Multiple daily incidents reflect Israel's true face. Israel is no
democracy. It's a ruthless, racist police state.
On November 26, the Palestinian Center for Human
headlined "In 2 Crimes of Extra-judicial Execution and Excessive
Use of Force, Israeli Forces Kill 3 Palestinian Civilians in Yatta,
South of Hebron."
These type incidents happen with disturbing regularity. Western
media ignore them. PCHR strongly condemned what it called
further proof of "Israeli forces' disregard for" civilian lives.
Two nonviolent Palestinian civilians were targeted north of Yatta.
They posed no threat. They were driving a white Subaru.
They were traveling along a dirt road. A Renault Kangoo vehicle
"The Subaru was about to reach (a) bypass road where an Israeli
infantry unit had been deployed in the farmlands around," said
"Israeli soldiers directly opened fire at the vehicle, and in the
meantime, other soldiers opened fire from the Renault vehicle as
Two Palestinians died from multiple gunshot wounds. They were
struck in the chest, head, neck and pelvis.
"Half an hour later Israeli forces killed (another nonviolent)
Palestinian south of Hebron."
They surrounded his house. They opened fire. They did so for
several minutes. They used an explosive device to blow open his
door. They shot at a by-passer.
These crimes reflect cold-blooded murder. Israel commits them
with impunity. Under Fourth Geneva's Article 147, they constitute
war crimes. Prosecutions don't follow. Palestinian lives don't
On November 27, Al Haq published a report titled
Impunity: Israel's Failure to Combat Settler Violence in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory."
It's longstanding. It rages out-of-control. Israeli security forces do
nothing to stop it. Settlers are free to terrorize Palestinians with
impunity. They take full advantage.
Al Haq director Shawan Jabarin said these type attacks are
systematic. They're commonplace. They're institutionalized. Israeli
policy encourages them.
"The obligation of Israeli authorities is to protect Palestinians under
occupation," said Jabarin.
"They are not. They are closing their eyes and facilitating the
violence against Palestinians."
Third party states are obligated to intervene. They're mandated "to
combat organized crime by ensuring that support, financial or
otherwise, is not being lent to violent settler groups by private and
public entities within their jurisdiction."
"It is time for action against these groups and the settlers in
as well as the leaders, such as settler councils."
Settlers regularly target Palestinian farmers. They destroy hundreds
of olive trees monthly. They commit arson and other types of
vandalism. They terrorize Palestinian children.
Violence includes "price tag" attacks. Settlers use the term to
describe retaliations relating to Israeli government actions limiting
their political goals.
In the last decade, thousands of incidents occurred. Palestinian
Authority security forces do virtually nothing to stop them. They're
complicit in enforcing Israeli policy.
Ordinary Palestinians live in a virtual war zone. They're on their
own to survive. Al Haq called Price Tag attacks intense and severe.
Many forced Palestinians from their land. It's done to support
settlement construction. According to Jabarin:
"Price Tag attacks have allowed settler groups to successfully
mobilize a public campaign advocating for the use of physical
violence against Palestinians."
"Israel's legislative and administrative regime in the West Bank,
coupled with its institutional unwillingness to prosecute offending
settlers, has created a climate of impunity allowing such violence
against the Palestinian population to intensify."
Extremist settlers get active support from Israeli educational, social
and religious state institutions. Israel's government provides its own.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA), 2011 settler attacks increased by about one-third
They were over 140% greater than in 2010. In 2011, settlers
destroyed or damaged 10,000 olive trees. At the same time, dozens
of Palestinian families were displaced.
Israeli authorities turn a blind eye to most complaints.
Investigations, when conducted, are whitewashed.
Settlers are free to terrorize Palestinians with impunity. They take
full advantage. They get plenty of help.
On September 11, 2011, Haaretz headlined "French JDL (Jewish
Defense League) recruiting Jews with military experience to
'defend' Israeli settlements."
The French JDL group is an offshoot of Meir Kanane's racist Kach
party. Israel banned it in 1988. It called it a "threat to national
security." It's banned in America. France tolerates it.
Haaretz cited its spokesman Amnon Cohen. He explained a
planned for late September 2011. Five groups of 11 people each
were involved. They operated in different Israeli settlements.
Unidentified French donors defrayed all costs. Participants
included men and women. They ranged from age 23 to 34. They all
had military training. It was a prerequisite.
According to Cohen, JDL's mission wasn't to "provoke the Arabs."
It was to "be on hand in case the settlements nee(ed) (help in case)
Arabs attack(ed) at this precarious time."
Suggesting it was ludicrous. Palestinians don't attack settlements.
They're vulnerable to regular settler attacks. They're blamed for
JDL is a violence, racist group. Its West Bank presence is
provocative. It has nothing to do with protection. It's about
terrorizing Palestinians lawlessly. France offers tacit support.
In November 2004,Yasser Arafat died in a Paris hospital. He was
poisoned. Israel killed him. Before his death, JDL extremists
publicly chanted: "Arafat, bastard, the Jews will have your skin."
Cohen said JDL's organizing efforts went smoothly. Things were
coordinated with designated settlements. Everything was arranged
Palestinians face ongoing terror. Its internal and imported from
abroad. World leaders able to help turn a blind eye. Millions of
Palestinians are on their own to survive.
