Israel’s Supreme Court — Upholding “Targeted Assassinations” and Torture

Global Research, November 08, 2019

Time and again, Israel’s high court upholds human and civil rights abuses committed by the state.

In 2006, the court upheld its targeted assassinations policy, claiming they’re OK when no other choices exist to protect against dangers to national security — that don’t exist it failed to say.

The policy contravenes Israeli law, the laws of war, and human rights law. Time and again, Israel falsely calls legitimate self-defense by Palestinians “terrorism,” unjustifiably justifying its lawless actions, most often upheld by its high court.

In Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al v. the Government of Israel et al (1999), Israel’s Supreme Court banned the practice it earlier OK’d, ruling “psychological pressure (and) a moderate degree of physical pressure” are permissible.

Israel’s 1987 Landau Commission condemned harsh interrogations amounting to torture, but approved the practice to obtain evidence for convictions in criminal proceedings, saying these tactics are necessary against “hostile (threats or acts of) terrorist activity and all expressions of Palestinian nationalism.”

Despite calling the 1984 UN Convention against Torture “absolute (with) no exceptions and no balances,” Israel’s high court OK’d coercive interrogations in three cases.

It permitted violent shaking, painful shackling, hooding, playing deafeningly loud music, sleep deprivation, and lengthly detainments.

Loopholes in the high court’s 1999 ruling OK’d abusive practices amounting to torture despite banning the practice.

It notably allowed physical force in so-called “ticking bomb” cases, giving Israeli interrogators and others wide latitude on their actions.

The court effectively ruled both ways, approving torture and other abusive practices despite banning it.

International law is clear and unequivocal on this issue, banning it at all times, under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.

In 2015, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by human rights groups and political movements that called for overturning the Anti-Boycott Law.

At the time, the Global BDS Movement and Coalition for Women for Peace called the bill “one of the most dangerous anti-democratic laws promoted” by Knesset members, adding:

“Boycott is a nonviolent, legal and legitimate means to promote social and political aims that are protected in civil rights of freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. The bill constitutes a fatal blow to all these civil rights.”

The police state law punishes entities or individuals that call for boycotting Israel, or an economic, cultural, or academic boycott of its illegal settlements.

According to the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel’s Supreme Court “ignored the chilling effect of this law, and missed the opportunity to tell legislators that there are limits to their anti-human rights actions. This law encourages discrimination against the Arabs in Israel.”

The 2012 Nakba Law “harms both the freedom of expression and the civil rights of Arab citizens, even before its implementation.”

“Because the law’s formulation is so broad and vague, many institutions have already begun and will self-censor in order not to risk incurring penalties.”

Israel’s high court upheld the law, falsely claiming it “does not raise difficult and complex questions.”

It violates Arab history, culture, heritage, and the right to express, teach, or disseminate it freely.

Arab intellectual Constantin Zureiq earlier called the Nakba “the worst catastrophe in the deepest sense of the word, to have befallen the Arabs in their long and disaster-ridden history.”

Compromising their ability to publicly denounce what happened compounds the high crime against them.

Speech, press, and academic freedoms in Israel are gravely endangered. In 2017, legislation was enacted that banned foreign nationals who support BDS from entering the country.

Last April, Israel’s Jerusalem district court ruled against Human Rights Watch’s Israeli office director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, ordering him deported for supporting the global BDS movement, his lawful free expression right.

HRW appealed the ruling, petitioning Israel’s Supreme Court to overturn the injustice. It got an injunction to let Shakir stay in the country until the high court heard his case.

On Tuesday, the court ruled against him, Shakir tweeting:

“Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court upholds my deportation over my rights advocacy. Decision now shifts back to Israeli gov; if it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave…(W)e won’t be the last.”

Critic of Israeli human rights abuses Amnesty International said

“the court has made it explicitly clear that those who dare to speak out about human rights violations by the Israeli authorities will be treated as enemies of the state.”

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against free expression. Without it, all other rights are jeopardized.

Compromising speech, press, and academic freedoms is the hallmark of totalitarian rule — the new normal in the US, other Western societies and Israel, affirmed by its high court.

