three...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Abiding by international law — when it's convenient

Israeli institutions seek to obtain the benefits of the international legal order while refusing to accept the corresponding burdens and obligations.

By Gerard Horton

For some time now the Israeli army’s Military Courts’ Unit has distributed a five-page briefing paper to foreign delegations visiting military courts in the West Bank. The briefing paper is intended to persuade the reader that the military courts — which have been used to prosecute approximately 755,000 Palestinian men, women and children since 1967 — were established, and are currently operating, in accordance with international law. The document commences with the following statement:

This statement is significant because the only provision of international law that authorizes the prosecution of civilians in military courts is the Fourth Geneva Convention (the Convention). Under Article 64 of the Convention the penal laws of the occupied territory should remain in force, but may be temporarily suspended and replaced with military law in cases of security or in order to facilitate the application of the Convention.

In circumstances where military law has been imposed, Article 66 of the Convention provides that persons accused of violating the temporary measures can be prosecuted in “properly constituted, non-political military courts.” These are the legal provisions the Military Courts Unit is referring to when it asserts that Israeli military courts “were established in accordance with international law.”

However, in circumstances that can only serve to undermine the rule of law, the political, military and judicial authorities in Israel refuse to apply the same Convention, for example, in relation to settlement construction or the transfer of Palestinian detainees to prisons inside Israel.

Article 49 of the Convention provides that Israel is not permitted to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, thus making all settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank illegal – a conclusion confirmed by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

Article 76 of the Convention prohibits the transfer and detention of Palestinian detainees outside occupied territory – a legal conclusion confirmed by the U.K.’s Foreign Office and senior government ministers. Be that as it may, approximately 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners continue to be transferred and detained inside Israel.

This gives rise to the untenable situation whereby Israeli institutions seek to obtain the benefits of the international legal order while refusing...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Palestinian home set ablaze in overnight attack

Text by Yael Marom
Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Huda Abu Ghani in her home. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Huda Abu Ghani in her home, November 23, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Residents of Khirbet Abu Falah, near Ramallah, reported Sunday morning that settlers set a house in their village on fire, while 50-year-old Huda Abu Ghani was inside. No one was injured, although the building sustained heavy damaged. The phrases, “we will get revenge,” “price tag” and “death to Arabs” were found spray painted on the walls of the house.

The attackers spray painted "death to Arabs" on the outer walls of the house. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The attackers spray painted “death to Arabs” on the outer walls of the house, November 23, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

At approximately 3 a.m. Abu Ghani woke up to the sound of someone trying to break into her house. She then heard voices outside speaking in Hebrew, followed by the shattering of windows. After a failed attempt at breaking in, the attackers allegedly spilled flammable liquid and lit the house on fire.

The home that was burned in Khirbet Abu Falah, north of Ramallah. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The home that was burned in Khirbet Abu Falah, north of Ramallah, November 23, 2014 (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.

Related:
WATCH: Soldiers protect settlers attacking West Bank village
WATCH: IDF soldiers escort settlers attacking Palestinian village
Settler violence: It comes with the territory

Newsletter banner 6 -540





View article: AAA
Share article

A West Bank water crisis for Palestinians only

When Israel’s national water company operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriates Palestinian water resources and controls the valves, is it any surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements?

By Stephanie Westbrook

Qarawat Bani Zeid is a small Palestinian town of 3,500 north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. There are no Israeli settlements in the immediate vicinity. The route of Israel’s separation wall does not run through the area and Qarawat is in Area A — under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. And yet, Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies manage to cut into everyday life.

Children bring water from home to the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid where water from the school’s well is not safe to drink. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)

Children bring water from home to the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid where water from the school’s well is not safe to drink. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)

“Our biggest problem is water,” explained Sabri Arah, a member of the town council.

Qarawat sits atop the Western Aquifer, the largest and most productive sub-basin of the Mountain Aquifer, the main groundwater source in the West Bank, yet 80 percent of the town’s taps are dry. “Water is pumped out before it arrives to the town,” noted Arah.

New water infrastructure in the Jordan Valley. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)

New water infrastructure in the Jordan Valley. (photo: Cinzia Di Napoli)

The company pumping the water out is Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. Mekorot not only operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriating Palestinian water resources, Israel also effectively controls the valves, deciding who gets water and who does not. It should be no surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements while service to Palestinian towns is routinely reduced or cut off.

The right to water was the focus of a recent delegation of the Italian Forum of Water Movements visiting Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Israel as part of the Beyond Walls project of Servizio Civile Internazionale, an Italian NGO committed to human rights and social justice.

