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What neoconservatives get wrong about U.S. Jews' relationship with Israel

As much as it chagrins the likes of Elliott Abrams, the increasing difficulty they are having with defending Israel’s policies is due to the policies they are working to defend. The longer the occupation continues, the less support it will find among Jews in the United States.

By Mitchell Plitnick

Over the past few years, there has been a good deal of consternation in Israel and in the American Jewish community about the relationship between the two. That concern has grown as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consistently works to please his right flank with ever more controversial statements and actions amid a petrified peace process.

Neoconservative pundit Elliott Abrams reviewed two new books that document this phenomenon and try to explain it. Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel by Dov Waxman of Northeastern University and The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews by Michael Barnett of George Washington University both look at shifts in Israeli policy over the years and examine the effects of those policy shifts on Jews in the United States. Abrams sees both books as blaming Israel for the growing divide with the U.S. Jewish community, and he feels compelled to respond by laying the blame instead on Jews in the United States.

Waxman’s book focuses on the divided reaction of Jews in the United States to Israel’s nearly 50-year old occupation and the Netanyahu government’s policies that entrench and maintain it. Barnett examines the tension between the more tribalistic and nationalistic Israeli Jewish society and the liberal, cosmopolitan U.S. one. In both cases, the authors make the case that the differences between the Israeli and American Jewish communities are driving a wedge between them and pushing Jews in the United States farther away from Israel, politically and communally.

Channeling Kristol

Abrams’ review carries loud echoes of the neoconservative icon, Irving Kristol. Like Kristol, Abrams believes strongly that Israel and the Diaspora Jewish communities are inextricably linked and that Jewish survival in the long term depends on those Diaspora communities, especially in the United States, supporting Israel absolutely. Kristol did not believe that Diaspora Jews had to back all of Israel’s policies blindly. Indeed, most of Kristol’s work was written at a time when Israeli political discourse was far more liberal than it is today. He believed, therefore, that it was “tremendously important to translate the classics of Western political...

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Labor must take the security narrative back from Netanyahu

The first step is to replace party leader Isaac Herzog, who has adopted the prime minister’s approach to the Palestinians and was willing to join his government.

By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein

When Netanyahu abandoned the possibility of forming a coalition with Zionist Union by appointing Avigdor Liberman as defense minister, many on the Israeli center-left, including Labor chairman Isaac Herzog and liberal columnist Ari Shavit, were quick to self-flagellate. The truth is there was no missed opportunity, unless one is speaking of the chance to commit political suicide by linking up with a prime minister who had no intention of moderating his policies.

Herzog, whose days as head of the party are surely limited, will suffer the most from this turn of events. While his performance during the last election did much to bring the Labor party back to relevance, his leadership since then has backtracked on much of the progress made.

Since 2001, Labor party leaders have done little to confront the security narrative of the ruling Likud party and its partners. Indeed, as Edo Konrad wrote in these pages in February, it was Labor prime minister Ehud Barak’s team who, by pushing the dubious storyline of “no partner,” planted the seeds for the enfeebling of the peace camp. Subsequent Labor leaders have either offered unilateral alternatives to bilateral talks or attempted to shift the political agenda, always unsuccessfully, to kitchen table issues.

Still, Herzog’s January address to a Tel Aviv think tank — in which he adopted Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that peace is impossible at the moment, and calling for the completion of the security barrier around the settlement blocs — represented a particularly upsetting low.

If there was ever a time for the center-left to truly expose the Right’s absurd notion of security, it is now that one of the least experienced defense ministers in Israeli history assumes office. Liberman is taking the helm at the Defense Ministry just when the government’s rift with the defense establishment is at its widest, and his positions on some of the most divisive issues contributing to that rift will certainly not advance any reconciliation. Several former leaders in the defense establishment have been vocally critical of this government’s West Bank policies recently, and Netanyahu’s choice of Liberman can be read as a...

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When your own Jewish father calls you a Nazi

Once upon a time you could vote for Netanyahu or Meretz and move on with your life. Today even a conversation about the occupation can end relationships between loved ones.