Is is just a matter of time before Western ones rule the same way?

Is digital democracy in the West and Israel endangered?

Are abuses against Chelsea Manning, other whistleblowers, Julian Assange, and other independent journalists prelude for much more severe crackdowns against fundamental freedoms ahead?

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from IMEMC


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The Only Jewish Ghetto in the Middle East

 

Separation Wall by Enzo Apicella RIP (A to Zion-the Definitive Israeli Lexicon)

Separation Wall by Enzo Apicella RIP (A to Zion-the Definitive Israeli Lexicon)

by Gilad Atzmon

The results from Tuesday’s Israeli elections have confirmed what many of us have known for a long while.  The Jewish state is an ultra nationalist right wing swamp. Israel is more hawkish than more hawkish than ever. There is not a single Jewish Israeli Left wing party. The Democratic Party is led and mentored by a war criminal. What is left of Israel’s Labour Party has very little to do with peace, harmony and reconciliation. In fact, that Party is also led by a person wanted for war crimes.

 As things now stand, although Bibi’s right/religious block has shrunk, Israel is more right wing than ever.  The longest serving Israeli PM cannot form his natural right/religious coalition. Most Israeli commentators agree that the only way out of the current political stalemate is with a wide ultranationalist government led by Likud, Blue and White and others.  Such a coalition will be brokered in the coming days by the rabid nationalist zealot Avigdor Lieberman who has skillfully made himself into Israel’s king maker.

 While Netanyahu has proven to be pretty cautious  in his deployment of Israel’s vast military forces,  we have good reason to believe that a coalition led by Blue and White and its IDF generals, Lieberman and Netanyahu, may be less adept at such maneuvers. The components of Israel’s next government are destined to compete among themselves for the ‘Mr. Security’ title. They will be determined to reinstate the long faded Israeli ‘power of deterrence,’ and presumably, they will push for questionable measures that will likely pull the region into carnage.

 This was written on the wall some time ago. Israel, that was born to emancipate the Jews from diaspora conditions, to replace the Jewish ghetto and to eradicate the ghetto mentality, didn’t just fail in its mission: it has matured into the epitome of a ghetto. It has surrounded itself with humongous ghetto walls. It hates its neighbours and not surprisingly, it is not loved in return.

The Jewish ghetto on the Palestinian seashore resembles, on many levels, its East-European ancestor. Israel’s Jews are united by their hostile feelings towards their neighbours although they are in sharp disagreement amongst themselves about pretty much everything else. Once again, the old Yiddish joke comes to mind:

“How many synagogues do you need in a village with just one Jew?   Two, one to go to and one to boycott.”

Jews are defined not only by what they are or what they believe themselves to be, but also by what they hate or claim to oppose.

Israel is not troubled by its failure to fulfill the early Zionist promise to ‘civilize’ the Jews by means of a ‘homecoming,’ to become “people like all other people.” For more than three decades Israel has defined itself as the Jewish State. Israel is not a state of its citizens. Israel is the state of the Jews, both Israelis and Diaspora.  Israel is a state that enforces racial laws and has institutionaized discrimination against the people of the land, the Palestinians.

Unlike Israeli Jews who are divided in their politics, the Palestinians are more united than ever and not just in Gaza.  Once again, the Arab Joint List is the 3rd biggest party in the Knesset. If Likud and Blue and White manage to form a national unity government, the Arab party will be leading the opposition in the Knesset. The Arab party not only united the Palestinians in Israel, it is also the only Left party in the Israeli parliament. It has been said that the Party expanded electorally on Tuesday because those very few Israeli Jews who adhere to Left universal values gave their votes to the Arab party. It is more than symbolic that the only humane and universal political force in the Israeli ghetto is a Palestinian party.

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

Saudi Authorities Target Families of Activists: Deprived of Life!

By al-Ahed

Beirut – The Saudi authorities continue their escalatory policies to silence any voice demanding rights and justice. In the context of tightening the grip on peaceful activists, the Saudi regime continues its oppressive measures against their families. It is preventing the families of those “wanted” from basic services, punishing them for their rightful activism.

