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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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    1. Pedro X

      972mag just continues to rehash the same stories against Israel and sheds no light on the terrorism inflicted and planned against Israel and the torture used in other states. Hamas and the PA regularly use torture as a means of maintaining power and control. Hamas has executed dozens of prisoners in the streets. In January 2014 11 Palestinian inmates in PA prisons died. No one called for probes or autopsies of the deceased.

      The United States and European countries used torture in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. No one mentions that European countries have resisted investigations. Another European country Spain has long used torture against separatists. It does not engage in inquiries.

      Yet the finger is only pointed at Israel for even things like handcuffing hands with plastic handcuffs or bumpy rides in jeeps as signs Israel is using torture.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        I came on a thread of yours before Ped and unequivocally condemned Palestinian torture along with corresponding Israeli abuse. I invited you to do the same but you never did. Now you are back again DEFENDING Israeli torture by criticising torture elsewhere. Stop being a hypocrite Pedro X and either come out and condemn ALL torture equally (including that committed by Israel) or admit that Israeli torture is fine by you and you are using abuses elsewhere as a smokescreen to cover repugnant abuses by your own team.

        (And Ginger Eis, please mind your own business and keep out of it this time please. This is strictly one for Pedro X to answer or to flunk.)

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard Lightbown

          Yes Pedro X, it’s all despicable hypocrisy. Torture is to be deplored when it is committed by everyone else but condoned when it is committed by Israel. And you use your fake concern about torture elsewhere as a distraction from Israel’s appalling human rights record. These are the depths you sink to in order to airbrush over the criminal behaviour of the Israeli terrorist state.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Torture is a criminal act the only defence to which is necessity. The first problem is to define what torture is. Most of the complaints of the Palestinians do not come close to any definition of torture. Being handcuffed in an uncomfortable position or having to ride on the bottom level of a transport vehicle is not torture. Raising one’s voice or yelling at those detained is not torture.

            The second problem is who defines what is necessity and is it defined on an objective or subjective basis. Stopping a ticking bomb in route to commit multiple murders such as he Park Hotel Massacre or 9/11 could qualify for the use of torture. But every situation in which torture might be used needs to be evaluated in real time in the real circumstances. Most countries are simply adverse to having their security services probed with respect to its decision making process in this regard.

            Has Israel used torture and if its has, has it used it improperly? Without real specifics and real facts backed by real evidence, it is impossible to show Israel is guilty or if it guilty how often it has been guilty.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Weasel words. Everyone’s lying and if they’re not it’s a ticking bomb situation, though even you can’t name a situation where the use of torture has saved a single life or a single person from serious injury. So it’s “impossible” to show that Israel has used torture so you can flunk the question that way. Because you still won’t condemn Israel even in a hypothetical situation. But you believe everything that anyone says about torture by others, especially Palestinians, although you still haven’t provided the source for Baladi Akka 1948’s query (below).

            Do you think you are an expert then, Ped when you write “Being handcuffed in an uncomfortable position or having to ride on the bottom level of a transport vehicle is not torture.” Whereas Dr Bettina Birmanns [http://972mag.com/what-the-bones-remember-israeli-doctors-talk-torture/89182/] wrote “a neurological opinion for PCATI about the damages of “painful shackling,” which can cause paralysis and intolerable pain.” “Intolerable pain” and “an uncomfortable position”: they’re hardly synonyms are they? And yes she and her colleagues were talking about abuses by Israeli officials. Do you really think you know more than Dr Birmanns? I dare you to say so.

            Or how about this report from the Public Defender’s Office (which strangely enough is not available in English) http://index.justice.gov.il/Units/SanegoriaZiborit/News/Pages/Kluvim.aspx about prisoners being put in external iron cages at Ramle prison (I think you will admit that is in Israel) in the middle of a “severe storm” on a December night where the prisoners spent “several hours in the freezing cold and rain”. The procedure had been going on for months, and some of the detainees were minors. And no, this was not a ticking bomb scenario. Would you accept that as torture? I know damn well you would if someone stuck Jewish children in those conditions. There wouldn’t be any weasel words then.

            Israel is guilty of using torture, no doubt at all. So do you condemn this as totally unacceptable, yes or no?

