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Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 5/25/2016
The Israeli military justice system acts only to ‘cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,’ B’Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move.
Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday.
A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,” the organization wrote in an 80-page report that accompanied the announcement.
The report details the exact failings of the military investigative system — read it here.
B’Tselem’s decision is particularly significant because Palestinian victims of violence by Israelis security forces largely rely on Israeli human rights groups to file complaints on their behalf. On a most basic, logistical level, the IDF’s Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU, sometimes referred to as MPCID) does not have any bases in the West Bank where Palestinians can physically go to file complaints, and the army does not issue them entry permits for the purposes of filing complaints against its own soldiers.
But it is the army’s utter ineffectiveness at investigating its own that is most striking.... more.. e-mail Anti-BDS tactics are doomed to fail
Iqbal Jassa, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/26/2016
While Israel believes that playing the anti-Semitism card will do the trick, the opposite is true. European activists, academics, journalists and student movements will not be browbeaten into silence.
Wearing a BDS t-shirt in France is now a criminal offence. This latest move by the French authorities to invoke legislation targeting anti-Semitism against such symbolism is an attempt to harass and intimidate Palestinian solidarity activists. In the context of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign it is not only ridiculous, but also borders on insanity, and follows desperate attempts by Israel to stem the phenomenal growth of BDS across Europe. Many observers have noted that the boycott movement is embraced as enthusiastically in European cities as the anti-apartheid movement was against South Africa.
This is obviously a frightening challenge for Israel’s racist right-wing regime, which knows only too well that unless drastic measures are taken, BDS can snowball into its worst nightmare. However, unlike the brutal violence it uses to crush Palestinian resistance in the Occupied Territories, Israel cannot opt for the military option to crush popular dissent on the university campuses and streets of London, Paris or Brussels.
Neither student movements nor academics in Europe will stand in muted silence as the horrors of Zionism are visited upon Palestinians. Their peaceful mobilisation to oppose the Zionist colonial project is through well-organised BDS campaigns. The impressive gains made thus far point to an escalation of public support in tandem with greater awareness of Israel’s human rights violations.
So what has the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resorted to? Banning orders, similar to those used by South Africa’s apartheid regime to silence the voices of the people.... -- See also: Dutch government follows Sweden in affirming right to boycott Israel more.. e-mail What about anti-Semitism in Israel?
Saleh Al-Nuami, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/23/2016
In its quest to deny charges of anti-Semitism within its institutions, the British Labour party has fired some of its senior members because they have criticised Israel’s behaviour and treatment of the Palestinian people and have compared them to Nazi crimes. The problem is that such decisions in Britain and in Europe more generally are not spurring the right amount of debate that is necessary. In fact, such decisions are being treated and considered as “the deserved punishment” against those who dare to criticise Israel and accuse it of carrying out violent acts comparable to those by the Nazis.
While Europe prevents the comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany and continues to punish those who suggest this comparison, we find that high-ranking Zionists and members of the elite in Tel Aviv have not hesitated to admit that Israel is following in Nazi Germany’s footsteps. The deputy head of the Israeli military warned recently that Israeli society has begun to adopt patterns of behaviour similar to the actions that prevailed in 1930s Germany (Haaretz, 5/5). Far right member of the Israeli government and Minister of Environment Avi Gabai has also re-iterated the same sentiments regarding the prevailing sentiments within Israeli society (Yedioth Ahronoth, 7/5).
Chemi Shalev, an Israeli commentator and journalist, has frowned upon the British Labour party’s decision to fire the former mayor of London because he made comparisons between Nazi Germany and Zionism. Shalev went on to write an article about the “1933 Transfer Agreement, Heskem Haavara in Hebrew”, an agreement that was reached between Nazi Germany and the Zionists. This was the main agreement that sparked the beginning of a dangerous wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine (Haaretz, 1/5).
In addition, Professor Zeev Sternhell, who is currently in charge of the department of political science in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and who has described himself as a “super-Zionist”, places particular emphasis on the fascist elements in Israel.... more.. e-mail ’Legitimate questions’ about Israel’s new coalition
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/26/2016
Typically, the US has expressed reservations about the Israeli coalition government but has reserved judgment. Rather than flaunt knowledge and direct approval of Israel’s increasingly violent policies, the US has resorted to a brief interlude in which it assumes the role of a concerned spectator rather than an eager accomplice.
Quoted in Israeli media including Haaretz, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner declared: “We have also seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history and we also know that many of its ministers have said they oppose a two-state solution… This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in … and what kind of policies it may adopt.”
The assertion of “legitimate questions” is belated, even though the recent appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli defence minister increases the severity of scrutiny as regards future human rights violations committed by the Israeli government. Clearly, the US is indulging in one of its favourite past times which evokes memories of previous right-wing collaborations in South America, for example, when propping up dictatorships and contributing to the torture, murder and disappearance of civilians opposing dictatorial rule was a measure of imperialist success.
Haaretz has interpreted Toner’s statements as evidence that “the Obama administration remains unconvinced by Netanyahu and Lieberman’s calming words,” with reference to the perfunctory and illusory statements uttered by both – a conglomeration of assertions regarding commitment to peace and responsible policy – after signing the coalition agreement. It is inconceivable that the US would be convinced about the validity of such statements; however being unconvinced does not signal opposition to the perpetual colonisation motives. more.. e-mail
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