According to information obtained by al-Ahed news, the Saudi authorities are banning families of activists from the governmental services, as well as depriving them of traveling or obtaining any personal document such as a passport or an identity card.

The families are also deprived of issuing identity and health cards belonging to their children, making it impossible for them to receive any kind of medical treatment or even entering hospitals.

The measures are practiced against the mothers, fathers, siblings, wives and children of those “wanted”, and include the educational services, banning them even from registering them at schools.

Not to mention, they are also being targeted financially as they are not allowed to renew their bank cards once they are expired, leading eventually to close their entire bank accounts, and logically, stop their living and daily affairs…

“People Who Never had a Voice Now Have One and will Never Give it up Again”

Interview with Venezuelan in Canada

*re-published at Global Research

Eva Bartlett 

On April 25th, I gave a talk on some of what I had seen in Venezuela, March-April, sharing photos and clips–with an emphasis of allowing people to hear voices our media generally silences or pretends don’t exist.

In Q & A, the issue of discrimination and racism in Venezuela was raised. This eloquent Venezuelan musician replied to the question so articulately, and disturbingly, that I asked him to re-address it on camera after the event.

Do listen to his words not only on the racism that still exists (not only in Venezuela but in media portrayal of Venezuelans), that in the 80s there actually was a crisis, unlike today, and that the people won’t let their revolution end.

Excerpts:

“In 1999, for the 1st time every in any country in South America, a law was passed to not discriminate against people of colour. People that never had a voice now have one and will never give it up again. You can go to the remotest area in my country and everybody can read. Everybody knows their rights and knows that their voice counts.” <!–more CONTINUE READING–>

“In Venezuela, its a racism that’s very alive, but hidden under class status. When you come to Canada, you just don’t see Venezuelans that look like me, at all. Or even if you go to the States, anywhere you go, you’re not gonna see Venezuelans that look like me.”

“What the Canadian public, the American public and the international community are watching is a huge Hollywood show.”

“I have a challenge for anyone in the opposition to simply answer one question: What would they do different? What is their plan? If they’re planning to go back to those great old days (sarcasm), the people are not having it. Two million militias, old people, young people, everybody knows what the United States is doing. My mother is 70, she’s about to join the militia!”

US Commission: Saudi Arabia Is Top Violator of Religious Freedom

By Staff, MEE

The US State Department designated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s “worst violators” of religious freedoms, even as Riyadh remains one of Washington’s top allies in the region.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom [USCIRF] released its 2019 report on Monday listing Saudi Arabia in the tier one category of countries that implement severe violations of religious freedom.

The annual report, released by the bipartisan organization created two decades ago, highlights the discrimination that Shia Muslims and Christians face in the country.

“Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia continue to face discrimination in education, employment, and the judiciary, and lack access to senior positions in the government and military,” the 234-page report said.

“As a matter of law, the Saudi government bans the public practice of non-Muslim faiths by citizens and expatriates alike. While the Saudi government has stated repeatedly that non-Muslims who are not converts from Islam may practice their religion in private, this policy has not been codified,” the reported added.

Last week, Saudi Arabia executed 37 people on ‘terrorism’ charges.

Thirty-two of those executed were from Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority and a number of them were juveniles when they were arrested, including a teenager who had planned to study in the US.

The US placed Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s top “countries of particular concern” or CPCs in November 2018.

However, Johnnie Moore, USCIRF’s commissioner who wrote the profile on Saudi Arabia, said promoting “punitive measures” against the kingdom would be counterproductive.

“Such punitive measures could likely have the effect of forcing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage directly and more seriously with countries where religious freedom is not a consideration at all in their foreign policy priorities,” he said.

The State Department recommends granting Saudi Arabia a special waiver because the country is an “important interest to the United States”, the report said.

Saudi Arabia and the US share a deep alliance. The US purchases Saudi oil while the kingdom has ordered billions of dollars of arms from the United States.

