organization:shin bet

  • Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs
    By Hagar Shezaf Jul 05, 2019 - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-israel-systematically-hides-evidence-of-1948-expulsio

    International forces overseeing the evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/Israel State Archives

    Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

    “Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

    The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

    The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

    Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

    Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

    Palestine refugees initially displaced to Gaza board boats to Lebanon or Egypt, in 1949. Hrant Nakashian/1949 UN Archives

    “At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

    Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

    The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.
    An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

    Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

    The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”
    “The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

    The Israeli version
    One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

    Read a translation of the document here (1)

    This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

    The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

    Palestinian children awaiting distribution of milk by UNICEF at the Nazareth Franciscan Sisters’ convent, on January 1, 1950. AW / UN Photo

    The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ’whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

    The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

    The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ’friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”
    An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

    Short fuse
    In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

    These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

    In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:
    Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”
    Peled: “All, all. Yes.”
    Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”
    Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”
    Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”
    Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”
    Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”
    Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”
    Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”
    Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”
    Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”
    Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

    IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians in Ramle, in 1948. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:
    Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”
    Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”
    Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”
    Lev Tov: “That were standing?”
    Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”
    Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”
    Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

    Crates in vaults
    The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.
    The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.
    “In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.
    One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

    According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

    Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.
    A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

    The evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

    The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered.... The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

    The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

    Nuclear excuse
    It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.
    “I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

    Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

    But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

    In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”
    In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”
    In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

    Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

    Palestinian refugees leaving their village, unknown location, 1948. UNRWA

    According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”
    Unauthorized secrecy
    About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.
    Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

    According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”
    Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.
    Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”
    The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

    A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

    Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

    What Malmab says
    Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.
    “I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”
    From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

    Palestinian refugees in the Ramle area, 1948. Boris Carmi / The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

    Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

    If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?
    “The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

    For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?
    “I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

    In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.
    “The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

    But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?
    “I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

    There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.
    “If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

    The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

    Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

    (1) https://www.haaretz.co.il/st/inter/Heng/1948.pdf

  • Does Being ’Zionist Feminist’ Mean Betraying Women for Israel? - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם
    https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2017/03/16/zionist-feminist-mean-betraying-women-israel


    Rasmea Odeh participates in Detroit Black Lives Matter rally

    March 16, 2017 by Richard Silverstein Leave a Comment

    Yesterday, I wrote a critique of Emily Shire’s diatribe against the Women’s Strike Day USA protest. She especially singled out platform statements supporting Palestinian rights. Shire, a professed Zionist feminist, dismissed the criticisms of Israeli Occupation contained in the event platform as irrelevant to the issue of women’s rights. Then she launched into an attack on one of the conveners of the Strike Day, Rasmea Odeh. Shire alleges that Odeh is a convicted terrorist and former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terror group.

    A comment Deir Yassin published yesterday here got me to thinking further about this issue. I researched Rasmea’s case and the torture she endured. My view is this is precisely the sort of case and individual any women’s movement should embrace. Here is a summary of the facts of the case. In 1969, a cell of the PFLP planted bombs at a Jerusalem Super-Sol. They exploded, killing two Hebrew University students.
    shin bet torture

    Afterward, security forces arrested Odeh and jailed her without charges or access to counsel. She was tortured, by her account, for 45 days. Here is how she described her treatment in testimony to a UN commission on torture in Geneva:

    …”They beat me with sticks, plastic sticks, and with a metal bar. They beat me on the head and I fainted as a result of these beatings. They woke me up several times by throwing cold water in my face and then started all over again.”

    In addition to this physical torture, Odeh also faced sexual torture. Her father, a U.S. citizen, was also arrested and beaten, “and once they brought in my father and tried to force him under blows to take off his clothes and have sexual relations with me.” Later, interrogators “tore my clothes off me while my hands were still tied behind my back. They threw me to the ground completely naked and the room was full of a dozen or so interrogators and soldiers who looked at me and laughed sarcastically as if they were looking at a comedy or a film. Obviously they started touching my body.” In her father’s presence, interrogators threatened to “violate me” and “tried to introduce a stick to break my maidenhead [hymen].” Shackled naked from the ceiling, interrogators “tied my legs, which were spread-eagled, and they started to beat me with their hands and also with cudgels.”

    Every method described in her account is known from previous descriptions of the treatment of Arab terror suspects. We know, for example, that Doron Zahavi, an IDF AMAN officer, raped Mustafa Dirani in Prison 504. The beatings and positions she describes are also previously described in testimony by the Public Committee to Prevent Torture in Israel. Therefore, it’s not just conceivable that Rasmea endured the treatment she claims, it’s almost a certainty. Especially given that two Israelis were killed in the bombing.

    In summary, the Shin Bet tried to force her father to rape her. The interrogators themselves raped her and further degraded her sexually. And her father was tortured as a means of compelling her to confess. If this isn’t a perfect portrait of a cause that all feminists should embrace, I don’t know what is. So when Shire claims that Palestine is the farthest thing from what Women’s Strike Day’s mission should be, she’s engaging in willful blindness to the plight of another woman. A woman who happens to be Palestinian.

    Rasmea was tried and convicted in an Israeli military court, which features military judges and prosecutors using rules that favor the prosecution and shackle the hands of the defense. It can rule any evidence secret and so prevent the defense from seeing it, let alone rebutting it. Such a conviction could never withstand scrutiny under U.S. criminal procedures or even Israeli civilian courts.

    Further, Shire justifies her denunciation of Odeh by noting that Israel denies torturing Rasmea. So you have an Israeli security apparatus which is well-known for lying when evidence against it is damning. And you have Rasmea’s testimony, supported by scores of accounts by other security prisoners as to their treatment under similar circumstances. It reminds me of the story of the husband who returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. The man jumps out of bed and says: “Hey, this isn’t what this looks like. Nothing happened. I swear it. Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes?” Emily Shire prefers to believe the agency that lies to her with a straight face. In doing so, she shows that she is a Zionist first and foremost; and a feminist second, if at all.

    As for the citizenship application infractions which the Justice Department is exploiting in order to expel her from the U.S.: she had been tortured once by Israel. Her decision to hide her previous conviction was surely founded on a fear that she might be deported once again back to Israel or Jordan (where Israel had sent her after her release from prison). The Jordanian security apparatus collaborates closely with Israeli intelligence. The former is quite handy with torture itself. Further, the U.S. judge in her first trial prohibited her attorney from raising torture as part of her defense. Her second trial will explicitly permit such testimony. Though I’m not privy to the defense strategy, I hope it will demand that a Shabak officer who participated in her interrogation testify at trial. And if his testimony diverges from the truth, I hope there is means to document this and hold him accountable. It would be one of the first times such an agent would be held accountable legally either inside or outside Israel.

    In the attacks against Rasmea, it’s certainly reasonable to bring up her participation in an act of terrorism: as long as you also examine the entire case against her. She admitted participation in the attack. But she denied placing the bomb in the supermarket. Despite her denial, this was the crime for which she was convicted. Further, Rasmea was released after serving ten years as part of a prisoner exchange. If Israel saw fit to release her, what is the point of using her alleged past crime against her today?

    As for her membership in a terror organization, she has long since left the militant movement. Her civic activism is solely non-violent these days. Further, virtually every leader of Israel for the first few decades of its existence either participated directly in, or ordered acts of terror against either British or Palestinian targets. Why do we grant to Israel what we deny to Palestinians?

    It may be no accident that two days before Shire’s broadside against the U.S. feminist movement (and Rasmea) in the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune published another hit-piece against her. The latter was credited to a retired Chicago professor. Her bio neglected to mention that she is also a Breitbart contributor who is the local coördinator for StandWithUs. This sin of omission attests either to editorial slacking or a deliberate attempt to conceal relevant biographical details which would permit readers to judge the content of the op-ed in proper context.

    The Tribune op-ed denounces Jewish Voice for Peace’s invitation to Rasmea to address its annual conference in Chicago later this month. As I wrote in last night’s post, what truly irks the Israel Lobby is the growing sense of solidarity among feminist, Jewish, Palestinian, Black and LGBT human rights organizations. Its response is to divide by sowing fear, doubt and lies in the media. The two op-eds in the Times and Tribute are stellar examples of the genre and indicate a coordinated campaign against what they deride as intersectionality.

    #Palestine #femmes #résistance #zionisme

  • Settlers ’executed’ a Palestinian, and the Israeli army covered it up, rights group reports - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-settlers-executed-a-palestinian-and-idf-covered-it-up-human-rights

    Abed al-Muneim Abdel Fattah. Explained repeatedly to investigators that his son had no family or other problems and was never active in any group. Credit : Alex Levac

    It’s a very busy traffic circle on Highway 60, the major route in the West Bank, between the Hawara checkpoint and the Tapuah settlement intersection, not far from Nablus. As you drive toward the spot, which the Palestinians call Beita Circle and the settlers call Beitot Circle, garbage is piled up along the roadside. This is the industrial zone of the town of Hawara, where there is no industry other than garages and workers’ restaurants that look out onto the highway.

    On April 3, three men, all of them on the way to work, arrived at the traffic circle separately. Only two of them left the site alive. The third was shot to death. The B’Tselem Israeli human rights organization asserted this week that the shooting was an execution and that the Israel Defense Forces destroyed evidence and whitewashed the findings.

    It all happened in a flash. A little before 8:30 A.M., Mohammed Abdel Fattah arrived at the circle. He was 23 years old, married and the father of 7-month-old daughter, on the way from his apartment in his uncle’s house in the village of Beita to his job at the uncle’s brick factory in the village of Jama’in. He had apparently been traveling in a shared taxi. Eyewitnesses saw him standing by the side of the road and smoking two cigarettes, one after the other. What was going on in his mind? What was he planning? What made him act? We are unlikely to know.

    He then crossed the road, to the west. He stood on the shoulder, within touching distance of the vehicles proceeding from north to south, a few meters from the circle, where traffic has to slow down. The road was very busy at that time of the morning. He threw two or three stones, not very big ones, at passing cars, hitting no one.

    Even a visit to the home of Mohammed’s family did not provide an explanation for why he threw the stones. He was not a teenager and had never been arrested. He was married with a child, had a steady job and was on the way to work. A few days earlier he’d been to Israel for the first time in his life; together with his wife he visited Jerusalem and they later ate fish at a restaurant in Jaffa. Perhaps that trip holds the key to what drove the young married father to throw stones or try to stab a settler that morning.

    One of the cars he’d thrown a stone at stopped. It was a white Renault with a blue poster of the Union of Right-Wing Parties displayed in the rear window. The driver was Yehoshua Sherman, from the settlement of Elon Moreh, who was working as a field director for the Union of Right-Wing Parties during the election campaign, which had then entered its final week. A blurry video clip from a security camera shows Sherman’s car, which had been traveling from north to south, stopping. Fifteen seconds later, Sherman gets out of the car and apparently shoots Mohammed Abdel Fattah, who’s seen kneeling behind the vehicle. We don’t know what happened in those 15 seconds – the car blocks the view.

    In the meantime a truck with Israeli plates also stops and the driver gets out. B’Tselem field researchers Salma a-Deb’i and Abdulkarim Sadi cite witnesses as saying that they heard two shots. They think Sherman fired them before leaving his car. Abdel Fattah apparently tried to seek refuge behind a dumpster, which this week was still there, overflowing with refuse, at the edge of the road. A second video clip shows him lying on the road on his stomach, and being turned over onto his back by soldiers trying to ascertain if he was carrying explosives.

    According to the testimonies B’Tselem took from four people, who all saw similar things, the two drivers fired a number of shots from close range even after Abdel Fattah lay wounded on the ground. B’Tselem also claims the Israel Defense Forces deleted footage from security cameras in the area of the shooting of the wounded man. Israeli media reported that “a Palestinian terrorist was shot and subdued by two drivers after trying to stab a father and his daughter near Hawara, south of Nablus.”

    From the B’Tselem report, on its website: “At that point, Abdel Fattah was crouching among the dumpsters. Sherman approached him and fired several more shots at him. A truck driving along the road also stopped, and the driver got out. He came over to stand next to Sherman, and the two men fired several more shots at Abdel Fattah, who was lying wounded on the ground… Abdel Fattah succumbed to his wounds a short while later, at Beilinson Hospital in Israel.”

    One of the shots hit Khaled Hawajba, a young man who works in a nearby store, in the abdomen. He was treated in Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus and discharged a few days later.

    Minutes after the shooting by the two settlers, military jeeps arrived at the scene. The soldiers used stun grenades to disperse the crowd that had begun to gather at the site. According to B’Tselem, immediately afterward a group of about eight soldiers entered two of the nearby businesses to check their security cameras. They dismantled a digital video recorder in one of the stores and left. About 20 minutes later, the soldiers returned to the store, reinstalled the DVR and watched the footage.

    “Two soldiers filmed the screen with their mobile phones. They then erased the footage from the DVR and left,” the B’Tselem report states.

    In one of the clips that was uploaded to social networks in Israel, the photographer can be heard saying in Hebrew: “The terrorist tried to jump onto the Jew’s car and stab him. Our heroic soldiers eliminated him, may his name be blotted out. There are no casualties.”

    After the incident, Sherman told Srugim, a website that calls itself “the home site of the religious sector”: “At Beitot junction a terrorist with a knife jumped on the car and tried to open the door. I got out and as the terrorist tried to go around the car in my direction I subdued him with gunfire with the aid of another resident of a nearby settlement who was driving behind me.”

    The media reported that Sherman’s daughter was in the back seat; the allegation was that Abdel Fattah tried to open the car door and stab her. In the clip B’Tselem attached to its report, her father is seen moving relatively coolly toward the young man who is hiding behind the car. What happened there?

