An anti-torture law currently being drafted by the Justice Ministry is not enough to fix an entire legal system that allows the practice to be used against an occupied population. During its review session at the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva on Wednesday, Israel’s representatives informed the committee that the Justice Ministry is drafting a bill that, for the first time, would explicitly enshrine torture as a crime under Israeli law. This appears to be a very positive development in a years-long battle to end Israel’s use of torture, championed by torture victims, human rights groups, and UN bodies.…Read More... | 2 Comments
A Zionist Union MK gets heat for saying not all Palestinians who use violence against Israeli soldiers are terrorists. Can attacks against uniformed soldiers be considered terrorism? By Tomer Persico Labor MK Zohair Bahloul in recent days raised the ire of Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum, including members of his own party, for his unwillingness to label Palestinians who attack Israeli soldiers "terrorists." Explaining why he opposes applying the word terrorist to all Palestinians who employ violence, Bahloul brought up the example of the pre-state militias that took up arms against the British Mandate government. "The Etzel (Irgun),…Read More... | 9 Comments
Netanyahu wants to kick Arab MKs out of the Knesset for meeting with families of Palestinian terrorists. Will the same standard be upheld for those who meet with Jewish terrorists? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to punish Palestinian members of Knesset for meeting with families of Palestinians who have carried out deadly attacks against Jewish Israelis. But could his initiative backfire and end up punishing members of his own government? [tmwinpost] The prime minister announced on Sunday that he would be promoting legislation to bar three MKs who met with families of terrorists from serving in Knesset. His announcement came…Read More... | 9 Comments
Attitudes toward torture in Israel differ significantly among Jews and Arabs. Poll also finds conciliatory views about the legitimacy of the ‘other’ and their claims to the land. More than 55 percent of Jewish Israelis think it is permissible to use “physical methods” of interrogation, i.e. torture, against terrorism suspects even if there is no “ticking bomb” scenario to stop, according to a public opinion poll published Monday. The issue of torture has been in the news in recent weeks because attorneys for a handful of Jewish extremists accused of committed acts of terrorism against Palestinians say the Shin Bet, Israel’s…Read More... | 1 Comment
Had a Palestinian committed the exact same crime in the exact same location, he would find himself in an entirely different justice system. Maybe 'fair' is relative. Israel's justice minister on Sunday said she "hopes" that the alleged Jewish terrorists indicted for murdering three members of the Dawabshe family will receive a fair and just trial. Hopes. [tmwinpost] According to Haaretz's Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid, Justice Minister Shaked declined to clarify whether her hope amounts to trust in the court system or whether believes the suspects will receive a fair trial. (The Justice Ministry was quick to release a tersely-worded statement,…Read More... | 42 Comments
Responding to a right-wing campaign accusing it of torturing ‘Jewish terrorism’ suspects, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency basically admits doing so, and insists it is acting within the law. Last week’s episode of "This American Life" was called The Poetry of Propaganda. The Chicago-based radio program discussed how official government messaging often contains different meanings for different audiences. “In some ways, propaganda is like poetry,” New York Times reporter Damien Cave explained at the start of the show. “You need to know how to read it.” Some people only see it on one level, while lots of other people see it on…Read More...
'When you push an entire population up against the wall, when you demonize them and trample their rights, [the situation] will explode in the end,' the Israeli parliamentarian writes with no sense of irony. Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich, a member of Israel's ruling coalition, penned an oped on Wednesday arguing that Jews cannot be terrorists. The two labels are mutually exclusive, he argued. “Terrorism is only violence carried out by our enemies in the framework of a war against us,” Smotrich wrote in settler news outlet Arutz 7, "us" referring to Jews. (Hebrew) “Anything else is a serious crime,…Read More... | 1 Comment
When it comes to Jewish terrorism the Shin Bet is either ill-equipped or totally uninterested in preventing attacks against Palestinian civilians. After months of seemingly never-ending promises by Israel’s defense establishment, a number of Israeli youths have been arrested in connection with the arson attack in the West Bank village Duma last summer, which killed three members of the Dawabshe family. Several young Israelis were detained for questioning in recent days over their connection to Jewish extremist organizations, says the Shin Bet following the partial lifting of a gag order. Their identity still remains under gag order. Gag orders are…Read More... | 9 Comments
The highest court in the land delays the demolition of a synagogue built atop stolen Palestinian property, fearing retribution by right-wing extremists. Has terrorism officially won in Israel? The State of Israel just validated the very concept of "price tag" violence, which Israel officials have often described — but never legally defined — as terrorism. [tmwinpost] The state on Tuesday asked the High Court of Justice to delay the court ordered demolition of a West Bank synagogue built on stolen Palestinian land. The state's main argument in asking for the extension, which the court begrudgingly granted, went as follows: “Police believe that demolishing the…Read More... | 14 Comments
He left Hamas after Oslo, moved to Ramallah, and joined Abbas' Palestinian Authority. Following the burning of the Dawabsha family and the conflagrations at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Supreme Sharia judge of the Palestinian Authority Dr. Mahmoud al-Habash warns Israel not to test Palestinian patience. On the charred walls of the Dawabsha home in the West Bank village of Duma, the words "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" were spray-painted by the same Jewish terrorists who burned three of the four family members to death. The graffiti troubles me. Regardless of how detestable it is, I can understand the logic of revenge; but I…Read More... | 24 Comments
Fate brought me to Reham Dawabsha's hospital bed after she and the rest of her family were burned alive in their home. We had never met before, but something kept bringing me back to see her. Operation Protective Edge brought me a small, new batch of new Jewish and Arab friends. A few days ago, we got together after a year apart. Gaza seemed very far from the German border, and naturally the refugee issue took over our conversation. [tmwinpost] At the end of the evening I announced that I was heading toward Tel Hashomer Hospital, "just to say hello…Read More...
Reham Dawabsha is the third fatality from the attack by Jewish extremists in late July. Authorities used the attack as an excuse to increase counter-terrorism authorities but haven't made any arrests in the case. By Yael Marom Reham Dawabsha, who was seriously burned in an arson attack by Israeli extremists in the West Bank village of Duma 39 days ago, succumbed to her wounds early Monday morning. Reham, who turned 27 on Sunday, was mother to one-and-a-half-year-old Ali, and husband to Sa’ad, both of whom were also killed in the terrorist attack on their home. She is survived by four-year-old…Read More... | 2 Comments
A new bill that paves the way for putting Israeli citizens in administrative detention could one day affect activists, human rights workers, and Palestinian citizens of Israel. By Sawsan Khalife' A week after the Shin Bet recommended that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon sign off on administrative detention for two Jewish Israelis following the attack in the Palestinian village of Duma, he also recommended the Knesset pass an "anti-terrorism bill." The bill, which has been sitting on the shelf of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, authorizes the defense minister to use administrative detention without the standard prerequisite of declaring a…Read More... | 26 Comments
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