• Obscénités israéliennes, complicités occidentales et arabes

    […] ce que l’on sait déjà, c’est que la chaine des complicités est longue. Si elle prend sa source à Tel-Aviv, elle s’étire à Washington, se faufile à Abou Dhabi et à Rabat, se glisse à Paris et à Bruxelles. Le meurtre de Shirin Abou Akleh n’est pas un acte isolé, mais un crime collectif.

    • Israel’s brutal storm troopers should have never been at Abu Akleh’s funeral
      Gideon Levy | May 15, 2022 | 2:58 AM | Haaretz.com

      No Israeli should have slept well on Friday night. Our police are storm troopers. Palestinians have long known this, but Israelis now have to understand this as well: Israel’s police have shed all restraints.

      The blue-uniformed policemen and the green-uniformed Border Policemen have become storm troopers in the deepest and most loaded sense of this term; there is no other way of describing them. In a country that has a police force like this, every citizen should be concerned, even very frightened. It’s long been an issue that is not just for Palestinians to worry about; they have become inured to it and bear scars from it; now Israelis should be filled with anxiety too.

      Anyone behaving with such barbarity at the funeral of a popular heroine of this land will behave in the same manner under other circumstances as well. Two days ago at a Palestinian funeral, tomorrow at demonstrations or polling booths in Israel.

      It’s true that what drives police storm troopers is imperiousness, racism and the sense that Arabs are not human beings. But this trot down a slippery slope cannot be stopped. When there are no boundaries or anyone putting a stop to it – and there are none – everything will be breached much faster than one imagines. Ethiopians, the ultra-Orthodox and peace activists have already tasted some of this; it will soon spread to clubs, concerts and the home of everyone.

      The Israel Police have a minister in charge, but all Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev had to say on the weekend was reprimand Joint List MK Ofer Cassif for an unnecessary blow he delivered to a policeman blocking his way, accompanied by some rude comments as well. If this is a minister for public security and this is his party, the Labor Party, we’re better off having Kahanist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir fill the role. It couldn’t get much worse, and Ben-Gvir will at least evoke some objections. On Friday night, the so-called government of change, incompetent and indifferent, evoked a yearning for its predecessor.

      It couldn’t get much worse than the brutal clubbing of people carrying a coffin in which a revered journalist is lying, in the course of a national event. The fact that policemen did this in view of the world’s cameras only illustrates to what extent this is the only language they know, of which they’re not even ashamed. Forget for a moment these police thugs, who are heroes when confronting the weak in their hour of mourning. But what about their commanders? After all, senior officers participated in this revolting club-fest as well. No, this was not an “image disaster,” as some sanctimonious people claimed, it was a mega-disaster, a moral and political one. With such a police force in our capital, we don’t have a democracy.

      They shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The minister should have instructed them to that effect, and the commissioner should have executed the order. But Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai has returned to being a commander of the Border Police, the sick and violent occupation force, allowing his policemen to strike out as wildly as they saw fit. They came there already with reinforcements, precisely so they could do what they did. Why are reinforcements needed at a funeral? Why have the police there anyway? Bar-Lev should have stopped it in advance, or at least stopped it as it was unfolding. But Bar-Lev is absent and the commissioner opted for this.

      Nothing would have happened had the Palestinians been allowed to mourn their heroine in their city, as free people, even if only for a moment. She was someone the IDF had apparently killed, as they’ve killed other journalists in the past. Is there any point in noting that no Israeli journalist was ever killed by Palestinians in the occupied territories?

      After this disgraceful funeral, it’s no longer important who shot Shireen. You may have killed her? The least you could do is let her people accompany her on her last journey. But no. As noted by MSNBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, Israel not only doesn’t allow Palestinians to live as Palestinians, it also doesn’t allow them to die as Palestinians. Actually, it doesn’t allow them to die as human beings. It snatches and barters their corpses, and now its policemen knock down coffins from the shoulders of people carrying them. You couldn’t get a more morbid snuff act.

      Storm troopers is a derogatory term for cruel occupier forces. This makes Israel’s police force storm troopers. Coming soon to your neighborhood.


    • Israeli police violence at Al Jazeera journalist’s funeral reveals a deeper problem
      Nir Hasson | May 14, 2022 | Haaretz.com

      Israeli police violence at Al Jazeera journalist’s funeral reveals a
      The decisions of Israeli police at events like journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral display their inability to see the humanity and pain of the Palestinian people

      Police, dressed in black, wearing helmets and protective gear, using their batons to assault people carrying a coffin at a funeral procession. They strike their legs until the coffin slips, almost hitting the ground. This is what most of the world saw – and this is what most of the world will remember from the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, which took place in Jerusalem on Friday.

