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ISRAELI IMPUNITY February 27, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
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At AlterNet, Charlotte Silver asks: How Israel Gets Away with Torturing Palestinians to Death. Or maybe I should ask,How did 30 year old Arafat Jaradat die from heart failure?

He notes:

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011, 700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”

Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.

Can the echoes of Ben Zygier’s murder be heard in Arafat’s story?

Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisoners refused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.

Can apparently cold-hearted and habitual killers be moved by the power of soul force? Much like the Second Amendment for slave owners, violence appears to work a treat, to the pass the pragmatic test – but not the human one. Violence can be maintained but there are costs. For one of those costs is that it makes democracy impossible except as a facade as it permanently blights the humanity of it perpetrators. At some point there comes a time of reckoning. The long terms catches up with the short term, the ends catch up with the means.

Of course, if you can get somebody else to carry out the violence, the primrose political path leads forward.

It is important to distinguish between Judaism, which might be seen as a particular moral point of view and human legacy from Zionism, which is the argument in effect that the Palestinian people have no place in homeland, and so should be dispossessed.

In the context of historical pre-diaspora Judaism it seems that Aramaic, the language of Jesus of Nazareth, is now at the point of extinction since it survives, if it can be believed, in one village in Syria. Assuming Jesus of Nazareth was a real person, as well as avatar (however that might work) then Judaism is one parameter in his life, and another is the Roman Occupation of Palestine’. Aramaic needless to observe is neither Hebrew or Latin. So how is possible to tell who can trace a direct line of descent given

The fact that Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defence could be delayed and made more drawn out is a testament to the power of the Israel lobby. The fact that they could not stop his nomination is evidence of the limitations of their influence. I keep hearing that Hegel has been appointed and anticipating the long historical perspective. How might the dialectic of empire be running?

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