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  • Torture is a gruesome symptom of military occupation

    Israel's use of torture is part and parcel of the occupation, and an inseparable part of maintaining the military occupation of Palestinian territories and Jewish hegemony in those lands. A new report about torture at the Israeli Shin Bet facility Shikma is, rightfully, making headlines. The details are horrendous. The report, penned by HaMoked and B’Tselem, is also significant because it points to the close collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian Authority — essentially reminding that the former is outsourcing its dirty work to the PA. While the report is new, we shouldn’t forget that torture in Israel is not. Palestinians have long…

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  • How Israel outsources torture to its Palestinian subcontractor

    When the Palestinian Authority does Israel's dirty work, is it any surprise that so many Palestinians no longer differentiate between the two? By Hagar Shezaf As the latest wave of violence erupted, I drove to cover a demonstration in the West Bank city of Al-Bireh, adjacent to Ramallah. During one of my interviews, a 20-year-old man told me he and the rest of the protesters were rising up against the "regime." "Which regime?" we asked. "Both — they are the same thing," he said as he laughed and ran away. The notion that the Palestinian Authority and Israel are one…

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  • Report alleges abuse, torture at Shin Bet interrogation facility

    A new report by B'Tselem and Hamoked includes testimonies of Palestinian detainees who were held in Israel's 'Shikma' interrogation facility. Human Rights organizations “Hamoked — Defence of the Individual” and B’Tselem on Wednesday published a report that draws on affidavits and statements from 116 Palestinians who spent time in the Shin Bet’s (Israel Security Agency) Shikma interrogation facility. The Palestinians, all of whom were “security detainees” — which means they were suspected of political crimes or terrorism-related offenses as opposed to criminal suspicions — spent time at Shikma between August 2013 and March 2014. Some of the testimonies describe Shin…

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  • Views on torture split along ethnic lines, Israeli poll finds

    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…

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  • Palestinian journalist on hunger strike to protest admin detention

    It took Israeli authorities weeks to even tell Muhammad Al-Qiq why he is being imprisoned without charge or trial — 'incitement.' He has been on hunger strike for 32 days. By Yael Marom and Noam Rotem Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, 33 from the Hebron area, has been on hunger strike for 32 days — since Israeli forces arrested from his home without explanation last month. Al-Qiq, a reporter who works for Saudi news station Almajd, was transferred to the medical center at Ramle Prison early last week. Immediately after his arrest, al-Qiq was taken in for interrogation at Israel's Kishon…

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  • Israel isn't denying that it uses torture, it's justifying it

    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…

  • Settlers protest alleged torture of Jewish teens in Tel Aviv

    Israel's security service, the Shin Bet, has been using torture against suspects in the arson-murder of an entire Palestinian family, their attorneys and friends allege. Approximately 15 far-right settlers gathered in front of Israel's national theater in central Tel Aviv Wednesday afternoon to stage a theatrical protest against Israeli authorities' alleged use of terror against Jewish minors. [tmwinpost] The group repeatedly blindfolded one of the protesters, placed him down on a metal bed frame and mock tortured him — while he screamed and flailed — until he ultimately confessed to some unknown crime. Lawyers for suspects in the Duma arson, in…

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  • When Israel tortures Jewish terror suspects

    The Right is furious over the alleged use of torture against the suspects in the murder of a Palestinian family. But is it any surprise that the tools used against Palestinians would eventually be used against Jews too? "Torture in Israel? The Shin Bet's actions in the Duma case may turn out to be the secret service's new 'Bus 300 Affair,' wrote Yehuda Yifrach, the legal expert for the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon and the NRG news site, on his personal Facebook page. Well, of course there is torture in Israel — it has been used here on a regular…

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  • Maybe there's just no room for human rights in Israel

    Those trying to delegitimize rights groups because their funds come from overseas are sending a very clear message: human and civil rights are not values that exist naturally in Israel. Left-leaning Israelis have for decades warned that the occupation will one day come home to roost — that the injustices visited upon Palestinians in the territories will eventually undermine the democratic fabric of Israel itself. [tmwinpost] Such warnings are problematic, since they suggest that military occupation is somehow acceptable as long as it isn’t detrimental to the occupier. But at the end of the day warnings that “occupation corrupts” ring true,…

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  • 'I was force-fed six times — in a Soviet prison'

    As Israel contemplates force-feeding Palestinian hunger striker Muhammad Allan, a rabbi and human rights activist recalls how he was force-fed six times while imprisoned by the Soviet regime. The pain and humiliation remain with him until today. By Rabbi Michael Rivkin I was force-fed twice in two different periods of my life. The first time was by the KGB in Moscow, January 1983. A court hearing at the supreme court was set for the end of January. On the day of the hearing I was not brought before a judge, nor was I presented with any new information on my…

  • 12 Palestinian members of parliament are in Israeli prison

    While we often hear Palestinian prisoners in the news, little is said about the lawmakers currently sitting in Israeli prisons. Many of them have spent years in jail, often as political prisoners in administrative detention, suffering beatings, interrogations and imprisonment in difficult conditions. Yet many of them still see a chance of living side-by-side with Israel, whether in one or two states. By Noam Rotem An Israeli military court decided last week to continue detaining Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament, who has been imprisoned by Israel for the past two months. Jarrar was first arrested and put in administrative…

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  • U.S. torture report shows the danger of Israel's legal loopholes

    In American discourse, torture is a dark stain on the country's recent history. In Israel, there is no law against torture and the justification of its use is still mainstream. By Nadeem Shehadeh and Amjad Iraqi The United States Senate this week released its long-awaited report on the CIA’s use of torture during the so-called “War on Terror.” A significant revelation in the report was that the CIA relied upon an Israeli High Court decision on torture and other Israeli policies as legal justifications for its own torture practices. These include the vague concepts of “necessity” and “ticking bombs,” and…

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  • Open Mic: Israel has failed to outlaw torture

    Israel Social TV gave a microphone and a camera to Dr. Ishai Menuchin, executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCABI), and asked him to speak about Israel’s obligations under international treaties, its failure to outlaw torture, and its abysmal record of investigating allegations of torture by state agents. Related articles: Legal experts cannot erase Israel's history of torture What the bones remember: Israeli doctors talk torture Knesset extends legislation that facilitates torture

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