Last December, during the Italy-Israel bilateral summit, a cooperation agreement was signed between Mekorot and Acea, Italy’s largest water utility.

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Goodbye status quo: Israel's impending moment of truth

There are no guarantees that the near future will herald freedom for Israel/Palestine. It will, however, shatter the perception of comfort that has paralyzed Israel since the beginning of the millennium.

By Ran Greenstein

When we look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a curious pattern can be detected. Every 20 or 30 years a major turning point is reached. This happens in part due to pure coincidence, and in part due to natural processes involving generational change, which takes two or three decades to mature.

The cycle started in 1897 with the foundation of the Zionist movement, which gave a political dimension to the quest for Jewish settlement of Palestine. It continued in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration and the creation of Palestine in its current boundaries, and then on to 1947, when the UN partition resolution led to the establishment of Israel and the Palestinian Nakba. That was followed by 1967 – the re-unification of Palestine under Israeli military control – the First Intifada in 1987 and the onset of the current phase of territorial inclusion combined with Palestinian demographic exclusion.

Youth from Aida Refugee Camp rest during a lull in clashes with Israeli forces near the separation wall in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, November 16, 2013. The wall, which divides Bethlehem's land is a frequent entry point for incursions by Israeli forces into Aida Refugee Camp, and often a site of clashes with camp youth. (Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Youth from Aida Refugee Camp rest during a lull in clashes with Israeli forces near the separation wall in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, November 16, 2013. The wall, which divides Bethlehem’s land is a frequent entry point for incursions by Israeli forces into Aida Refugee Camp, and often a site of clashes with camp youth. (Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Nothing remarkable happened in 2007, which means that 2017 is next in line. What can we expect then in three years’ time?

Three crucial processes are under way, guaranteed to produce changes that would make the current status quo untenable. But a word of caution is needed here: change is bound to happen, but it will not necessarily be of a positive nature. It will open up new opportunities while also presenting new challenges. The exact direction will depend on...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel's top news channel: Gov't asked us to show more Gaza devastation

Israeli consumers don’t want to know what’s happening on the other side, the station’s foreign editor explains. ’We don’t serve the regime, we serve the consumerist regime.’

By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye

Palestinian children carry goods that were rescued from the village of Khuza'a, which has undergone of intense attacks and was largely destroyed during the Israeli offensive.

Palestinian children carry goods salvaged from the Gazan village of Khuza’a, which underwent of intense attacks and was largely destroyed during the Israeli offensive, Operation Protective Edge. (Photo by Activestills.org)

During this summer’s Gaza war officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and Defense Ministry contacted Israel’s Channel 2 News, asking why they were not broadcasting more images of destruction caused by the army’s bombing in Gaza.

Speaking at a panel discussion at Netanya College last week, Arad Nir, the company’s foreign news editor, said the news channel did not comply with the government’s request, instead decided to show what its viewers demanded.

The panel, which also included journalists Dror Feuer, Prof. Motti Neiger and Attoney El-Ad Mann, dealt with freedom of speech in Israel and the Israeli media’s coverage of Protective Edge.

“The Israeli media allows itself to be controlled by its consumers — it does this of its own volition,” said Nir.

“My personal, in-house claim is that if we provide our audience with a different type of journalism, even in certain doses, if we make it good enough and interesting enough — the public will know how to handle it,” he continued. “The media here has a kind of patronizing and arrogant attitude toward the public.”

Nir also spoke about the differences between the Israeli media’s coverage of the war as opposed to global media coverage.

“In Protective Edge, out of the 15 hours of straight news coverage per day showing what happened in this war, there were only 10 or 15 minutes dedicated to what happened on the other side,” he said, adding that “only five minutes of out two hours of every prime time news broadcasts were dedicated to what was happening on the other side, and not always [even that].”

“As someone who sits in front of the screen all day, I see two completely different wars,” the Channel 2 News editor explained. “There is one war that you see on BBC, CNN...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

A House of God no more

‘I refuse to let my humanity be stripped away. I refuse to build my national aspirations on the blood of civilians.’

By Talal Jabari

Israeli emergency services volunteers remove blood, according to Jewish tradition, from the scene of an attack by two Palestinians against Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with guns, a meat cleaver and knives burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli emergency services volunteers remove blood, according to Jewish tradition, from the scene of an attack by two Palestinians against Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with guns, a meat cleaver and knives burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The first thing I do every morning before getting out of bed is to turn off my phone’s airplane mode and read the news. There’s never any positive news, and I’m sure starting off the day this way probably isn’t healthy, but nevertheless, that’s what I do. On Tuesday, I woke up, as did many others, to this story: four dead Israelis in a synagogue shooting.