    The human rights group is convinced, on the basis of the accounts it collected, that the shooting continued from close range as the wounded man lay on the ground. Moreover, B’Tselem believes that the two drivers shot Abdel Fattah with no justification, after he had moved away from the car and was kneeling behind the dumpster. According to the organization, the security forces who arrived at the scene made no attempt to arrest the two settlers, quickly dispersed the Palestinians and then proceeded to go to the stores and delete the documentation of the event “to ensure that the truth never comes to light and the shooters would not face any charges or be held accountable in any way.”

    It was reported this week that the Samaria Regional Council has decided to award citations to the two settler-shooters.

    The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit this week sent Haaretz this response: “On April 3, 2019 there was an attempted stabbing attack at the Beitot junction, which is [within the purview of] the Samaria Division of the IDF Central Command. The terrorist was shot by citizens and subdued after he threw stones at Israeli cars and then approached one of the cars in order to perpetrate a stabbing attack in the area. At the site of the incident a knife used by the terrorist was found. We would like to point out that the cameras that were dismantled by the security forces as part of their investigation of the incident were returned to their owners. The incident is under investigation.”

    Khirbet Qeis. A small village below the town of Salfit, in the central West Bank, where Abdel Fattah’s parents live. His father, Abed al-Muneim Abdel Fattah, 50, is a night watchman in Ramallah, who has five other children in addition to Mohammed. The house is well kept. Mohammed, the eldest, completed high school, but “regrettably,” his father says, he did not pursue his studies and went to work. In October 2017, he married his cousin, Rada Awadala, from the village of Ein Ariq, near Ramallah, and their daughter Jawan was born last fall. They visited every second Friday, rotating weekends between Rada’s parents in Ein Ariq and Mohammed’s in Khirbet Qeis.

    On the last Friday of Mohammed’s life they were at the home of his in-laws. The next day, when he and Rada went on an organized tour to Jerusalem and Jaffa, they left Jawan with her maternal grandparents. When they got back, Rada went to her parents’ home to collect the baby and stayed there for a few days. Mohammed remained alone in their apartment in Beita, close to his place of work.

    Mohammed’s father was on the job in Ramallah the day his son died. A relative called to inform him that Mohammed had been wounded. Shortly afterward, a Shin Bet security service agent called and ordered him to come to the IDF base at Hawara, Abed tells us now. The agent informed him that his son had tried to stab a soldier and afterward corrected himself to say that his son had thrown stones. The father replied that it was unimaginable for his son to have done that.

    Abed was asked in his interrogation whether Mohammed had been active in any sort of movement, whether anyone had tried to persuade him to throw stones or carry out a stabbing attack, whether he suffered from mental problems or problems at home or at work, or whether perhaps he’d quarreled with his wife. The father replied that his son had no family or other problems and was never active in any group. The interrogator repeated the questions twice, then a third time.

    At this point Abed still didn’t yet know that his son was dead. The Shin Bet agent said he’d been wounded and taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. He recommended that Abed get in touch with the Palestinian District Coordination and Liaison Office to arrange an entry permit to visit his son in Israel. Finally the agent said to the father, “From now on, you and your children are under surveillance. Dir balak [Watch your step]. Take this as a warning, as a red light. Anyone who lifts his head – we’ll cut it off.”

    Abed was at the base in Hawara for nearly three hours. By the time he got home, almost the whole village had gathered next to his house, and he understood that his son was dead. The social networks said he had been killed by settlers.

    Why was he throwing stones, we asked. Abed: “I don’t believe he did anything like that. He was on the way to work. But even if he did, sometimes the settlers provoke people who are standing on the road, spit at them or curse them or try to run them over. Even if he threw stones, by then he wasn’t endangering anyone. After all, the law says that it’s forbidden to shoot someone who is lying on the ground. Arrest him. But why did you kill him?”

    Israel has not yet returned Mohammed Abdel Fattah’s body; all the family’s efforts to claim it have been rebuffed. His grave has already been dug in the village’s small cemetery. There’s a mound of earth there now, but the grave is empty.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/771991

  • ’The formation of an educated class must be averted’: How Israel marginalized Arabs from the start - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-avert-the-formation-of-an-educated-class-israel-marginalized-arabs

    As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

    • Documents from Israel’s first decades reveal the leadership’s efforts to divide and alienate the Arab citizenry
      Adam Raz | Mar. 28, 2019 | 10:26 PM

      “There’s no place for illusions that this combination [of tactics] could turn the Arabs into loyal citizens, but over time it will reduce to some extent the open hostility and prevent its active expression.” – From a document containing recommendations for dealing with the Arab minority in Israel, September 1959, Labor Party Archives

      As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

      The assessment that the Arab public would never be loyal to the Jewish state remained entrenched in the following decade as well. For example, it underlay a lengthy document written by Shmuel Toledano, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Arab affairs. In July 1965, the document served as the point of departure for a top-secret discussion between Toledano and the heads of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Foreign Ministry and the Education Ministry (representatives of the Arab public weren’t invited).

      According to the document, “We must not demand from the Arab minority loyalty in the full sense of the word, to the point of identifying with the goals of a Jewish state (ingathering of the exiles and other values related to the national and religious way of life of the Jewish people). Such a demand is neither practical nor legitimate.” Instead, “We should strive for the Arabs’ passive acceptance of the state’s existence and for them to become law-abiding citizens.”

      These two documents address diverse issues having to do with the life of Israel’s Arab citizens. They help illuminate the state leadership’s official efforts to prevent the politicization of Arab society as well as its resistance to the emergence of a modern leadership among the country’s Arabs. These discussions were held, it bears noting, at a time when the majority of the Arab community in Israel (the exception being residents of Haifa and Jaffa) lived under a military regime – which was not lifted until 1966 – that included a permanent night curfew and a need for permits for traveling in the country.

      One item on the agenda of the 1965 discussion was the “Arab intelligentsia” in Israel. The document drawn up in that connection stated emphatically, “The formation of a broad educated class must be averted as far as possible.” Reason: An educated class tends to adopt “positions of radical leadership.” Accordingly, the document recommended “gradual solutions.” For example, “The entry of Arab students into institutions of higher learning should not be encouraged, but into professions and industries that hold the promise of appropriate employment.” The document elaborates: natural sciences and medicine – yes; humanities and law – no.

      The core of the Toledano document is its recommendation to block creation of political associations among the Arabs “in order to prevent the establishment of separate political entities on a national basis.” From the state’s point of view, the Arab electorate should manifest itself in the form of support for the Zionist parties. The latter, for their part, should open “their gates” to the Arabs and integrate them into their ranks “gradually and experimentally.”

      The grounds for this approach can be found in the 1959 document. It states that the policy of divisiveness pursued so far regarding the Arab population “has allowed the state, during the period of its existence, to prevent the consolidation of the Arab minority into a united bloc, and in large measure has given the leaders of each community an outlet to deal with their communal affairs instead of with general Arab affairs.”

      A perusal of the documents generates a feeling of sad irony. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the Israeli leadership acted vigorously to prevent the establishment of independent Arab political parties. The aim was to have slates of Arab candidates appended to the Zionist slates via “satellite parties,” and for Arab representatives to be guaranteed places in the parent parties. In other words, independent Arab parties conflicted with the establishment’s interests.

      Today, in contrast to the establishment’s position at the time, the Arab parties are independent entities, while the Zionist parties have hardly any Arab representatives. But this is an illusory reversal: Substantively, little has changed. Whereas the goal of integrating Arabs into the Zionist parties in the country’s first decades was intended to depoliticize the Arab community, their displacement from the big parties today only preserves the separation between the peoples and distances the Arab community from the centers of decision-making. If at the outset the Arabs were a fig leaf, today they have become a scapegoat.

      In opposition 70 years

      Even today, separation remains the underlying rationale of the near-absence of Arab MKs in the center-left parties. Not only does the current situation reflect the will of the parties’ leaders (which include parties that don’t even have a primary), at times they seem to be competing among themselves over who is most hostile to “the Arabs.” The Labor Party, for example, has shown in recent years that it has no interest in true activity by Arabs within it, and its slate of Knesset candidates doesn’t guarantee a realistic slot for an Arab representative. Similarly, among the first 40 places on the Kahol Lavan ticket, there is only one Druze woman, in 25th place.

      The Mapai document states that “stable rule in the country is inconceivable with most of the Arab minority in the opposition.” That evaluation has been refuted. The Arab public has been in the opposition for 70 years, lacking any real strength, even though this is not what most Arab citizens want. A survey commissioned by Haaretz before the 2015 election campaign found that 60 percent of the Arab community would like to join the government, and only half the respondents made this conditional on its being a left-wing government.

      The Arabs would like to play a concrete role in the decision- and policy-making processes. Electorally, this poses a threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. At the same time, it’s clear that his opponents are toeing the same line, explaining to the public that “the Arabs” are beyond the pale, and even factoring them into an equation of “neither Kahane nor Balad” – referring an unwillingness to contemplate either a coalition or even a blocking majorith with either the far-right Otzmat Yisrael party or the nationalist Arab party Balad.

      In this sense, keeping the peoples apart no longer necessitates segregation that’s maintained by ordinances and regulations. The military government may have been abolished, but its spirit still rules, on the right, in the center, on the left – everywhere.

  • A young, daring Palestinian hoped to smug his ‘masters’. He erred - Amira Hass | Mar 19, 2019 1:59 PM | Haaretz.com
    The Israeli Army and Shin Bet were quick to hunt down the Palestinian who killed Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger and Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan and declare his guilt. Not so for Israeli killers of Palestinians
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-courage-to-challenge-the-smug-masters-1.7039169

    The Palestinian man who carried out the stabbing and shooting attack in the West Bank on Sunday was very daring. It would behoove Israelis to understand where this came from, rather than making do with labeling him a “terrorist.”

    His gutsiness fills many Palestinians with wonder, with pride. It somewhat mitigates those many moments of humiliation they all suffer, if only because they are all dependent on permits from the Israeli military for even the most basic human activities. Even though the overwhelming majority of them won’t emulate him, Palestinians identify with what his act expressed: A deep loathing of Israeli soldiers and civilians, the masters and rapists of their land, who have settled in their midst. And yet the question, from their perspective, has to be whether this courage will, or could, lead to any concrete accomplishment in their struggle for freedom.

    He couldn’t have guessed that the soldiers at the bus stop would not know how to react to his daring. From his perspective, the most likely scenario was to be shot dead or to be seriously wounded by a soldier, not to jump into a rental car that a frightened tourist abandoned. He couldn’t have known that Gal Keidan, the soldier he stabbed with a knife, was more comfortable with musical instruments than with a loaded rifle. He wasn’t interested in the personal backgrounds of the Israeli civilians — settlers or otherwise — whom he shot at because they were at the junction, in a part of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control. They wandered around, as they wander around there every day, like lords of the estate. That’s what he saw. That’s the view that stings the eyes of every Palestinian, every day.

    His disappearance also testifies to his daring and resourcefulness. Unlike those who opted for suicide attacks, or the Gazan youth who approach the border fence expecting to be shot and killed by soldiers, his escape suggests he wasn’t dead-set on dying.

    The Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces revealed his supposed identity within hours. We should recall that 50 days have passed since an Israeli civilian killed Hamdi Na’asan in the West Bank Palestinian village of Al-Mughayyir, and we haven’t heard anything from the IDF, the Shin Bet or the police about the suspect’s identity or place of residence. We haven’t heard that he was arrested and that soldiers from the Engineering Corps were sent to survey his family’s home to prepare for its demolition. As a deterrent.

    As usual, the Shin Bet and the IDF have already convicted the man they’ve decided carried out the attack. In their wake, Israeli journalists and media outlets don’t use the word “suspect” when speaking about a Palestinian, a second- or third-generation survivor of the arrogant, violent Israeli military occupation. Journalistic ethics go out the window; reporters don’t even keep up the pretense of not convicting someone before his trial. Their obedient keyboards call him a terrorist, whose full name and place of residence must be published immediately as additional proof of the efficiency of the Shin Bet and the IDF.

    Even before he’s been captured, the bulldozer blades are being sharpened so they can take revenge on his family and destroy his home. As a deterrent. The Shin Bet and the IDF and their commanders don’t ask whether their collective vengefulness is what draws in additional young Palestinians “without a record” who “have no ties to any organization.”

    Young Israeli soldiers are sent to risk life and limb to protect the lordly normality of Jewish settlers on stolen land. This abhorrent normality forces upon the local Palestinians a life without a trace of normality, from cradle to grave.

    So a young Palestinian man hoped to stir the masters from their smug satisfaction. He erred. Now the masters, with the covert or overt funding of government ministries and local councils, will establish more unauthorized settlement outposts, whose purpose is to further expand the armed normality of a Land of Israel for Jews only.

    • Israeli settler succumbs to injuries from Salfit attack
      March 18, 2019 10:52 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2019 2:42 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=782899

      SALFIT (Ma’an) — An Israeli settler succumbed to injuries, on Monday, that he had sustained after an alleged shooting attack at the Gitai Junction, north of Salfit City, in the northern occupied West Bank.

      Hebrew-language news outlets confirmed that Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, 47, who was critically injured in an attack on Sunday, succumbed to his injuries.

      Sources said that the Palestinian suspected of carrying out the attack, in which an Israeli soldier was killed, was identified as Omar Abu Leila, 19, from Salfit City, in the northern West Bank.

      Israeli forces are conducting wide-scale searches for Abu Leila.

  • ’Endless trip to hell’: Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year. These are their testimonies - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    (C’est sous paywall)

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE--1.7021978

    They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13

    #palestine #israel #enfants #violence

    • ’Endless trip to hell’: Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year. These are their testimonies
      They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13
      Netta Ahituv | Mar. 14, 2019 | 9:14 PM | 2

      It was a gloomy, typically chilly late-February afternoon in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The weather didn’t deter the children of the Abu-Ayyash family from playing and frolicking outside. One of them, in a Spiderman costume, acted the part by jumping lithely from place to place. Suddenly they noticed a group of Israeli soldiers trudging along the dirt trail across the way. Instantly their expressions turned from joy to dread, and they rushed into the house. It’s not the first time they reacted like that, says their father. In fact, it’s become a pattern ever since 10-year-old Omar was arrested by troops this past December.

