The Z Factor XV: Inglorious Human Rights

“Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized,…”

– UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations (2013).


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Israeli West Bank Barrier otherwise known as “The Wall”| Photo from the cover of UNICEF’s 2013 report Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations (2013).


Jewish cultivation of victimhood and the mythologising of certain events in history have been used to affect a form of thought control that confers a mighty buffer to criticism. This serves to prop up a lasting deference and preferential treatment at both the socio-cultural and political level. But what of vengeance? Does the atrocious human rights record by Israelis have anything to do with Amalekian revenge and their association with Arabs as the New Nazis in waiting, should they be given power and equal rights?

Inglorius Barsterds, a 2009 film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino goes some way in explaining the perceptions of some of in the global Jewish community regarding the ideas of revenge and victimisation. Producer Lawrence Bender, after reading the first draft of the film script exclaimed: “… as a member of the Jewish tribe, I thank you, … because this movie is a fucking Jewish wet dream.” The film’s executive producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, also reportedly “… enjoyed the film’s theme of Jewish revenge.” [1]

I  bet they did.

The film is set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II and follows the exploits of a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as ‘The Basterds’ as they go about inflicting various forms of Tarantino-esque revenge upon the Third Reich while going under cover to assassinate high-ranking Nazi officials. It is a nicely crafted film, musically rich, inventive, and visually powerful; chock full of comic-book humour and film culture references. As we’ve come to expect from Tarantino, it is also gratuitously violent and patently immoral.

Represented as cathartic “kosher porn” according to one of the Jewish actors who had a leading role, the film quite literally exorcised the Jewish archetypes of passivity and victimhood into an unbridled blood lust of revenge. While Tarantino revels in his own pornographic love of violence in a war-time setting, it perversely delves into some very dark arenas of Jewish lore with somewhat disturbing results. In attempting to come up triumphant by dramatically reversing Jewish guilt, passivity and victimhood, it merely creates their nemeses.  Nevertheless, Jewish influence in the entertainment industry and our Official Culture being as it is, we can’t be too surprise that it was deemed a resounding success by most critics and audiences.

However, a few were not convinced including author and critic Daniel Mendelsohn who found the portrayal of Jewish-American soldiers mimicking German atrocities done to European Jews disturbing and went to the heart of the matter  He when he stated: “ … Tarantino indulges this taste for vengeful violence by—well, by turning Jews into Nazis.” [2] The Jewish press, summed up Tarantino’s style of film making as lacking any kind of depth or subtle understanding and when faced with Nazis and Jewish retribution it was inevitable that audiences would be served with an: “… alternative to reality, a magical and Manichean world where we needn’t worry about the complexities of morality, where violence solves everything, and where the Third Reich is always just a film reel and a lit match away from cartoonish defeat.” [3] To which Tarantino would probably say, is exactly the point.

It’s only “entertainment” right?

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Promotional Posters for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (2009)

The fact that the film not only went down a storm in Israel only serves to reinforce the idea that most Israelis and Jewish-Americans seem to be happy with the fact that Jews exacting revenge by using the same methods of destruction is without any moral ambiguity: “The ‘chapters’ of the movie showing Nazi-scalping, baseball bat-wielding Jews instilling fear into the hearts of the German army (and Hitler), as well as the bloodbath finale where Nazi elite are all burned alive, elicited cheers and hearty rounds of applause, while the man himself won a standing ovation as the end credits rolled.” [4]Such gleeful bloodletting and burning alive of Nazis is comfortably explained away by the right of victimhood while simultaneously fuelling Nazi-like behaviour that is not only deemed just and appropriate, but natural.  It was indeed a “wet dream” for Jewish movie moguls trumped only by Tarantino’s blatant and cynical pandering to the same, making sure he’ll always be welcome in Hollywood for a long time to come.

***

What makes this such an interesting mirror for the Israeli-Arab conflict is the current and appalling human rights abuse we see inflicted on Palestinians. It makes this “Jewish Fantasy” a far more disturbing and topical piece of propaganda than it first appears.

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So, let’s have a look at some cold hard reality:

  • From September 29, 2000 to the present (March 2012) 125 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,471 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis [5]
  • 1,092 Israelis and at least 6,537 Palestinians have been killed; [6]
  • 9,226 Israelis and 45,041 Palestinians have been injured; [7]
  • 0 Israelis are being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 5,300 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel; [8]
  • no Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 24,813 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. [9]
  • The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 16.5 per cent and 40 per cent in Gaza; [10]
  • Israel currently has 236 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. [11]

Persistent violations of the Geneva Convention underlie these statistics with the Israeli military as the primary source for these atrocities. moreover, the brunt of these  attacks have been borne by Palestinian children. It is not hard to see that much of these human rights violations and deaths are sourced from beliefs that see Palestinians as not only unwelcome but less than human, a belief that has been instilled into socio-political consciousness of Israel for a very long time.

