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Israeli docs to consult US govt on force feeding Gitmo hunger strikers

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Here’s a perfect story to illustrate the U.S.-Israeli collaboration in the “War on Terror.” Haaretz reports officials from the Israeli Medical Association are on their way to the United States to “present policy makers there with their methods of handling hunger strikers.” Of course, Israel has plenty of experience dealing with Palestinian hunger strikers, and the U.S. has been facing an ongoing hunger strike at its Guantanamo detention facility.

Haaretz picks up the story:

The invitation followed the officials remarks on the matter at a convention at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the most prestigious medical faculties.

Israeli policies regarding hunger strikers were formulated in a position paper of the IMA in February 2005. The guidelines were written following hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons a year earlier, and are based on the 1975 Tokyo Declaration of the World Medical Association, and the WMA’s Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikers. The policy determines that hunger strikers will not be force-fed with liquids or food against their will.

In recent weeks, photos taken in the U.S.’ detention center in Guantanamo depicting Muslim prisoners being force-fed during Ramadan have embarrassed the administration. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.

U.S. officials have declared in court that they do not force-feed the prisoners during daylight, but only after nightfall. The decision has caused controversy in the United States as it is opposed to international conventions.

At the Johns Hopkins convention, Dr. Tami Karni, deputy chairperson of the IMA ethics committee, told of two cases in the past year when two prisoners on hunger strike were hospitalized at Assaf Harofeh Hospital in serious condition. Both refused liquids or food, and doctors feared for their lives.

In such cases the ethics committee of the hospital is called, together with a senior official of the Health Ministry. One of the prisoners was taken to intensive care due to a serious disruption in his heart functioning, and was convinced by the committee to accept medication. The other prisoner was hospitalized in serious condition, but in a varying state of consciousness due to lack of vitamin B1. The committee decided, against his will, to administer the vitamin so that he could consciously decide how he would be treated.

Several hours later he agreed of his own will to take the vitamin. Karni said that “all this was done gently and quietly, without any violence or coercion by the doctors. Hunger strikes are delicate situations, necessitating doctors to enable non-violent protest without force-feeding the prisoner.”

Following the convention, IMA officials received requests to return to the United States and explain Israeli policies to administration officials.

Still, Israeli policies regarding hunger strikes were criticized this year by various organizations, including Physicians for Human Rights, which presented a report on the matter in April. The report revealed cases in which ethical regulations were not implemented, and cases where independent doctors were prevented from treating prisoners. The report further criticized the Israeli system under which Israel Prison Service doctors are subordinate to prison authorities, and find themselves in a position of “dual loyalty” − to the patient and to the Prison Service.

Yesterday the Guardian published this video of the actor Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) undergoing the force feeding procedure the U.S. is currently using with hunger striking prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch:

(h/t Max Blumenthal)

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18 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid on July 9, 2013, 9:39 am

    The IMA ethics committee

    Taking the Hippocratic oath to the same graveyard as the Geneva Conventions
    For Israel. “Because we’re worth it”

    “Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants. Journalism is no exception”

    Maybe one of the hasbaradim can explain how this is “good for the Jews” . Because I can’t see it.

  2. OlegR
    OlegR on July 9, 2013, 11:20 am

    So your guy’s government force feeds prisoners but only with accordance to their religious holidays and fast days.
    That’s so funny….

  3. annie
    annie on July 9, 2013, 11:39 am

    i intercepted this video on twitter last night and tried watching it but i didn’t get very far. it’s awful.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid on July 9, 2013, 11:43 am

    The Guantanamo prisoners are victims of the dysfunction in the US political system. There is absolutely no point in keeping them in prison but as long as the Republican party continues its slow suicide there is not a snowball’s chance of them being released. Maybe when the GOP eventually figures out it needs female and Latino votes it’ll see the light.

    Meanwhile since 1960 1.3 million Americans have died of gunshot wounds

    but obviously 9/11 is more important since the 12 year long kneejerk reaction feeds the arms industries owned by the likes of the Koch bros.

  5. Kathleen
    Kathleen on July 9, 2013, 11:46 am

    Brigadier General Janis Karpinski has said that there were Israeli interrogators in Iraq prisons

    this is a great interview with Karpinski about torture/interrogation contractors at Abu Gharib, Gitmo, Stephen Cambone.
    Israeli interrogators ‘in Iraq’
    Brig Gen Janis Karpinski and US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at Abu Ghraib jail, 20 July 2003
    Members of Karpinski’s (l) brigade have been accused of abuse
    The US officer at the heart of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal says she has evidence that Israelis helped to interrogate Iraqis at another facility.

    Brig Gen Janis Karpinski told the BBC she met an Israeli working as an interrogator at a secret intelligence centre in Baghdad.

    A BBC reporter says it is the first time a senior US officer has suggested Israelis worked with the coalition.

    The Israeli foreign ministry said the reports were completely untrue.

  6. American
    American on July 9, 2013, 12:11 pm

    World War Z should have had a different plot… where all the world turned to zombies and only the prisoners in Guantanamo and Israeli prisons were immune to the Z bite due to some anti virus that occurs in prisons populations.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on July 9, 2013, 1:53 pm

    RE: “Here’s a perfect story to illustrate the U.S.-Israeli collaboration in the ‘War on Terror’. Haaretz reports officials from the Israeli Medical Association are on their way to the United States to ‘present policy makers there with their methods of handling hunger strikers’.” ~ Adam Horowitz

    MY COMMENT: “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”
    This collaboration in the “War on Terror” by the U.S. and Israel is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment! ! !