Thursday was like most other days. Israeli soldiers invaded
Palestinian communities. Eight nonviolent West Bank civilians
were kidnapped. So were three others in Gaza.
Israel attacks injured many others. Settlers uprooted dozens of
trees. The previous week they destroyed over 100.
Since June 1967, Israeli soldiers and settlers destroyed nearly one
million olive trees. The extent of state-sponsored vandalism
accompanied by violence is shocking. It continues day-to-day
On November 24, extremist Israeli settlers desecrated the Al-Aqsa
Mosque compound. They did it many times before. Police do
nothing to stop them. Failure to act reflects complicity.
On November 28, dozens of extremist Israelis entered the mosque's
compound. They did so provocatively. Police escorted them.
They performed religious rights under armed guard where they're
not welcome. Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib heads Islamist endowment
and mosque affairs.
He denounced the incident. He called it a raid. He said the Al-Aqsa
compound situation deteriorates daily.
Israeli authorities want control where they don't belong. Al-Aqsa is
Islam's third holiest site. Invading it is entirely provocative. At
times, violence follows. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes.
In early November, Knesset members considered letting Jews pray
provocatively on the mosque's compound. Israeli deputy religious
affairs minister Eli Ben-Dahan supports doing so.
Al-Aqsa is in East Jerusalem. It's internationally recognized as
occupied Palestinian territory. Israel considers Jerusalem its
exclusive capital. Confrontations occur often.
On September 28, 2000, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
provocatively entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Around
1,000 security forces accompanied him.
The second Intifada followed. Thousands of Palestinians were
killed. Many thousands more were injured.
Perhaps Israel plans recreating what happened. Lawlessness
reflects official policy. Palestinians are persecuted ruthlessly.
Security forces terrorize them. So do extremist settlers. They're on
their own to survive.
A Final Comment
Israel's government is its most extreme ever. On November 17,
Knesset members approved a draconian anti-infiltration measure.
It oppressively targets asylum seekers. It's an amendment to the
Law to Prevent Infiltration. Human rights groups denounced it.
It calls for one year imprisonment. It subjects legitimate asylum
seekers to forced Negev detention. The new measure is even more
draconian than an earlier version.
In September, Israel's High Court unanimously overturned it.
Knesset members want the new measure enacted swiftly.
Around 2,000 men, women and children are being held in harsh
detention. Their fundamental rights are denied.
According to Citizenship and Residency Program director Oded
Feller, imprisoning asylum seekers ignores a Supreme Court ruling.
"Nine justices (unanimously) reasoned that the provision is illegal
because it violates the right of freedom. Imprisonment under these
circumstances, whether for one year or three, is prohibited."
Israel systematically violates international law. It ignores its own
High Court rulings. It does what it wants. It does so with impunity.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein endorsed a new bill. It
compromises free expression. It surfaced before. In 2011, the
Public Defender's Office introduced the idea. Harsh public
It's nicknamed the "concealment law." It prohibits publicizing
information about a criminal investigation.
It does so even if it doesn't compromise the privacy of people being
investigated. It especially targets journalists.
Weinstein and Justice Ministry officials want publication of diaries,
medical, and financial information prohibited. The Privacy
Protection Law currently protects this type material.
Invasion of privacy criminal and civil prosecutions are permitted.
Israel wants the Courts Law amended. Why it must explain.
At risk is compromising free expression. Authorities want
legitimate criticism prohibited. It wants it during ongoing
investigations. It wants it after cases in question are concluded.
If enacted, it'll violate Weinstein's pronouncement that "the public
will read and judge." It'll compromise fundamental press freedom.
It'll deny the public access to information it has a right to know.
How will people know if their government acted lawfully or
How will they be able to judge the legitimacy of prosecutions?
How will unfairly targeted people be able to defend themselves in
the court of public opinion?
No Israeli law enshrines free expression. It's a fundamental right.
stake is free, fair, unbiased news and information coverage. So is
concealing crimes committed by public officials.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Truth is the ally of justice. It's the
enemy of lawlessness. It's essential in free societies.
In summer 2011, Israel enacted an anti-boycott measure. Critics
called it outrageous, shameless and anti-democratic.
It criminalizing boycott supporters. Persons or groups targeted can
sue without having to prove harm caused.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) called the
measure "one of the most concerning (ever) anti-democratic
At issue is boycotting Israeli products, persons and activities
connected with Occupied Palestine and settlements. Enactment
was politically motivated. Section 2 stipulates:
"It is prohibited to initiate a boycott of the state of Israel, to
encourage participation in a boycott, or to provide assistance or
information with the purpose of promoting a boycott."
Individuals or groups accused of doing so face criminal and/or civil
Police states operate this way. Israel violates numerous civil and
human rights. It wants them compromised or eliminated.
Occupied Palestinians have no rights. Israeli Arabs have few. Jews
too critical of government policies risk trouble.
Boycotts are a legitimate right. So is press freedom and other free
Criminalizing them is unprecedented in democracies. Protecting
opposition opinions is fundamental in legitimate ones.
Israel more than ever is a lawless police state. America operates