In 1973 Rabbi A. Avidan gave some religious “inspiration” for Israeli soldiers and subsequently published by the Central Regional Command of the Israeli Army. Although no other Rabbi or military personnel criticised the memo it was eventually taken out of circulation presumably due to conflict in the chains of command. It stated: “When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that these civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah [Jewish religious law] they may and even should be killed … In a war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good.” [12]

This “guidance” for the military feeds the parallels with Nazism and ethnic cleansing in general and brings the history of Biblical Jewish conquest into focus but also explains some of the brutality currently experienced by Palestinians, most notably children. A standard mantra for abrogating responsibility and to cover a probable shoot-to-kill policy is the following statement when the Israeli military killed yet another 3 year-old girl in her home: “A spokesman for the Israeli military justified the girl’s killing, saying that soldiers thought that Palestinian resistance fighters were somewhere in the neighborhood.” [13] This has remarkable mileage when you’d like to see the demise of a population. So, let’s review just a few of the many indiscriminate attacks against Palestinians under occupation.

In 2002, Palestinian Mohammad Abu Kweik, 8, his two sisters, Bara, 14, Aziza, 16, and their mother Bushra Kweik, 38, were killed when their Mitsubishi pick-up truck they were travelling in was bombed by Israeli forces in the West Bank Palestinian ghetto of Ramallah, she had picked them up from school. A car following the family was also hit killing two Palestinian children aged 4 and 16. Apparently, they were attempting to assassinate a man who was not in either vehicle. [14]

In July of the same year 11-year-old Khalil Ibrahim, was shot in the head in Rafah a part of the Gaza ghetto as he in a playground with his friends, two of whom were wounded. “The children were gunned down by Israeli soldiers from a Jewish guard tower as they were playing.” [15] In May 7, 2001 Israelis shelled homes in the Khan Yunis Refugee Camp and fired large-calibre machine guns which killed 4-month-old Iman Hijo, “shrapnel tearing a hole into the infant’s back.” The attack also wounded 24 civilians, he girl’s 19-year-old mother, as well as three brothers and sisters, were among the wounded, “including 18-month-old Mahmoud Hijo, [who] was in intensive care at Nasser Hospital with shrapnel wounds, doctors said.” … “Israeli troops also fired on the refugee camp’s Khaldieh School in the West Bank, killing a Palestinian school-teacher.” [16]

children-watchingIndiscriminate airstrikes (not Hezbollah’s or Hama’s shielding as claimed by Israeli officials) and violations of human rights were most evident in Gaza offensives by Israeli army between 2006 – 2009 causing a large spike in civilian casualties, the most brutal of which was the massacre of Palestinian women and children in Israel’s “Cloud of Autumn.” [17] When you grow up with state-mandated violence, hatred and poverty it is little wonder so-called resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have formed. What needs to be borne in mind is that these are people who simply want to lead normal, ordinary lives with some dignity and respect for even the most basic human rights. According to American Educational Trust: “The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four per cent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers.” [18]

One report from Hebron describes the case of two year-old Burhan Sidir who was blown apart by Israeli mortar fire. His legs and head were found in the street and had to be retrieved by relatives. Can we even imagine the shock, grief and horror at having to pick up your son’s head from the street and carry on with your life?

Just think about that for moment when we become irritated that we’ve missed the last episode of Game of Thrones. Palestinians live with this kind oppression every day of their lives. everyone knows someone who has lost a son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother.

Total disregard for Palestinian lives has given Israel numerous warnings for war crimes. [19]Palestinian inter-factional fighting between particularly between Hamas and Fatah on top of a fluctuating humanitarian crisis creates intolerable conditions for the young and old alike in the occupied territories. Worse still, is the spectre of targeted killings of children and teenagers by the Israeli military. Though it may not be official policy it appears to be a reality nonetheless, with higher level officers sometimes giving the order to shoot commensurate with reflexive actions of Israeli soldiers as whole which belie “a culture of impunity.” Many recent reports confirm what Palestinians have been living with for decades, namely that a Palestinian life – even a child – means nothing for many in the Israeli military and that an apparent unlawful death is like a fine for a parking ticket at around 100 or 200 shekel [$US22 or $US44]. Mandating a collective punishment on the Palestinian people is drawn from an ever-present emotion of revenge as Israeli soldiers explain:

