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John Brown

  • How Israeli police solved a case of suspected 'terrorism' in record time

    An initial police report on an attempted stabbing in the West Bank uses the word 'terrorist' to describe the suspect. Only when it transpires that the would-be attacker is Jewish does the word 'terrorist' vanish. It’s amazing to watch terminology change in realtime. At 4.19 p.m. on Tuesday, the Israel Police released a statement saying that a “suspected terrorist,” who they claimed had tried to stab a soldier at the Hizma checkpoint in the West Bank, had been “neutralized” and was in serious condition. [tmwinpost] Eight minutes later, the following update came out: “After an initial assessment, the suspect appears…

  • Shooting and lying: A textbook example of IDF impunity

    Changing stories, contradictory testimonies and video evidence were not enough to convince Israel's military prosecutor that an IDF officer should be prosecuted for shooting and killing an unarmed Palestinian teen. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem In July 2015 an Israeli army officer, Col. Yisrael Shomer, shot dead Mohammad al-Kasbeh, a 17-year-old Palestinian, near Qalandiya crossing in the West Bank. Shomer lied repeatedly as he was investigated over the incident, but the chief military prosecutor nonetheless decided not to press charges, and closed the file. Shomer, who was a brigade commander at the time of the incident, shot Kasbeh after the…

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  • If you really love Israel, boycott Bob Dylan

    An Israeli college includes the recital of a Dylan song at its Memorial Day ceremony, but some students weren’t having it. We dig a little deeper and find that ‘the voice of a generation’ is more anti-Israel than you ever could have imagined. By John Brown* A small controversy erupted on Israel’s Memorial Day, threatening to shatter whatever remains of national unity in Israel following the most recent elections. The Memorial Day ceremony at Oranim College in northern Israel included a reading of Bob Dylan’s song, “Masters of War.” The song, it seems, caused a fair bit of resentment. Students…

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  • License to Kill: No consequences for shooting an unarmed man in the back

    An unarmed civilian is killed and no one is held accountable. Part two in a series examining Israeli military investigations into Palestinians killed by soldiers. A Palestinian taxi driver is shot in the back by an Israeli soldier. Investigators say they cannot locate the shooters, even though their identity is known. Six years later, when a civil suit is filed, the State suddenly produces them as witnesses. The judge rules their versions of events are unreliable and orders damages paid to the family. The criminal case, however, is closed. [Read part one here.] By John Brown and Noam Rotem (translated…

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  • License to Kill: Shot to death while in custody

    The first part in a series of articles examining case files of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers — the ensuing investigations, by other Israeli soldiers, indicate a lack of interest in discovering the truth or achieving justice. In part one, a Palestinian man is arrested for not carrying an ID card. A few hours later, while handcuffed inside a military base, he is shot to death. The investigation files reveal serious and troubling contradictions. The shooter’s commander admits numerous failures, and yet, nobody will stand trial. By Noam Rotem and John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) [Editor's note: In the…

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