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Friday, 12 January 2018

Jewish Chronicle Hits a New Low - A Vile Article Attacking 16 year old Ahed Tamimi

Zionist 'Human Rights’ Lawyer’ Arsen Ostrovsky Defends the Israeli Army against Ahed 

 
Usually human rights lawyers defend the individual against the State.  In Israel it would seem that human rights lawyers defend the State against the individual.  But that would not be fair because Ahed’s lawyer Gaby Lasky has a fine record of standing up for the individual.

The Jewish Chronicle has managed to find the only 'human rights lawyer' in the world who defends State violence against a child because she 'provoked' them.  It's akin to having a feminist lawyer defending a rapist because his victim was also provocative.  The obscenity of the Jewish Chronicle and its far-Right Editor Stephen Pollard beggars belief.

Ostrovsky is the 'human rights lawyer' who is also Director of an Apartheid Institute        
Arsen Ostrovsky is Director of the Israeli Jewish Congress which tells us that its ‘vision is promoting the principle of Israel as the State of the Jewish People.’  In other words it is opposed to Israel being a state of its own inhabitants.  It is a strange form of human rights when you only defend the rights of one section of the population.  This is the Zionist version of human rights.
Zionist 'human rights lawyer' Arsen Ostrovsky - who defends the 'human rights' of the Israeli army against a 16 year old girl Ahed Tamimi
The Israeli Jewish Congress’s goal is ‘Promoting and strengthening the Jewish character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state as stated in the Proclamation of Independence.’  The problem is that Israel can either be a Jewish or a democratic state.  It can’t be both.  In practice as the new Jewish State Bill is making clear, Israel is a state of its Jewish citizens first and foremost.

If Ostrovsky is a human rights lawyer then Dr Harold Shipman was an example of medical ethics at their best.  And by the same token the Yorkshire Ripper was a committed supporter of women's liberation and Jimmy Saville was, as the BBC used to maintain, someone devoted to children’s rights. 

What is surprising is that so many Jewish people surrender their critical faculties when reading the Jewish Chronicle under its far-Right tabloid editor Stephen Pollard.  Pollard is better known for his defence of anti-Semites such as the Polish MEP Michael Kaminski, who is nonetheless an ardent supporter of Israel, as most anti-Semites today are.
Professor Mordechai Kedar - an advocate of rape against Palestinian women
In what is a new low, even for the Jewish Chronicle, the self-styled ‘Israeli human rights lawyer’ Arsen Ostrovsky decries the comparison of Ahed with Malala, the West’s favourite human rights symbol.  

Ostrovsky writes that ‘Well, for starters, Malala, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was shot in the head...’ What he didn’t say was that Ahed’s cousin Mohammed, just an hour before her confrontation with soldiers invading the grounds of her house, was also shot in the head and likewise nearly died.

Despite the acts of violence of the Israeli army against the Tamimi family, one of whom was murdered only this week, this despicable ‘human rights lawyer’ accused the Tamimis, who have a long history of opposition to colonialism going  back to the 1930’s of ‘provoking’ the Israeli army.  
Ben Caspit who wanted to 'exact a price in the dark, without witnesses or cameras' with a 16 year old girl
Ostrovsky is no difference from apologists for rape who argue that their clients were 'provoked' by the victim.  Ahed has herself been the subject of threats of rape and sexual violence.   Ma'ariv columnist Ben Caspit, a Zionist liberal mind, wrote in an article (Hebrew) that
“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, 
and what would you do with a 16 year old girl in the dark, without witnesses or cameras?  The threat of sexual violence barely needs stating because in Israeli society the threat of rape and sexual violence against Palestinians, including children, is ever present.  

Threats of rape and violence against Palestinian women are standard.  There is former Colonel Mordechai Kedar, a Professor at Bar Ilan University who argues that because of the 'honour' system amongst Palestinians, the threat of rape will deter the men from engaging in resistance.

'The ill-treatment of Palestinian minors held within the Israeli military detention system is “widespread, systematic and institutionalised,” a report by the UN children’s fund found.  Israeli Abuse Of Palestinian Children In Prison ‘Systematic,’ Says UN Report

According to the Jewish Chronicle's 'human rights lawyer' Ostrovsky it is those with guns who are ‘provoked’ by civilians who have the audacity to resent them trampling over their grounds, stealing their land and water and who fire tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrations.
Steven Pollard is happy to defend antisemites as long as they are pro-Israel like Michal Kaminski
If you want to sign this letter to the Jewish Chronicle please write to:  tonygreenstein104@gmail.com

Dear Editor,

Even by the Jewish Chronicle’s abysmal standards the attack on Ahed Tamimi by ‘human rights’ lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky was a disgrace.  [Give her an Oscar:  Ahed Tamimi has a track record in provoking the IDF], 5th January 2018]

Ahed is a 16 year old girl who has been detained without access to her parents or lawyers. Ostrovsky compares Ahed with Malala, who was shot in the head.  He fails though to mention that barely an hour before Ahed was filmed slapping a soldier her cousin, 15 year old Mohammed, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier.

