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Human rights org calls on Israel to release all Palestinian child detainees in response to COVID-19 crisis

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Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) is calling on the Israeli government to release all Palestinian child detainees amid the COVID-19 crisis. According to Ha’aretz, Israel has confirmed over 700 cases of COVID-19 and four Palestinian prisoners, being held at Megiddo prison, have been in contact with an Israeli officer who tested positive for the virus.

“Israeli authorities must take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers due to the increasing vulnerability created due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard their right to life, survival, development, and health in accordance with international law,” reads the group’s press release

Along with the American Friends Service Committee, DCIP has been pressuring the Israeli government to drop its child detention policy for years, through its No Way to Treat a Child campaign. According to DCIP, approximately 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces since 2000. From the testimonies of 739 Palestinian children detained by Israel over a five-year period, DCIP found that 73% of them experienced physical violence after their arrest.

The No Way to Treat a Child campaign, and similar efforts by Palestine Solidarity activists, led to the introduction of H.R. 2407 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) in 2019. The legislation is an updated version of a bill that the congresswoman originally unveiled two years prior. It would prohibit foreign countries (including Israel) from using American funds to detain and prosecute children. McCollum’s bill is currently cosponsored by 23 Democratic House members, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Last month, DCIP senior policy advisor Brad Parker spoke to Mondoweiss about the history of the campaign, the decision to push lawmakers on the issue, and what comes next. “The longterm vision goes beyond these bills for sure,” said Parker, “We are pushing to secure basic rights for Palestinian children. There’s an entire system of discrimination that exists for Palestinians living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. We are pushing to end the occupation and the systemic discrimination and structural violence inherent in it. What we’ve recognized is that this kind of work needs political vehicles. You’re not going to get from A to B without actually building and creating a movement of citizens, individuals, but also policymakers to help you get there.”

“We know the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is for people to avoid being in close proximity to each other,” said DCIP Accountability Program director Ayed Abu Eqtaish in a statement, “There is no way Israeli prison authorities can ensure the health and well-being of Palestinian child detainees as long as they continue to be in a custodial detention setting.”

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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25 Responses

  1. JohnSmith on March 20, 2020, 3:05 pm

    With Israel’s detention regime for Palestinians, simply to exert the maximum pressure and abuse on the maximum number of victims of Israeli racism, I wonder how that will effect Israel’s ability to fight something like the coronavirus.

    When you have a racist state and you marshall extreme resources to keep another people down, to subjugate them and shut them up as much as possible in the face of your brutality, doesn’t that take away a lot of the resources you could use for fighting a disease that could kill many people?

    You’re keeping people imprisoned and you’re directing your entire military to imprison those people and to subjugate their relatives in the Gaza concentration camp and the Bantustans of the West Bank.

    It seems to me that Israel’s vicious racism is costly in a lot of ways. Not that anyone with a brain didn’t already know that.

    • Mooser on March 20, 2020, 4:05 pm

      The US will pick up the cost of the coronavirus in Israel, one way or another.

      • Misterioso on March 20, 2020, 5:08 pm

        @Mooser

        “The US will pick up the cost of the coronavirus in Israel, one way or another.”

        Perhaps, but not guaranteed.

        With the moronTrump and his inept gang at the helm, the coronavirus may well bankrupt the U.S.
        Also, its horrible consequences have not yet been fully grasped by Americans.

      • Mooser on March 20, 2020, 6:22 pm

        “Perhaps, but not guaranteed.”

        True, not all is guaranteed.

      • catalan on March 20, 2020, 6:58 pm

        “Also, its horrible consequences have not yet been fully grasped by Americans.”
        And what do you think are the consequences for the Palestinians? Have they grasped that the world won’t concern itself with silly boycotts anymore and nobody will have money to aid them? And even Iran might have other problems.

      • eljay on March 20, 2020, 8:21 pm

        || catalan: … what do you think are the consequences for the Palestinians? Have they grasped that the world won’t concern itself with silly boycotts anymore … ||

        I imagine the Palestinians are painfully aware that COVID-19 is a Zionist’s wet dream come true.

      • catalan on March 20, 2020, 8:58 pm

        “I imagine the Palestinians are painfully aware that COVID-19 is a Zionist’s wet dream come true.” Eljay
        I am pretty certain that the best hope for a vaccine comes from the company Regeneron. And the CEO of Regeneron is, you guessed it – “He was born and raised in a Jewish family, the son of Florence and Charles Baker Schleifer,[2] in Queens, New York.[3]”. So, the Palestinians’ best hope is in a hands of a…Zionist. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.barrons.com/amp/articles/regenerons-ceo-on-the-search-for-a-coronavirus-treatment-51584468863

      • eljay on March 20, 2020, 11:10 pm

        || catalan: … I am pretty certain that the best hope for a vaccine comes from the company Regeneron. And the CEO of Regeneron is, you guessed it – “He was born and raised in a Jewish family, the son of Florence and Charles Baker Schleifer,[2] in Queens, New York.[3]”. So, the Palestinians’ best hope is in a hands of a…Zionist. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.barrons.com/amp/articles/regenerons-ceo-on-the-search-for-a-coronavirus-treatment-51584468863 ||

        It’s disturbing how – seemingly with pride – you linked to an article about an American pharmaceutical company, deliberately drew attention to the fact that its American CEO happens also to be Jewish and then anti-Semitically labelled the man a Zionist.