By Su*

Like the very best of internet trolls, today my father banished me to Berlin with the non-Jewish son I never had. In the middle of Tel Aviv’s popular Azrieli Mall, on the second floor, at the cafe where the tables are placed too close to one another. Yarmulka-wearing Israelis sat behind us, while at the next table over two women with Zara shopping bags who ate salads tried their best to pretend they weren’t listening to what was happening at our table.

Once upon a time one was able to make a distinction between conversations about politics and conversations about life. Once, that was 10 years ago. Today the tension can be felt in the air. One can no longer make the distinction. Once upon a time you could vote for Netanyahu or Meretz, the left-wing party, to vote and go on with your life. Once upon a time you could live in the West Bank settlement Ariel and vote for Labor. Strange, perhaps, but it only seems strange today, looking back. Back then it was a matter of political opinion, life itself was what mattered, when one’s character wasn’t determined by the occupation.

What happened over the years that turn these definitions into rigid, violent, and influential? Maybe I just grew up and it was always like this? Maybe, but I look around, even at those older than me, and I just don’t think that’s it. A good friend of mine went on a date a few months ago, she said he was wonderful, funny, good looking. “But?” I asked. “But he votes for Liberman.” That summed up the conversation. There was no need to ask if they continued to meet.

Did Facebook, the press, and the media radicalize the people, or was it the opposite way around? What caused us to turn our political beliefs into unbending self-definitions? For years I told people, “I’m not a leftist, I am sane.”

More than that, even today I know it does not matter how we define ourselves — what side of the political spectrum we are on — everyone wants peace, everyone was quiet, no one wants to endanger more children.

But the fear. Today I saw it...

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Israelis’ heartwarming response to shocking police brutality

The brutal police beating of a young Bedouin man outside his Tel Aviv workplace, where he was working to save money for university tuition, leads hundreds of Israelis to pitch in and pay his tuition. (Update: the crowdfunding campaign has reached 200 percent of its original goal.)

By Michal Rotem

Mayasem Abu Alqian, a 19-year-old Bedouin citizen from the southern town of Hura, was attacked on Sunday by a group of Israeli Border Police officers near Rabin Square in the middle of Tel Aviv. Two plainclothes policemen approached Abu Alqian on the street outside his work, demanding that he produce an ID. Abu Alqian, not willing to identify himself to just anyone, demanded a uniformed police officer.

Within a matter of seconds, more policemen arrived at the scene and, according to eyewitnesses, started brutally attacking him. Abu Alqian was arrested and taken to the police station. Only hours later he was brought to a hospital for medical treatment (he is seriously bruised on his head and neck and suffered damage to his cornea). Following an appeal to the district court, he was released to house arrest in the middle of the night.

Abu Alqian moved to Tel Aviv a couple of months ago from the southern Bedouin town of Hura in order to save some money before starting to study psychology later this year. He was working two jobs, at Burger King and in a supermarket, approximately 20 hours a day, he says. The attack by the police officers threw a wrench in that plan — he says he no longer wants to return to Tel Aviv — and that is exactly where a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign stepped in.

Tuesday morning, the Negev Coexistence Forum (where I work) launched a crowdfunding campaign for Abu Alqian. The goal was to raise NIS 40,000 (just over $10,000) to fund his psychology studies. That bar was met within less than 12 hours, as hundreds of Israelis donated to support Abu Alqian.

Overwhelmed by the success, the NCF decided to try and double the goal, in order to raise some funds to cover Abu Alqian’s legal defense costs. By the time of writing, over 200 percent of the original goal’s sum had already been raised.

While the struggle against police violence in Israel is only in its infancy , this tiny project served as proof...

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Working toward a nuclear weapons free Mideast

Can temporary or sub-regional agreements lay the trust and groundwork necessary for building off the momentum of the Iran JCPOA? Can Israel be convinced? A Track 2 initiative tries to figure it out.

By Shemuel Meir

Earlier this month, I attended an international conference in Berlin which brought together diplomats, former military officers, academic researchers and think tank analysts from the Middle East and Europe. The conference took place within the framework of the “Academic Peace Orchestra Middle East” of the Peace Research Institute Franfkfurt (PRIF).