Far from Ahed provoking Israel’s military, the soldier she slapped had entered the grounds of her home uninvited.  The provocation was entirely that of the soldiers.  Nabi Saleh, the village where Ahed lives has had its land and even its only spring confiscated for the use of the nearby settlement Halamish. 

Ostrovsky’s portrait of the Tamimi family as violent is outrageous.  They live under military rule. It is the Tamimis who have been subject to violence.  Only this week another cousin 17 year old Musab died after being shot in the neck.  Their father Bassem has been arrested 9 times and severely tortured. 

Ahed was dragged out of her bed at 4 am in the morning by soldiers.  This is an outrageous way to detain a child.  This could not and would not happen to a Jewish child. 

As Ha’aretz noted, when a Jewish settler Yifat Alkobi, who is an adult, slapped a soldier and engaged in five separate acts of violence, including throwing stones, she was bailed not imprisoned.  Ahed faces a 14 year prison sentence as she is tried in a military court that has a 99.74% conviction rate. 

Ahed’s only offence is to peacefully resist a violent occupation.  An occupation, the reality of which the Jewish Chronicle takes care not to report.

Yours faithfully,

Below is an excellent article by Jonathan Cook, the ex-Guardian journalist who lives in Nazareth, on who is the David and who is the Goliath.

Tony Greenstein


Jonathan Cook 8 January 2018

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.
Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.
She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.

Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors – has quickly become a social media icon.

While Ahed might have been previously unknown to most Israelis, she is a familiar face to Palestinians and campaigners around the world.

For years, she and other villagers have held a weekly confrontation with the Israeli army as it enforces the rule of Jewish settlers over Nabi Saleh. These settlers have forcibly taken over the village’s lands and ancient spring, a vital water source for a community that depends on farming.
Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

But few Israelis are so enamoured.

Not only does she defy Israeli stereotypes of a Palestinian, she has struck a blow against the self-deception of a highly militarised and masculine culture.

She has also given troubling form to the until-now anonymised Palestinian children Israel accuses of stone-throwing.

Palestinian villages like Nabi Saleh are regularly invaded by soldiers. Children are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, as happened to Ahed during her arrest last month in retaliation for her slaps. Human rights groups document how children are routinely beaten and tortured in detention.
Many hundreds pass through Israeli jails each year charged with throwing stones. With conviction rates in Israeli military courts of more than 99 per cent, the guilt and incarceration of such children is a foregone conclusion.

They may be the lucky ones. Over the past 16 years, Israel’s army has killed on average 11 children a month.

The video of Ahed, screened repeatedly on Israeli TV, has threatened to upturn Israel’s self-image as David fighting an Arab Goliath. This explains the toxic outrage and indignation that has gripped Israel since the video aired.

Predictably, Israeli politicians were incensed. Naftali Bennett, the education minister, called for Ahed to “end her life in jail”. Culture minister Miri Regev, a former army spokeswoman, said she felt personally “humiliated” and “crushed” by Ahed.

But more troubling is a media debate that has characterised the soldiers’ failure to beat Ahed in response to her slaps as a “national shame”.

The revered television host Yaron London expressed astonishment that the soldiers “refrained from using their weapons” against her, wondering whether they “hesitated out of cowardice”.

But far more sinister were the threats from Ben Caspit, a leading Israeli analyst. In a column, he said Ahed’s actions made “every Israeli’s blood boil”. He proposed subjecting her to retribution “in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, adding that his own form of revenge would lead to his certain detention.

That fantasy – of cold-bloodedly violating an incarcerated child – should have sickened every Israeli. And yet Mr Caspit is still safely ensconced in his job.

But aside from exposing the sickness of a society addicted to dehumanising and oppressing Palestinians, including children, Ahed’s case raises the troubling question of what kind of resistance Israelis think Palestinians are permitted.

International law, at least, is clear. The United Nations has stated that people under occupation are allowed to use “all available means”, including armed struggle, to liberate themselves.

But Ahed, the villagers of Nabi Saleh and many Palestinians like them have preferred to adopt a different strategy – a confrontational, militant civil disobedience. Their resistance defies the occupier’s assumption that it is entitled to lord it over Palestinians.

Their approach contrasts strongly with the constant compromises and so-called “security cooperation” accepted by the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.

According to Israeli commentator Gideon Levy, Ahed’s case demonstrates that Israelis deny Palestinians the right not only to use rockets, guns, knives or stones, but even to what he mockingly terms an “uprising of slappings”.

Ahed and Nabi Saleh have shown that popular unarmed resistance – if it is to discomfort Israel and the world – cannot afford to be passive or polite. It must be fearless, antagonistic and disruptive.