      The 10-year-old is one of many hundreds of Palestinian children whom Israel arrests every year: The estimates range between 800 and 1,000. Some are under the age of 15; some are even preteens. A mapping of the locales where these detentions take place reveals a certain pattern: The closer a Palestinian village is to a settlement, the more likely it is that the minors residing there will find themselves in Israeli custody. For example, in the town of Azzun, west of the Karnei Shomron settlement, there’s hardly a household that hasn’t experienced an arrest. Residents say that in the past five years, more than 150 pupils from the town’s only high school have been arrested.

      At any given moment, there are about 270 Palestinian teens in Israeli prisons. The most widespread reason for their arrest – throwing stones – does not tell the full story. Conversations with many of the youths, as well as with lawyers and human rights activists, including those from the B’Tselem human-rights organization, reveal a certain pattern, even as they leave many questions open: For example, why does the occupation require that arrests be violent and why is it necessary to threaten young people.

      A number of Israelis, whose sensibilities are offended by the arrests of Palestinian children, have decided to mobilize and fight the phenomenon. Within the framework of an organization called Parents Against Child Detention, its approximately 100 members are active in the social networks and hold public events “in order to heighten awareness about the scale of the phenomenon and the violation of the rights of Palestinian minors, and in order to create a pressure group that will work for its cessation,” as they explain. Their target audience is other parents, whom they hope will respond with empathy to the stories of these children.

      In general, there seems to be no lack of criticism of the phenomenon. In addition to B’Tselem, which monitors the subject on a regular basis, there’s been a protest from overseas, too. In 2013, UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, assailed “the ill treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system, [which] appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” A report a year earlier from British legal experts concluded that the conditions the Palestinian children are subjected to amount to torture, and just five months ago the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe deplored Israel’s policy of arresting underage children, declaring, “An end must be put to all forms of physical or psychological abuse of children during arrest, transit and waiting periods, and during interrogations.”

      Arrest

      About half of the arrests of Palestinian adolescents are made in their homes. According to the testimonies, Israel Defense Forces soldiers typically burst into the house in the middle of the night, seize the wanted youth and whisk him away (very few girls are detained), leaving the family with a document stating where he’s being taken and on what charge. The printed document is in Arabic and Hebrew, but the commander of the force typically fills out the details in Hebrew only, then hands it to parents who may not be able to read it and don’t know why their son was taken.

      Attorney Farah Bayadsi asks why it’s necessary to arrest children in this manner, instead of summoning them for questioning in an orderly way. (The data show that only 12 percent of the youths receive a summons to be interrogated.)

      “I know from experience that whenever someone is asked to come in for questioning, he goes,” Bayadsi notes. She’s active in the Israeli branch of Defense for Children International, a global NGO that deals with the detention of minors and promotion of their rights.

      “The answer we generally get,” she says, “is that, ‘It’s done this way for security reasons.’ That means it’s a deliberate method, which isn’t intended to meet the underage youth halfway, but to cause him a lifelong trauma.”

      Indeed, as the IDF Spokesman’s Unit stated to Haaretz, in response, “The majority of the arrests, of both adults and minors, are carried out at night for operational reasons and due to the desire to preserve an orderly fabric of life and execute point-specific actions wherever possible.”

      About 40 percent of the minors are detained in the public sphere – usually in the area of incidents involving throwing stones at soldiers. That was the case with Adham Ahsoun, from Azzun. At the time, he was 15 and on his way home from a local grocery store. Not far away, a group of children had started throwing stones at soldiers, before running off. Ahsoun, who didn’t flee, was detained and taken to a military vehicle; once inside, he was hit by a soldier. A few children who saw what happened ran to his house to tell his mother. Grabbing her son’s birth certificate, she rushed to the entrance to the town to prove to the soldiers that he was only a child. But it was too late; the vehicle had already departed, headed to an army base nearby, where he would wait to be interrogated.

      By law, soldiers are supposed to handcuff children with their hands in front, but in many cases it’s done with their hands behind them. Additionally, sometimes the minor’s hands are too small for handcuffing, as a soldier from the Nahal infantry brigade told the NGO Breaking the Silence. On one occasion, he related, his unit arrested a boy “of about 11,” but the handcuffs were too big to bind his small hands.

      The next stage is the journey: The youths are taken to an army base or a police station in a nearby settlement, their eyes covered with flannelette. “When your eyes are covered, your imagination takes you to the most frightening places,” says a lawyer who represents young Palestinians. Many of those arrested don’t understand Hebrew, so that once pushed into the army vehicle they are completely cut off from what’s going on around them.

      In most cases, the handcuffed, blindfolded youth will be moved from place to place before actually being interrogated. Sometimes he’s left outside, in the open, for a time. In addition to the discomfort and the bewilderment, the frequent moving around presents another problem: In the meantime many acts of violence, in which soldiers beat the detainees, take place and go undocumented.

      Once at the army base or police station, the minor is placed, still handcuffed and blindfolded, on a chair or on the floor for a few hours, generally without being given anything to eat. The “endless trip to hell” is how Bayadsi describes this process. Memory of the incident, she adds, “is still there even years after the boy’s release. It implants in him an ongoing feeling of a lack of security, which will stay with him for his whole life.”

      Testimony provided to Breaking the Silence by an IDF staff sergeant about one incident in the West Bank illustrates the situation from the other side: “It was the first night of Hanukkah in 2017. Two children were throwing stones on Highway 60, on the road. So we grabbed them and took them to the base. Their eyes were covered with flannelette, and they were handcuffed in front with plastic cuffs. They looked young, between 12 and 16 years old.”

      When the soldiers gathered to light the first candle of the Hanukkah holiday, the detainees remained outside. “We’re shouting and making noise and using drums, which is a kind of company thing,” the soldier recalled, noting that he assumed the kids didn’t know Hebrew, although maybe they did understand the curses they heard. “Let’s say sharmuta [slut] and other words they might know from Arabic. How could they know we aren’t talking about them? They’ll probably thought that in another minute we were going to cook them.”

      Interrogation

      The nightmare can be of differing duration, the former detainees relate. Three to eight hours after the arrest, by which time the youth is tired and hungry – and sometimes in pain after being hit, frightened by threats and not even knowing why he’s there – he’s taken in for interrogation. This may be the first time the blindfold is removed and his hands freed. The process usually starts with a general question, such as, “Why do you throw stones at soldiers?” The rest is more intense – a barrage of questions and threats, aimed at getting the teen to sign a confession. In some cases, he’s promised that if he signs he’ll be given something to eat.

      According to the testimonies, the interrogators’ threats are directed squarely at the boy (“You’ll spend your whole life in jail”), or at his family (“I’ll bring your mother here and kill her before your eyes”), or at the family’s livelihood (“If you don’t confess, we’ll take away your father’s permit to work in Israel – because of you, he’ll be out of work and the whole family will go hungry”).

      “The system shows that the intention here is more to demonstrate control than to engage in enforcement,” suggests Bayadsi. “If the boy confesses, there’s a file; if he doesn’t confess, he enters the criminal circle anyway and is seriously intimidated.”

      Imprisonment

      Whether the young detainee has signed a confession or not, the next stop is prison. Either Megiddo, in Lower Galilee, or Ofer, north of Jerusalem. Khaled Mahmoud Selvi was 15 when he was brought to prison in October 2017 and was told to disrobe for a body search (as in 55 percent of the cases). For 10 minutes he was made to stand naked, along with another boy, and in winter.

      The months in detention, waiting for trial, and later, if they are sentenced, are spent in the youth wing of the facilities for security prisoners. “They don’t speak with their families for months and are allowed one visit a month, through glass,” Bayadsi relates.

      Far fewer Palestinian girls are arrested than boys. But there is no facility specially for them, so they are held in the Sharon prison for women, together with the adults.

      The trial

      The courtroom is usually the place where parents have their first sight of their child, sometimes several weeks after the arrest. Tears are the most common reaction to the sight of the young detainee, who will be wearing a prison uniform and handcuffs, and with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over everything. Israel Prisons Service guards don’t allow the parents to approach the youth, and direct them to sit on the visitors’ bench. Defense counsel is paid for either by the family or by the Palestinian Authority.

      At a recent remand hearing for several detainees, one boy didn’t stop smiling at the sight of his mother, while another lowered his eyes, perhaps to conceal tears. Another detainee whispered to his grandmother, who had come to visit him, “Don’t worry, tell everyone I’m fine.” The next boy remained silent and watched as his mother mouthed to him, “Omari, I love you.”

      While the children and their family try to exchange a few words and looks, the proceedings move along. As though in a parallel universe.

      The deal

      The vast majority of trials for juveniles ends in a plea bargain – safka in Arabic, a word Palestinian children know well. Even if there is no hard evidence to implicate the boy in stone-throwing, a plea is often the preferred option. If the detainee doesn’t agree to it, the trial could last a long time and he will be held in custody until the proceedings end.

      Conviction depends almost entirely on evidence from a confession, says lawyer Gerard Horton, from the British-Palestinian Military Court Watch, whose brief, according to its website, involves “monitoring the treatment of children in Israeli military detention.” According to Horton, who is based in Jerusalem, the minors will be more prone to confess if they don’t know their rights, are frightened and get no support or relief until they confess. Sometimes a detainee who does not confess will be told that he can expect to face a series of court appearances. At some stage, even the toughest youth will despair, the lawyer explains.

      The IDF Spokesman’s Unit stated in response: “The minors are entitled to be represented by an attorney, like any other accused, and they have the right to conduct their defense in any way they choose. Sometimes they choose to admit to guilt within the framework of a plea bargain but if they plead not guilty, a procedure involving hearing evidence is conducted, like the proceedings conducted in [civilian courts in] Israel, at the conclusion of which a legal decision will be handed down on the basis of the evidence presented to the court. The deliberations are set within a short time and are conducted efficiently and with the rights of the accused upheld.”

      Managing the community

      According to data of collected by the British-Palestinian NGO, 97 percent of the youths arrested by the IDF live in relatively small locales that are no more than two kilometers away from a settlement. There are a number of reasons for this. One involves the constant friction – physical and geographical – between Palestinians, on the one hand, and soldiers and settlers. However, according to Horton, there is another, no less interesting way to interpret this figure: namely, from the perspective of an IDF commander, whose mission is to protect the settlers.

      In the case of reported stone-throwing incidents, he says, the commander’s assumption is that the Palestinians involved are young, between the ages of 12 and 30, and that they come from the nearest village. Often the officer will turn to the resident collaborator in the village, who provides him with the names of a few boys.

      The next move is “to enter the village at night and arrest them,” Horton continues. “And whether these youths are the ones who threw the stones or not, you have already put a scare into the whole village” – which he says is an “effective tool” for managing a community.

      “When so many minors are being arrested like this, it’s clear that some of them will be innocent,” he observes. “The point is that this has to be happening all the time, because the boys grow up and new children appear on the scene. Each generation must feel the strong arm of the IDF.”

      According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit: “In recent years, many minors, some of them very young, have been involved in violent incidents, incitement and even terrorism. In these cases, there is no alternative but to institute measures, including interrogation, detention and trial, within the limits of and according to what is stipulated by law. As part of these procedures, the IDF operates to uphold and preserve the rights of the minors. In enforcing the law against them, their age is taken into account.

      “Thus, since 2014, among other measures, in certain instances, the minors are invited to the police station and are not arrested at home. In addition, proceedings relating to minors take place in the military court for juveniles, which examines the seriousness of the offense that’s attributed to the minor and the danger it poses, while taking into consideration his young age and his particular circumstances. Every allegation of violence on the part of IDF soldiers is examined, and cases in which the soldiers’ actions are found to be flawed are treated sternly.”

      The Shin Bet security service stated in response: “The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and the Israel Police, operates against every element that threatens to harm Israel’s security and the country’s citizenry. The terrorist organizations make extensive use of minors and recruit them to carry out terrorist activity, and there is a general tendency to involve minors in terrorist activity as part of local initiatives.

      “Interrogations of suspected terrorists are conducted by the Shin Bet under the law, and are subject to supervision and to internal and external review, including by all levels of the court system. The interrogations of minors are carried out with extra sensitivity and with consideration of their young age.”

      Khaled Mahmoud Selvi, arrested at 14 (October 2017)

      “I was arrested when I was 14, all the boys in the family were arrested that night. A year later, I was arrested again, with my cousin. They said I burned tires. It happened when I was sleeping. My mother woke me up. I thought it was time for school, but when I opened my eyes I saw soldiers above me. They told me to get dressed, handcuffed me and took me outside. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and it was cold that night. My mother begged them to let me put on a jacket, but they didn’t agree. Finally, she threw the jacket on me, but they didn’t let me put my arms in the sleeves.

      “They took me to the Karmei Tzur settlement with my eyes covered, and I had the feeling that they were just driving in circles. When I walked, there was a pit in the road and they pushed me into it, and I fell. From there they took me to Etzion [police station]. There they put me in a room, and soldiers kept coming in all the time and kicking me. Someone passed by and said that if I didn’t confess, they would leave me in jail for the rest of my life.

      “At 7 A.M., they told me the interrogation was starting. I asked to go to the toilet before. My eyes were covered and a soldier put a chair in front of me. I tripped. The interrogation went on for an hour. They told me that they saw me burning tires and that it interfered with air traffic. I told them it wasn’t me. I didn’t see a lawyer until the afternoon, and he asked the soldiers to bring us food. It was the first time I had eaten since being arrested the night before.