Saudi Arabia was the first overseas country visited by US President Donald Trump after he became president in 2017, and his visit to Riyadh came just weeks before Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies initiated a blockade of Qatar.

Trump has continued to stress the importance of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia even after the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which prompted near global condemnation.

Bahraini Activist Najah Yusuf Details Her Imprisonment for Facebook Posts Protesting Bahrain Formula 1 Race

By Phillip Bupp – Awful Announcing

Najah Yusuf is an activist from Bahrain and is currently serving a three-year sentence for what the Bahrain government claimed was “defaming the state, hurting its interests and distorting the image of the kingdom abroad.”

In reality, Yusuf was jailed over Facebook posts advocating for the cancellation of Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix, calling it a form of propaganda by the country and a tool to mask Bahrain’s brutal human rights record. In a special piece for the Guardian, Yusuf claimed that criticizing Formula 1 is considered a “threat to national security” in Bahrain.

In her report, Yusuf detailed some of the terrible things she has had to go through since she was arrested in 2017. Before being coerced into signing a confession, Yusuf claimed she was threatened, beaten and raped, eventually signing the confession after five days of abuse.

“For four days, I was relentlessly interrogated because of Facebook posts, including those that called for the race to be cancelled and for the release of others imprisoned for criticizing Formula One. I was lured to the Muharraq police station, under the pretense of signing a statement on behalf of my son.”

“When I arrived, the questions began. They forcibly took my phone away from me, threatening to kill my son when I refused to unlock it. They asked me about my relationships with various human rights defenders, activists and opposition groups.”

“They threatened to kill me, they tried to bribe me, they beat me. But worst of all, officers tore off my hijab and attempted to strip me of my clothes, before an officer sexually assaulted me in custody. The pain and humiliation of that week will haunt me for the rest of my life. All this because I took a stand against state repression and the grand prix.”

“On the fifth day, I could take it no more. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I wanted it to end. Officers presented me with a prepared confession to sign. While I was reading it, the officers beat me again and threatened to rape me. So I signed it.”

Yusuf’s account is very believable when you compare it to Bahrain’s overall human rights record. Yusuf explained how things didn’t stop for her and those around her when she was put in prison:

“Since I arrived at Isa Town prison, my suffering has only continued. Prison authorities regularly discriminate against me on account of my status as a political prisoner. Last September, my cellmate and fellow political prisoner Hajer Mansoor was hospitalized following an assault by prison guards. An early day motion in the British parliament identified this assault as being led by the head of Isa Town prison, Lieutenant Colonel Mariam Albardoli. This occurred days after Hajer Mansoor’s son-in-law, Sayed Alwadaei, briefed MPs about our cases. We were subsequently cited by an MP in the British parliament, along with our cellmate Medina Ali.”

“Since then, all inmates have been punished collectively because I had the temerity to speak out, with restrictions on our family visits, phone calls and time outside the cell. The prison authorities want to silence us, but we will not stop protesting at the appalling conditions at Isa Town prison, which were recently condemned by the UN.”

“I am a mother of four, but I have not seen my children for the past six months. The same punishment has been inflicted on my cellmates, Hajer and Medina. The situation breaks my heart, but I count myself lucky compared to others.”

Formula 1 has a history of being on the side of horrible people. Despite international sanctions from many other countries, as well as many sponsors and drivers opposing South Africa in the time of apartheid, Formula 1 kept racing in Kyalami until 1985, being one of the final international sports organizations to operate in South Africa at that time. Apartheid would be abolished in 1991 and Formula 1 raced in South Africa one more time in 1992.

Formula 1 did cancel the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix due to pro-democracy protests taking place, but that was more about the safety of those going to the race and not so much making a statement supporting the protestors or the safety of the protestors themselves. Yusuf finished her piece calling for F1 fans to not forget what is going on in Bahrain, even if they may be watching this weekend’s race in Sakhir.

“Although I am still paying for my decision to take a stand against the grand prix, my stance has not changed. For years, the ruling family has used the race to clean up its international reputation and whitewash its disregard for human rights. During this period, Formula One has consistently ignored the abuses that occur.”

