Israel packs seven lies into one statement on the Palestinian hunger strike

Israel/Palestine
on 21 Comments

Responding to international concerns with respect to the recently declared massive hunger strike held by Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs declared:

“The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners. They are convicted terrorists and murderers. They were brought to justice and are treated properly under international law.”

There are no less than seven lies/inaccuracies in this statement:

1.       Not political prisoners? In fact, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) makes a clear distinction between Palestinians imprisoned on criminal charges and those imprisoned for “security” – or in other words “political” – reasons, including entirely separate prisons for each category.

2.       Terrorists? Terrorism is, of course, a floating signifier, a word used by one party to undermine another, and used by Israeli officials to describe pretty much everything they dislike (the New York Times, for example, were accused of “journalistic terrorism” for publishing Marwan Barghouti’s op-ed). As pointed out endlessly before, isn’t the bombing of a defenseless civilian population, such as the repeated airstrikes on Gaza, nothing short of terrorism?

3.       Murderers? This term is used to dehumanize the hunger strikers, as even the IPS confirms that only 12 percent of security prisoners were convicted of crimes related to the loss of human life. Furthermore, the competence of Israel’s legal system in convicting Palestinians of such charges is contested, as Israel officially does not offer West Bank residents a fair trial (more on this below). Most convicted Palestinian security offenders are incarcerated based on political activity, including membership of “illegal organizations” (this includes the ruling party Fatah, a group the IDF coordinates with daily). Of Palestinian children arrested, a majority are convicted of non-lethal stone-throwing, a charge for which they can face up to twenty years in prison.

4.       Brought to justice? Israel regularly holds hundreds of detainees without trial and hundreds of political prisoners under administrative detention for undetermined periods of times without disclosing their allegations.

5.      Justice?! Israel judges Palestinians in what could best be described as an apartheid legal system, under which an incompetent military court imprisons Palestinians in a staggering 99.74% conviction rate according to the IDF’s figures. This means virtually any Palestinian is guaranteed to be convicted of literally any crime. The word “Justice” is simply Kafkaesque in this context.

6.       Treated properly? In fact, Palestinian prisoners are routinely subject to maltreatment in many forms, including physical and psychological torture, prevention of medical treatment, prevention of lawyer and family visits and so on and so forth. In fact, if Israel will decide to abide by international law, it may allow for the current hunger strike to end.

7.       International Law? As revealed by the court during Marwan Barghouti’s trial, the Fourth Geneva Convention has never been introduced into Israeli domestic law, and as reaffirmed by the UN Security Council last December, Israel is in direct violation of international law.

In this light, the current scandal befalling the NY Times for publishing the words of a so-called terrorist appears as no more than a media spin meant to stir public attention away from the concrete and reasonable demands made by the Palestinian prisoners. The seven falsehoods above make it all the more important to listen directly to the people who bear the cost of resistance. To me this comes particularly close to heart, as today I walked my sister Atalya Ben-Abba to another prison term after 50 days on the inside for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. I do not commonly identify with politicians and public figures, but I am touched by Marwan Barghouti’s words, and by the glaring contrast that emerges when juxtaposed with those of the Ministry of foreign affairs above:

“Our chains will be broken before we are, because it is human nature to heed the call for freedom regardless of the cost.”

About Amitai Ben-Abba

Native of West Jerusalem, Amitai Ben-Abba runs a blog and takes part in protests and direct actions with Ta'ayush, Yasamba, and Anarchists Against the Wall.

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21 Responses

  1. eljay
    April 18, 2017, 3:08 pm

    … “The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners. They are convicted terrorists and murderers. They were brought to justice and are treated properly under international law.” …

    I wonder if that’s a real international law or a Zionist “international law”, like the ones Israel uses to justify:
    – its on-going occupation and colonization of not-Israel;
    – its on-going campaign of (war) crimes;
    – its refusal to allow its non-Jewish refugees to return to their homes and lands; and
    – its existence as a religion-supremacist state.

    • Mayhem
      April 19, 2017, 2:24 am

      @eljay, I thought you were anti-violence. These prisoners are advocates for violence and any defence of them cannot be justified. Your hypocrisy is fortified by your anti-Israel agenda.

      • eljay
        April 19, 2017, 9:23 am

        || Mayhem: @eljay, I thought you were anti-violence. … ||

        I am in favour of the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

        || … These prisoners are advocates for violence and any defence of them cannot be justified. … ||

        If they have received a fair trial and fair sentence and are being treated properly while incarcerated, I agree. Otherwise, I disagree.

        So the question remains: Is the oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – a state with a history of not giving a sh*t about international laws – treating these prisoners properly according to a real international law or a Zionist “international law”?

        || … Your hypocrisy is fortified by your anti-Israel agenda. ||

        There’s no hypocrisy on my part, only woefully poor comprehension skills on your part (fortified by your religion-based supremacism).

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2017, 10:47 am

        “These prisoners are advocates for violence…”

        Even while they are in prison they scare you to death, don’t they?

      • Super Hans
        April 26, 2017, 4:08 pm

        A couple of thoughts regarding your statement “These prisoners are advocates for violence and any defense of them cannot be justified”.

        1. So any human being that advocates violence, for whatever reason or whoever it is committed against, cannot be defended? Doesn’t deserve basic rights? Is that what you are saying here?