      “At 7 P.M., I was sent to Ofer Prison, and I remained there for six months. In that period, I was in court more than 10 times. And there was also another interrogation, because a friend of mine was told while being questioned that if he didn’t confess and inform on me, they would bring his mother and shoot her before his eyes. So he confessed and informed. I’m not angry at him. It was his first arrest, he was scared.”

      Khaled Shtaiwi, arrested at 13 (November 2018)

      Khaled’s story is told by his father, Murad Shatawi: “On the night he was arrested, a phone call from my nephew woke me up. He said the house was surrounded by soldiers. I got up and got dressed, because I expected them to arrest me, on account of the nonviolent demonstrations I organize on Fridays. I never imagined they’d take Khaled. They asked me for the names of my sons. I told them Mumen and Khaled. When I said Khaled, they said, ‘Yes, him. We’re here to take him.’ I was in shock, so many soldiers showed up to arrest a boy of 13.

      “They handcuffed and blindfolded him and led him east on foot, toward the settlement of Kedumim, all the while cursing and hitting him a little. I saw it all from the window. They gave me a document showing that it was a legal arrest and I could come to the police station. When I got there, I saw him through a small hole in the door. He was handcuffed and blindfolded.

      “He stayed like that from the moment they arrested him until 3 P.M. the next day. That’s a picture that doesn’t leave me; I don’t know how I’ll go on living with that picture in my head. He was accused of throwing stones, but after four days they released him, because he didn’t confess and there was no other evidence against him. During the trial, when the judge wanted to speak to Khaled, he had to lean forward in order to see him, because Khaled was so small.

      “What was it like to see him like that? I am the father. That says it all. He hasn’t talked about it since getting out, three months ago. That’s a problem. I’m now organizing a ‘psychology day’ in the village, to help all the children here who have been arrested. Out of 4,500 people in the village, 11 children under the age of 18 have been arrested; five were under the age of 15.”

      Omar Rabua Abu Ayyash, arrested at age 10 (December 2018)

      Omar looks small for his age. He’s shy and quiet, and it’s hard to talk to him about the arrest, so members of his family recount the events in his place.

      Omar’s mother: “It happened at 10 A.M. on Friday, when there is no school. Omar was playing in the area in front of the house, he threw pebbles at birds that were chirping in the tree. The soldiers, who were in the watchtower across the way here, picked up on what he was doing and ran toward him. He ran, but they caught him and knocked him down. He started to cry, and he wet his pants. They kicked him a few times.

      “His grandmother, who lives here below, immediately went out and tried to take him from the soldiers, which caused a struggle and shouts. In the end, they left him alone and he went home and changed into dry pants. A quarter of an hour later, the soldiers came back, this time with their commander, who said he had to arrest the boy for throwing stones. When the other children in the family saw the soldiers in the house, they also wet their pants.”

      Omar’s father takes up the story: “I told the commander that he was under 12 and that I had to accompany him, so I rode with him in the jeep to the Karmei Tzur settlement. There the soldiers told him not to throw stones anymore, and that if he saw other children doing it, he should tell them. From there they took him the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Hebron. The whole story took about 12 hours. They gave him a few bananas to eat during those hours. Now, whenever the children see a military jeep or soldiers, they go inside. They’ve stopped playing outside since then. Before the incident, soldiers used to come here to play soccer with the children. Now they’ve stopped coming, too.”

      Tareq Shtaiwi, arrested at 14 (January 2019)

      “It was around 2 P.M. I had a fever that day, so Dad sent me to my cousin next door, because that’s almost the only place in the village with a heating unit. Suddenly soldiers showed up. They saw me watching them from the window, so they fired shots at the door of the building, knocked it down and started to come upstairs. I got scared, so I ran from the second floor to the third, but they stopped me on the way and took me outside. The soldiers wouldn’t let me take my coat, even though it was cold and I was sick. They took me on foot to Kedumim, handcuffed and blindfolded. They sat me on a chair. I heard doors and windows being slammed hard, I think they were trying to scare me.

      “After a while, they took me from Kedumim to Ariel, and I was there for five-six hours. They accused me of throwing stones a few days earlier with my friend. I told them I hadn’t thrown any stones. In the evening they moved me to the Hawara detention building; one of the soldiers told me I would never leave there. In the morning I was moved to Megiddo Prison. They didn’t have prisoners uniforms in my size, so they gave me clothes of Palestinian children who had been there before and left them for the next in line. I was the youngest person in the prison.

      “I had three court hearings, and after 12 days, at the last hearing, they told me that it was enough, that my father would pay a fine of 2,000 shekels [$525] and I was getting a three-year suspended sentence. The judge asked me what I intended to do after getting out, I told him I would go back to school and I wouldn’t go up to the third floor again. Since my arrest, my younger brother, who’s 7, has been afraid to sleep in the kids’ room and goes to sleep with our parents.”

      Adham Ahsoun, arrested in October 2018, on his 15th birthday

      “On my 15th birthday, I went to the store in the village center to buy a few things. Around 7:30 in the evening, soldiers entered the village and children started to throw stones at them. On the way home with my bag, they caught me. They took me to the entrance of the village and put me in a jeep. One of the soldiers started to hit me. Then they put plastic handcuffs on me and covered my eyes and took me like that to the military base in Karnei Shomron. I was there for about an hour. I couldn’t see a thing, but I had the feeling that a dog was sniffing me. I was afraid. From there they took me to another military base and left me there for the night. They didn’t give me anything to eat or drink.

      “In the morning, they moved me to the interrogation facility in Ariel. The interrogator told me that the soldiers caught me throwing stones. I told him that I hadn’t thrown stones, that I was on my way home from the store. So he called the soldiers into the interrogation room. They said, ‘He’s lying, we saw him, he was throwing stones.’ I told him that I really hadn’t thrown stones, but he threatened to arrest my mother and father. I panicked. I asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He said he wanted me to sign that I threw stones at soldiers, so I signed. The whole time I didn’t see or talk to a lawyer.

      “My plea bargain was that I would confess and get a five-month jail sentence. Afterward, they gave me one-third off for good behavior. I got out after three months and a fine of 2,000 shekels. In jail I tried to catch up with the material I missed in school. The teachers told me they would only take into account the grades of the second semester, so it wouldn’t hurt my chances of being accepted for engineering studies in university.”

      Muhmen Teet, arrested at 13 (November 2017)

      “At 3 A.M., I heard knocking on the door. Dad came into the room and said there were soldiers in the living room and wanted us to show ID cards. The commanding officer told my father that they were taking me to Etzion for questioning. Outside, they handcuffed and blindfolded me and put me in a military vehicle. We went to my cousin’s house; they also arrested him. From there we went to Karmei Tzur and waited, handcuffed and blindfolded, until the morning.

      “In the morning, they only took my cousin for interrogation, not me. After his interrogation, they took us to Ofer Prison. After a day there, they took us back to Etzion and said they were going to interrogate me. Before the interrogation, they took me into a room, where there was a soldier who slapped me. After he hit me in one room, he took me to the interrogation room. The interrogator said I was responsible for burning tires, and because of that the grove near the house caught fire. I said it wasn’t me, and I signed a document that the interrogator gave me. The document was also printed in Arabic, but the interrogator filled it out in Hebrew. I was taken back to Ofer Prison.

      “I had seven hearings in court, because at the first hearing I said I hadn’t intended to confess, I just didn’t understand what I signed and it wasn’t true. So they sent me back for another interrogation. Again I didn’t confess. Then they sent me to interrogation another time and again I didn’t confess. That’s what it was like in three interrogations. In the end, my lawyer did a deal with the prosecutor that if I confessed in court – which I did – and my family would pay 4,000 shekels, they would release me.

      “I’m a good student, I like soccer, both playing and watching it. Since the arrest I hardly wander around outside.”

      Khalil Zaakiq, arrested at age 13 (January 2019)

      “Around 2 A.M. someone knocked on the door. I woke up and saw a lot of soldiers in the house. They said we should all sit in the living room sofa and not move. The commander called Uday, my big brother, told him to get dressed and informed him that he was under arrest. It was the third time they arrested him. My father was also once under arrest. Suddenly they told me to put my shoes on too and go with them.

      “They took us out of the house and tied our hands and covered our eyes. We went like that on foot to the base in Karmei Tzur. There they sat me on the floor with hands tied and eyes covered for around three hours. At about 5 A.M., they moved us to Etzion. On the way there in the jeep they hit us, they slapped me. In Etzion, I was sent to be checked by a doctor. He asked if I had been beaten and I said yes. He didn’t do anything, only checked my blood pressure and said I could stand up to an interrogation.

      “My interrogation started at 8 A.M.. They asked me to tell them which children throw stones. I said I didn’t know, so the interrogator gave me a slap. The interrogation went on for four hours. Afterward, they put me into a dark room for 10 minutes and then took me back to the interrogation room, but now they only fingerprinted me and put me into a detention cell for an hour. After an hour, Uday and I were moved to Ofer Prison. I didn’t sign a confession, neither about myself nor about others.

      “I got out after nine days, because I wasn’t guilty of anything. My parents had to pay 1,000 shekels for bail. My little brother, who is 10, has been really afraid ever since. Whenever someone knocks at the door, he wets his pants.”

  • Reminder: Israel is still holding a Palestinian lawmaker as political prisoner indefinitely
    Haaretz.com - Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar has been incarcerated in an Israeli jail without a trial for 20 months. Another period of ‘administrative detention’ will soon expire. Will she come home?
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 14, 2019 5:20 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-reminder-israel-is-holding-palestinian-lawmaker-as-political-priso

    Ghassan Jarrar, the husband of Khalida Jarrar, holds a portrait of her on April 2, 2015 at their home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

    Ghassan Jarrar says his life is meaningless without Khalida. In his office at the children’s toys and furniture factory he owns in Beit Furik, east of Nablus, its chairs upholstered with red fake fur, the face of the grass widower lights up whenever he talks about his wife. She’s been incarcerated in an Israeli prison for 20 months, without trial, without being charged, without evidence, without anything. In two weeks, however, she could be released, at long last. Ghassan is already busy preparing himself: He knows he’s liable to be disappointed again, for the fourth successive time.

    Khalida Jarrar is Israel’s No. 1 female political prisoner, the leader of the inmates in Damon Prison, on Mt. Carmel, and the most senior Palestinian woman Israel has jailed, without her ever having been convicted of any offense.

    The public struggle for her release has been long and frustrating, with more resonance abroad than in Israel. Here it encounters the implacable walls of the occupation authorities and the startling indifference of Israeli public opinion: People here don’t care that they’re living under a regime in which there are political prisoners. There is also the silence of the female MKs and the muteness of the women’s organizations.

    Haaretz has devoted no fewer than five editorials demanding either that evidence against her be presented or that she be released immediately. To no avail: Jarrar is still in detention and she still hasn’t been charged.

    She’s been placed in administrative detention – that is, incarceration without charges or a trial – a number of times: She was arrested for the first time on April 15, 2015 and sentenced to 15 months in jail, which she served. Some 13 months after she was released from that term, she was again put under administrative detention, which kept getting extended, for 20 consecutive months, starting in mid-2017: two stints of six months each, and two of four months each.

    The latest arbitrary extension of her detention is set to end on February 28. As usual, until that day no one will know whether she is going to be freed or whether her imprisonment will be extended once again, without explanation. A military prosecutor promised at the time of the previous extension that it would be the last, but there’s no way to know. Typical of the occupation and its arbitrariness.

    In any event, Ghassan is repainting their house, replacing air conditioners and the water heater, hanging new curtains, planting flowers in window boxes, ordering food and sweets in commercial quantities, and organizing a reception at one checkpoint and cars to await her at two other checkpoints – you can never know where exactly she will be released. A big celebration will take place in the Catholic church of Ramallah, which Ghassan has rented for three days on the last weekend of the month. Still, it’s all very much a matter of if and when.

    Reminder: On April 2, 2015, troops of the Israel Defense Forces raided the Jarrar family’s home in El Bireh, adjacent to Ramallah, and abducted Khalida, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

    She was placed in administrative detention. In the wake of international protests over Israel’s arrest without charges of a lawmaker who was elected democratically, the occupation authorities decided to try her. She was indicted on 12 counts, all of them utterly grotesque, including suspicion of visiting the homes of prisoners’ families, suspicion of attending a book fair and suspicion of calling for the release of Ahmad Saadat, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who has been in prison for years.

    The charge sheet against Jarrar – an opponent of the occupation, a determined feminist and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee – will one day serve as the crushing proof that there is not even the slightest connection between “military justice” and actual law and justice.

    We saw her in the military court at Ofer base in the summer of 2015, proud and impressive, as her two daughters, Yafa and Suha, who returned from their studies in Canada after their mother’s arrest, wept bitterly with their father on the back benches of the courtroom. No one remained indifferent when the guards allowed the two daughters to approach and embrace their mother, in a rare moment of grace and humanity, as their father continued to cry in the back. It was a scene not easily forgotten.

    Three months ago, she was transferred, along with the other 65 female Palestinian prisoners, from the Sharon detention facility where she’d been incarcerated to Damon, where the conditions are tougher: The authorities in Damon aren’t experienced in dealing with women and their special needs, Ghassan says. The showers are separate from the cells, and when a prisoner is menstruating, the red fluid flows into the yard and embarrasses the women. But at the same time, he says, the prison authorities are treating Khalida’s health situation well: She suffers from a blood-clotting problem and needs weekly medications and tests, which she receives regularly in her cell.

    “You are my sweetheart” is inscribed on some of the synthetic-fur toys in the production room in Beit Furik. There are dolls of Mickey Mouse and of other characters from the cartoon world, sporting bold colors, along with padded rocking chairs and lamps for children’s rooms, all designed by Ghassan and all bespeaking sweet innocence and creativity. He’s devoted much less time to his factory since his wife’s incarceration. Of the 19 employees he had, only seven remain, one of whom, a deaf woman, is his outstanding worker. It’s a carpentry shop, an upholstery center and a sewing workshop all under one roof. Ghassan sells most of his products to Israel, although he’s been denied entry to the country for years.