Personally, I just can’t accept gunning down people who are in the middle of prayer. After all, synagogues, churches and mosques are houses of God. But God wasn’t at home in the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue on this particular morning.

There are people who will disagree with me. Indeed there are those who even celebrated the attack at the synagogue. It’s possible some of them see it as vindication for the deaths caused by the Israeli army during the last Gaza war, revenge for the brutal slaying of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Israeli settlers, or as protest over the ongoing situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque or some sort of retribution for the death of Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni a day before.

What is certain from the events of the past six months is that increasingly, this conflict is stripping people of their humanity — on both sides of the divide.

As a human being, I find the synagogue...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Jerusalem: Against the dying of the light

The streets are seething, a tautness hangs in the air, clinging to one as if walking through cobwebs. Yet in the middle of it all, I find a most profound reparation by the simplest means. A crack of light, and my heart hurts less.

By Natasha Roth
natasha1

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”

I am sitting in an archway in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, taking a break from guiding a friend who is visiting from the UK. He is smoking a cigarette, and I am photographing the street sign across from us. We are on Misgav Ladakh Street, and as with all street signs in the Old City, the name is written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. On this sign, however, the Arabic has been completely covered by two identical stickers featuring a slogan in Hebrew, which translates roughly as: “Our soldiers’ lives come before the lives of the enemy’s civilians.” On a doorway across from the sign, next to us, the same stickers have been used to spell out – also in Hebrew – “The Lord is King.” The phrase about soldiers’ lives became popular during the summer, when the country shrouded itself in brute nationalism during Israel’s latest attempt to cripple the Gaza Strip. This message, and many others like it, appeared on posters, banners and bumper stickers throughout the country. What surfaced on social media was even less palatable.

The stickers, and their obscuring of the Arabic lettering on the street sign, are a most violent revision by the simplest means. They are a perfect distillation of how oppression against Palestinians works in this country: cover, conceal, remove, rub out. Build a house, knock down a house, plant a tree, place a wall, place a sticker.

Aside from the most recent cycle of ruination in Gaza, nowhere is this methodology currently more evident than in Jerusalem. The city – particularly the East – is under a series of slow-burning sieges that are gradually reaching the end of their fuse: official government settlement plans; unofficial settler takeovers of Palestinian property; the entire ethos of EladAteret Cohanim, the Temple Mount movement and their ilk; street-level thuggery perpetrated by fascist groups such as Lehava; house demolitionsracist vandalism; night-time round-ups and arrests, including of children.

Two attacks on or near the Jerusalem light rail that left four dead,...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

'Draft dodger law' robs Israel's poor of higher education

The vast majority of draft dodgers and deserters refuse to serve for economic reasons. Those youngsters, who already come from Israel’s weakest communities, are the ones who will be harmed most by a new law that strips them of funds for higher education.

By Sahar Vardi

New IDF conscripts put on uniforms for the first time, November 20, 2006. (Photo by IDF Spokesperson)

New IDF conscripts put on uniforms for the first time, November 20, 2006. (Photo by IDF Spokesperson)

While clashes between in East Jerusalem took place surrounding the funeral of Yusuf al-Ramouni, and as the government was busy arguing about the ‘Jewish nation-state bill,’ the Knesset voted on the final approval of the “Draft-Dodgers Law.” The media coverage of the law, first proposed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ this summer, primarily conveyed that draft dodgers will not receive any governmental subsidies for higher education. They will not receive state-funded scholarships, but more importantly, they will receive no tuition subsidies, which will means they will pay roughly four-times more than their peers.

The “law” is actually an amendment to Israel’s Council for Higher Education Law of 1958, and determines that people who did not serve in the military, and who were not legally exempt from serving, will not receive any governmental funding for their education. This means that anyone who did receive a legal exemption: Palestinians, the ultra-Orthodox, those who are exempt for psychological or other medical reasons, as well as recognized conscientious objectors, will all not be affected. So who does this bill affect?

At any given moment there are roughly 5,000 deserters from military service in Israel. About 3,000 of them never showed up for conscription and are commonly referred to as “draft dodgers.” Another 2,000 or so started their service but deserted mid-way. According to non-profit organizations working with these youth, the vast majority of them (up to 90 percent) desert for economic reasons.

