‘Israel is acting like a state terrorist’
January 13 2009
In eight years: twenty Israelis died from Gaza rockets, 4,000 Israelis died from car accidents.
About 700 Israelis have been arrested for protesting against the war on Gaza since the beginning of the deadly offensive, said Neve Gordon, chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel on Monday.
“700 Israelis have been arrested since this war began, because they protested this war. This has not made it to an international media, and it’s an act of intimidation by the state against those who protest the war,” Gordon told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!.
On the number of Israeli deaths, Gordon said: “between ten and twenty people, Israelis, have died from rockets in the eight years that rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. During the same amount of time, 4,000 Israelis have died from car accidents.”
But Israel still used that as an excuse to bomb Gaza.
“From these twenty people, we’re allowed to enter into the Gaza Strip and bomb them from the air into their cage and kill 275 children,” said Gordon, who is also the author of the book Israel’s Occupation.
Gordon criticized Israel’s continuous violations of international law.
“Disproportionality is a term from international law. Israel has been defying international law and international agreements and international decisions from 1967, or probably from before.
One of these decisions is that Israel must return these (Palestinian) territories. And by maintaining and holding onto these territories through violent means,” said Gordon.
Although Gordon opposes Gaza rocket fire, he explained that the Palestinians are trying to defend themselves.
“The right to self-defense is a right to self-defense from violence. We have to understand that the occupation itself is violence. It’s an act of violence.
Putting people in a prison, in a prison of one million and a half million people and keeping them there for years on end without basic foodstuff, without allowing them to enter and exit when they will, is an act of violence.
Without electricity, without clean water, it’s all an act of violence. And these people are resisting. I am against the way they’re resisting, but we have to look at their violence versus our violence,” said Gordon.
“Gaza is still under occupation, because Israel controls all of its borders, and the West Bank is under occupation, and East Jerusalem is under occupation. And the act—the first, the initial, the primordial act of violence is the occupation.
The rockets are a reaction to that act of violence. And so, we have to keep in mind that within—it’s not between a state and another state. It’s been between an occupier and an occupied,” he noted.
On the media war, Gordon noted: “Israel is dealing with a propaganda war. Israel is the one that disseminated a video of Hamas shooting rockets from a school, a video that’s almost two years old, claiming that the video was taken a day or two earlier. So Israel is in a propaganda war.”
Gordon noted that “although Hamas did launch an incredible amount of rockets at the end of the ceasefire,” it was Israel which broke the ceasefire on November 4th “when it attacked in the Gaza Strip.”
“Israel actually is a first actor that broke the ceasefire,” noted Gordon.
Gordon also accused Israel of committing acts of terrorism.
“Yes, the Hamas is fighting out from a civilian population, but Israel has the choice whether it’s going to bomb the civilian population or not, and it is intentionally deciding to bomb the civilian population.
So in terms of intentionality in bombing areas where there are civilians, Israel is acting like a state terrorist.
So, if your definition of terrorism doesn’t take into account the identity of the actor—and state actors can also be terrorists—then when you bomb a school and when you bomb a university and when you bomb a neighborhood and you’re killing much more civilians than militants, then you’re doing something that is an act of terror,” he explained.
Gordon cited two reasons behind Israel’s offensive against Gaza.
“I think the actual reasons have to do—the two major reasons—with rebuilding the reputation of the Israeli military after its humiliation in 2006 in Lebanon and the upcoming Israeli elections.”
But the Israeli author believes that there is a way to solve the conflict.
“Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinian people. We don’t need to like them. I don’t like them. But they are the elected government, and we need to sit down and talk with them and not bomb them,” he noted.
“We have to come out and say we are willing to talk with our enemies, even with people that say that they do not believe in the existence of Israel.
The PLO said that they do not believe in the existence of Israel for many years. And ultimately, we sat down and talked with them, and they are now considered our Palestinian partner. I believe that if there is a pragmatic side, a strong pragmatic wing in Hamas, that if we start negotiation with them, over the years these people will also agree to the existence of Israel and be willing to live side by side with us,” he added.
“If we do not talk with them, if we continue this cycle of violence, ultimately Israel will be destroyed, because ultimately, the technological edge that we have over our neighbors will not be meaningful. So we have to change our approach.
We have to be pro—by changing our approach, we’re actually pro-Israeli. We say we want to see Israel a hundred years from now. And the only way we’ll see Israel exist a hundred years from now is if Israel makes peace with Syria, with Lebanon and with the Palestinian people,” Gordon explained.
The should really get the roads cleaned up in Israel, they are more dangerous then Hamas.