      • catalan on March 21, 2020, 8:43 am

        “and then anti-Semitically labelled the man a Zionist.” Eljay
        Well actually I didn’t just “label” him a Zionists. His wife is president of the American Jewish Committee, very much a pro Israel organization. Assuming here he loves his wife and agrees with what she does. As to the pride comment – just stating the facts – the world needs a vaccine; only Regeneron seems be close. And it’s CEO is Jewish and evidently a Zionist (I.e. anyone who doesn’t hate Israel). As a side note – you would be really be hard pressed to find Jews born in Queens who hate Israel. For one, almost all of them have close relatives there.
        As to me being an antisemite – this is the oddest accusation. I promise I don’t hate myself and have no desire to be killed by Hamas.

      • echinococcus on March 21, 2020, 10:03 am

        Eljay is too unsuspecting. I’m sure that Catalan is using the Mondoweiss discussion board to boost up Regeneron shares.

      • eljay on March 21, 2020, 10:29 am

        || catalan: … Well actually I didn’t just “label” him a Zionists. … ||

        But you did actually label him a Zionist since neither of the two articles you linked to made any mention of Zionism.

        || … As to the pride comment – just stating the facts – the world needs a vaccine; only Regeneron seems be close. And it’s CEO is Jewish … ||

        It’s strange that you, a New Mexican American, were unable to take pride in the fact that an American firm with an American CEO seems to be close to providing a vaccine.

        || … and evidently a Zionist … ||

        It wasn’t evident from either of the two articles you linked to, neither of which made any mention of Zionism.

        || … (I.e. anyone who doesn’t hate Israel). … ||

        A Zionist isn’t someone who “doesn’t hate Israel” – it’s someone who believes in the “right” of people who choose to be Jewish to be supremacists, to have as large as possible a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and to do “necessary evil” unto others.

        || … As a side note – you would be really be hard pressed to find Jews born in Queens who hate Israel. … ||

        It’s a shame that most Americans born in Queens who choose to be Jewish choose also to be Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacists.

        || … As to me being an antisemite – this is the oddest accusation. … ||

        Not at all. A good example of an odd (and spiteful) accusation is Zionists referring to Jews as “self-loathing” who don’t subscribe to Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism, colonialism and (war) criminality.

      • catalan on March 21, 2020, 12:31 pm

        “But you did actually label him a Zionist since neither of the two articles you linked to made any mention of Zionism”.eljay
        According to Wikipedia, the organization American Jewish Committee, the president of which is his wife is the “Global Center for Jewish and Israel Advocacy”. I also don’t like the word Zionist but it is clear that Schleiffer is a big supporter of Israel. Clearly, the fate of millions of people rests with what you would call a Zionist and I would simply call a Jew who likes Israel. As to your emphasis on American vs Jewish, one can be both. It’s no problem to be a member of two peoples. I knew a guy who was Canadian, American and Swiss. Only you seem to seek some sort of exclusivity. I am also apparently a quarter Italian and a quarter Persian/Arab. So one can be many things at once.

      • eljay on March 21, 2020, 1:30 pm

        || catalan: … According to Wikipedia, the organization American Jewish Committee, the president of which is his wife is the “Global Center for Jewish and Israel Advocacy”. … ||

        None of which was contained in either of the two articles you originally linked to. You announced that he was Jewish and anti-Semitically added that he was therefore a Zionist.

        || … Clearly, the fate of millions of people rests with what you would call a Zionist and I would simply call a Jew who likes Israel. … ||

        Clearly the fate of millions rests with an American company. There’s no need to count Jews or to conflate Jews with Zionism.

        || … As to your emphasis on American vs Jewish, one can be both. … Only you seem to seek some sort of exclusivity. … ||

        Not at all. I just find it interesting that to an American like you an American company with an American CEO isn’t enough to be proud of.

      • catalan on March 21, 2020, 3:57 pm

        “You announced that he was Jewish and anti-Semitically added that he was therefore a Zionist.”
        Eljay, it is only antisemitic if Zionism (or whatever you mean by that) is a bad thing. I think that defending Israel from Hamas and its international supporters (including the takeover and genocide of Beersheba, as you propose “partition borders”) is a noble effort. Imagine if Hitler could come back to life and saw flourishing, economically booming Israel full of happy Jews.

      • eljay on March 21, 2020, 5:38 pm

        || catalan: … Eljay, it is only antisemitic if Zionism (or whatever you mean by that) is a bad thing. … ||

        Zionism is a bad thing, no “if” about it.

        || … I think that defending Israel from … ||

        …its obligations under international law and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed is what Zionists do. I know.

        || … Imagine if Hitler could come back to life … ||

        No thanks. That sort of thing seems better suited to your imagination.

