“. . . it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century. . . .” (Tomis Kapitan)

Israeli soldier shoots tear gas into crowd of Palestinians, Hebron. March 31, 2013 (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

❶ Palestinian succumbs to wounds sustained in 2007 Israeli army raid

  • Background: “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change.

❷ Israeli forces kill Palestinian woman at Nablus checkpoint after alleged stabbing attempt
❸ Army Injures One Palestinian In Nablus, Invades Homes In Qaryout
❹ Committee: ‘Overwhelming majority’ of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody are ‘tortured’
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Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 20, 2016     A Palestinian man died on Thursday after suffering for nearly ten years of wounds sustained during an Israeli army raid.
___The Makassed hospital announced the death of Mahmoud Jawda, who had been treated at the occupied East Jerusalem medical center ever since he was shot multiple times by Israeli forces during a military raid in Ramallah in 2007.
___Jawda’s family requested that competent authorities to help transfer the Palestinian man’s body from Jerusalem to Ramallah for burial.
___While Israeli army regulations only permit the use of live fire on Palestinians when Israeli soldiers are considered to be in imminent danger, they often open fire on Palestinians indiscriminately as a “crowd control” tactic during military raids.   More . . .  

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE  

[. . . .]    By controlling movement between the areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, Israel was able to restrict the movement of goods—in violation of the Oslo accords—with the result that Palestinians’ freedom of movement, access to markets, and overall economy diminished significantly. . .  In effect, the Oslo Accords gave Palestinians in the territories limited control over their internal affairs while allowing the Israelis to consolidate their hold on the West Bank, expand their settlements, and stifle the Palestinian economy. . . .   It is significant that the Oslo Accords did not mention a right of self-determination for Palestinians.
[. . . .]   Aside from speculations about Israel’s ultimate intent, the net effect of the Zionist project has been to create a sovereign state for Israeli Jews while systematically denying the prerogative of self-determination to Palestinian Arabs. As predicted by Arabs, Jews, and British over ninety years ago, the process has been inseparable from frustration, anger, and violence.
[. . . .]   The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. While some see the creation of Israel as a political success story, it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade-long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability.
[. . . .]   No state, institution, or law is legitimate unless it can be anchored within the consent of the people it governs. No solution to a political conflict within a territory is either just or secure unless it is responsive to the wishes of the legitimate residents of that territory.
[. . . .]   Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self-determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 19, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday shot and killed a Palestinian woman at the Zaatara (Tappuah) military checkpoint south of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus after an alleged stabbing attempt on Israeli border police.      ___The slain woman has not yet been identified.     ___An Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that according to initial reports, a young Palestinian woman approached Israeli border guards stationed at the Tappuah junction, and after “ignoring their directives and their calls for her to stop,” pulled out a knife. Israeli forces then opened live fire on the young woman and “neutralized” her.       More . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 20, 2016
Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Thursday at dawn, a young Palestinian man, during clashes that took place after dozens of soldiers and settlers invaded Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. The army also invaded homes in Qaryout village, south of Nablus.
___Local sources said clashes took place near Qabr Yousef (Joseph Tomb) area, east of Nablus, after five Israeli buses, filled with settlers, and many Israeli army vehicles, invaded the area.
___They added that a young man, identified as Hamed Yahya Edrees, 23, from the Old Askar refugee camp, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his head, and was moved to the Rafidia governmental hospital.
___In addition, several army vehicles invaded Qaryout village, south of Nablus, before breaking into many homes and violently searching them.         More . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 18, 2016
The “overwhelming majority” of Palestinian minors held in Israel’s Megiddo and Ofer prisons have been tortured during their detention and interrogation, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Tuesday, amid a marked increase in the incarceration and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israel.
___Lawyer for the committee Luay Ukka said in a statement that, after a visit to Ofer prison, he had noticed that the number of juvenile prisoners there had noticeably increased over the past month.
___As of mid-October, he said, the number of Palestinian prisoners in Ofer under 18 years old reached 28, 14 of whom were under 14 years old.        More . . .   

Mahmoud Salem. Feb. 11, 2016 (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

“. . . It is my right to behold the sun . . .” (Fouzi el-Asmar)

bilal❶ 10 Palestinian prisoners join mass hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayid
❷ The terror of the children
❸ POETRY by Fouzi el-Asmar

Background from New Zealand International Review

Background from Public Health Ethics

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Ma’an News Agency
July 31, 2016
Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had deteriorated sharply after almost 50 days without food.
___Qaraqe told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency that ten prisoners from Israel’s Ramon prison joined the open strike, including Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat, who was reportedly moved to solitary confinement after joining the strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.
___Kayid, a member of the PFLP, Palestine’s most popular left-wing political faction, has been on hunger strike for 47 days in protest of being placed in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of internment without charge or trial under undisclosed evidence — on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.      MORE . . .    

Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Reprinted from El Pais (English)
Mario Vargas Llosa
July 25, 2016
[. . . .] The operations designed to induce panic are generally carried out at night by masked soldiers who first throw grenades into homes accompanied by shouting, with the aim of frightening families – above all, the children. These raids come out of the blue and are carefully orchestrated. The teenager or child who has been betrayed by an informer is blindfolded and handcuffed. The young suspects are then taken away in a truck, usually on the floor of the truck with the soldiers’ feet on top of them and the odd kick to keep them scared.
___In the interrogation room, they are left tied up on the floor for five to 10 hours. This helps to lower their morale and frighten them further. The subsequent interrogation follows a pattern; they are advised to admit to throwing stones, which will get them no more than two or three months behind bars. Otherwise, they will have to wait seven or eight months for their case to go to trial, which could means a worse sentence.       MORE . . .    

From New Zealand International Review
On 17 April 2012, Palestine Prisoners Day, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions. Reported Richard Falk, ‘I am appalled by the continuing human rights violations in Israeli prisons and I urge the Government of Israel to respect its international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian prisoners.’
[. . . .]
___Since the 1967 war, an estimated 40 per cent of the Palestinian male population in the occupied territory has been in detention in Israeli jails. Israel makes widespread use of arbitrary detention; no charges, no trials. Some prisoners are held this way for years, just by renewing the arbitrary detention.
___Twenty-seven Palestinian parliamentarians and two ministers are being held. Human rights activists, taking part in nonviolent protests against the wall as it is expanded, are targeted.
___Political prisoners are held in Israel jails, against the Geneva Convention. Dostoevsky said you should judge a country by examining its prisons.  Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.   SOURCE 

From Public Health Ethics
The present article focuses on the case of the 2012 hunger-strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. We analyze the ethical dilemma involved in the way the Israeli medical community reacted to these hunger-strikes and the question of force feeding within the context of the fundamental dual-loyalty structure inherent in the Israeli Prison Services—system. We argue that the liberal perspective that focuses the discussion on the dilemma between the principle of individual autonomy and the sanctity of life tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger-strikes take place. Emphasizing hunger-strikes as political acts implies that health practitioners’ conducts cannot be analyzed only through the prism of clinical medical ethics. It requires a public health ethics’ approach, an approach that understands health in the context of the complex relationship between society, state, organizations, communities and individuals. The authors are both academics and volunteers in Physicians for Human Rights—Israel thus our analysis is based both on sociological and public health ethics principles and on the continuous work and advocacy for the right to health of prisoners. Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE 

“THE WAY,” by Fouzi El-Asmar

I shall not despair;
Whether my way leads to a jail,
under the sun
or in exile
I shall not despair.

It is my right to behold the sun
To demolish the tent and banishment
To eat the fruit of the olive
To water the vineyards
with music
To sing of Love
in Jaffa, in Haifa
To sow the fertile land
with new seeds
It is my right.

Let my way be
The reaching of one hand to another
That a tower of dreams be built.

This is my way
And if the last price to pay
is my sight
my life
I shall
but will not give up
my way.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.

