Israel and Due Processtags: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Zionism, Sheldon Richman
You have to admire Israel, "our" closest friend and ally in the Middle East, the "only democracy" in the region, for its commitment to due process, not to mention individual rights. Three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered, inexcusable crimes. So the Israeli government declared Hamas guilty without public evidence or trial. (Hamas, which denies responsibility, typically engages in prisoner exchanges rather than the killing of captives.) Then the IDF bombed the Gaza Strip, the densely populated open-air prison, killing innocents, and blew up the family homes of so-called suspects -- collective punishment. Nothing new here. It's how the Israeli government has acted as a matter of policy. The demolition Palestinian homes is so prevalent that Israeli Jews founded an organization to stop it.
Meanwhile in Jerusalem, a Palestinian teen was beaten and burned to death by Israelis, apparently in reprisal, and his cousin, a resident of Tampa, Fla., was beaten apparently by two masked soldiers in uniform.
Just another day in the lives of the subjugated Palestinians.
The murders of the Israeli teens were atrocities, of course, but they can in no way justify, retroactively or prospectively, the systematic violence perpetrated against Palestinians that the state of Israel constitutes at its core. (For a disturbing report on how religious authorities justify the killing of non-Jews by Jews, see Allan Brownfeld's article "Resistance Is Growing to Zionism’s Corruption of American Jewish Life," especially the section headed "The King’s Torah."
UPDATE: Israel announced the arrest of six suspects in the murder of the Palestinian teen. No word yet on whether the authorities destroyed their families' homes or bombed Israeli neighborhoods.
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