    Now his mind is focused on his wife’s release. The last time he visited her in prison was a month ago, 45 minutes on a phone through armor-plated glass. During her months in prison, Jarrar became an official examiner of matriculation exams for the Palestinian Education Ministry. The exam papers are brought to the prison by the International Red Cross. Among others that she has graded were Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman. Ahed called Ghassan this week to ask when Khalida’s release was expected. She calls her “my aunt.”

    The clock on the wall of Ghassan’s office has stopped. “Everything is meaningless for me without Khalida,” he says. “Life has no meaning without Khalida. Time stopped when Khalida was arrested. Khalida is not only my wife. She is my father, my mother, my sister and my friend. I breathe Khalida instead of air. Twenty months without meaning. My work is also meaningless.”

    A business call interrupts this love poem, which is manifestly sincere and painful. What will happen if she’s not released, again? “I will wait another four months. Nothing will break me. I don’t let anything break me. That is my philosophy in life. It has always helped me.”

    Ghassan spent 10 years of his life in an Israeli prison, too. Like his wife, he was accused of being active in the PFLP.

    In the meantime, their older daughter, Yafa, 33, completed her Ph.D. in law at the University of Ottawa, and is clerking in a Canadian law firm. Suha, 28, returned from Canada, after completing, there and in Britain, undergraduate and master’s degrees in environmental studies. She’s working for the Ramallah-based human rights organization Al-Haq, and living with her father.

    Both daughters are mobilized in the public campaign to free their mother, particularly by means of the social networks. Khalida was in jail when Yafa married a Canadian lawyer; Ghassan invited the whole family and their friends to watch the wedding ceremony in Canada on a large screen live via the Internet. Ghassan himself is prohibited from going abroad.

    During Khalida’s last arrest, recalls her husband, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet security service agents burst into the house by force in the dead of night. They entered Suha’s room and woke her up. He remembers how she shouted, panic-stricken at the sight of the rifles being brandished by strange men in her bedroom wearing black masks, and how the soldiers handcuffed her from behind. As Ghassan replays the scene in his mind and remembers his daughter’s shouts, he grows distraught, as if it had happened this week.

    Not knowing know what the soldiers were doing to her there, and only hearing her shouts, he tried to come to his daughter’s rescue, he recalls. He says he was almost killed by the soldiers for trying to force his way into Suha’s bedroom.

    After the soldiers took Khalida, preventing Ghassan from even kissing her goodbye, despite his request – he discovered his daughter, bound by plastic handcuffs. After he released her, she wanted to rush into the street to follow the soldiers and her captive mother. He blocked her, and she went to the balcony of the house and screamed at them hysterically, cries of unfettered fury.

    Last Saturday was Khalida’s 56th birthday. It wasn’t the first birthday she’d spent in prison, maybe not the last, either. Ghassan’s face positively glows when he talks about his wife’s birthday. He belongs to a WhatsApp group called “Best Friends” that is devoted to Khalida, where they posted his favorite photograph of her, wearing a purple blouse and raising her arms high in the courtroom of the Ofer facility. The members of the group congratulated him. Umar quoted a poem about a prisoner who is sitting in his cell in complete darkness, unable even to see his own shadow. Hidaya wrote something about freedom. Khamis wrote a traditional birthday greeting, and Ghassan summed up, “You are the bride of Palestine, renewing yourself every year. You are the crown on my head, al-Khalida, eternal one.”

    #Khalida_Jarrar

  • La télévision du Hamas passerait des messages codés pour des attentats
    Par Thierry Oberlé Mis à jour le 14/02/2019
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2019/02/14/01003-20190214ARTFIG00143-la-television-du-hamas-passerait-des-messages-cod

    - Le Shin Bet, les services de sécurité intérieure israéliens, accuse un présentateur d’al-Aqsa TV d’avoir posé sa tasse à café sur son pupitre à des « fins terroristes » et un second de citer à dessein des vers de poèmes pour faciliter des attaques.
    (...)
    Mercredi, al-Aqsa TV a réagi avec un clip tournant en dérision les accusations israéliennes. On y voit l’un des présentateurs incriminés tenir sa tasse de café à l’envers. « Ce n’est pas un message pour qui que ce soit » dit-il en souriant. « Ce matin, on a entendu le Shin Bet nous reprocher de correspondre secrètement avec des gens précis en Cisjordanie. C’est une mauvaise blague ! » poursuit-il avant de conclure : « nous disons en direct devant tout le monde que la résistance sous ses aspects y compris militaires est un droit légal pour le peuple palestinien et que notre devoir en tant que média est d’inciter à la résistance. Cela n’a rien à voir avec du terrorisme ! »

  • I feel no sympathy for the settlers
    Beneath the veil of sanctimonious and hypocritical unity, and the media’s fake show of national grief to advance its own commercial goals, the truth must be told: Their tragedy isn’t ours
    Gideon Levy | Dec 16, 2018 2:32 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-i-feel-no-sympathy-for-the-settlers-1.6746199

    I do not sympathize with people who profiteer from tragedy. I have no sympathy for robbers. I have no sympathy for the settlers. I have no sympathy for the settlers not even when they are hit by tragedy. A pregnant woman was wounded and her newborn baby died of its wounds – what can be worse than that? Driving on their roads is frightening, the violent opposition to their presence is growing – and I feel no sympathy for their tragedy, nor do I feel any compassion or solidarity.

    They are to blame, not I, for the fact that I cannot feel the most humane sense of solidarity and pain. It’s not just that they’re settlers, violators of international law and universal justice; it’s not just because of the violence of some of them and the settling of all of them – it’s also the blackmail with which they respond to every tragedy, which prevents me from grieving with them. But beneath the veil of sanctimonious and hypocritical unity, and the media’s fake show of national grief to advance its own commercial goals, the truth must be told: Their tragedy isn’t ours.

    Their tragedy isn’t ours because they’ve brought the tragedy upon themselves and the entire country. It’s true that the main blame goes to the governments that gave into them, either eagerly or out of weakness, but the settlers cannot be absolved of blame, either. The extorter – and not just those who have given into extortion – is also to blame. But they are there, generations born on stolen land, children raised in an apartheid existence and trained to think it is biblical justice, and with government support. Perhaps we cannot blame those who are sitting on land usurped by their parents. But their tragedy is not ours because they exploit every tragedy to advance their aims in the most cynical of ways.

    When a baby dies they install trailer homes, when soldiers are killed defending them – they do not seek forgiveness from the families of these soldiers, despite their blame for the lives that have been cut short – they only present demands so as to whitewash their crimes. And with these demands the appetite for revenge grows: to imprison even more of their neighbors, to destroy their homes, to kill, to arrest, block roads and exact more revenge. And if that, too, is not enough, their own wild militias raid the Palestinians, throw stones at their vehicles, set their fields on fire and wreak terror on their villages. They are not satisfied with the collective punishment imposed by the army and the Shin Bet security service, exercised with cruelty and sometimes criminality. The settlers’ lust for revenge is never satisfied. How is it possible to identify with the grief of people who behave like that?

    It’s impossible to identify with their bereavement, because Israel has decided to avoid looking at all that is done there in the land of Judea. When you are capable of being indifferent to the execution of a psychologically impaired young man by soldiers, you can also be indifferent to the shooting of a pregnant woman by Palestinians. When you ignore the goings on at the Tulkarm refugee camp, you can also ignore what takes place at the Givat Assaf junction. It’s moral blindness to everything. Yesha isn’t here, that’s the price being paid for the lack of interest in what is going on in the territories and for ignoring the occupation, under whose sponsorship the settlements are based. Giant budgets are poured out there without any public opposition – so there is also indifference to the fate of the settlers and their tragedies. The piece of land they have taken over doesn’t interest most Israelis living in the land of denial, and that’s the price.

    We have no reason to apologize for the lack of interest and identification. The settlers have brought it on themselves. Those who have never shown any interest in the suffering of their Palestinian neighbors, which they have caused, those who preach all the time that the iron fist must always be tightened, to torture them even more – don’t deserve to be identified with, not even in the hour of their grief. I take no joy in their suffering but I have no sympathy for their pain. The real pain is borne by their victims, those who moan submissively and those who take their fate in their hands and try to resist a violent reality violently and sometimes also murderously. The Palestinians are the victims deserving of pity and solidarity.

  • Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian attacker
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:49 A.M. (Updated : Dec. 13, 2018 12:23 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782061

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 29-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces, on late Wednesday, near Surda village, north of the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

    The Israeli army announced that Saleh Amer Saleh al-Barghouth i, 29, a resident from Kobar village, in Ramallah district, was shot and killed by Israeli special forces.

    Earlier this week, al-Barghouthi carried out a drive-by shooting attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ofra, injuring seven Israeli settlers, including a 21-year-old pregnant woman, who was in critical condition and delivered the baby prematurely in an emergency procedure.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Undercover Israeli Forces Kill A Palestinian Taxi Driver Near Ramallah
      December 13, 2018 2:33 AM
      http://imemc.org/article/undercover-israeli-forces-kill-a-palestinian-taxi-driver-near-ramallah

      Undercover Israeli soldiers assassinated, on Wednesday evening, a Palestinian Taxi driver, near Surda village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah; the army claimed the Palestinian was allegedly “involved” in the shooting targeting colonialist settlers, last Sunday.

      The slain Palestinian has been identified as Saleh Omar Saleh Barghouthi , 29; eyewitnesses said he was driving his taxi when the undercover Israeli soldiers, driving an old commercial Mercedes, ambushed him, and opened fire at him, before abducting him while he was still alive, but severely injured and bleeding.

      The army later said the Palestinian died from his wounds in a hospital in occupied Jerusalem.

      Eyewitnesses said that the taxi remained in the middle of the road, after the soldiers shot Saleh, and added that a young man, identified as Wa’ad Barghouthi, tried to remove it from the road, but the undercover forces attacked and abducted him too.

      Eyewitnesses said the undercover soldiers instantly opened fire at the car after ambushing it, in what appeared to be a clear assassination, not an attempt to abduct and imprison him.

      The soldiers also abducted Ala’ Tarifi, who owns the Taxi company, when he tried to ask about Saleh’s condition.

    • B’Tselem investigation: al-Barghouthi was shot point-blank
      Jan. 31, 2019 12:01 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 31, 2019 12:01 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=782396

      JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An investigation by B’Tselem found that, contrary to official Israeli statements, Saleh al-Barghouthi did not try to flee or run anyone over, nor could he have tried: two security vehicles were blocking the taxi he was driving at either end, and he was surrounded by some 10 security personnel who shot him point-blank – an operation resembling an extrajudicial killing. Official attempts to sanction the killing in retrospect ensure no one will be held accountable.

      A statement on the investigation said that “On 12 December 2018, at around 6:30 P.M., two Israeli security vehicles blocked the path of a taxi driving along the main road of Surda, a Palestinian village in Ramallah District. Driving the taxi was Saleh al-Barghouthi, 28, husband and father of a 5-year-old boy from the village of Kobar, which lies north of Ramallah. About ten personnel, including Special Police Unit officers, got out of the vehicles, surrounded the taxi and shot al-Barghouthi point-blank. They then pulled the wounded al-Barghouthi out of the taxi, handcuffed him and drove away with him. The IDF notified the family that al-Barghouthi had been critically injured in the incident and died in hospital. According to the Shin Bet (ISA), al-Barghouthi, who was an operative with Hamas’ military wing, was suspected of involvement in the drive-by shooting that took place on 9 December 2018 at the hitch-hiking post near the settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah. Seven Israelis were injured in the attack, including Shira Ish-Ran, who was seven months pregnant and delivered of her baby in hospital. The baby boy, Amiad Israel Ish-Ran, died three days later.” (...)

  • Botched Israeli operation in Gaza endangers human rights groups - Palestinians

    If it turns out that the IDF invented a fictitious aid group for the operation, from now on it can be expected that every real new organization will find it difficult to be trusted by the authorities and residents in the Gaza Strip

    Amira Hass
    Nov 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-botched-israeli-operation-in-gaza-endangers-human-rights-groups-1.

    If members of the Israeli special operations force that Hamas exposed in the Gaza Strip this month indeed impersonated aid workers, as Walla news and the Israel Television News Company reported, it will reinforce and even retroactively justify Hamas’ longtime suspicions.
    Hamas has in the past claimed that, consciously or not, international humanitarian organizations assist Israel’s Shin Bet security service and the Israeli military.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    This is exactly what the employees of foreign aid organizations, as well as Palestinian ones with some foreign staff, fear. A senior employee in one of these organizations told Haaretz that if Israel has abused the network of international or local aid groups, it could undermine the critical activities of organizations large and small: The Hamas government that controls the Gaza Strip might take precautions that will interfere with their entry into the Strip and their work.
    “No one will listen to the protest of a small organization on the exploitation of humanitarian activity,” he said. “Large organizations need to make their voices heard.”

    The bodies of four of the six men killed during an Israeli raid on Khan Younis in a hospital morgue in Gaza, on Sunday, November 11, 2018AFP
    Foreigners who entered the Gaza Strip last week reported more exacting questioning than usual at Hamas’ border control position and strict identity checks of passengers at checkpoints within the Strip.