      Many have spoken in Israel over the last 24 hours. The situation is problematic, they’re saying, so much so that it nearly constitutes a public relations disaster. But the real problem lies not in the way this incident is perceived by the world, but in the unjustified use of violence by the police. This was one of the most extreme visual expressions of the occupation and the humiliation the Palestinian people experience: A senior Palestinian journalist, well-known around the Arab world, has covered the violence and wrongdoings of the Israeli occupation for decades. She dies in an exchange of gunfire, and Israeli soldiers are considered the main suspects. Upon her death, she is a Palestinian icon, her funeral a national event. Precisely at this moment – at the height of mourning – club wielding Israeli police officers arrive at the scene.

      The police rushed to publish a video clip recorded from a drone at the funeral showing two young men throwing what appears to be a water bottle at the police officers, before they charge at him. Yet this is a flimsy excuse for such conduct, at an event that should have been managed with the utmost sensitivity. Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai has ordered an investigation into police conduct at the funeral. Though this incident is just one of many in which Israeli police behaved unacceptably, thereby exacerbating the situation at hand and deepening the humiliation of the victims.

      On the day Abu Akleh died, police officers went to her grieving family and asked them to remove the Palestinian flags flying outside their home, evacuate the street, and lower the music playing outside. On the day of the funeral, shortly after the procession, the police were documented tearing Palestinian flags off cars. We’ll never know what was going through the minds of whoever sent policemen to the family’s home, or those who tore down the flags. How did they think the grieving family or funeral attendees would react?

      If that weren’t enough, a young Palestinian, Walid a-Sharif – who threw stones at police on the Temple Mount three weeks ago and sustained grave head injuries – died at Hadassah Medical Center on Saturday morning. The police claimed his injuries were caused by a fall, but provided no evidence for their claim. It’s hard to believe the cosmic coincidence that a 21-year-old man dies from falling and hitting his head at precisely the same moment sponge-tipped bullets are being fired at him. Upon his death, a-Sharif became an “Al-Aqsa martyr,” the first fatality at the Temple Mount since 2017, when two armed terrorists were killed after shooting and killing two police officers. This time it was a young man throwing stones. From a Palestinian perspective, this is a much graver case.

      Here too, the problem lies not in the way Palestinians or the world perceive the event, or in the risk that his death or funeral will spark a new wave of terror in Jerusalem or the West Bank – but in the death itself. The idea that a stone can in fact kill may be true when referring to a stone thrown at an unprotected car on the highway – but the chance that a policeman wearing a helmet and protective vest will die from a stone is miniscule. The police were not at risk of dying when a-Sharif threw stones at them, and shooting at his upper body was an unjustified breach of the rules of engagement.

      A-Sharif was hit by a black sponge-tipped bullet. This 40 mm bullet is meant to cause intense pain, and is the main non-lethal weapon used by the police. But since 2014, when the police switched from blue, lighter weight bullets to black, heavier ones – the instances in which this ’non-lethal’ weapon has caused serious injuries and even death has increased. In East Jerusalem, there are dozens of young men, children, and adults who are suffering as a result of injuries sustained from these bullets, some of them having lost an eye or gone completely blind. At least in one prior instance, a young man named Mohammed Sinokrot was killed after a sponge-tipped bullet hit in him in the temple.

      In the early hours of Saturday, a new crisis unfolded. The police refused to transfer a-Sharif’s body to his family for burial, despite the fact that he wasn’t under arrest while he was hospitalized over the last three weeks. The Jerusalem’s Magistrate’s Court was expected to handle the police request to carry out a postmortem on Saturday evening.

      The Israeli police were recently praised for their handling of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem in comparison to previous years. This time around, in an effort to provide Palestinians with freedom of worship and a festive atmosphere, police refrained from erecting barriers at Damascus Gate and minimized the use of crowd dispersal methods – such as the “skunk” water cannon, stun grenades, and tear gas – all of which constitute collective punishment.

      This policy proved to be fruitful: compared to last year, violent clashes were limited to the southern part of the Temple Mount and did not spread to Damascus Gate and other Palestinian neighborhoods. Most Jerusalemites, Israelis and Palestinians alike, celebrated their holidays undisturbed, and hospitals were not filled with those injured in clashes. The police’s Jerusalem District Commander, Maj. Gen. Doron Turgeman, who before Ramadan said, “This is not a war, but a holy month,” proved that indeed, things could be different.

      Nevertheless, the devil is in the details, and when it comes to the police, their failure lies in the actions of officers on the ground, their commanders, and their decisions. From using police batons on funeral attendees carrying a coffin, to sending policemen to the home of a grieving family to tear down flags, to raising the barrel of a gun towards someone’s upper body. There is evidently a problem within the police force. Perhaps one could claim it lies with command and control issues, or in police training and recruitment methods. But in reality, it runs much deeper than that. It lies in the fact that police officers do not view the Palestinians they face as human beings, nor do they feel a need to respect them or their pain. This is a terrible truth – and not just for the Palestinians.