In May 2004, Israeli forces launched an operation in southern Gaza that resulted in the expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, and the deaths of 50 Palestinians, up to half of whom were civilians Rafi, an officer in an elite unit connected to the air force, told how the entire mission was about revenge. “The commanders said kill as many people as possible,’ he said. Orders were also given to kill anyone seen on the rooftops of homes, irrespective of what they were doing or whether they were armed. Among the casualties were Asma Moghayyer, aged 16, and her brother Ahmed, 13, who were shot as they were collecting clothes from their rooftop washing line. Rafi described how his impression of the operation was ‘chaos’ and the ‘indiscriminate use of force’. ‘Gaza was considered a playground for sharpshooters,’ he said. [20]

The explanations that issue forth to justify attacks by Israeli Defence Forces hold less and less validity when such an unspoken policy exists as well as the numerous occasions of attacks in the refugee camps. When teenagers and children have been killed the Israeli military issues standard denials that anything untoward has taken place. How tragically ironic it surely is to see another kind holocaust going on in the occupied territories.


“(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.”

— Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988


The baby in the photo (right) was killed by a bullet to the head during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. He is of one of thousands over the years, yet Israel is still considered a democracy.

What if it were your little niece or nephew?2308984369_6ef2825b9c_o

Your baby son or daughter?
Asma, 16, and her younger brother Ahmed, are typical examples of more “collateral.” They were both shot through the head by an Israeli soldier: “as they fed their pigeons and collected the laundry from the roof of their home in Rafah refugee camp.” Yet, just hours after the deaths Israeli officials were busy blaming Palestinians suggesting that the children had been planting bombs or killed accidentally by other external factors despite clear evidence to the contrary:

Dr Ahmed Abu Nkaria, who pronounced the Mughayar children dead, insists on proving the manner of their killing. He pulls Asma’s body from the mortuary’s refrigeration unit and fumbles through the teenager’s hair to reveal the hole where the bullet entered above one ear and ripped a much larger wound as it emerged above the other.

“The Israeli propaganda is that they were killed in a work accident. These are the kinds of lies they tell all the time,” he says. “They say all the dead are fighters. They say they do not deliberately kill children, but about a quarter of the dead from the first day of shooting are children. The evidence is here in the morgue. Does this girl look as if she was blown up by a bomb?” […]

Ahmed lies with 14 other bodies … He was a small boy who could not easily be mistaken for a man.

Dr Nkaria rolls the child over to show a tiny round hole in his forehead, just above his fringe. There is a much larger hole at the back of the head where the bullet came out. Neither Asma nor Ahmed show signs of any other injuries, particularly of the kind that might be expected from a blast, such as shrapnel spread across the body, burns, or mutilation.

“This is what the Israelis claim is a ‘work accident’,” Dr Nkaria says ….”This is Ibrahim Alqun. He is 14 years old. He was shot in the back of the head. The bullet came out of his right eye,” he says. The child’s face is badly mutilated by the wound. The bodies of the children continued to pile up in the mortuary yesterday.

Saber Abu Libda, 13, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he left his home in Tel al-Sultan in the morning to find water for his family. Dr Nkaria’s finger probes a tiny hole in the small child’s back which masks the devastation done to his heart as the bullet shot through it. “No one can say this child was a fighter. Look at the size of him and look where they shoot him – in the back, not coming to attack someone,” the doctor says. [21]

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A Palestinian rescue worker carries the body of a child from the al-Dallu family into the hospital in Gaza City on November 18, 2012, after seven members of theal-Dallu family, including four children, were among nine people killed when an Israeli missile struck a family home in Gaza City, the health ministry said. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED


The cases of children and teenagers being shot in cold-blood are numerous and amount to daily executions. A climate of fear is a constant part of Palestinian lives in the occupied territories and refugee camps.

Take the 2004 case of 13 year-old Iman walking to school and who accidentally found herself in Israeli army’s “forbidden zone” at the bottom of her street. It was broad daylight; she was carrying her satchel and wearing her school uniform. Only a few minutes later “the short, slight child was pumped with bullets. Doctors counted at least 17 wounds and said much of her head was destroyed.”

Standard denials followed from the military unit responsible for killing the school-girl. This was followed by an initial army investigation that cleared the commander of the unit of any wrong doing, despite his own soldiers accusing him of “… giving the order to shoot knowing the target was a young girl, and of then emptying the clip of his automatic rifle into her.”

