Interim Report On Israeli Suppression Of "Orange" Activists' Civil Rights

Fresh from the inbox:

Since the passage of the Law on Evacuation and Compensation (“The Disengagement Law”) by the Knesset in February 2005, the civil rights of opponents of disengagement have been subject to extensive violations. These include the suppression of legal dissent, widespread police brutality, false arrest and the harsh use of punitive detention to deter and intimidate. These measures are being taken against people who enjoy the presumption of innocence and starkly violate the Israeli justice system’s own longstanding norms.
These civil rights violations are not the exception. They are the inevitable outcome of the policies Israel’s legal system has adopted to deal with protest against disengagement. The state prosecution service and the judiciary have chosen to see protest against disengagement as a form of rebellion, and have authorized harsh measures against those taking part in it. Police have all but been promised immunity from punishment for violations of the rights of disengagement’s opponents, and accordingly give those rights little respect.
Unwilling to acknowledge that they are confronted with a genuine movement of nonviolent civil disobedience, Israeli legal and judicial authorities have countered one phenomenon of mass illegal action with another of their own creation. Such behavior on the part of the authorities of a state supposedly under the rule of law is completely unacceptable. Its damages rather than upholds the rule of law and the prestige of democratic government.
This report examines in detail 17 cases of civil rights violations, falling under four heads: 1. The treatment of minor detainees; 2. Police brutality; 3. Violations of due process and the rights of the accused, including false arrest and punitive and coercive pre-trial detention; 4. Suppression of legal dissent.

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18 thoughts on “Interim Report On Israeli Suppression Of "Orange" Activists' Civil Rights

  1. asaf, when they came for the arab i stood up. and when they came for the jew, i stood up too. that neither the arab stood up for the jew, nor the jew stood up for the arab does not mean that i will not rise above both their biases, and stand up for both of them. are you trying to transcend left and right, or are you the same beast as your enemy with just a different platform?

  2. to answer your question – trasncend left and right. my comment was not directly towards you but towards the hypocrites on the right.
    my last post about peace now was exactly about this point – when they came for the “right wing inciters” peace now didnt say a thing (well it even encouraged the shutting of mouths). when they’ll come for peace now, no one will be there for em. this is the “sin” of the authoritarianism which cuts through all the political spectrum.

  3. the real issue here is when will the israeli government do away with the bolshevick founding doctrines of the country, the barriers to free speech and a free economy, and enter the 21st century in freedom and economically. its embarrassing that a jewish country, with a jewish history of leadership in business, in freedom, and in virtually every other area should be so moribund when it comes to those very issues: throw off the commy/socialistic shackels of the fouding fathers and enter the modern era for goodness sake!

  4. avi, free market capitalism is the furthest thing from jewish. socialism is, essentially, torah. its origins are in the haskalah’s reaction to the misnagdim whose practice of judaism contradicted the most basic torah values. case in point, “self-hating” marx’s brother was the chief rabbi of triers and his father was a civil rights lawyer. you think his values developed in a vaccuum?

  5. actually mobius, you are probably correct; but in the same fashion that frum jews have adopted to the modern world, it’s possible to keep jewish values of care and concern about our fellows and recognize that empirically, the free market works, socialism doesn’t: keep the safety net, but let the entrepreneurial amongst us build companies that create wealth and income for all of us.

  6. avi, there is no such thing as a free market. “free market” is a deceptive buzzword for capitalistic cronyism. please see the films “life & debt”, “the take” & “the yes men”. they will make it abundantly clear in just a few hours that free market capitalism, aka neoliberalism, is a system which permits the wealthiest 1% to exploit international labor without being subject to government controls, nor without “paying society back” for their success by paying taxes. the world bank, the imf, and the wto do not create free markets, they impose trade restrictions on developing nations which cripple their ability to compete with first world nations, and create “free trade zones” which allow corporations to evade responsibility to their workforces and to the nations which support them with tax subsidies. neoliberalism amounts to the economic oppression of the poor, and the economic empowerment of these policies’ dictators. the only “freedom” there is of corporations to run amok and for the individuals running those corporations to get rich at others’ expense.