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            I am as likely to believe Dr Bettina Birmanns as I am to believe Dr. Mads Gilbert that Hamas did not use the Al Shifa hospital as a base and a place to fire missiles. As lawyers will tell you, medical opinions can be obtained for almost any position.

            PCATI is just another foreign funded anti-Israel ngo which circulates unsubstantiated rumours of Israeli torture. For instance PCATI accused Israel of placing Palestinian prisoners including children in cages. This was false. Palestinians were not involved. This involved Israeli criminals, including Israeli minors, who were put in cages outside a prison waiting transport to court. The practice was stopped by the Justice department once alerted to the practice. But this had nothing to do with Palestinians or torture.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Well that’s one way of copping out: the witness is a liar. You provide not a shred of evidence, but she’s a liar because her testimony contradicts your stance. And that comes from the guy who won’t (can’t?) back up his statement that in January 2014 11 Palestinian inmates in PA prisons died. The guy who hasn’t supported or retracted the ticking clock statement. The guy who I exposed as a serial liar in our correspondence on the Palestine Mandate.

            The Ramle case involved people going to court, so at that stage they would only be “criminals” (your word) if they had previous convictions. The abuse had been going on for months and involved in this particular instance prisoners being leg shackled, handcuffed and stuck in external cages for some hours in the cold and rain on a December (i.e. mid-winter night). The detainees were not given warm clothing. Many of them were exhausted by the time they came to court and were not in a fit state to understand the proceedings. (This did not seem to bother anyone in court. I haven’t seen any record of disciplinary action against the perpetrators, but I sincerely hope this did happen.)

            You still have not condemned this. Are you proud of it? Do you think this is fit behaviour in the only “democracy” in the Middle East?

            Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        Others are doing it! Look away!
        People in North Korea have it even worse!

        Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        “In January 2014 11 Palestinian inmates in PA prisons died”
        Oh really ? I can’t find anything on the net in neither Arabic nor English. Could you please provide your source.

        Reply to Comment
    2. “Yet the finger is only pointed at Israel for even things like handcuffing hands with plastic handcuffs or bumpy rides in jeeps as signs Israel is using torture.”

      Where there’s smoke there’s fire. If this were only a matter of plastic handcuffs or bumpy rides in jeeps you would not be here.

      – JPost By YONAH JEREMY BOB \
      01/06/2014 07:08
      Israeli rights group accuses Shin Bet of using torture despite High Court ban

      Israelis accused of torturing Palestinian child detainees

      – RAMALLAH, West Bank — Young Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, from the Shuafat camp in the Jerusalem district, returned to Palestine for his annual summer vacation. Instead, he was severely beaten and detained by Israel soldiers, while his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned alive by three Israelis, two of whom were settlers, on July 2.
      Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/israel-torture-children-prisons-detainees.html##ixzz3K0SvwSgV

      – Hunger strike over, but Israel prison torture continues

      Submitted by Maureen Clare Murphy on Thu, 06/26/2014 – 18:23
      Electronic intifada

      – Prisoner was tortured before dying in Israeli jail, says Palestinian Authority

      Death of 30-year-old man sparks violent clashes in Hebron that leave three Palestinians and one Israeli soldier injured
      Phoebe Greenwood in Hebron
      theguardian.com, Sunday 24 February 2013 17.59 GMT

      – Torture in Israeli prisons: 200 methods used against Palestinian prisoners .
      Wednesday, 29 October 2014 16:55
      Middle East Monitor

      – Israel government ‘tortures’ children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says
      The NGO called for Israel’s definition of torture to be changed after children were kept in outdoor holding pens during winter in a practice which had been going on ‘for months’

      Adam Withnall
      Wednesday 01 January 2014
      The Independent Monday 24 November 2014

      – Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in Amnesty …

      – Detainee Paralyzed During Torture in Israeli Prison

      – Wednesday, 9 February, 2000, 22:46 GMT BBC World
      Israel admits torture

      – Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:30AM
      Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Gaza

      Palestinian prisoners continue to endure torture in Israeli jails as the United Nations marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Currently there are nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners and many of them are subjected to systematic torture. At least 200 Palestinian prisoners have died so far in Israeli custody due to torture and medical negligence.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Adam

      Any government that will torture will ENSLAVE. WHO owned and operated most of the African slave ships?

      Reply to Comment