Most of all, it must hold up a mirror to the oppressor. Ahed has exposed the gun-wielding bully lurking in the soul of too many Israelis. That is a lesson worthy of Gandhi or Mandela.

|Published January 5, 2018

Gaby Lasky, the human rights attorney representing Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman, talks to +972 about what it means for a Palestinian to be put on trial in the occupier’s military courts, and some of the dangerous precedents being set.
By Joshua Leifer

Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky (C-L) speaks with her client sixteen-years-old Ahed Tamimi (2R) before she stands for a hearing in the military court at Ofer military prison near the West Bank of Ramallah, January 1, 2018. (Activestills)

The video of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi confronting two Israeli soldiers outside of her home in the village of Nabi Saleh has become ubiquitous, broadcast across every media platform for weeks. So have the pictures of Ahed, handcuffed and surrounded by guards in court. Posters of Ahed have even appeared on bus stops in London. What those images often fail to properly convey is that Ahed is being detained in a military prison and being tried in a military court, and how that differs from the way a minor would be treated in an Israeli civilian court.

Attorney Gaby Lasky represents Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman. Lasky, a former secretary general of Peace Now and a member of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council for the left-wing Meretz party, has spent much of the last decade defending Palestinians, many of them involved in the popular struggle against the occupation.

I spoke with Lasky on Thursday about the challenges of working in Israeli military court, where 99.7 percent of Palestinian suspects are convicted; about the cases against Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman; and about the structural injustices built into the Israeli legal system in the occupied territories.

The difficulty of Ahed’s case goes beyond the legal challenges Palestinians living under occupation face when arrested by the Israeli army, Lasky told me. “The video shows the essence of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” she stressed. Depending on where you stand, and perhaps who you are, watching the 16-year-old girl face down two heavily armed Israeli soldiers can reinforce either the Palestinian and Israeli narrative.

The following has been edited for length. 

What does it mean that the judge is wearing the same uniform as the prosecution?

The military court is not a court of justice in the regular sense; it’s an organ of the occupation. It perpetuates the occupation. Both the judge and the prosecution are wearing the same uniform, and are part of the same system, and the defense is not.

What are some of the obstacles in a case like Ahed’s that would be different if she were being tried in a civilian court?

First, it would be much, much easier to get her released from detention. I brought to court a lot of examples of adults who were released in cases where their offenses were greater than hers. [Civilian] courts in Israel do tend to release [suspects on bail]. Her being a minor would have made things even easier in an Israeli court. Cases in military court are more difficult from the get-go much because the laws are stricter, the charges are heavier, and rights are only partially protected.

But the difficulty with Ahed’s case is not only that we’re facing a military court; it’s the fact that the video shows the essence of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Someone can see the narrative of the Palestinians in that video, and on the other side, Israelis can see the narrative of Israel in that video.

When you talk about an offense in a regular court, you can always talk about the circumstances of the incident. In this case, the circumstances are a 16-year-old girl who was born into occupation. The military court doesn’t take those things into consideration. It’s not an issue that is brought to the table. It’s a given. But if you want to see the whole picture, you have to talk about these things.

What is the case against Ahed?

The most serious charges against her are the ones regarding the video incident. She has 12 different charges in her indictment regarding five different incidents. Regarding the video, she’s charged with assault of a soldier, disrupting the work of a soldier, and incitement.

She has other charges regarding stone-throwing but they are old — one of them is almost two years old. Nobody thought to report it or arrest her or question her at the time. The evidence against her regarding all of the other incidents was produced only after she was arrested and they found old pictures of Ahed [on her mother’s Facebook].

But it was only after her arrest that soldiers were asked to come and give testimony regarding what they saw two years ago. They were presented with these pictures after she was in every newspaper or television program, and then asked if they could identify her in a photo line-up. That’s how they obtained all of the evidence against her.

What is the case against Nariman, Ahed’s mother, who was arrested hours after her daughter? Would a civilian court ever consider live-streaming on Facebook as a form of incitement?

It’s really dangerous that the prosecution is implying that live-streaming is the worst form of incitement. It would mean that a reporter doing a live report at a demonstration where someone says, “come join us in the demonstration,” would constitute incitement in the eyes of the prosecution. What the prosecution is trying to do is very dangerous for freedom of the press.

Ahed’s case has been all over the news, getting a lot attention for a case in Israeli military court. But what aren’t we hearing about? What’s not getting out to the public?

Most people don’t know that the occupier has courts that put on trial people living under occupation just because they don’t follow the rules of the occupier. The Israeli public doesn’t want to hear about the occupation, and it’s the same for the court of the occupation.

It is amazing that a 16-year-old youngster has forced everyone to have an opinion about the occupation, to have to deal with the fact that people are born into occupation, that their rights are infringed upon, and that they’re taken to prison when they’re 16 years old for offenses that don’t merit detention in Israel.

Some in the Israeli public think the soldiers behaved as they should, others say they were humiliated. It was this humiliation that brought about Ahed’s arrest. But even so, everyone now has to deal with the occupation and what it does to the soldiers and to the people who live under occupation. Even without wanting to, Ahed’s case opened a door that has been closed for a long time for most of the public in Israel.

Joshua Leifer is an associate editor at +972 Magazine. 

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