        2. Did you even read the article? It quite helpfully informs the reader that “only 12 percent of security prisoners were convicted of crimes related to the loss of human life” via a military court system which “imprisons Palestinians in a staggering 99.74% conviction rate”.

        3. Are you even aware that oppressed people have the right “to struggle by all means at their disposal against colonial powers and alien domination in exercise of their right of self-determination”?

  2. Citizen
    April 18, 2017, 8:08 pm

    Zionists don’t care about international law, although it was nice when the UN bowed to their wishes back in the day, giving world legitimacy to the Zionist state. Now, of course, the UN is anti-Semitic. I wish Dick & Jane would get a clue. Won’t hold my breath. I’m still waiting for Israel to fulfill its promised condition subsequent to UN recognition, ASAP return of Palestinians terrorized out of their land in 1947-’48.

    • inbound39
      April 19, 2017, 12:41 am

      Israel was granted full UN Membership based on its implementation of Resolution 194, which it formally agreed to do. The fact it never has and given it has never agreed to abide by any of its obligations under International law or the UN Charter it would be only proper and correct for the UN to suspend Israel from the UN until it meets its current and longstanding and outstanding formal commitments.

    • Mayhem
      April 19, 2017, 2:26 am

      International law has become an international joke. Why would Israel want to succumb to the sickness that is flaunted under the banner of ‘international law’?

      • Maghlawatan
        April 19, 2017, 8:54 am

        I think that Jews dismissing international law as if it is a luxury is the definition of stupidity.

      • eljay
        April 19, 2017, 9:45 am

        || Maghlawatan: I think that Jews dismissing international law as if it is a luxury is the definition of stupidity. ||

        Yup. Additionally, it seems to me that there’s an element of anti-Semitism in the efforts of Zionists to undermine international laws and the rights and protections they afford to all people inlcuding non-Zionist Jews.

      • JosephA
        April 19, 2017, 9:54 am

        What are you trying to say? It seems pretty strange to openly suggest that any “nation” should simply ignore established standards of human decency.

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2017, 11:00 am

        “International law has become an international joke. Why would Israel want to succumb to the sickness that is flaunted under the banner of ‘international law’?”

        Look, everybody has got to make allowances for “Mayhem”. See, it’s just that when you belong to the most powerful, most numerous, most united and disciplined group on earth, a group which controls vast areas making it completely self-sufficient, a group no other group has ever been able to harm, well, you tend to get a little brusque and overbearing.

      • Talkback
        April 19, 2017, 11:41 am

        Mayhem: “International law has become an international joke.”

        Yup, not only because of Israel and its breach of international law since its establishment

        “Why would Israel want to succumb to the sickness that is flaunted under the banner of ‘international law’?”

        Funny. Certain Germans made the same arguments. Do you wanna go back to 1933? Should Israel leave the UN like Germany left the League of Nations?

  3. RoHa
    April 18, 2017, 10:22 pm

    Only seven? They’re just not trying any more.

  4. talknic
    April 18, 2017, 11:24 pm

    Zionists don’t care that they lie. As long as their message is out there, never to be retracted, some schmuck’ll believe it

  5. Jonathan Ofir
    April 19, 2017, 4:19 am

    Stellar article.

  6. Ossinev
    April 19, 2017, 9:44 am

    @Mayhem
    “These prisoners are advocates for violence and any defence of them cannot be justified”

    Wow you have just thrown poor Elor Azaria and all his saintly Zio supporters under a bus.

    The Zio thought police may come a knocking on your door any time soon.

  7. lonely rico
    April 20, 2017, 12:15 am

    UN General Assembly Resolution 194 [December 11 1948]
    The opening paragraph of 194 reads as follows –

    The General Assembly,
    Having considered further the situation in Palestine,
    1. Expresses its deep appreciation of the progress achieved through the good offices of the late United Nations Mediator in promoting a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine, for which cause he sacrificed his life …

    Referring of course to Folke Bernadotte
    During World War II he negotiated the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps including 450 Danish Jews from the Theresienstadt camp.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folke_Bernadotte

    He was assassinated on September 17, 1948 by Zionist terrorists (LEHI). The assassination was directed by Yehoshua Zettler and carried out by a four-man team led by Meshulam Makover. The fatal shots were fired by Yehoshua Cohen, who went on to become a close friend and confident of David Ben-Gurion.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehoshua_Cohen

  8. pacman925
    April 20, 2017, 7:31 pm

    How about over 100 UN Resolutions to Israel ??
    or How about the Jew’s expelled from 109 European country’s through history ??
    I do trust that one day the JWO’s will be removed !

    • talknic
      April 21, 2017, 4:36 am

      @ pacman925 April 20, 2017, 7:31 pm

      ” How about over 100 UN Resolutions to Israel ??”

      By far the majority of which are only reminders of 1) Israel’s obligations to the binding Laws and UN Charter Israel obliged itself to uphold and 2) reminders of previous resolutions reaffirming and emphasizing the same binding laws and charter. Israel has NEVER been subject to ANY UNSC resolution sanctioning it for its illegal actions in non-Israeli territories.

      Nor has it been subject to any UNSC resolutions condemning its actions to its own citizens within its proclaimed and recognized borders.

      “or How about the Jew’s expelled from 109 European country’s through history ??”

      None of whom were expelled by Palestinians

      • inbound39
        April 24, 2017, 2:21 am

        And the Hasbara Boys get shot to pieces again!!!

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