Israel Bars Arab Parties From Election
Left Claims Ban is ‘Patriotic’
By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
January 16, 2009
The only three Arab parties represented in the Israeli parliament vowed yesterday to fight a decision by the Central Elections Committee to bar them from running in next month’s general election.
In an unprecedented move signalling a further breakdown in Jewish-Arab relations inside Israel, all the main Jewish parties voted on Monday for the blanket disqualification. Several committee members equated the Arab parties’ vocal support for the Gazan people with support for terrorism.
The decision follows the arrest of at least 600 Arab demonstrators since the outbreak of the Gaza offensive and the interrogation by the secret police of dozens of Arab community leaders. The three parties — the National Democratic Assembly, the United Arab List and the Renewal Movement — have seven legislators out of a total of 120 in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
The elections committee barred all three from putting up candidates for the Feb 10 election on the grounds that they had violated a 2002 law by refusing to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and by supporting a terrorist organisation.
Ahmed Tibi, the leader of Renewal, denounced the decision as “a political trial led by a group of fascists and racists who are willing to see the Knesset without Arabs and want to see the country without Arabs”.
A petition against the disqualification will be heard by a panel of Supreme Court justices this week.
Hassan Jabareen, the director of the Adalah legal rights group, which represents the Arab parties, noted that the disqualification motion had been introduced by far right-wing parties.
Such parties include Yisrael Beiteinu, which campaigns for the country’s 1.2 million-strong Arab minority to be stripped of citizenship.
“It is absurd that the committee is backing a motion from racist parties in the Knesset to exclude the Arab parties whose platform is that Israel must be made into a proper democracy treating all its citizens equally.”
The elections committee is composed of representatives from all the major parties. Although it has voted for disqualification of Arab candidates before, it is the first time both that the left-wing Labor Party has backed such a motion and that all the Arab parties have been included in the ban.
Mr Jabareen accused the right-wing parties of exploiting the war atmosphere. Labor’s secretary general, Eitan Cabel, called his party’s conduct in voting for the disqualification “patriotic”.
All the Arab parties have harshly criticised the attack on Gaza. This week Mr Tibi described Israeli actions as “genocide”, while Ibrahim Sarsour, of the United Arab List, said Israel was seeking to “eliminate the Palestinian cause”.
In the past, Arab Knesset members have also upset their Jewish colleagues by travelling to neighbouring Arab states, defying a change in the law to prevent such visits.
Following the vote on the ban, Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, suggested his party had additional goals: “The next battle is making [the National Democratic Assembly] illegal because it is a terrorist organisation whose objective is harming the state of Israel.”
Mr Lieberman and other legislators have been hounding the NDA for years, chiefly because it is led by Azmi Bishara, an outspoken proponent of equal rights for Arab citizens. Israeli secret police forced Mr Bishara into exile two years ago, accusing him of treason after the 2006 Lebanon war.
During the 2003 election, when the committee barred the NDA and Mr Tibi from running, the decision was overturned by a majority of the Supreme Court. But few of the justices from that hearing are still on the bench.
“There are reasons to be fearful,” Mr Jabareen said. “The Supreme Court is also susceptible to the current war atmosphere and its authority has been greatly eroded over the past year. It has been forced on to the defensive over claims from the Right that its decisions support the Left.”
If the ban is upheld, some Arab representation in the Knesset is likely to continue. The joint Arab and Jewish Communist Party is allowed to stand, and the three major Jewish parties include one or two Arab candidates on their lists, though not always in electable positions.
Meanwhile, Israeli police admitted they arrested about 600 people involved in protests against the Gaza offensive, some of them for stone-throwing. Adalah lawyers said more than 200 people, most of them Arab, were still in jail.
“We’re talking about mass arrests,” said Abeer Baker, adding that Israel was exploiting a 30-day window before an indictment had to be filed to hold suspects without producing evidence.
In addition, the Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive domestic security service, has called in dozens of Arab leaders for interrogation. Ameer Makhoul, head of the Ittijah organisation, which promotes Arab causes in Israel, was detained last week. He said a security official who interrogated him threatened to jail him over demonstrations he helped to organise in support of Gaza.
“The officer called me a rebel threatening the security of the state during time of war and said he would be happy to transfer me to Gaza,” Mr Makhoul said.
Haaretz, a leftist Israeli daily newspaper, has called the interrogations “intimidation tactics to prevent legitimate protest”.
They also arrest you and put you in jail, if you refuse to fight in their army.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UN Document Series Symbol: ST/HR/
UN Issuing Body: Secretariat Centre for Human Rights
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A(III) of 10 Dec.1948.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.