In January 2015, for the first time since 1986, conscripted soldiers will get a pay raise. For most — non-combat — soldiers they will get NIS 500 ($130), up from NIS 352 ($91.50) a month. With or without the expected increase, these figures mean that anyone from a low-income family literally can’t afford to serve in the military. These youth, for lack of any better choice, just go on and...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Five killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue

Two Palestinian men murdered four Jewish worshippers with a meat cleaver, knives and a pistol in a gruesome attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem Tuesday morning. Eight others were wounded, four seriously. The two attackers were shot dead by Israeli police in a firefight at the scene.

Update: A police officer succumbed to his wounds late Tuesday night, bringing the death toll to five.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly put out a statement blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, pointing to what he described as their incitement. For his part, Abbas quickly condemned the attack.

Israeli emergency personnel remove victims’ bodies from the Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded seven others. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli emergency personnel remove victims’ bodies from the Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded seven others. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ZAKA volunteers collect blood, according to Jewish ritual, at the scene of a Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded eight others, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ZAKA volunteers collect blood, according to Jewish ritual, at the scene of a Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded eight others, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Families mourn as the victims of a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue are laid to rest, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Families mourn as the victims of a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue are laid to rest, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

According to Palestinian and Israeli media, the attackers were from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. When their identity became known, residents said, Israeli police closed the entrance to the neighborhood with concrete blocks.

Police were reportedly using the “Skunk” truck to spray putrid water near the attackers’ families’ homes, along with other crowd dispersal means as clashes broke out. Police arrested 12 relatives of the attackers, according to Ma’an, and a number of others were injured.

Israeli police outside the family home of one...</img></img></img></div><a href=Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Apartheid or not, separation is the reality

After nearly 50 years of occupation, it has become impossible to differentiate between Israel’s ‘security concerns’ and flat-out apartheid policies.

By Hagai El-Ad

“So far as the issue is security, these considerations are relevant and the role of the minister of defense indeed is to defend Israeli citizens. And I also realized that he said he did not give that kind of directive, so it’s all okay [...] but I realized that it’s the result of pressure from settlers who do not want to travel with Arabs on the bus. I read what was said at the Knesset committee discussion, [and] it is intolerable that they claim that they need to have their own buses, because no one got up for a woman or for someone old or it’s not convenient for them or unpleasant. That’s apartheid. Security is security. That is why I contacted the Attorney General asking him to look into this. If it’s security reasons per se, it’s something I can not only live with, but also back. But if it comes from settler, political pressure [because] it is not comfortable for them [and] unpleasant for them to travel with Arabs in the very places they wanted to live at, knowing that these are places where Palestinians live, that is unacceptable to me and I will work against that. This discrimination is prohibited by law in the State of Israel.”

This quote, from a recent radio interview with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, is a uniquely transparent example of how people who perceive themselves as moral – Livni of course being one of them – manage to wrestle with themselves in order to justify acts that cannot be justified. After all, if an act were morally unacceptable, one would certainly be against it. But the desire is to succeed in holding on to a self-perception of being moral while also supporting the occupation. Therefore it is necessary to find a way, every time, to justify that which is unjust. In this way both the occupation and one’s morality can remain untouched.

View article: AAA
Share article

Is every Palestinian kid who throws stones a terrorist?

In a reality where children aged 10 and 11 are arrested by 18- and 19-year-old soldiers who have been indoctrinated for military service since kindergarten, this kind of discussion seems completely out of place. A human rights attorney spends the day at one of the occupation’s more bizarre PR events.

By Smadar Ben-Natan

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

“Involvement of Children in Terrorism.” That was the rather confusing name given to a conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).

What is the context for discussing the involvement of children in terrorism? What is meant by the word “terrorism?” Are we supposed to be more afraid of these children? Are we to condemn terrorism for the moral corruption of conscripting children? Do we try and help those children trapped in its claws? Should we punish them severely or have mercy on them?

The confusion only grew in light of the fact that the conference marked the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli Juvenile Military Court in the West Bank. The fact that minors in the West Bank have been brought before military courts for nearly 50 years should have provoked shame and embarrassment. Instead, the establishment of this court is a source of great pride for the military court system in the occupied territories.

Read +972′s special coverage: Children Under Occupation

The session dedicated to the Juvenile Court served as yet another self-congratulatory event of the military court system. Its participants included President of the Military Court of Appeals Nathaniel Benisho, former president of the court Aharon Mishniot, president of the Israeli civil juvenile court system Galit Vigotzki-Mor and Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazari. The high-ranking members of the Israeli civilian legal system exemplified the extent to which the Israeli legal system is involved in the legislation of military law in the occupied territories — and in maintaining the occupation, including the facade of benevolence.

To avoid any doubt, trying minors in a juvenile military court is always preferable to trying them in regular military courts. However, both are terrible options that give...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel