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Red Rag column: the robbed occupier; force-feeding; Women`s Boat to Gaza
By: Gideon Spiro
13 September 2016

The robbed occupier

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s manipulative use of the loaded term “ethnic cleansing” while discussing a hypothetical evacuation of settlers from the West Bank has already redounded to his discredit, as befits one who makes false use of historically emotive concepts. He has already been reminded that ethnic cleansing is what Israel did in 1948, when it expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and barred their return.

The evacuation of the settlers from the West Bank would be the evacuation of invaders on land and property that is not theirs, and that has absolutely nothing to do with ethnic cleansing. Netanyahu’s likening of the evacuation of the settlers with a State of Palestine without Jews is also mendacious. There is no identification between Jews and settlers. The only connection between settlers and Jews is that the settlers are giving Jews and Judaism a bad name. The settlers are feeding antisemitism, which in turn feeds the settlers in a discourse of racists.

I hope that the international community does not fall into trap of guilt-feelings, which Netanyahu is trying to stir up in the context of the Holocaust.


Our new friend

The government of Israel has a deplorable tradition of supporting tyrannical and oppressive regimes. Now it has broken a new record in the field, having become an advocate for Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Court in The Hague for genocide and war crimes in Darfur.

I waited for a statement from Yad Vashem condemning the government of Israel for this moral blindness, but as these lines are being written, Yad Vashem has remained silent.

It is a desecration of the memory of the Holocaust.


Force-feeding

The neo-fascist pair of judges at the Supreme Court, Sohlberg and Rubinstein, has brought about the Supreme Court’s decision that force-feeding hunger strikers is constitutional, and so it can be carried out.

International conventions as well as the ethical codes of medical associations forbid such feeding, because it constitutes torture. Attorney Jawad Boulos, who heads the judicial committee of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, has attacked the decision and said that the High Court of Justice’s [1] decision means “breaking the spirit of the hunger-striking detainees”. According to him, the hunger strike is an important non-violent instrument in the struggle within the prisons, and “in Israel they are trying to eliminate this instrument by means of a ruling that contradicts all humane values and international law”. He added that the Palestinians should reconsider their policy of appealing to judicial authorities in Israel, headed by the Supreme Court, because “it has now been proven that the High Court of Justice is not the address for claiming rights for the Palestinians” (Haaretz, 12 September 2016).

Good morning, my friend Jawad. For decades I have been saying that the Supreme Court should not be appealed to on any subject related to the Occupation, because the judicial system in general and the Supreme Court in particular are effectively acting in the service of the Occupation and sanitizing its crimes. The rulings of the High Court of Justice make it easier for Israelis to live with the Occupation, due to the undeserved respect enjoyed by the Supreme Court. The typical Israeli says to himself, if the High Court of Justice approved it, then everything is not all that terrible.

The repeated applications to the High Court of Justice by Israeli human-rights organizations on issues related to the human rights of Palestinians help perpetuate Israelis’ feeling of serenity. For after all, “there are judges in Jerusalem”, as the late Prime Minister Begin used to say in his time.


The Women’s Boat to Gaza

The Women’s Boat to Gaza will soon depart from Barcelona, with the aim of breaking the blockage on Gaza. The big brave Israel Defence Force is mobilizing the best of its fighters, who have been trained over 50 years of Occupation to fight women and children. I have no doubt that our brave and moral army will have the upper hand in the battle with the Women’s Boat.

All honour to the IDF.


Translator’s note

1. High Court of Justice is what the Israeli Supreme Court is called when it acts as a court of first instance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_(Israel)#High_Court_of_Justice


Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

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