      • Mooser on March 22, 2020, 1:14 pm

        “I just find it interesting that to an American like you…”

        Well, sure, I can tell by the cut of his tie, that he’s an American, but his interests extend far beyond the US. “catalan” is more of a cosmopolitan than a mere American.

      • catalan on March 22, 2020, 5:28 pm

        “catalan” is more of a cosmopolitan than a mere American.” Mooser
        That insult seems a little uninvited for lack of a better word. One thing I try to avoid is snottiness and faux intellectualism (for examples of these see misterioso’s pretentious locutions “et al” or eljay’s insistence to be smarter than the encyclopedia “Jews are such and such cause I said so”). What did I say that made you think I imagine myself sophisticated (or cosmopolitan, in your damn with faint praise phrasing)? It’s odd how in this blog one always has to argue about what one actually believes in. So to clarify – I am not an antisemite (even though eljay says so) and I kind of like the United States (even though you seem to imagine I don’t). But yeah I have interests that extend beyond my country and time. Is that now a bad thing?

      • eljay on March 23, 2020, 7:52 am

        || catalan: … One thing I try to avoid is snottiness … ||

        Don’t be so modest – you’re extremely good at being snotty.

        || … eljay’s insistence to be smarter than the encyclopedia “Jews are such and such cause I said so”) … ||

        I know I’m not smarter than the encyclopedia. Heck, I know my intelligence doesn’t hold a candle to yours.

        All I’ve stated is that Jewish is a religion-based identity that can only be acquired by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

        If the identity of Jewish can in fact be acquired through some non-religious method – for example…
        – being born in “Judea and Samaria” / “Land of Israel” / “Jewish State” / the State of Israel;
        – having some level of proficiency in Hebrew; and/or
        – partaking of Jewish culture and cuisine,
        …please do tell.

      • catalan on March 23, 2020, 9:33 am

        “All I’ve stated is that Jewish is a religion-based identity” eljay
        And all I am stating is that there is a terrific article on the subject in Wikipedia with hundreds of references to multiple sources. But you won’t hear an argument from me that religion was a very important element of Jewishness. Until a hundred years ago religion was the defining element of human identity period. From Mesopotamia to Ancient Greece; Islam was defining to Arabs and obviously Hinduism to the people of India. Almost all European identities were anchored in Christianity. That’s just basic history. Read or listen to a class. Religion was the defining characteristic of civilization at least until the enlightenment and continuing to be that way in much of the non west. But now atheism has taken hold and there are many non religious Jews, and Frenchmen and even Indians. How does that somehow make Israel not a state or a legitimate state is not clear to me at all.

      • eljay on March 23, 2020, 10:01 am

        || catalan: “All I’ve stated is that Jewish is a religion-based identity” eljay
        And all I am stating is that there is a terrific article on the subject in Wikipedia with hundreds of references to multiple sources. But you won’t hear an argument from me that religion was a very important element of Jewishness. Until a hundred years ago religion was the defining element of human identity period. From Mesopotamia to Ancient Greece; Islam was defining to Arabs and obviously Hinduism to the people of India. Almost all European identities were anchored in Christianity. That’s just basic history. Read or listen to a class. Religion was the defining characteristic of civilization at least until the enlightenment and continuing to be that way in much of the non west. But now atheism has taken hold and there are many non religious Jews, and Frenchmen and even Indians. … ||

        You’re obviously very smart because you write big paragraphs with lots of big words in them. I’m obviously not very smart because I don’t see anything in that mess of words about how the identity of Jewish can be acquired other than by undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism or being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

        || … How does that somehow make Israel not a state or a legitimate state is not clear to me at all. ||

        There’s no question that Israel is a state, just as there’s no question that Israel is a deliberately and unapologetically colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.

    • eljay on March 20, 2020, 7:49 pm

      The top priorities of supremacists – and Zionists are no exception – seem to include: Subjugate, cleanse and/or kill.

      COVID-19 and Zionism have “shared common values”.

  2. Misterioso on March 21, 2020, 9:46 am

    @eljay

    At least Catalan is consistent. Once again, desperate to make a point, he fails to do so.

    • catalan on March 21, 2020, 10:28 am

      “I’m sure that Catalan is using the Mondoweiss discussion board to boost up Regeneron shares.” Echino
      You are too generous thinking I am that devious. I wish I had enough shares in regeneron. Actually I utterly failed to predict this. I even read about it in January and thought no big deal. So I got hammered.

      • Mooser on March 22, 2020, 1:16 pm

        .” I even read about it in January and thought no big deal. So I got hammered.” “catalan”

        ROTFLMSJAO! As goes the Right, so goes the all-rightnik!

  3. [email protected] on March 21, 2020, 12:42 pm

    If they release the children back into Palestine, wouldn’t some of them possibly be carrying covid-19 into Palestine? Maybe the children need to be tested before they are sent home. Then those who test positive should be quarantined in a safe manner until they are free of the virus. Things are less black and white than they were a couple of months ago.

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