Some Palestinian witnesses gave detailed descriptions as to what happened to Iman. Basim Breaka saw the killing from his living room: “Some soldiers were lying on the ground and shooting very heavily toward her,” …Then one of the soldiers walked to her and emptied his clip into her. For sure, she died on the second or third bullet. I could see her lying on the ground, not moving. I can’t imagine why that soldier wanted to shoot her after she was dead.” [22]

A prosecution case was brought by the family of Iman Darweesh al-Hams due to the lightness of the charges brought against the commander who was “reprimanded in custody.” Not one month later a tape surfaced showing exactly what happened to Iman and who was responsible. The whole Israeli unit continued firing at Iman well after she had been identified as a “frightened child,” and illustrated that both the unit and the commander were culpable. In the recorded exchanges someone in the operations room asks:

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Iman Al Hams was a 13-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israel Defense Forces fire near a military observation post in a “no-man’s” zone near the Philadelphi Route on 5 October 2004, in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. (wikipedia)

“Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?” The observation post, housed in a watchtower, replies: “It’s a little girl. She’s running defensively eastwards, a girl of about 10. She’s behind the embankment, scared to death.”

Not until four minutes later was it reported that the girl had been hit and had fallen. The observation post reports: “Receive, I think that one of the positions took her out.” … Operations room: “What, she fell?” Observation post: “She’s not moving right now.”

The tape records the commander as telling his men, after firing at the girl with an automatic weapon and declaring he has “confirmed” the killing: “Anyone who’s mobile, moving in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed.”

The soldiers said that the commander had fired two shots at the girl from close range as she lay on the ground before withdrawing, turning and “emptying his magazine” by firing some 10 bullets at her body. This account is broadly confirmed by the terms of the indictment issued this week. [23]

The Commander, “Captain R.” was subsequently acquitted and within a few months promoted to the rank of major. To further compound the misery of the al-Hams family the former Captain received “82,000 New Israel Shekels (roughly $17,000) to compensate him for his defense expenditures and time spent in jail.” [24] [25]

The family’s lawyer summed their feelings in a statement to the press believing that “… the commanders and the soldiers who fired should all have been charged with murder.”

Israel Gaza Conflict Enters Fourth Week

A homeless Palestinian girl stands in a burnt classroom at a United Nations school after it was hit by Israeli shelling on January 17, 2009 in Beit Lahia. | Photo: UNRWA photographer Iyad El-Baba/Electronic Intifada

In the summer of the same year Israeli soldiers killed a 13-year-old Palestinian girl as she was playing football near her home in southern Gaza. “Medics said teenager Sara Mahmud Zurub was shot in the chest in an outlying neighbourhood of the city of Khan Yunis on Monday and died on the way to the hospital.” The report also lists a separate incident where soldiers “soldiers shot dead a 50-year-old Palestinian woman in the south of the territory. The army claimed it had fired towards a site where mortars were allegedly fired from.” [26]

4 year-old Raghda al-Assar died in September 2004 of wounds she sustained two weeks before. She had been shot in the head by Israeli soldiers while sitting at her desk at elementary UNRWA school, in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis: “The shooting began when Palestinian militants who oppose the Israeli occupation of Gaza launched a series of missiles at a nearby Jewish settlement. The UN says that the soldiers shot indiscriminately into the crowded refugee camp for more than half an hour.” “Headmistress Um Khalid says the incident has caused a lot of fear among her pupils, with some crying uncontrollably and others too afraid to come to school.” [27]

On the same day in Rafah, a 16-year-old Palestinian Mahmud Said Qishta, was playing outside his home in Rafah “when he inadvertently stepped on an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army.” He later died of his wounds. [28] Nor is this “careless” use of explosives exceptional. On Nov. 22, 2001, five Palestinian school boys ages 7 to 14 were on their way to classes in the Gaza strip when they were killed by a bomb planted by Israeli forces Palestinian children bid farewell to their deceased playmates, killed by a booby-trapped bomb planted on the path to their school by the child-killing Israeli army. [29]

While in March of 2008 in the Jabalya refugee camp 12 year-old Sami Abu Salem was killed by an Israeli sniper bullet. “An ambulance tried to reach her but Israeli soldiers opened fire at it, wounding a paramedic and causing the tires to lose air, and so she bled to death three hours after she was wounded.” [30]

Palestinian doctors and paramedics have been considered as targets by the Israeli military when attempting to rescue victims. In March 4, 2001 57-year-old Dr. Khalil Suleiman was killed while Israeli military opened fire on the ambulance attending to victims in the Jenin refugee camp. Three paramedics including a 9-year-old girl were wounded. [31] Tragedies and atrocities frequently occur at check-point crossing reminiscent of Nazi Germany: “An ill, one-year-old Palestinian baby died in his father’s arms on Sunday after the pair passed several hours under baking sun waiting to cross from the Gaza Strip into Israel, medics said. Ibrahim Abu Nahel and his father arrived at the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel at 8 a.m. on Sunday.” [32]