  8. radii
    radii on July 9, 2013, 2:55 pm

    the last country on Earth (with the exceptions of the ‘Stans’ maybe) we should emulate is israel … yet since 9/11 we have adopted the israeli way in almost everything and they have grown ever more influential and richer “consulting” our law enforcement … what a racket this criminal state runs

  9. dimadok
    dimadok on July 9, 2013, 2:55 pm

    I don’t get it-is good or bad?
    “The policy determines that hunger strikers will not be force-fed with liquids or food against their will” – I suppose that’s good, right? So why it would be bad for Israeli doctors to teach their colleagues how to persuade hunger strikers no to harm themselves?
    BTW, the tube insertion itself is not that bad, it’s the person state of mind and resistance that makes it much worse.
    This is a short clip from Michael Mosley documentary (BBC Horizon- Inside a Stomach ).

  10. LanceThruster
    LanceThruster on July 9, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Dr. Pretorius: To a new world of gods and monsters!

  11. piotr
    piotr on July 9, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Federal judge agrees that forced feeding violates international law but concludes that “there is an individual who does have the authority to address the issue.”, meaning not her, a judge but the President. Since when Führerprinzip is a part of American law?

    Actually, quite recently. This is what Wiki says:

    Some have argued that neoconservativism has been influenced by [Carl] Schmitt.[32] Most notably the legal opinions offered by Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo et al. by invoking the unitary executive theory to justify highly controversial policies in the war on terror — such as introducing unlawful combatant status which purportedly would eliminate protection by the Geneva Conventions,[33] enhanced interrogation techniques, NSA electronic surveillance program — mimic his writings.[32] Professor David Luban had indicated that “[a] Lexis search reveals five law review references to Schmitt between 1980 and 1990; 114 between 1990 and 2000; and 420 since 2000, with almost twice as many in the last five years as the previous five”.[34]

    By the way, Carl Schmidt was a Nazi, but purged for “insincere anti-Semitism”, basically as an anti-Semite he was a fake.

  12. just
    just on July 9, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Cruel and unusual punishment. Any MD or RN involved should lose their licenses, and I would venture to say lose their freedom. This is grotesque torture– I guess it makes sense that the US and Israel are collaborating.

    What an ugly world that our governments have fashioned for us, and nary a peep from the sheeple.

    • just
      just on July 9, 2013, 6:12 pm

      Thanks to Adam and Yasiin Bey.

      Pretty telling that we have monsters teaching monsters on how to wholly degrade and disrespect human beings and the last vestiges of their”free will”.

  13. john_manyjars
    john_manyjars on July 10, 2013, 2:01 am

    Another wonderful use of USA’s tax dollars, and to think a goodly number of ‘just plain folks’ see nothing wrong with it.

    Utterly disgusting. The descendants of the Holocaust are shaming their forebears.

  14. Citizen
    Citizen on July 10, 2013, 4:17 am

    Schmidt’s power and influence in the Nazi Era was diminished by pointing to some statements he had made criticizing race theory prior to 1933. However, he justified, e.g., the burning of the books, including Jewish works, recommended a symbol be placed on all scientific work done by Jewish scientists, and, after the war, he refused to undergo denazification process even though that greatly restricted his career. His concept of “the other,” that is, the enemy of the state did not rest on any racial theory.
    After reviewing Wikipedia’s sheet on Schmidt, I see he’d be very happy with Israel today, and with the USA’s adoption of so many government activities Israel has learned to excel at due to the constant use of Palestinians as test rats within a state that views itself as continually at war with “the Other,” for its own continued existence. He appears to attract both liberals and conservatives because of how he shredded the Weimar Constitution, which itself was constructed, inter alia using the US Constitution and France’s approach after the French Revolution. He posited that a democratic constitution was actually operating only when government decisions were made by the majority in a state, and all other decisions were more or less veiled dictates, e.g., in smoke-filled back rooms, or behind committee doors, or by, say the WH circle. Note that the Weimar Constitution was only suspended, and that suspension was renewed four years later, etc. Sure does ring a Snowden bell, doesn’t it? The “war on Terror” puts us all on a constantly renewable emergency basis, making the exceptions to the law more important than the constitution or general law itself. What more could a dictator want? Tricky stuff, and dangerous as hell. Note how quickly OWS died down, ridiculed by bipartisan elite. Anytime you can be put on the “enemy combatant” shit list, as Geneva fades into the sunset.

  15. amigo
    amigo on July 10, 2013, 6:00 am

    The world,s two bullies conspire in the most vile actions.

    If there is a hell, it,s easy to see where most American and Israeli leaders are headed.

    Meantime they should be at the Hague being tried for their crimes.

    Despicable swine.

  16. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail on July 10, 2013, 6:29 am

    Israel doesn’t confine its militarised, oppositional war against the poor, the indigenous and prisoners without charge to itself and the US. No, it is a thriving export industry from the ‘light unto nations’:

    Yes, the occupation and apartheid – Jonathan Cook’s new piece: – are Israel’s biggest export, truly an example to all despots, dictators and military occupiers everywhere, who can buy off -the-shelf solutions to the problem of inconvenient indigenous peoples and their demands. Why, simply corral them into townships, spy on them, and deny them the means to live independently, whilst disappearing the most resistant of them; replace them with profitable colonisers and corporations. Sound familiar?

  17. Balfour
    Balfour on July 10, 2013, 10:58 am

    So, the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) has been reduced to Israeli doctors showing Americans how to force feed innocent prisoners held in Gitmo, skills acquired by the Israelis while imprisoning indigenous people demanding their freedom; I am so ashamed that my Jewish daughters must witness the tragic, wholesale gutting of their once proud and noble faith.

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