This has been yet another of those horrific weeks in Palestine. Israel’s intolerance is growing. Far away in Australia, Netanyahu is getting a mixed reception – the government which welcomes him with a red carpet regardless of the fact that he heads the worst form of government there is anywhere in the world right now. Civil society, churches, trade unions, academics, students, and even the opposition protested and held wide-spread protests where he was labeled a war criminal.
Around the world, Israel is viewed as a criminal state. Its judicial system has just allowed a blatant murderous soldier to get away with a lenient sentence. The courts made a mockery of justice. The Arab League called the sentence itself an act of ‘racism’. A large number of human rights groups and activists joined the chorus of condemnation of the sentence. But Israel is unfazed and it will be no surprise if the criminal is let off the hook earlier than the term of the sentence and given back his position in the army.
69% of Israeli’s want that punishment to be either repealed or further reduced. Contrast that with the way Israel handles so-called crimes (and non-crimes) of the Palestinians. Even the innocent are picked up, arrested, thrown into prison without valid charges under the provision of Israel’s administrative law – a law that allows Israel to imprison a person without charges for six months and extend that by a further six months – an arrangement that often runs into years. They further rationalize their legal and administrative error by torturing prisoners and using the confessions obtained under torture as evidence to even decades of prison sentences. Democracy and the law in Israel are a strange species, a breed of their own. Both these instruments are twisted and warped in total regard for all civilized norms.
Israel won’t even allow itself to be scrutinized when it is accused of serious war crimes or other actions that render it in violation rights law and standards. It probably finds itself in the Guinness book of records for the number of independent investigations it has turned down. Just today, there is a report of why it won’t allow an American investigator from Human Rights Watch into the country, saying that Human Rights Watch is “systematically anti-Israel” and works as a tool of ‘pro-Palestinian propaganda’ while ‘falsely raising the banner of human rights.’
Nahshon, a top spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, confirmed that Israel rejected the visa request Human Rights Watch personnel basing its decision not on the individual but on its low opinion of Human Rights Watch. “We said no. It’s very simple. We consider the group to be biased, systemically hostile toward Israel. In a way, we consider them absolutely hopeless.”
Iain Levine, program director at Human Rights Watch, reacted: “This decision and the spurious rationale should worry anyone concerned about Israel’s commitment to basic democratic values,” Bashi said that in the past year, Human Rights Watch has not only reported on alleged violations by the Israeli government but also investigated and condemned the arbitrary detention of journalists and activists by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and executions by Hamas authorities in Gaza. Israel.
Israel has no tolerance for human rights and even less for being investigated when it commits those violations. The HRW report says: “Israel’s right-wing government has recently targeted Israeli human rights groups for extra scrutiny and warned European governments to stop funding them. Members of anti-occupation groups, such as ‘Breaking the Silence’ which is composed of Israeli army veterans, have been called “traitors.”
News- be it mainstream or alternative- highlights ascending intolerance and the resistance to listen to the voice of reason. They also show the emergent global rejection of Israel’s occupation. Israel’s down fall may be a matter of time. It may behave like a cornered tiger when that happens. The preferred option is that dialogue will light up the pathway to a peaceful, just, and lasting settlement.
Commentator and Analyst
Question of Palestine