In 2008 Ramallah, an Israeli soldier received only 28 days confinement for causing the death of a Palestinian pre-term baby at a Hawara checkpoint near Nablus city. Israeli troops at the checkpoint “… prevented him and his pregnant wife from crossing the point in order to go to hospital despite the fact that his wife was bleeding. “… as they were waiting, his wife gave birth to their son Zaid who lived just for a few moments and after one hour and a half Palestinian paramedics arrived at the checkpoint and completed the birth process to save the life of his wife.” [33]

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Palestinian girls traumatised at funerals of relatives and siblings | AFP

Harassment by Israeli border guards and airport security officials also takes place in the jolly land of Palestinian occupied rule. Israeli officials have been strip-searching girls as young as seven inflicting humiliation and indignity upon Muslims and Christians under the amused gaze of Israeli armed guards. Like so much Israeli unofficial policy it serves as another tool of psychological torture that pressures Palestinians not to return to Palestine.

One example comes from Oregon attorney Hala Gores from a Palestinian Christian family in Nazareth who had to leave due to Israeli discrimination and was strip-searched at just 10 years-old: “Gores has never returned to her family’s ancestral home in Nazareth, she says, in part because she does not want to repeat the experience of having no control over what is done to her. The Israeli policy appears to target only Christian and Muslim children, and is equally applied to those with Israeli citizenship and citizenship in other countries, including native-born Americans. There are no reports of Jewish children being strip-searched.” [34]

Perhaps one of the worst years for children murdered in the operations mounted by the Israeli military in Gaza was from June – September, 2006. Figures from the Palestinian Centre of Human Rights (PCHR) [35] put’s the whole tragic mess into perspective:

  • Bara Nasser Habib, 3 (hit by shrapnel to the head and body, Gaza City, 26 July)
  • Shahed Saleh Al-Sheikh Eid, 3 days old (bled to death after airstrike, Al-Shouka, 4 August)
  • Rajaa Salam Abu Shaban, 3 (died of fractured skull in air raid, Gaza City, 9 August) 
  • Jihad Selmi Abu Snaima, 14 (killed by a shell, Al-Shoukha, 10 september)
  • Khaled Nidal Wahba, 15 months (died of wounds from an airstrike, 10 July)
  • Rawan Farid Hajjaj, 6 (killed with his mother and sister in an airstrike, Gaza City, 8 July)
  • Anwar Ismail Abdul Ghani Atallah, 12 (shot in the head, Erez, 5 July) 
  • Shadi Yousef Omar 16 (shot in the chest by IDF, Beit Lahya, 7 July)
  • Mahfouth Farid Nuseir, 16 (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
  • Ahmad Ghalib Abu Amsha, 16, (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
  • Ahmad Fathi Shabat, 16 (killed by missile while playing football, Beit Hanoun, 11 July)
  • Walid Mahmoud El-Zeinati, 12 (died of shrapnel wounds, Gaza City, 11 July)
  • Basma Salmeya, 16 (killed in Israeli airstrike, 12 July, Jabalia)
  • Somaya Salmeya, 17 (killed in Israeli airstrike, 12 July, Jabalia)
  • Aya Salmeya, 9 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
  • Yehya Salmeya, 10 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
  • Nasr Salmeya, 7 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
  • Huda Salmeya, 13 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
  • Eman Salmeya, 12 (killed in Israeli airstrike, Jabalia, 12 July)
  • Raji Omar Jaber Daifallah, 16 (died of shrapnel wounds from missile, Gaza City, 13 July)
  • Ali Kamel Al-Najjar, 16 (killed by Israeli tank shell, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 19 July)
  • Ahmed Ali Al-Na’ami, 16 (killed by Israeli tank shell, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 19 July)
  • Ahmed Rawhi Abu Abdu, 14 (killed by drone missile, Al Nusairat refugee camp, 19 July)
  • Mohammed ‘awad Muhra, 14 (killed by Israeli bullet to the chest, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, 20 July)
  • Fadwa Faisal Al-‘arrouqi, 13 (died from shrapnel wounds, Gaza City, 20 July)
  • Saleh Ibrahim Nasser, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 24 July)
  • Khitam Mohammed Rebhi Tayeh, 11 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 24 July)
  • Ashraf ‘abdullah ‘awad Abu Zaher, 14 (shot in the back, Khan Younis, 25 July)
  • Nahid Mohammed Fawzi Al-Shanbari, 16 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 31 July)
  • ‘aaref Ahmed Abu Qaida, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Beit Hanoun, 1 August)
  • Anis Salem Abu Awad, 12 (killed by airstike, Al-Shouka, 2 August)
  • Ammar Rajaa Al-Natour, 17 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
  • Kifah Rajaa Al-Natour, 15 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
  • Ibrahim Suleiman Al-Rumailat, 13 (killed by drone missile, Al Shouka, 5 August)
  • Ahmed Yousef ‘abed ‘Aashour, 13 (killed by missile fire, Beit Hanoun, 14 August)
  • Mohammed ‘Abdullah Al-Ziq, 14 (killed by drone missile, Gaza City, 29 August)
  • Nidal ‘abdul ‘aziz Al-Dahdouh, 14 (killed by rifle fire, Gaza City, 30 August)
  • Jihad Selmi Abu Snaima, 14 (killed by artillery fire, Rafah, 10 September