The “orchestra” is composed of experts on the Middle East, from within and outside the region, who meet to discuss ideas and parameters for promoting the diplomatic process in the Middle East in parallel to the official communications and meetings between the countries concerned in a classical Track 2 initiative. When the official meetings between the countries of the region are as tension filled as those of our region are stuck and on the brink of collapse – Track 2 meetings are the only game in town.

And indeed, the meeting in Berlin was intended to discuss ideas and to create a new momentum for preventing the proliferation of weapons on mass destruction in the Middle East following the failure of the NPT Review Conference in May 2015, which concluded in a dead end without reaching a common agreement because of the inability of the U.S. to bridge the gaps between Egypt and Israel regarding the establishment of a zone in the Middle East that would be free of weapons of mass destruction (ME – WMD Free Zone) with an emphasis on the nuclear. Since the 1995 renewal of the NPT, unlimited in time, the issue of a Middle East nuclear free zone has formed a central pillar of the Treaty alongside the pillars on non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful nuclear energy. The U.S., which in the spring of 2015 set as a high priority the achievement of the Iranian nuclear agreement, preferred at that time not to enter into a collision course with Israel on the nuclear issue. The failure of the U.S. mediation effort between Egypt and Israel (in spite of the secret mission of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State) prevented the achievement of a non-proliferation common action plan and ended, for the time being, the efforts to convene the conference on a Middle East WMD...

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What we left behind in Egypt: Mizrahi thoughts on Israel

Even when they had reached the borders of the Promised Land, after 40 years in the desert, all the Children of Israel wanted was to go back to Egypt. In Erez Biton’s poem, the immigrant from Algeria and his son fail to build a home in Israel. Independence Day is also the tale of the rift in our identity, created by immigrating here.

By Mati Shemoelof

“And the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’” [Exodus 16:3]

“…And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; and the whole congregation said unto them: ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would we had died in this wilderness!;

And wherefore doth the LORD bring us unto this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey; were it not better for us to return into Egypt?’;
And they said one to another: ‘Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.’” [Numbers Chapter 14 2-4]

Before we discuss the Mizrahi present in Israel, let us examine the trauma as it is reflected in the desire of the Israelites to return to Egypt and postpone the narrative of redemption in the Promised Land. Looking back at this theological question is important for a psychological understanding of the modern perception of identity, and the impossibility of achieving inner autonomy within Zionism and its holidays and Independence Day in particular.

At the beginning of the Israelites’ journey, and at the end of it after 40 years, the Israelites ask to return to Egypt. Both requests are impossible, as Egypt is already impossible. They are in a never-where, in the desert, which is neither the Promised Land nor Egypt. But in both cases they do not speak to God or to Moses and Aaron, and if they do, all they ask for is life and death in the land of Egypt, which still seems like a safe place to them. How could Egypt be a safe place for them, after having left it with such sturm und drang? How could they ask to...

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Facing down Breaking the Silence, Israel tries to play the underdog

The state prosecutor stages a refined production in which it pretends to be the weaker party facing down a massive organization. The state wants Breaking the Silence to reveal the identity of a soldier it suspects of committing crimes during the Gaza war.

By Alma Biblash

An Israeli Magistrate’s Court this week heard a challenge by anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence against a warrant ordering it to reveal the identity of a soldier who provided it with testimony about alleged crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war.

Breaking the Silence is an organization of former Israeli soldiers that collects, verifies, and publishes first-person testimonies about Israel’s occupation and military control over Palestinians.

In court Sunday the state objected to a request by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) to join as amicus curiae, arguing that prosecution was unfamiliar with its legal opinion and needed to prepare. In the meantime the court delayed making a decision, yet allowed Attorney Michael Sfard, who is representing Breaking the Silence, to reference ACRI’s legal brief in court.

Sfard argued that Breaking the Silence is not only a human rights organization, but also a journalistic initiative, and that removing its journalistic immunity would harm the public interest — far more than any delay in a criminal investigation into the former soldier or even closing that probe. The judge gave the state until July 18 to submit its response.