    A Westerner who visits the Strip frequently told Haaretz they sense some suspicion on the part of ordinary Gazans toward foreigners — and not for the first time.
    What is interesting is that Palestinian media outlets did not publish the suspicions about the Israel special force impersonating aid workers: In other words, Hamas did not raise this claim publicly.
    According to versions heard in the Gaza Strip, the members of the unit carried forged Palestinian ID cards, presumably of Gazans, and said they had food distribution coupons. It also seems they spent a number of days in the Strip before they were exposed.
    Working for an aid organization is a logical and convenient cover story. As part of the strict limits on movement by Israel, foreigners and Palestinians who are not residents of the Strip, who work for international aid organizations (and foreign journalists) are among the few who receive entry permits into the Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian militants of Hamas’ military wing attend the funeral of seven Palestinians, killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza, in Khan Younis, on November 12, 2018.AFP
    Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk was quoted as hinting that the entry of the unit was made possible through a checkpoint of the Palestinian Authority, at the Erez border crossing.
    His statement fed the constant suspicions against the PA’s security services of cooperation and help for the Israeli security forces. But knowing how the official entry process into the Gaza Strip from Israel works raises doubts about the feasibility of this scenario.
    In addition to navigating the bureaucracy of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to obtain an entry permit from Israel, foreigners seeking to enter the Gaza Strip must also coordinate their travel in advance with the Hamas authorities.
    To enter officially through the Erez crossing, you must submit full identification details, including details on the purpose of the visit and the organization and identity of contact persons inside the Gaza Strip.
    >> How Hamas sold out Gaza for cash from Qatar and collaboration with Israel | Opinion
    The military unit’s entry through Erez would have required Israel to use the name of a well-known aid organization, which would not raise any suspicions. Did the Israel Defense Forces use the name of an organization such as UNRWA or an Italian aid group funded by the European Union, for example?
    And if it turns out that to carry out the mission, the IDF invented a fictitious aid group a long time ago, and in doing so received the help of COGAT, from now on it can be expected that every real new organization will find it difficult to be trusted by the authorities and residents in the Gaza Strip.
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    On entry to the Gaza Strip, those who receive permits go through four checkpoints: On the Israel side of the crossing, at the first registration position of the PA on the other side of the crossing, at the checkpoint of the PA police, which was once the Hamas checkpoint and was handed over to the PA about a year ago when it was attempted to establish a reconciliation government, and at the new registration position of Hamas, which has restarted operations these last few months.
    Even those bearing Palestinian identity cards — which according to reports the members of the unit carried — must pass through the posts of the PA and Hamas and answer questions. At the Hamas position, suitcases are not always checked, but a person who often enters the Gaza Strip told Haaretz that the check — even if only to search for alcohol — is always a risk to be taken into account.
    It is hard to believe that the members of the Israeli military unit would have entered Gaza without weapons, on one hand, or would have risked exposure, on the other, he said. 
    One gets the impression from media reports that Hamas and the IDF are both busy competing over who was humiliated more by the exposure of the unit’s operations. What is certain is that making humanitarian aid into a tool in the service of Israeli military intelligence contributes to the feeling of vulnerability and isolation of the Strip.

  • Felicia Langer. Remembering Israel’s human rights law trailblazer, a Holocaust survivor who called to boycott Israeli products

    A communist labeled ’the terrorists’ attorney,’ Felicia Langer called her clients ‘resistance fighters.’ In 1990 she gave up and left for Germany, where she died over the summer

    Ofer Aderet SendSend me email alerts
    Nov 06, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-remembering-israel-s-human-rights-law-trailblazer-1.6632132

    After the Six-Day War, attorney Felicia Langer opened an office near the Old City in Jerusalem and began representing Arabs. Langer was a strange type in the local topography: a Jewish Holocaust survivor with a Polish accent who adhered to European manners and believed in the ideology of communism.
    “Her engagement with Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip was perhaps the strangest thing in the Middle East,” wrote attorney Michael Sfard. Her acquaintances saw in her a pathfinder in legal battles that advanced the human rights of Palestinians. Her enemies saw in her a traitor and accessory of terrorists.
    >> Holocaust survivor and Palestinians’ rights lawyer Felicia Langer dies in exile at 87
    She was born in the city of Tarnov, Poland in 1930 as Felicia Amalia White. In World War II she fled with her family to the Soviet Union, where her father died. After the war, she returned to the land of her birth and married Holocaust survivor Moshe Langer. In 1950 they immigrated to Israel – “not because of Zionist ideology,” according to her, but to live near her mother.
    Archival documents attest to the tense relationships between her and the Israeli establishment. In 1968 an intelligence officer in the military government in Hebron testified before the Legal Attaché of the West Bank that she “held extreme left-wing opinions.” In 1975, the Foreign Ministry reported that the Shin Bet security service viewed her legal activities as being guided by political motivations to harm “the state and the image of the state.” She faced threats to her life throughout her career. Occasionally, she felt compelled to hire a bodyguard.
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    Langer fought the expulsion of Palestinian leaders, housing demolitions of terror suspects, administrative detentions (imprisonment without charges), and torture. “She never hesitated to accuse the establishment of crimes and to represent her clients as victims of an evil regime,” wrote Sfard.

    When they called her “the defense attorney of terrorists,” she replied that her clients were not terrorists, but “resistance fighters.” “A people under occupation has the right to wage violent struggle,” she said. Among her famous clients was the mayor of Nablus, Bassam Shakaa, one of the leaders of resistance to the occupation, whose expulsion Langer succeeded in preventing. Other clients included the parents of the attackers of Bus 300, who sought to sue the state for killing their sons, and a young Dutch woman who was detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport after she gathered intelligence for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Langer maintained that she was just a “small cog.”
    In 1990, she immigrated to Germany, after handling what she estimated to have been 3,000 cases. “I could no longer help the Palestinian victims in the framework of the existing legal system and its flouting of international law, which is supposed to protect the people that I defended,” she said in an interview with Eran Torbiner. “It is forbidden to be silent; silence also can kill,” she said, in explaining her call for the boycott of Israeli goods. As a German citizen, she called on Germany to fight the occupation.
    Langer lived in Tübingen, teaching and writing books. Critics were angered by her comparison of Israel to the Nazis, and accused her of hypocrisy for ignoring the crimes of communist regimes. When she was asked once to describe her “love of homeland,” she answered: “Hatred of occupation.” In June, Langer died of cancer at age 87.

    Ofer Aderet
    Haaretz Correspondent

  • The Shin Bet’s disgrace veiled in secrecy - Haaretz Editorial

    An invasive search of a woman by the organization shows that the security services must tell their people there are orders they should refuse to obey

    Haaretz Editorial
    Nov 03, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/.premium-the-shin-bet-s-disgrace-veiled-in-secrecy-1.6616497

    The Shin Bet security service’s activities in the West Bank are generally carried out under a veil of secrecy. Only on rare occasions are they revealed to the public, and it’s very rare for the public to find out about crimes apparently committed by one of the secret services in the name of national security.
    The first criminal investigation ordered by the ombudsman for complaints by people interrogated by the Shin Bet – after more than 1,000 complaints had been closed – attests once again to the need for closer supervision of what Shin Bet agents and members of the other security services do to Palestinians living under the occupation.
    The details of the incident, as reported by Haaretz’s Josh Breiner and Yotam Berger on Friday, are shocking. While arresting a Palestinian woman in 2015, a Shin Bet agent ordered soldiers to conduct a vaginal and anal search of the woman, apparently without any justification. Two female soldiers were assigned to conduct this invasive search that no member of the task force appears to have been authorized to make. The search produced nothing but humiliation and offense for the woman arrested.

  • Un si mystérieux ministère israélien des affaires stratégiques
    Eyal Hareuveni > 29 octobre 2018 > Traduit de l’anglais par Pierre Prier.
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/un-si-mysterieux-ministere-israelien-des-affaires-strategiques,2707

    Inquiet de la montée du mouvement Boycott désinvestissement sanctions (BDS) de solidarité avec les Palestiniens, le gouvernement israélien tente d’organiser la riposte, n’hésitant pas à espionner des citoyens dans des pays étrangers, comme aux États-Unis. Il a créé un discret ministère des affaires stratégiques à cette fin, dont le bilan est pour le moins mitigé.

    C’est le plus discret des ministères israéliens. On ne peut trouver aucune information sur le ministère des affaires stratégiques sur le portail en ligne du gouvernement israélien ni dans le budget annuel du ministère des finances pour cette année ou pour l’année 2019. Le ministère n’a pas de site web dédié, contrairement à toutes les autres agences gouvernementales israéliennes — dont le Mossad, le Shin Bet (les services de sécurité extérieure et intérieure) et l’Agence atomique d’Israël. Ni les numéros de téléphone ni l’adresse du ministère ne figurent dans l’annuaire téléphonique d’Israël : il prétend que la loi israélienne sur la liberté d’informer ne s’applique ni à son action ni ses dépenses. Et sa directrice, Sima Vaknin-Gil, ancienne cheffe de la censure militaire refuse de fournir la moindre information significative sur son institution à la Commission de la transparence du Parlement. (...)

  • » Palestinian Woman Stoned to Death by Israeli Settlers
    IMEMC News - October 13, 2018 2:41 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/palestinian-woman-stoned-to-death-by-israeli-settlers

    A group of Israeli paramilitary settlers attacked a Palestinian couple south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, on Friday, killing the woman and severely injuring her husband.

    Aisha Mohammed Talal al-Rabi , 47, was riding in a car with her husband near the Za’tara roadblock, south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, when a group of Israeli settlers came onto the road and began throwing rocks at their car.

    The slain woman was from Bidya town, northwest of Salfit.

    The Israeli colonial settlers threw a number of large rocks, breaking the windshield of the car. They then continued to throw rocks, according to local sources, hitting the couple multiple times in the head and upper body.

    Aisha died of blunt force trauma to the head, caused by a rock that was thrown at her head by the settlers.

    Armed Israeli paramilitary settlers have launched a number of attacks on the Palestinian civilian population in the Nablus area, with the number of attacks drastically increasing since two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian in the area on Monday.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Aisha’s daughter during funeral : ’Is mom here, yet ?’
      Oct. 13, 2018 5:35 P.M. (Updated : Oct. 13, 2018 5:35 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781447

      (...) Aisha’s mother, Azziya, 70, told Ma’an that her daughter had been in Hebron, in the southern West Bank, for 3 days visiting her daughter who is a dentist there.

      Azziya said that the last thing Aisha said during their last phone call was asking her mother to take care and send her greetings to her father before telling her that her husband, Yacoub is coming to pick her up so they can go home together.

      Azziya burst in tears as she finished her sentence, “I did not know it would be our last call,I wish I wish I talked to her more, it was our goodbye conversation.”

      Aisha, a mother of eight, had just finished her university education along with her daughters, as she had gotten married before she could finish her education.

      Azziya told Ma’an that Aisha’s visit to her dentist daughter in Hebron for 3 days was also to get her teeth fixed in preparation to her other daughter’s upcoming wedding.

      One of Aisha’s brothers, Fawzat, was killed by Israeli forces one day before his wedding in 1999; Azziya added “The occupation deprives me of my children for a second time.” (...)

    • Mladenov condemns attack killing Palestinian mother
      Oct. 14, 2018 1:10 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 14, 2018 1:10 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781456

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, condemned on Sunday the recent attack in which a Palestinian mother was killed and her husband injured after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at their vehicle.

      Mladenov said “I condemn this Friday’s attack in the occupied West Bank in which a Palestinian woman, Aisha Al-Rabi, a mother of eight, was killed and her husband injured by stones allegedly thrown by Israeli assailants.”

      He added “I take note that an investigation has been initiated and call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.”

      “Such attacks only seek to drag everyone into a new cycle of violence that would further undermine the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis. I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terrorism,” Mladenov concluded.

    • Israel revokes work permits for family of killed Palestinian mother
      Oct. 22, 2018 4:43 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 23, 2018 11:53 A.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781555

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israel Security Service, the Shin Bet, cancelled Israeli work permits for the husband and brothers of a Palestinian mother who was killed after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle, on Monday.

      Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, a mother of eight children, from the Bidya village near Salfit in the northern West Bank, was killed on October 12th after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle as she was passing by near the Zaatara checkpoint in southern Nablus.

      Hebrew-language news sites reported that al-Rabi’s husband and brothers were surprised to find out that they were the ones who were punished by having their work permits revoked, instead of holding the Israeli settlers responsible for the attack.

      Sources added that the Shin Bet claimed the ban was temporary.

      The Shin Bet also mentioned that no one has been detained as the investigation continues.

    • New evidence in case of Palestinian Mother Stoned to Death by Right-Wing Israelis
      January 24, 2019 11:01 AM
      http://imemc.org/article/new-evidence-in-case-of-palestinian-mother-stoned-to-death-by-right-wing-isra

      Israeli authorities on Wednesday released new information about the death of Aisha al-Rabi, who was killed by a mob of right-wing Israelis in October 2018, stating that they had found DNA of the central suspect in the case on the rock that caused her death.

      Of the five right-wing Israeli teens arrested for the crime last month, just one remains in custody – the other four were released without charges. This is despite the multiple eyewitnesses that saw a group of Israelis hurling rocks at al-Rabi and her husband.

  • Couso protesta por dar espacio en el Parlamento Europeo al criminal de guerra israelí Avi Dichter
    Izquierda Unida | Ajoutée le 8 oct. 2018
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AygbhahLXNM&feature=youtu.be

    Intervención en la comisión AFET (Asuntos Exteriores) del Parlamento Europeo de Javier Couso, eurodiputado de Izquierda Unida, durante el intercambio de puntos de vista con Avi Dichter, presidente del Comité de Asuntos Exteriores y Defensa de la Knesset

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Exchange of views with Mr Avi Dichter from the Knesset
    AnaGomesMEP
    Ajoutée le 8 oct. 2018 | 8 October 2018 -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWgMQV9CGO4

    Intervention of MEP Ana Gomes at the exchange of views with Avi Dichter, Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Knesset (Israel’s unicameral parliament), at the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)

    • Le député Avi Dichter insulté au Parlement européen
      By Haï - Oct 9, 2018
      https://www.jforum.fr/le-depute-avi-dichter-insulte-au-parlement-europeen.html

      Le député Avi Dichter (Likoud), président de la commission des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense, était l’invité du Parlement européen à Bruxelles dans le cadre de la rencontre annuelle de cette commission avec son homologue du Parlement européen.