Not content in assassinating Palestinian youth the Zionist state imprisons children they do not kill. Human rights violations and forced labour form the basis of life inside prisons. From the authors of Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children prison is not only a central feature of Palestinian life, but part of Israel’s system of control “permeating every aspect of Palestinian life. It is a system backed by legal, political, economic, cultural and psychological structures, and designed to keep more than 3 million people under submission,” 600,000 Palestinians of whom have spent time in prison since 1967. [36]

The expertly researched book records the daily horrors of Palestinian children who are arrested: “… at checkpoints, on the street, or at their homes by heavily armed Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night. The soldiers take them to detention centres in Israeli settlements or military camps… the children are interrogated. This almost always involves some form of torture or abuse, including sleep and food deprivation, threatening language, beatings with heavy batons, being punched and kicked, as well as being tied in painful and contorted positions for long periods of time …” [37]

Astonishingly, a police state applies to Palestinians who are under military law whilst Israelis enjoy the privileges of their own civil law. Interrogation is then followed by a military court or virtual Star Chamber that decides the fate of children designed to try adults. This is due to “The [Israeli military] court’s definition of a child [being] a person who hasn’t yet reached the age of 14. A child between 14 and 16 ‘is a big child’ and if more than 16, an adult.” [38] Despite the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, defining a “child” as any individual under the age of eighteen years, for the Israeli military court system, this can be discarded according to their own whims and preferences. This means that a child of fourteen who has thrown stones at armoured tanks or soldiers equipped with riot gear and weapons with live rounds can be plucked from his bed at night, face a pseudo-military court, be tortured and abused and while absent for his or her trial, face many months in jail.

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Children a Rahfar border refugee camp – “the largest concentration camp”

Children often find themselves signing confession forms which are either entirely fictitious or distorted. In effect, these children are duped into signing false confessions along with a hefty fine rather than a release form. As all legal documents are in Hebrew as well as being terrified out of their wits it is little wonder that they end up part of the prison population rather than back with their families. Once the children are under prison control the absence of freedom exercised by Israeli military police even extends to bodily functions since “detainees are not allowed to use the toilet and are forced to relieve themselves while fully clothed in the presence of others.” [39]

Pretty much standard protocol in the use of torture.

Describing the pattern of invasive tactics that lead to detention, Murad Abu Judeh, a seventeen-year-old male resident of al-Arroub refugee camp in Hebron district, recalls:

We heard a very loud knock on the door … fifteen soldiers entered the house, three of them were masked and wearing civilian clothes. One of the masked soldiers asked me my name and for my ID card. I went to my room in order to bring the ID and one of the soldiers followed me. When I bent over to get the key for my drawer he kicked me on my back six times, pushing me to the ground. He searched my drawer, then grabbed me by my neck and took me back to the main room where I found the soldiers had upturned our furniture. The masked soldier whispered in my ear, “We’ll rape you one by one.” [40]

It is not just Palestinian children who have died in the continuing conflict that defines Arab-Israeli relations. Israeli children too have to shelter from the constant threat of Hamas fired missiles. Ambushes by Palestinian militants also occur though attacks on Israeli civilians are relatively uncommon by comparison. However, in one particularly brutal incident condemned by Amnesty international as a crime against humanity a pregnant mother of eight months and her four children were executed by a militant Palestinian group. [41]  Atrocities will happen when people have known nothing but violence and oppression since birth and when the total disregard for life is simply mirrored back to the perpetrators of the daily crimes from the Zionist state.