The feeble state

During the hearing, the state put on a refined production of what the prosecution has turned into an art form: two attorneys representing the prosecution, women, young lawyers without much experience, sent to face Atty. Michael Sfard — a sharp, veteran litigator backed up by a courtroom packed with around 50 Breaking the Silence supporters. Not a single person came to support the prosecution, save for a spokesperson for far-right-wing group “Im Tirtzu.”

The state attorneys asked to delay the hearing. In response to most of the judge’s questions they responded that they did not know, were not sure, or claimed to not have the authority to answer. Only a small portion of their arguments and objections were even defensive: “it is hurtful when they say the prosecution is affected by political influences and the public atmosphere,” and, “it’s insulting and not nice when they laugh.” The latter came in response to laughter among the crowd after Atty. Sfard brought...

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Why I'm not afraid of Avigdor Liberman

My dear leftists, there’s really no reason to ask the last person to leave Israel to turn out the lights, as many of you have done over the last 48 hours. Most chances are that things will remain just as bad as they are – which is, in itself, hardly a reason to rejoice.

By Gilad Halpern

The pioneering 1970s rock band Kaveret (Hebrew for beehive) was groundbreaking in many respects. Other than their huge musical contribution, the band’s repertoire included comical, sometimes nonsensical songs that stood in stark contrast to the earnest, stuffy folk songs that had hitherto characterized Israeli music.

One famous example is a song called “The Grocery Store,” where an unnamed man expresses his love for a fellow shopper, whom he sees between the aisles searching for semolina and caraway bread. In Kaveret’s hugely successful concerts, the song was preceded by a sketch (the band members, especially Gidi Gov and Danny Sanderson, were also talented comedians) about a downtrodden boy, Yudokolis Lifshitz, who experiences an epiphany and realizes that opening a grocery store would be an apt redress for his plight.

Yudokolis’ despair was so great, that even as a young boy his parents tried to encourage him, unsuccessfully: “They told him: ‘Cheer up, son. Things could be a lot worse.’” And then the narrator adds: “So he did cheer up, and things indeed got a lot worse.”

Many Israeli leftists on Thursday, when Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as defense minister was confirmed, felt they were in Yudokolis’ shoes. Their general feeling was that the only thing missing in the hawkish, illiberal and flagrantly populist motley crew that is Netanyahu’s government was a cynical, authoritarian and divisive figure like Liberman, holding the most senior portfolio – second only to the PM – no less.

Liberman, who in the past threatened to bomb Egypt’s Aswan Dam and fire indiscriminately at Gaza until the Hamas government collapses, has now been given the authority to shape Israel’s security policy. All of this is pending the cabinet’s approval, of course – but that’s hardly grounds for reassurance, given that the other decision-makers are the equally belligerent far-right settler leader Naftali Bennett and the deeply suspicious and vulnerable Netanyahu, who knows full well that Liberman holds the key to the survival of his government.

However, similar things were said in 2009, when Liberman’s party clinched 15 seats (as...

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Naftali Bennett's vision: Equality through Jewish supremacy

Behind all the pretty words, Bennett’s speech at the Israel Prize ceremony reveals exactly what he’s after: a Jewish nationalist theocracy. 

By Gil Gertel

During last Thursday’s annual Israel Prize ceremony, Education Minister Naftali Bennett gave a speech laying out his vision. He called for the establishment of a national, Jewish state, and in order to justify his outlook he used a history that doesn’t even exist in the bible, scorned diaspora Jews, and promised equality for all through Jewish supremacy. “This is the only way,” he summarized his speech in support of Jewish theocracy, to the applause of those in attendance.

Bennett’s vision

First let us summarize Bennett’s speech, which opened with a question: “What is the next stage of Zionism?” Bennett then responded to himself: “To enrich Judaism and lift it up”; later on he would expand on the idea: “To grant an equal opportunity to every child in the State of Israel, regardless of origin, skin color, tendency, or place of residence.”