“. . . But they must understand that they are donkeys . . .” (Rabbi David Bazri)

israeli settles
Armed Israelis Settlers march through Al-Badhan (Photo: Ma’an News)

❶ Israel accuses Ma’an news of incitement, bans TV channel from prisons

Background from Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies

❷ Armed Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  When Israel’s leaders incite, one soldier pays the price
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Ma’an News Agency
July 29, 2016
The Ma’an TV channel was banned inside Israel’s prisons on Friday, as Israeli Prison Services (IPS) claimed the channel was inciting Palestinian prisoners against Israel, according to the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.
___Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that the news of the ban came from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons who said IPS officials decided to ban the channel after accusing the Palestinian news channel of “inciting and harming the security of Israel.”
___According to Qaraqe, the Palestinian prisoners said they were dependent on the Ma’an TV channel for their main source of news on Palestine and deeply resented the IPS officials’ decision.    MORE . . .

From Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
In a recent survey, only 44 percent said that if Jewish law and democratic values clashed, the latter should always be preferred, while 20 percent said Jewish law should always be preferred and 36 percent said “sometimes one and sometimes the other.”12 In other words, the decline in attachment to democratic values continues, and less than half of Israeli Jews think that, in a clash between Jewish law and democracy, democratic values should always prevail.
[. . . .]
___Many rabbis in Israel involve themselves in politics, often in protests against attempts to give away what they perceive as “holy territories” of Eretz Israel. These rabbis say that they represent their respective communities; in many cases they are public officials who are paid by the government. They abuse the position conferred on them by the State to attack Israel and to undermine its policies. Some of those rabbis do not shy away from preaching hatred and violence against Arabs.
___A recent study of complaints against rabbinic incitement between 2002 and 2011 showed that of 48 complaints, police investigations were opened in only 18 cases (37.5 percent of the total). . . . Only in 5 cases (27.77 percent) were individuals brought to criminal trial. Of these, 4 cases were settled when the rabbis apologized for their rabbinic incitement.
___In one case, two rabbis admitted publicly saying that the Arabs were a “donkey nation,” a menace, a bad Satan, an inferior nation. The two rabbis, Yitzhak and David Bazri, rhetorically asked their audience: why didn’t God created Arabs on four, like donkeys? “Because they need to build and clean. But they must understand that they are donkeys” and inferior. They are wicked and brutal. They have snake filth. They are defiled. The two rabbis received lenient sentences: Yitzhak Bazri’s punishment was 140 hours of community service and his pledge not to incite racism. David Bazri was asked to make the same commitment and to issue a public statement that he objected to racism, that he did not mean to offend anyone . . .

  • Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. “Religious, Hateful, And Racist Speech In Israel.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies 31.2 (2013): 95-117. FULL ARTICLE

Ma’an News Agency
July 29, 2016
Armed Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, raided the village of al-Badhan in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus Friday morning, locals told Ma’an.
___Witnesses said that more than 15 Israeli settler vehicles raided the village where some 3,000 Palestinians reside as Israeli forces were reportedly deployed on the main road leading to the al-Tawahin area.
___Locals told Ma’an that armed Israeli settlers have raided the area every Friday in order to carry out religious rituals in the area.     MORE . . . 

+972 Blog
Noam Rotem
July 29, 2016
Sgt. Elor Azaria stood on the witness stand during his trial this past week and described what led him to fire a bullet into Abdel Fatteh al-Sharif’s head on March 24 in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood. . .  Azaria fired his weapon directly at al-Sharif’s head as the latter laid sprawled out on the ground.
[. . . .]
___Since September 22, 2015, over 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers or police officers. Many of them allegedly took part in attacks on soldiers, policemen, and civilians. Aside from Azaria, no other soldiers or policemen were ever put on trial.
___There is no arguing over the fact that Azaria was indeed the one who shot and killed al-Sharif.
[. . . .]
But let us not forget the long line of inciting comments by top Israeli leaders that made it possible. Azaria is only the messenger. He is the weapon in the hands of those same ministers and members of Knesset who called on him and others carry out the act. He to blame, of course, for the killing itself. He is the one who pulled the trigger, but each and every one of those “leaders” are equally, if not more, to blame.      MORE . . .

Rabbi David Bazri (Photo: Shmuel Bar-Am; The Times of Israel, November 1, 2014) http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-devil-is-in-the-details-on-a-magical-mystery-tour-of-jerusalem/