So, you see, maybe some Israelis and some Jews can celebrate in the confines of the cinema and enjoy the shedding of Nazi blood in cathartic kosher-porn of gore.  But when victims rule by perpetrating genocide upon their Arab neighbours who are in reality their brothers and sisters … Then it makes a mockery of remembrance; with Yahweh laughing down through the ages at the success of his child sacrifice. For some a promised land is worth thousands of children’s lives as long as they’re mostly Palestinian.

This post is dedicated to all those Israelis, Jews and Palestinians who join together to resist evil and work for peace.

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“Little Handala”


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Occupation1012Occupation 101

Occupation 101 – Official Movie (1 of 7) in High-Definition – New Digitally Remastered Version. Award-winning documentary film on the roots of the Palestine-Israel conflict and U.S. Government involvement.


The following graphs and many other details on the Israeli occupation can be found at www.ifamericansknew.org

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation. It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power – and duty – to bring a resolution.

Please click on any statistic for the source and more information.

Statistics Last Updated: March 5, 2014

Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed
September 29, 2000 – Present

129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that approximately 12 times more Palestinian children have been killed than Israeli children

Israelis and Palestinians Killed
September 29, 2000 – Present

Chart showing that 6 times more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis.

1,109 Israelis and at least 6,862 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

Israelis and Palestinians Injured
September 29, 2000 – Present

8,550 Israelis and 54,761 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information.)

Chart showing that Palestinians are injured at least six times more often than Israelis.

Daily U.S. Military Aid to Israel and the Palestinians
Fiscal Year 2013

Chart showing that the United States gives Israel $8.2 million per day in military aid and no military aid to the Palestinians.

During Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.5 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians. (View Sources & More Information)

UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
1955 – 1992

Israel has been targeted by at least 77 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by 1. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that Israel has been targeted by 77 UN resolutions, while the Palestinians have been targeted by 1.

Current Number of Political Prisoners and Detainees

Chart showing that Israel is holding 5,023 Palestinians prisoner.

0 Israelis are being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 5,023 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (View Sources & More Information)

Demolitions of Israeli and Palestinian Homes
1967 – Present

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and at least 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that 24,145 Palestinian homes have been demolished, compared to no Israeli homes.

Israeli and Palestinian Unemployment Rates

Chart depicting the fact that the Palestinian unemployment is around 4 times the Israeli unemployment rate.

The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.8%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 22.5% and 22.5% in Gaza. (View Sources & More Information)

Current Illegal Settlements on the Other’s Land

Israel currently has 262 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that Israel has 227 Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land.
Note:  All photos from the occupied territories courtesy of “Children of Palestine”  at Occupied Palestine. The photos are graphic and extremely disturbing. If you want to see the reality of Israeli occupation visited upon families in Palestine then look at these photos and channel this anger and outrage constructively – Seek to understand and raise awareness of these issues with others. Let’s end the dominance of psychopaths infiltrating our social systems and subverting them toward greed, poverty, war and ecological disaster.
 