  7. Honestly, “The Yes Men”? I’ve seen that movie, but it’s hardly an indictment of capitalism- it’s funny, and it’s geared towards those that dislike corporatism already.

  8. josh, the lecture they presented on the “involuntarily imported workforce” model of labor vs. “remote workforce” model of labor was incredibly powerful and important.

  9. A footnote to Globalization.
    A good article on the so-called “free market gospel” by Noam Chomski here: http://www.countercurrents.org
    (the site’s page on globalisation is an eye-opener on the oft-promoted fallacy of how the new economy “create wealth and income for all of us”… It is simply not true. The gap between the haves and have-nots has increased dramatically (in particular in Israel, which was one of the more egalitarian societies up to the 70s) and in direct relationship with the increase in multi-national corporations’ influence over governments policies. A good example is Halliburton (and just to make a point – the spell checker on my computer has this word in the dictionary…) which employs over 30,000 people on fat salaries to supply everything – from armament to tools; from food to the dining-halls – to the US army in Iraq.

  10. I can’t believe I’m posting on a thread in which Chomsky is being quoted as a serious source, but…
    Moby, the Jewish tradition combines elements of free-market capitalism and socialism. Let’s recall that all the tithes and other percentages that a Jew must give to the poor and “homeless” Levites doesn’t exceed 20-30 percent in total.
    There is certainly no concept in Judaism that the amassing of capital is, itself, evil – no distinction between people based on class, no setting of various income levels against each other, no notion that ANYONE has the right to redistribute hard-earned wealth.
    One could just as easily interpret the Jewish laws relating to paying an honest wage, and other worker rights, as part of a general “right to work” or “free market, free agent” approach – never is the worker seen primarily as a member of an oppressed class.
    Regarding the false equation between treatment of Arabs and Jews – Arabs are profiled and roadblocked in response to a consistent pattern of deadly aggression.
    Israeli Jews are being prevented from peaceful political speech and assembly. People are being arrested for their political opinions.
    We have seen increasingly VIOLENT protests by Israelis and Palestinians at sites along the new security fence – in one instance, a soldier was stoned and killed. But the border police are instructed to peacefully contain these protests.
    Can Assaf or the other Chomskyites cite an instance of an Israeli leftist – or an Israeli Arab – who has been arrested solely for their opinions, with no violent incidents?
    Can anyone cite a case in which Israeli leftist – or Arab – minors have been arrested for handing out leaflets on a street corner, and held for months in solitary confinement, without seeing their parents?
    Can anyone cite a case in which an Israeli judge considered sending such an underaged Israeli or Arab “enemy of the state” to a foster home for “re-education”?

  11. “Can Assaf or the other Chomskyites cite an instance of an Israeli leftist – or an Israeli Arab – who has been arrested solely for their opinions, with no violent incidents?”
    plenty. In fact i’ve been in mail correspondence with an Atzir Minhali (that is, a political prisoner who hasnt received fair trail. certain ranks in the idf have the authority to arrest people for several months without need for trial). this guy was arrested plainly for his political views and for being part of a political wing of a palestinian resistance movement.
    Many atzirim minhaliyim are political prisoners.
    There countless numbers where peaceful palestinian demonstrators have been shot at and arrested – jsut for demonstrators.
    I can give you also countless testimonies of palestinians who have been arrested and tortured at the basements of the shabac for no reason whatsover.
    Think about it this way- if this is how israel treats the jews, think how it treats the palestinians.

  12. Well, lets see…your friend was arrested for being part of an unnamed “political wing of a palestinian resistance movement.”
    Sorry, but if you can’t bring yourself to admit your friend is a terrorist, or a member of a terrorist group (which is the same in my eyes and in the eyes of the law), then maybe you should think twice before crying about his arrest.
    I now understand, when Asaf says someone is being arrested “plainly for his political views” it means he’s a member of the political wing of the terror group, not the armed wing.

  13. Asaf, to be fair, you said he was part of a “Palestinian resistance movement”. That’s usually code for terrorist groups, among those who don’t believe that “terrorist” is an acceptable word. Which resistance movement, incidentally?
    On a separate note, when you talk about people being arrested for their views within the military — this is quite different than being arrested for one’s views as a private citizen. Each is questionable, but they do need to be distinguished; democracies are rather different animals than armies are.