“In 2017, I backed the calls for “freedom for Formula detainees”. I never thought I would become one of them. Every moment I spend in prison stains the reputation of Formula One, who have abandoned their commitment to freedom of expression and allowed injustice to be perpetrated in their name.”

“Despite the fervor of excitement, I implore all fans of Formula 1 to remember my story and the suffering of thousands of Bahraini citizens. Don’t allow the race to be stained by Bahrain’s human rights abuses.”

Formula 1 has been dragging their feet in reacting to Yusuf’s imprisonment. The organization said they were “concerned” but efforts to resolve things with the Bahrain government have been poor at best. Human rights groups have tried to reach Formula 1 and the FIA, and they have also attempted to contact five-time defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton and other drivers to inform them about what is happening.

It’s unknown what will happen to Yusuf after her report, considering she’s still in prison. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that while Bahrain is trying to treat a Formula 1 race as propaganda, they can’t hide everything.

Jewdas Lies Again

March 11, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

jewdas.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

In August 2017 Jewdas,  a bunch of self- proclaimed ‘alternative’ Diaspora Jews were exposed as merely a brand of dishonest Zionist merchants. They picketed my concert at the Vortex and handed out flyers presenting a pile of fabrications and misquotes attributed to me.

They were filmed and exposed as liars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKMITv5ZPdw

Watch Jewdas lying through their teeth…

But Jewdas did not learn their lesson. They are attempting to repeat their failure. This time they call to Shut Down Nazi Apologist Jazz with a plan to picket my concert at the Vortex on Friday.

I am not a Nazi apologist. I am an opponent of all forms of racism and discrimination. Jewdas does not even attempt to explain why they call  me a ‘Nazi apologist,’ Instead they provide a  link to a Zionist write-up on Rationalwiki that is in itself a set of quotes taken out of context in an intentionally misleading manner. Here is Rationalwiki’s takedown of me:  “Atzmon has been accused of denying the Holocaust; he objects to this. ‘I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter,’ he says. ‘I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic.’

Here is the actual quote of my talk delivered in Freiburg, Germany in 2011. “Needless to say, I have never denied the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. I also find the notion of ‘holocaust denial’ to be meaningless, and on the verge of idiotic. However, I do indeed insist, as I did here today, that history must remain an open discourse, subject to changes and revision, I oppose any attempt to seal the past, whether it is the Nakba, the  Holocaust, the Holodomor or the Armenian genocide. I am convinced that an organic and ‘elastic’ understanding of the past is the true essence of a  humanist discourse, universalism and ethics.”https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-being-in-time.html)

One may wonder, if there was any truth in their  claim, why those Zionists and their so-called ‘alternative’ twins see the need to attribute to me fabricated quotes and misquotes in an attempt to deceive? One possible answer is that I brought to light a truth which they can’t handle let alone suppress.

In my work I repeatedly argue that history must be open to discussion. Revisiting and rethinking history is at the core of universal ethical thinking and the aspiration for a better future! If the English speaking empire had been brave enough to face its past conduct, it might have saved itself from repeating its crimes in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. If Israel and its Lobby were honourable enough to examine Jewish history, it would probably attempt to prevent its enthusiastic Lobby from causing more harm. If Jewdas were simply able to re-visit its recent past or just watch the above expose of themselves caught in their lies, one would think they would want to avoid re-exposure as an authoritarian intolerant Jewish thought police dedicated to harassing a non-political music venue.

Given Britain’s present economic and political woes, perhaps the Jewdas warriors for their own particular brand of correct ‘alternative’ Jewish thought would be wise to support elementary freedoms and civilized debate. Jewdas might even wish to allow the Brits a night off from the toxic political environment to just enjoy music. The music might even soothe the self-righteous arrogance of those whose satisfaction is gained by calling me and others names.

 Defy the oppressive, duplicitous and dictatorial forces. Join us at the Vortex this weekend

To Book on line:

Fri March 15 click here

Sat March 16 Click here

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