Notes

[1] ‘Hollywood’s Jewish Avenger’ By Jeffery Steinberg, The Atlantic Magazine, September 2009. “Roth told me recently that Inglourious Basterds falls into a subgenre he calls “kosher porn.” “It’s almost a deep sexual satisfaction of wanting to beat Nazis to death, an orgasmic feeling,” Roth said. “My character gets to beat Nazis to death. That’s something I could watch all day. My parents are very strong about Holocaust education. My grandparents got out of Poland and Russia and Austria, but their relatives did not.”
[2] ‘Inglourious Basterds: When Jews Attack’ Daniel Mendelsohn, Newsweek. August 14, 2009.
[3] ‘Inglorious Indeed’. Tablet Magazine, by Liel Liebovitz, September 9, 2009.
[4] ‘Israelis go wild for Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds’ By Sara Miller, Haaretz, September 16 2009.
[5] ‘Remember these Children 2000’: a coalition of groups calling for an end to the killing of children and a fair resolution of the conflict. http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/
[6] B’Tselem, The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. (Visit their statistics page, last updated September 30, 2011.)
[7] The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has collected data on both Israeli and Palestinian injuries since 2005. Their Protection of Civilians: Casualties Database provides careful and detailed documentation for each recorded injury, including location, gender, age, type of weapon used, context and incident type, and nationality of both the offender and the injured.
[8] International Middle East Media Center, “Gaza’s Ministry Of Detainees: ‘There Are 5,300 Detainees Still Imprisoned By Israel’” (October 21, 2011)
[9] The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions estimates that 24,813 houses have been demolished in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since 1967 (as of July 28, 2010).
[10] CIA World Factbook on Israel, the CIA World Factbook on the West Bank, and the CIA World Factbook on Gaza. All 3 are the estimates for 2010.
[11] Americans for Peace Now’s “Facts on the Ground” Map Project, (www.peacenow.org) there are 171 official Israeli settlements and 101 informal outposts on Palestinian land. APN’s interactive settlement map shows the name, location, and population for each settlement and outpost on Palestinian territory, all of which are considered illegal under international law.
[12] op. cit. Shahak (p.76)
[13] ‘Israeli army murders 3-year-old girl inside her house’ Al-Jazeera, January 26, 2005.
[14] ‘Israelis Murder Palestinian Family: Mother and three children’ Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2002.
[15] Ibid.
[16] ‘Israelis Kill Baby Girl and School-Teacher, Wound Ten other Children in Refugee Camp’ New York Times, March 16, 2001, (p. A-10)
[17] ‘Israel: Investigate ‘White Flag’ Shootings of Gaza Civilians’ Internal Israeli Military Investigations Inadequate Human Rights Watch, August 13, 2009. / ‘Israel: Gaza Ground Offensive Raises Laws of War Concerns’ Both Sides Must Take ‘All Feasible Precautions’ to Protect Civilians, Human Rights Watch, January 5, 2009 | Massacre of Palestinian Women and Children – Israel’s “Cloud of Autumn” Massacre in Gaza, Global Research, November 10, 2006.
[18] American Educational Trust, 2005. http://www.remberthesechildren.org,
[19] ‘Israel raid ‘could be war crime’’ BBC News, 15 September 2008. / ‘Criticism of Israeli War Crimes Mounts’ by Jonathan Cook, January 10, 2009.
[20] “Israeli soldiers reveal official ‘hoot to kill’policy towards Palestinian civilians” By Rick Kelly, World Socialist Website, wsws.org, 15 September 2005. “The soldier explained how there was a general culture of impunity within his unit, including with regard to the killing of Palestinian children. The attitude was, ‘so kids get killed,’ he said. “For a soldier it means nothing.”
[21] ‘Palestinian doctors despair at rising toll of children shot dead by army snipers’ by Chris McGreal in Rafah, The Guardian, May 20, 2004.
[22] ‘Israelis fired on girl ‘having identified her as a 10-year-old’, military tape shows’ By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem, The Independent, 24 November 2004.
[23] Ibid.
[24] ‘Inquiry faults probe of Gaza girl’s killing’ By Amos Harel, Haaretz February 18, 2006.
[25] ‘Court: Iman al-Hams death may have been prevented’ Ynet News, January 7, 2007.
[26] ‘Israeli soldiers kill teenage girl’ 26 Jul 2004, Al-Jazeera.
[27] ‘Gaza’s tragic classroom casualties’ BBC News, 27 Sep 2004.
[28] Ibid.
[29] ‘On The Way To School,’ Gideon Levy, Haaretz, Nov. 26, 2001: “…places explosive charges where children are likely to pass and then claims that only the other side practices terrorism?”
[30] ‘Israeli sniper bullet takes 12-year-old girl’s life’ Diaries: Live from Palestine, Electronic Intifada, 9 March 2008,
[31] op. cit. Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2002.
[32] ‘Gazan baby dies after 4-hour wait to cross border’ Agence France Presse, August 27, 2007.
[33] ‘Israeli officer who caused death of Palestinian baby sentenced to 28 days’ September 13, 2008.
[34] ‘Humiliation and Child Abuse at Israeli Checkpoints Strip-Searching Children’ by Alison Weir, CounterPunch, March 15, 2007.
[35] ‘Gaza: The children killed in a war the world doesn’t want to know about’ By Donald Macintyre, The Independent, 19 September 2006.
[36] p.7; Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children by Catherine Cook, Adam Hanieh, Adah Kay, London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, in association with Defence for Children International: Palestine Section, 2004. | ISBN-10: 0745321615 | The authors of Stolen Youth worked for Defense for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI/PS) between 1999-2003. Their work is based on the human rights reports of B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Physicians for Human Rights, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, on the DCI/PS case files, the Israeli press, and their own research, the interviews and testimonies of children, lawyers, advocates, and families.
[37] op. cit. Cook, Hanieh and Kay (p.5)
[38] Ibid.
[39] op. cit. Cook, Hanieh, and Kay (p. 81)
[40] op. cit. Cook,Hanieh, and Kay (p. 53) [DCI/PS case file, 17A/2001].
[41] ‘Pregnant mum and four children gunned down’ The Sydney Morning Herald. May 3, 2004.
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