From there Bennett went on to look into the necessary conditions for reaching that “next stage.” This required an interrogation of history, in which the education minister established: “Throughout ancient history Judaism contributed to the world three big ideas that changed the face of humanity.” According to Bennett, those three ideas are: monotheism, according to which every human was born in the Image of God, and thus are equal; Sabbath, according to which rest from labor is a right accorded even to the weak; education and erudition, according to which knowledge and wisdom belong to everyone.

Then came the heart of Bennett’s argument: “Back then, when we were a sovereign power in our land — there was a Jewish state here — Judaism contributed to entire world. But when there was no Jewish state, when we weren’t sovereigns, Judaism did not contribute to humanity.” Bennett’s conclusion is that we must adopt the national-religious outlook: “Only a combination between Judaism, nationalism, and universalism will lift up our people toward our goal […] this way, and only this way, will we be able to be a light unto the entire world.”

Inventing a new history

Bennett’s speech is based on an imaginary history. Even those who have as simplistic a reading of the bible as Bennett, there is no connection between his three “big” ideas and the concept of a Jewish state. Monotheism, according to tradition, was...

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For Washington Post, cheap labor is key to Mideast peace

A recent article in ‘The Washington Post’ praises efforts by the Israeli government to bring in cheap labor from Jordan as a sign of growing peace. The problem? It all comes at the expense of Palestinian workers.

By Hagar Shezaf

A Washington Post article published earlier this week praised a new pilot project between the governments of Jordan and Israel as a “little peace” in the Middle East. To support the argument, the article applauded the fact that room cleaners named Ahmad and dishwashers named Mohammad are being brought in from Jordan to work in Israel’s southern city of Eilat.

Yet this vision of a new, peaceful Middle East is a non-story and far from being a sign of peace.

The truth is that the number of employees entering Israel from Jordan is relatively small. In fact, Jordanian laborers are necessary only as a result of Israel’s absolute ban on Palestinians entering Eilat. Around 115,200 West Bank Palestinians are employed in Israel, yet they are all banned from the country’s most southern city. While Israeli officials have refrained from providing an official explanation for the ban, it is widely assumed that it stems from Eilat’s distance from the West Bank, which prevents Palestinian day laborers from going home after a day of work. This, along with Israel’s crackdown on the asylum seeker community — asylum seekers partly replaced Palestinian workers in the years following the Second Intifada — has created a shortage in workers for Eilat’s hotels industry. That’s where the Jordanians come in.

When SodaStream, one of the BDS movement’s main targets in the past few years, moved its factory from the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim to the Negev desert, hundreds of Palestinian workers were left behind after not being granted permits to work in Israel. SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum launched a national campaign following the decision, condemning both the BDS campaign as well as the Israeli government, which declined his request to issue permits to his long-time employees. In response the laid off employees launched a Facebook page called “The Peace Intifada” and took part in a heartfelt video where they gathered together to form a giant peace sign. The message was clear: SodaStream is a peaceful oasis in the heart of a violent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The case of SodaStream is interesting, since much like the Washington Post piece, it...

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Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian lawmaker in overnight raid

Soldiers detain Hamas-linked Abed al-Jaber Fuqaha in his Ramallah home. Fuqaha, who was released from administrative detention a year ago, has spent a total of seven years in prison. He is the seventh Palestinian lawmaker in Israeli custody.

By Noam Rotem

Israeli forces arrested Palestinian parliamentarian Abed al-Jaber Fuqaha in his home in the al-Masyoun neighborhood of Ramallah during an overnight raid Monday. According to members of Fuqaha’s family, soldiers burst into their home in the early hours of the morning, beat and took him into custody.

Fuqaha, a Hamas affiliate in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), was released from administrative detention a year ago, and has spent a total of seven years in Israeli prison. In 2014 he joined a mass Palestinian hunger strike to protest against prolonged detention without charges or trial.

Fuqaha is the seventh Palestinian legislator in Israeli custody, along with Ahmad Sa’adat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who is serving a 30-year sentence; Marwan Barghouti, who is serving four consecutive life sentences; Hatem Hafisha and Hassan Yousef who are being held in administrative detention, Jerusalem resident Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Tir, and PFLP lawmaker and feminist activist Khalida Jarrar.

