On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel's military rule over the Palestinians. By Alon Mizrahi Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while…Read More... | 16 Comments
For five decades, the High Court has legitimized nearly every aspect of the occupation. It may take time, but one day the settlers will thank the court for 50 years of Israeli rule over the West Bank. We should be enraged at the Israeli Right's attempt to ban left-wing NGOs from filing High Court petitions on behalf of Palestinians. There is no doubt that the motivation behind the initiative is to allow the occupation to continue undisturbed. There is no doubt that there are Palestinians who benefit from these petitions, just as there are women, residents of Israel's periphery, and other oppressed groups who have…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israeli security authorities view hunger striking Palestinian prisoners as political time-bombs that can undermine the occupation's control. The High Court agrees. In a unanimous decision by a three-justice panel, the Israeli High Court on Sunday approved the legality of the force-feeding law, which was enacted by the Knesset in July 2015. [tmwinpost] The law allows Israeli authorities to forcibly feed hunger striking prisoners against their will if their health condition is deemed to be life-threatening, and if the measure is approved by the attorney general and a District Court judge. The procedure involves transmitting food into the patient’s body, either through the vein,…Read More... | 1 Comment
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. [tmwinpost] 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…Read More... | 1 Comment
Unless a law to criminalize torture is passed, we cannot begin combatting the view that a human being's body and soul can be abused for punishment or to extract information. By Rachel Stroumsa Representatives of the Israeli Justice Ministry announced last week in Geneva that the ministry is working on a law criminalizing torture in Israel. A day later it became clear that these representatives were unable to address the content of the proposed law. Nor could they even venture a guess as to when it would be completed, despite the fact that the matter has been under debate for several months.…Read More...
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
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…Read More... | 29 Comments
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 4 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
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…Read More... | 4 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...
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…Read More... | 1 Comment
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