  14. i’m moving apartments soon so ill post the exact name when i retreive the letter.
    when i say resistance movement, i mean non-violent resistance movements. sorry for the confusion, but in any case its a big jump to assume terroristm movement.

  15. Mmmm, from Trozkyite to Chomskyite… it is a rosy future indeed.
    But of course one should have known light weight thinkers such as Noam Chomsky would not suffice for the kind of intellectual powerhouses Ben David associates with.
    Maybe he will not sneer at Prof. Amartya Sen:
    “…the central issue in general is not whether a particular arrangement is better for everyone than no cooperation at all would be, but whether that is a fair division of the benefits. One cannot rebut the criticism that a distributional arrangement is unfair simply by noting that all the parties are better off than they would be in the absence of cooperation; the real exercise is the choice between these alternatives.”
    Not deep enough? How about a comment by Des Gasper re George DeMartino’s book on Global Economy:
    “The core factors in Neoclassical & Neoliberal Economics presumed central always and everywhere, include individual rationality, individual preferences taken as exogenously given, heavily selfish (in NLE) and beyond moral critique (‘interpersonal relativism’); and eternal scarcity relative to these wants, which endorses the race for ever more production. Reductionist, essentialist reasoning from a narrow set of simplistic yet fixed assumptions to a series of definite and emphatic prescriptions appeals to those who crave the simple and definite as well as to those whose interests the assumptions promote. It is a form of fundamentalism.”
    But let me guess – it is easier to deride a comment based on the opinion you have of the person quoted than to address the point, right?
    And in ragerds to: “One could just as easily interpret the Jewish laws relating to paying an honest wage, and other worker rights, as part of a general “right to work” or “free market, free agent” approach – never is the worker seen primarily as a member of an oppressed class.” That is a fine assessment – God knows why the picture on the streets is often different. The right to work delivers plenty of employment, but be it Thai workers in the moshav, or Nike’s factories in Malaysia. There will always be those who exploit the hungry and the desperate. In this case, Jewish law addresses a fault line in the makeup of the human psyche (greed), not some conceptual socio-economic clash of paradigms.
    Army & police violence against Leftist protesters is plentiful and documented, to the point that the courts had to criticize their actions http://www.imemc.org/i ndex.php?option=com_con tent&task=view&id=12914 &Itemid=1 .
    Further more, there is enough evidence that often the army turns a blind eye to settlers’ violence against Palestinians (e.g. here http://www.haaretzdaily.com/ha… ). The patient treatment (which is commendable and should not be any other way!)that the protesters in the Gaza strip are getting this very moment is in stark contrast to the tear gas, rubber bullets and worse often employed in demonstrations of the Left when Israelis and Palestinians protest together. And when it is only the Palestinians, people often die http://www.scoop.co.nz /stories/WO0404/S00186. htm ).
    The settlers cries of foul play is a classic case of Ha-Kozak Ha-Nigzal. Ater years of being the feted darlings of successive Israeli governments (Right & Left), the bare truth has finally made it through the smoke screen of self adulation and messianic steam – controlling massive numbers of very poor people just so few thousands can have their villas and gardens paid for by the taxpayers (many of which are the same poor bastards who got shafted by Netanyahunomics), is not only futile, it is insane. It is the downfall of the Israeli State, the bringer of its demise and the fact the disengagement is happening is a testimony to the fact some democracy – thanks God – is still pumping in the veins. The State has responsibility to protect its citizens and this is a responsible decision. Just as the one that contemplates taking youngsters who are brought up by irresponsible parents – such as the three girls in the case you mention. Judge Ayala Procaccia’s original rulling in reaction to the fact that the girls’ parents could not be trusted to keep them away from disengagement protests might not be the brightest decision ever made by an Israeli judge, but it was done in essence by upholding the same principles that should benefit democratic institutions the world over. People have the freedom the think, say and do as they like, as long as they do not bring others into harm. Maybe you should tell that to the guy who was waving his baby out of the window on the news last night.

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