Jarrar was sentenced to 15 months in prison last December after spending eight months in prison, some of which were spent in administrative detention.

According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in detention by Israel.

Noam Rotem is an Israeli activist, high-tech executive and author of the blog, subtitled “Godwin doesn’t live here any more.” This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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Jewish education’s sin of omission

Despite years of Jewish education, much of which focused on Israel, this young American Zionist was still ignorant of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

By David Sarna Galdi

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank will mark its 50-year anniversary next year. For five decades, since 1967, that occupation has been a central theme in any discussion of Israel’s politics, history, current events and obviously, conflict with the Palestinians — except, apparently, if you’re young and Jewish in America.

While recently reading a critique of the absence of any discussion of the occupation (or any criticism of Israel, for that matter) in the 2016 American presidential elections, I made a disturbing realization: I myself had only become aware of the occupation and all of its ramifications relatively recently, only after moving to Israel and actively trying to codify, for myself, the country’s political genome.

Despite being the product of an active Jewish diaspora community and intense Jewish education (I was the target audience for a thorough understanding of Israel’s political physiognomy) I had been utterly in the dark when it came to Israel’s greatest blemish.

I attended Jewish schools near New York City. I went to Jewish camps. I spent countless Saturday mornings in synagogue with my grandparents. I traveled to Israel with my family a dozen times. As a 17 year old I spent the summer hiking the length and width of Israel. Later, I spent a hot, sweaty summer volunteering in an economically depressed city in the Negev desert. One could argue that I had the quintessential Zionist Jewish-American upbringing.

Yet somehow, in all of those years of exposure to Jewish and Israeli reality, history and culture, I never heard one word about the occupation, or even the actual word, “occupation.”

I came of age during the giddy, hope-filled days of the Oslo Accords. In fact, I distinctly remember the 13th of September, 1993, when my modern-Orthodox Jewish high school cancelled classes and gathered all of the students in the auditorium to watch the live broadcast of the signing ceremony on the White House lawn.

Yet, for all of my school’s engagement with Israeli current events, they left out one huge detail of modern Israeli history: the fact that in 1967, after the Six Day War, Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza but didn’t absorb them, setting the stage for today’s reality in which the...

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'Every few minutes, one of them hit us with a rifle butt'

Three Palestinian teens speak about the abuse they say they endured in Israeli military custody after being arrested during a demonstration along the Gaza border.

By Yael Marom

Israeli military police are investigating the suspicion that over the course of three days, IDF soldiers abused three Palestinian teenagers who illegally crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip during a protest late last year, according to a Haaretz report earlier this month.

On October 10, 2015, the three Gazan teenagers were participating in a protest along the border, during which protesters attempted to damage the fence, and threw stones toward soldiers positioned on the other side. The soldiers responded with gunfire, tear gas grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.

At some point a number of protesters pulled up part of a gate in the fence. Military forces gave pursuit with the use of flares and K9 units. Six of the protesters, those who fled into Israeli territory, were arrested.

Several months after their release, three of the arrestees, minors aged 15, 16, and 17, told a researcher working for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem what happened during the 72 hours following their arrest.

For three days, the teenagers say, soldiers kept them tied up in the open, repeatedly beat them, denied them food and drink, subjected them to various degradations, and kept them awake. One of the teens says that soldier extinguished cigarettes on his arms and legs.

The following are three testimonies collected from the three teenagers, as provided by B’Tselem:

‘Abd a-Rahman Abu Hamisah, 16 years old

A few minutes after I joined the demonstration, I went ahead with some other guys and we tore out the iron gate that’s part of the border fence. I entered Israeli territory and Israeli military jeeps started pursuing us, about five jeeps. The soldiers fired all around us. We kept running east into Israeli territory, into the vegetation. We ran a long way and couldn’t see the border any more. It was already evening and he sun had gone down. By nightfall, I realized we were in trouble and got scared. I couldn’t go back towards the border because the demonstration was over and the soldiers were occupied only with looking for us. I didn’t mean to go any further into Israel. I just wanted to get away from the soldiers and the gunfire. We kept running...

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