      Avant même qu’il n’ait pris la parole, il a été pris à partie et insulté par des parlementaires issus des partis de gauche.

      La député européenne Ana Gomes (Socialiste – Portugal) s’est adressée au président de séance sans même regarder l’invité venu d’Israël : “Monsieur le président, vous avez dit tout à l’heure que vous êtiez honoré par la visite de M- Dichter. Moi non. Je suis même dégoûtée. Avi Dichter, lorsqu’il était directeur du Shin Bet a été responsable de la politique des éliminations ciblées lors desquelles de nombreuses personnes ont été tuées sans procès dans la Rive occidentale et dans la bande de Gaza depuis 2001. Il a été accusé de crimes de guerre même aux Etats-Unis et a failli être arrêté en Grande-Bretagne en 2007. C’est lui qui est à l’origine de la loi raciste de la Nation qui transforme les Arabes israéliens en citoyens de seconde catégorie (…) Je suis membre du Parlement européen et habituée à parler avec tout le monde, y compris Satan, mais là, je n’ai rien à dire à M. Dichter. C’est un provocateur de guerre qui souhaite une confrontation entre Israéliens et Palestiniens” .

      Un autre député s’est joint à cette honteuse attaque. Javier Couso Permuy (Gauche Unie – Espagne) et vice-président de la commission des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense du Parlement européen a enfoncé le clou, s’adressant lui aussi au président : “Je n’ai aucune question à poser à votre invité car la seule question qui devrait être adressée à ce criminel de guerre devrait l’être par un tribunal. Celui qui est à côté de vous est un criminel de guerre. Il a ordonné des tortures sur des détenus palestiniens, des exécutions sommaires d’activistes (sic) du Hamas et il a fait bombarder des civils. L’homme qui est assis à côté de vous a aussi initié la loi de la Nation qui instaure une discrimination raciale. Le gouvernement dont cet homme fait partie interdit aux députés européens de se rendre dans la bande de Gaza. Je ne veux pas parler avec un criminel de guerre car je suis dégoûté et je vais d’ailleurs quitter la salle sur le champ”.

  • It’s even allowed to hate Israel

    If cabinet Minister Erdan, scourge of left-wing dissidents, visited Sweden, he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality there, yet Swedish airport officials wouldn’t have asked him about it

    Gideon Levy
    Oct 07, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-it-s-even-allowed-to-hate-israel-1.6532475

    News flash for the minister in charge of combating hatred, Gilad Erdan: One is allowed to hate Israel. Sometimes one must even hate its policies. A democratic country doesn’t ask new arrivals whether they love it. It’s none of their business. The gates of democracy are open to everyone, as long as they don’t endanger its security. That is the test.
    Erdan may also have visited a country whose policies he despised; he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality in Sweden, or Germany’s willingness to take in asylum-seekers – and nobody asked him what he thought. His colleague, Culture Minister Miri Regev, a sworn Arab-hater, intends to fly to Abu Dhabi soon. Will they deport her because of her hatred? If only. Maybe that way Erdan would learn.
    >>Ex-Shin Bet chief on questioning of foreigners at Israel’s borders: Shin Bet becoming a problem
    The world that Gilad McCarthy is building for us now, together with the Shin Bet security service that has long been in charge of this, is motivated by the darkness of a different worldview. Erdan described it well on Friday.
    “Everyone understands,” he wrote, “that these are hypocritical organizations uninterested in human rights. They will never act to help the citizens of Syria or Iran. It’s not human rights that motivate them, but hatred of Israel.” Erdan tried to excuse banning the entry to Israel of the student Lara Alqasem and in so doing revealed his worldview once again.
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    “Everyone understands,” Erdan? Well, almost everyone. Even the minister of strategic affairs can’t yet speak for everyone in Israel. Maybe he will be able to do so soon.
    Meanwhile, there are also some people who don’t understand. Not everyone here has been brainwashed by the propagandistic lies. The “hypocritical organizations” are more interested in human rights than anything else. They are people of conscience. Some are veterans of long-standing work against the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa, some are young people who should be a source of pride. At a time when most Israelis their age are not interested in anything that doesn’t involve them directly, they are fighting for something. They are certainly immeasurably more moral than any settler in the territories.

  • Official documents prove: Israel bans young Americans based on Canary Mission website - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Some Americans detained upon arrival in Israel reported being questioned about their political activity based on ’profiles’ on the controversial website Canary Mission. Documents obtained by Haaretz now clearly show that is indeed a source of information for decisions to bar entry

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-official-documents-prove-israel-bans-young-americans-based-on-cana

    The Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is using simple Google searches, mainly the controversial American right-wing website Canary Mission, to bar political activists from entering Israel, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    >>Israeli court rejects American visa-holding student’s appeal; to be deported for backing BDS
    The internal documents, some of which were submitted to the appeals tribunal in the appeal against the deportation of American student Lara Alqasem, show that officials briefly interviewed Alqasem, 22, at Ben-Gurion International Airport on her arrival Tuesday night, then passed her name on for “continued handling” by the ministry because of “suspicion of boycott activity.” Israel recently passed a law banning the entry of foreign nationals who engage in such activity.

    >> Are you next? Know your rights if detained at Israel’s border

    Links to Canary Mission and Facebook posts are seen on an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs document.
    The ministry then sent the officials at the airport an official report classified “sensitive” about Alqasem’s supposed political activities, which included information from five links – four from Facebook and one, the main source, from the Canary Mission site, which follows pro-Palestinian activists on U.S. campuses.
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    A decision on Alqasem’s appeal against her deportation was expected Thursday afternoon.
    Canary Mission, now the subject of major controversy in the American Jewish community, has been collecting information since 2015 about BDS activists at universities, and sends the information to potential employers. Pro-Israel students have also criticized their activities.

    Lara Alqasem.
    This week, the American Jewish news site The Forward reported that at least $100,000 of Canary Mission’s budget had been contributed through the San Francisco Jewish Federation and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which donates to Jewish education. The donation was handed to a group registered in Beit Shemesh called Megamot Shalom, specifically stating that it was for Canary Mission. A few hours after the report was published, the federation announced that it would no longer fund the group.
    Over the past few months some of the Americans who have been detained for questioning upon arrival in Israel have reported that they were questioned about their political activity based on “profiles” about them published on Canary Mission. The documents obtained by Haaretz now show clearly that the site is indeed the No. 1 source of information for the decision to bar entry to Alqasem.
    According to the links that were the basis for the decision to suspend the student visa that Alqasem had been granted by the Israeli Consulate in Miami, she was president of the Florida chapter of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, information quoted directly from the Canary Mission. The national arm of that organization, National Students for Justice in Palestine, is indeed on the list of 20 groups that the Strategic Affairs Ministry compiled as criteria to invoke the anti-boycott law. However, Alqasem was not a member at the national level, but rather a local activist. She told the appeals tribunal that the local chapter had only a few members.

    Canary Mission’s profile of Lara Alqasem.
    The ministry also cited as a reason for barring Alqasem’s entry to Israel a Facebook post showing that “In April 2016 [her] chapter conducted an ongoing campaign calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus, the American version of Hummus Tzabar, because Strauss, which owns Tzabar, funds the Golani Brigade.” Alqasem told the tribunal that she had not taken an active part in this campaign. Another link was about a writers’ petition calling on a cultural center to refuse sponsorship by Israel for its activities. Yet another post, by the local Students for Justice in Palestine, praised the fact that an international security company had stopped operations in Israel. None of these links quoted Alqasem.
    She told the tribunal that she is not currently a member of any pro-boycott group and would not come to study for her M.A. in Israel if she were.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry report on Alqasem is so meager that its writers mentioned it themselves: “It should be noted that in this case we rely on a relatively small number of sources found on the Internet.” Over the past few months Haaretz has been following up reports of this nature that have been the basis for denying entry to activists, and found that in many other cases the material consisted of superficial Google searches and that the ministry, by admission of its own senior officials, does not collect information from non-public sources.
    skip - Facebook post calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus

    The ministry’s criteria for invoking the anti-boycott law state clearly that in order to bar entry to political activists, they must “hold senior or significant positions in the organizations,” including “official senior roles in prominent groups (such as board members).”
    But the report on Alqasem does not indicate that she met the criterion of “senior” official in the national movement, nor was this the case for other young people questioned recently at the airport. In some cases it was the Shin Bet security service that questioned people due to past participation in activities such as demonstrations in the territories, and not BDS activities.
    “Key activists,” according to the ministry’s criteria, also means people who “consistently take part in promoting BDS in the framework of prominent delegitimization groups or independently, and not, for example, an activist who comes as part of a delegation.” In Alqasem’s case, however, her visa was issued after she was accepted for study at Hebrew University.

  • Netanyahu likely to extend secrecy of some 1948 war documents 20 more years

    Defense establishment asked to lengthen classification period to 90 years, from 70, for material on Deir Yassin massacre, among other events

    Jonathan Lis and Ofer Aderet Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-likely-to-extend-secrecy-of-some-1948-war-documents-20-m

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign regulations extending the period of confidentiality for information in the defense archives from 70 years to 90 years. The Defense Ministry and other organization requested the extension to prevent the release this year of some materials relating to the period of the War of Independence in 1948.
    The extension is intended to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods that are still in use today by security forces. The archives also include information that was received from foreign sources under the condition that it would not be released, say defense officials. The draft regulations state that even after 70 years have passed, exposure of some of the archival materials could harm national security. In 2010, Netanyahu extended the period of confidentiality for security archives from 50 years to 70 years.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The legal adviser to the Israel State Archives, Naomi Aldubi, circulated a draft of the new regulations to the relevant government ministries Wednesday. The document states that the new regulations will apply to materials held by the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad and the archives of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear research centers and the Israel Institute for Biological Research. The new rules would also prevent the publication of raw intelligence from Military Intelligence as well as information concerning intelligence gathering for materials classified as secret and higher, along with materials concerning certain Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry units.
    The decision is expected to make life much more difficult for historians, other researchers and journalists and would also limit the public’s access to valuable historical information of public interest. For example, the new regulations would prevent the release of certain materials concerning the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948.
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    In practice, the government will be able to prevent the release of any document related to the War of Independence that it wishes to keep secret. The new rules also contradict the recommendations of the supreme advisory council overseeing the Israel State Archives, which recommended extending the confidentiality of only some of the documents for five years.

    The Archives Law states that any person has the right to examine documents stored in the state archives, but also grants the government authority to restrict access according to the level of classification — for example, materials classified as “secret” — and according to the amount of time that has passed since the materials were created. This period ranges between 15 and 75 years, in accordance with the materials’ source and contents. For example, the classification period for the minutes of classified sessions of Knesset committees is limited to 20 years; for foreign policy documents the period is 25 years; for police archives, 30 years and for minutes of the security cabinet 50 years. Intelligence materials, including those of the Shin Bet, Mossad, Atomic Energy Commission and Biological Institute, remain classified for 70 years.
    Even after this period expires, the state archives and other archives, such as the IDF Archives, have not acted on their own initiative to release the materials. In practice, the end of the classification period alone is not sufficient for automatic declassification of the material. First, the chief archivist must examine the materials. After that, a special ministerial committee, headed by the justice minister, has the right to apply additional restrictions on access to them.
    The committee used its power to prohibit access to the so-called Riftin report on extrajudicial executions carried out by the Haganah pre-independence army. In 1998, half a century after the report was written, its confidentiality period expired, after which it should have been unsealed. In the 20 years that have passed since then, two state archivists requested, and received, extensions of the classification period from the ministerial committee.
    The draft proposal does stipulate that the relevant organizations must draw up new protocols that would enable the unsealing of classified materials after 50 years, on their own initiative. In addition, they would be instructed to conduct an annual review of their classified documents in order to determine whether they can be declassified.

  • Shin Bet holds German citizen at Israeli border: Your blood isn’t German, it’s Palestinian- Haaretz.Com
    https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page///.premium-shin-bet-grills-german-with-palestinian-blood-at-border-crossing-1

    After 10 minutes the Shin Bet interrogator – who didn’t identify herself, didn’t give her name and looked about 30 years old – got up and started questioning him. “She started by asking where I am from. I said I am from Germany. She asked me where I am really from. I said, I was born in Berlin, Germany, have a German passport and no other and am thus a German citizen.”

    And then came her questions about his blood, Palestinian or German. He replied: “I don’t know about that, but if my blood is anything, it’s probably also Polish.” His mother is a Polish woman who was born in Germany.

    The Shin Bet investigator continued with her unexpected questions: “‘Do you know, that you are a refugee?’ He replied that he isn’t a refugee. “But yes, you’re a refugee,” she insisted. “Don’t you know that the UN considers you, like any other descendant of Arabs from this area as Palestinian refugees? No other people in the world keep their refugee status, after becoming citizens of another country, but the Palestinians, yes.’”

    Sarrouh’s family is Christian. Unlike Muslim Palestinians, Christian Palestinians who found themselves in Lebanon in 1948 because of the war, or who were expelled, became Lebanese citizens, so they didn’t receive refugee status. The Sarrouh family is from the Maronite village of Kafr Bir’im, as is his wife’s family. In November 1948, after the occupation of the village, its residents, including the Sarrouh family, were expelled to the other side of the border.

    #Israel#villa_dans_la_jungle#sang

  • Par l’interrogatoire serré d’un militant de gauche, le Shin Bet viole une décision de la Haute Cour
    Amira Hass, Haaretz, le 25 juillet 2018
    http://aurdip.fr/par-l-interrogatoire-serre-d-un.html

    Geva a aussi déclaré qu’il n’était pas un interrogateur, mais plutôt la personne responsable pour les affaires concernant la gauche radicale et la « dalag ». C’est seulement plus tard que Kronberg a compris que ce terme était une abréviation pour « délégitimation ».

    Avant la rencontre, qui a duré environ une demi-heure, les affaires de Kronberg avaient été fouillées et il a lui-même subi une fouille au corps. On lui a dit que c’était destiné à s’assurer qu’il n’avait pas d’appareil d’enregistrement.

    Selon l’Association pour les droits civils en Israël, convoquer des militants pour des entretiens d’avertissement « est une pratique inacceptable qui ne devrait pas exister et qui n’a aucune place dans un pays démocratique. Nous entendons avec une grande inquiétude que l’agent du Shin Bet s’est défini comme ‘responsable à propos de la délégitimation’. Il est interdit au Shin Bet de fonctionner comme une police de la pensée et de saper la liberté d’expression ».

    #Palestine #BDS #Daniel_Kronberg #Taayush #Shin_Bet #criminalisation_des_militants #liberté_d'expression #censure #police_de_la_pensée

  • Éducation à l’oppression : les institutions universitaires israéliennes lient leur destin à l’élite sécuritaire israélienne
    Shir Hever, BRICUP, juillet 2018
    https://www.bdsfrance.org/education-a-loppression-les-institutions-universitaires-israeliennes-lien

    Le premier s’est produit à l’Université hébraïque de Jérusalem, alors que l’université accueillait un événement de recrutement pour l’Association de sécurité israélienne (ISA), également connue sous le nom de « Shin Bet », « Shabak » ou simplement police secrète. La militante Ilana Hammerman a assisté à l’événement et en a parlé, exposant comment l’université offrait sans réserve un espace de publicité pour l’une des organisations les plus dangereuses et les moins scrupuleuses d’Israël, impliquée dans la torture, le recrutement de collaborateurs et plus encore.

    Le deuxième événement était que l’Université de Haïfa a remporté l’appel d’offres pour organiser des études supérieures pour l’armée. L’université a conçu un programme spécial pour les officiers militaires afin de leur permettre d’obtenir des diplômes universitaires tout en perturbant le moins possible leurs tâches liées à l’occupation [des territoires palestiniens]. Grâce au programme de l’Université de Haïfa, ils pourraient arrêter les Palestiniens sans procès, ordonner le bombardement de quartiers civils et établir des critères arbitraires aux checkpoints, tout en trouvant le temps de suivre des leçons et de passer des examens. L’Université de Haïfa a obtenu le droit de gérer trois collèges militaires : le Collège de la défense nationale, le Collège de commandement et d’état-major et le Collège du commandement tactique. L’unification des trois collèges sous la supervision académique de l’Université de Haïfa crée une responsabilité directe de l’université en ce qui concerne la formation et l’éducation du corps des officiers israéliens, et les premiers cours débutent déjà en juillet 2018.

    Le troisième événement a été le fonds conjoint de capital-risque de l’université de Tel-Aviv avec l’ISA, pour soutenir des start-ups sécuritaires. La coopération entre l’ISA et l’Université de Tel-Aviv signifie que l’ISA aura accès aux technologies de contrôle des populations, en utilisant l’argent du fonds d’investissement et la réputation universitaires pour donner aux start-ups un air de respectabilité. Selon une déclaration conjointe de l’ISA et de l’Université de Tel-Aviv datée du 3 juillet, quatre start-ups financées comprennent une start-up qui identifie des « fausses informations », une autre un programme d’intelligence artificielle pour analyser des vidéos et des documents, une autre une technologie de réalité virtuelle destinée à être utilisée dans le pilotage de drones à distance et une dernière proposant des prédictions basées sur le big data et l’apprentissage automatique.

    #Palestine #Universités #Armée_israélienne #Collaboration #BDS #Embargo_militaire #Boycott_universitaire

  • Just look at Ben-Gurion Airport - Opinion
    Haaretz.com | Gideon Levy | Aug 16, 2018 1:07 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-just-look-at-ben-gurion-airport-1.6384896

    Look at Ben-Gurion Airport, and see us. Nothing reflects Israel 2018 better than that entrance gate, the place Israelis hold most sacred.

    Elaborately designed, efficient, modern, with a semblance of the epitome of freedom – here the “open sky” is the limit – while under the magnificent columns and moving walkways the injustices fester, well hidden, as usual, behind screens. The Ben-Gurion we love so much is an airport of segregation, an airdrome partially in the Shin Bet’s control, including a thought-police station. Welcome arrivals and departures: Peter Beinart is not alone.

    It begins long before the entrance. About two million residents, some of them living on the very outskirts of the airport, see it from their window but cannot go near it, not to mention use its services. Their Jewish neighbors are allowed, but they themselves are prohibited. They’re Palestinians. Have you heard of any other international airport that is closed to some of the state’s residents solely because of their origin? If this isn’t the port of apartheid, what is?

    As the permitted ones drive up to the checkpoint at the entrance, the ceremony of opening the window and greeting the security guard, armed with a machine gun – the most racist procedure there is – takes place. Everyone cooperates with this sickening act, intended to hear the passengers’ accent and ascertain whether they are Jews or Arabs.

    The security guards know what they’re doing. They also know what they’re doing at the security examinations in the airport. Invasive, intrusive questions that have no place in a free country, that have nothing to do with flight security. Not everyone is subjected to this, of course. Profiling is the name of the game, intended to make it easy for us, the privileged Israeli Jews, and deprive and degrade all the rest. Security, hush-hush, don’t ask questions.

    And then the numbers with the different endings on the sticker attached to your passport, separating one traveler from another, on the basis of his origin, or the extent of suspicion he raises. There are numbers whose digital endings mean complete nudity in front of the male or female examiner. This does not apply to the Jewish Israelis.

    Most of the suspicions in Ben-Gurion Airport arise because of origin or ideological affiliation. An American of Palestinian origin – suspicious. A Jew is not, of course, unless he’s a leftist. There are no suspicions of right-wingers. There’s no chance that an racist evangelist from Alabama, an “Israel lover” and believer in Armageddon, could endanger anything. Only the Norwegian tourist who took part, bad girl, in a tour of Breaking the Silence, is jeopardizing the flight’s safety or the public’s security. Only the activist of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel is a potential plane hijacker, or a possible terrorist.

    No rightist supporter of the settlers, Jewish or Christian, has ever been held up at Ben-Gurion Airport and interrogated about his activity on behalf of the settlements, which are far more criminal than any demonstration, protest or act of solidarity with the Palestinians. Such a person, it seems, has yet to be born. In Israel, the fascist, even anti-Semitic, right is patriotic, and so it is in Ben-Gurion Airport too, the mirror of our homeland’s landscape.

    It will end only on the day Israelis are humiliated like that at the gateways to other countries. Until then the security excuse will be upheld and used for everything. And we haven’t yet said a word about the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Try once to think of the one standing in front of you or behind you in line, an Israeli Arab, director of a hospital ward or a construction worker. He has the same passport, the same citizenship as yours, in the nation-state of equality for all. Try to imagine the feeling of exclusion, the affront of deprivation. What does he say to the child who asks why we are here and they are there, how does he overcome the suspicious looks.

    On top of all this came the ridiculous, outrageous war on BDS, which turned Ben-Gurion border officials into duty officers of the thought-police. Beinart was its victim, but he’s a Jew and quite famous, so his interrogation was declared an “administrative error.” But this is no error: This is Ben-Gurion Airport. This is Israel. And now, to the duty-free shops.

    #BenGourion #expulsions #frontières

  • Israel’s Shin Bet detains Peter Beinart at Ben-Gurion airport over political activity
    The Jewish-American journalist wrote that he was pulled aside for questioning upon entering Israel ■ Netanyahu says he was told detention was ’administrative mistake’ and ’Israel welcomes all’
    Amir Tibon and Noa Landau Aug 13, 2018 8:27 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-beinart-i-was-detained-at-ben-gurion-airport-over-political-activi

    Beinart’s interrogation is the latest in a series of incidents at Israel’s border entry and exit points that involved political questioning of Jewish Americans.

    Last month, a Jewish American philanthropist who donated millions to Israeli hospitals and schools was interrogated because security at Ben Gurion found a booklet about Palestine in his suitcase.

    Last week, two left-wing Jewish American activists were detained for three hours at the border crossing between Israel and Egypt. One of the activists, Simone Zimmerman, one of the founding members of the Jewish anti-occupation IfNotNow, claimed she was interrogated about her political opinions.

    Israel’s security service, the Shin Bet, stated in response to Zimmerman’s allegations that it did not recommend that she be questioned about her political leanings, but simply advised that she and activist Abigail Kirschbaum be questioned.

    Beinart mentioned Zimmerman’s detention and questioning in his article. He described Zimmerman’s questioning as part of an overall trend in Israel, noting that “the day before, Netanyahu all but incited violence against the New Israel Fund’s director in Israel.”

    The journalist also referenced the Israeli government’s passage of the contentious nation-state law as part of a process in which, in his view, “Israel is getting uglier.”

    Yael Patir, the Israel Director at J Street, responded to the Beinart’s detention on Monday, saying that “slippery slope has turned into a dark and dangerous abyss when every citizen who dares criticize the Netanyahu government can find himself interrogated over his opinions.”

    “The clerks of the Immigration Authority and Shin Bet interrogators become, against their will, become the obeyers of a regime that uses them as a tool for political persecutions,” she continued.

    “If the government of Israel wants some sort of connection to the vast majority of U.S. Jewry, as well as to preserve the Israeli democracy, the political interrogations ought to stop entirely,” Patir concluded.

    In May, the Shin Bet held Israeli peace activist Tanya Rubinstein at Ben-Gurion International Airport for half an hour in early May, Rubinstein told Haaretz. She is general coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace and was returning from a conference sponsored by the Swedish foreign ministry. Left-wing activist Yehudit Ilani was detained two weeks later on her way back from Europe after visiting a flotilla headed to Gaza in the coming weeks in her capacity as a journalist.

    The Shin Bet responded to the report on Beinart’s arrest as well, saying that it operates only according to law and for the state’s security. “Mr. Beinart’s detention was carried out as a result of an error of judgment by the professional official at the scene.”

    The Shin Bet also told Haaretz it was “sorry for the unpleasantness Mr. Beinart experienced. The Shin Bet chief has instructed that the case be looked into.”
    Amir Tibon

    #BenGourion

    • Israël : l’interrogatoire d’un journaliste américain était une « erreur » selon Netanyahu
      AFP Publié le lundi 13 août 2018 à 20h58
      http://www.lalibre.be/actu/international/israel-l-interrogatoire-d-un-journaliste-americain-etait-une-erreur-selon-ne
      Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a affirmé lundi que l’interrogatoire auquel a été soumis un journaliste américain à son arrivée en Israël était dû à une « erreur administrative », a indiqué son bureau dans un communiqué.

      Peter Beinart, un journaliste de The Forward, a décrit dans un article de ce journal juif américain publié à New York comment il a été interrogé sur ses opinions politiques dimanche pendant une heure par un agent du Shin Beth, le service de sécurité intérieure, à son arrivée à l’aéroport Ben Gourion.

      Partisan du boycott des produits en provenance des colonies israéliennes implantées en Cisjordanie, un territoire palestinien occupé par Israël, il a raconté avoir été interrogé « encore et encore sur les noms des organisations +répréhensibles+ » avec lesquelles il était associé.

      Le journaliste, qui a affirmé être venu en Israël pour des raisons familiales, a qualifié la conversation de « déprimante, mais pas effrayante ».

      « Le Premier ministre a appris que M. Beinart a été questionné à l’aéroport Ben Gourion. Il a immédiatement parlé avec les responsables des forces de sécurité israéliennes pour savoir comment une telle chose avait pu se produire. Il lui a été répondu qu’il s’agissait d’une erreur administrative », indiquent ses services dans leur communiqué.

      « Israël est une société ouverte qui accueille aussi bien ceux qui le critiquent que ceux qui le soutiennent », a assuré le Premier ministre.

      M. Beinart a réagi sur son compte Twitter en estimant que Benjamin Netanyahu « s’est excusé à moitié (..) ».

      « J’accepterai ses excuses lorsqu’il s’excusera auprès de tous les Palestiniens et des Palestino-Américains qui endurent chaque jour des choses bien pire ».

      En mars 2017, le Parlement israélien a voté une loi interdisant l’entrée en Israël des partisans du mouvement « BDS » (Boycott, Dé-investissement et Sanctions contre Israël) qui lutte contre l’occupation des territoires palestiniens.

      BDS s’inspire de la lutte menée contre le régime de l’apartheid en Afrique du sud.

  • U.S. Jewish activist Simone Zimmerman held by Shin Bet at border, questioned on work with Palestinians
    Haaretz.com - Noa Landau - Aug 05, 2018 10:48 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-u-s-jewish-activist-simone-zimmerman-held-at-israeli-border-1.6343

    Simone Zimmerman, an American Jewish activist, was held by the Shin Bet security service at the border between Israel and Egypt for at least three hours on Sunday evening, Israel’s Immigration Authority confirmed.

    Shin Bet agents asked Zimmerman which places she had visited in the West Bank and what she thought of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she said.

    Zimmerman is a founding member of IfNotNow, a movement to end the American Jewish community’s support for the Israeli occupation.

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    Israël essaie d’isoler les Palestiniens et de les priver de soutien international
    Adri Nieuwhof – 30 juillet 2018
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2018/08/03/israel-essaie-disoler-les-palestiniens-et-de-les-priver-de-sout

    Deux chercheuses néerlandaises ont été détenues, soumises à des traitements dégradants et des violences, puis déportées par Israël au début du mois.

    Elles ont vécu personnellement la politique israélienne d’isolement des Palestiniens du reste du monde et d’obstruction au travail des défenseurs des droits de l’homme.

    #Expulsion #Israël #frontières