By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Sicht vom Hochblauen, 10
January 2018, English translation by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik.
We seem to be used to cruel images showing
children in the middle of wars, misery, and starvation. Calls for donations for
children in Yemen, Syria, or Africa are often made. But what has become more
apparent is that images of Palestinian children under Jewish occupation are
almost never shown, and calls for donations are never made.
After the cruel
images of the 50-days Israeli orgy of violence against Gaza “Protective Edge,”
during which among the 2.205 murdered Palestinians there were also 480 children
to be mourned and thousands of others injured including hundreds severely
injured to the extent of being handicapped for the rest of their lives. These
children never made the news headlines. Not to mention the countless orphans
Even if the
tragedy of the predicted uninhabitability of the destroyed Gaza Strip becomes
apparent — the promised reconstruction by the “community of values” has yet to
happen — the urgent necessity for medical aid is another
the school education system remains under the Israeli blockade and at the hands
of the Israeli regime, but only a small part of the media covers this reality.
reality is the military detention of Palestinian children who are exposed to
physical and psychological violence without any protection. For the Israeli
military law, the compliance with children’s rights during interrogations in
the illegally occupied Palestinian territories does not exist at all. Children
who are arrested because they throw a stone, are exposed to the occupation
power without any protection and may get maximum penalties up to 20 years
because of their resistance.
defence soldiers” treat Palestinian children without any respect. These
children are just struggling for their freedom. The shameful occupation policy
of collective punishment does not exclude children and is applied with brutal
force. For this purpose, also dogs, in particular German shepherds, are used to
chase frightened children. This reminds me the stories of my father of his
times in the Nazi concentration camp. There similar methods were used against
frightened Jewish prisoners.
settlers are protected by “Jewish defence soldiers,” defenceless Palestinian
children are exposed to settler violence. All additional announcements of
authorisations of new settler home units is exacerbating the situation.
Violence, intimidation, and humiliation in the illegally occupied
Palestine happens daily and is accepted by the hypocritical “community of
values” without any criticism. Even statements by the activists of “Breaking
the Silence,” which should shake everybody, have remained without any
consequences up to now.
policy of arbitrarily imprisoning Palestinian
children is horrifying and is not restricted to minors. According to the
Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghuti, since 2000, 12.000 Palestinian children
between 12 and 17 have been arrested by the “Jewish security forces,” for minor
offences like throwing stones and that number has since dramatically increased
Organisations for the protection of children
such as DCIP (Defence for Children International-Palestine) have published
research studies which prove that children’s rights are violated after their
arrest and interrogation as for example with regards to information about their
rights including the right to have a parent or solicitor present.
according to the UN children rights convention every child has the right to be
visited by the family, this right can also be denied for weeks to the
Palestinian kids in prison. The child welfare organisation UNICEF, which
referred to “children’s mistreatment” in 2013 as a “diffused, systematic and
institutionalised phenomenon,” with the additional damning
verdict that: “there is no other country in the world where children are
systematically brought before the military tribunal.” B`Tselem has also
denounced the double standards in the treatment of Jewish/Israeli and
Palestinian children. Israeli children are not sentenced to prison.
This state of
affairs is reflected in the racist discrimination in the illegally occupied
West Bank where there are two parallel “legal systems”: while for the Judaic
settlers and land occupiers the Israel civil law is applied, the Palestinian
occupied population is sentenced according to military law. According to the
Israeli civil law, children are criminally responsible from the age of 14,
while according to the military law, Palestinian children are
criminally responsible from the age of 14. While an Israeli guy is treated as
an adult before the civil court at the age of 18, a Palestinian is treated as
an adult before the military court at the age of 16. Welcome to the “Jewish
organisations have been criticising this treatment for a long time, by pointing
to the traumas of children and young people because they are almost always arrested
during the night, when hordes of “Jewish defence soldiers” surround houses to
attack them, to arrest the alleged stone-thrower, by denying parents to
accompany the kid.
They also do
not stop at the destruction of Palestinian property and in 20% of the cases
violence is applied. As Palestinian solicitors regularly report, during
interrogations a confession is forced. In some cases, Israeli authorities do
not even stop at threats of sexual violence. With this threat, for Israeli
security forces it is an easy game to force a confession. After up to 6 months
provisional detention according to military jurisdiction the frightened kids
and young people confess to almost anything, if you consider that they are also
without legal assistance.
of innocence does not apply to Palestinians and the release on bail is denied
in the majority of the cases. What remains, are traumatised children. The
“Jewish State” signed the children’s rights convention, but this convention is
just valid for Jewish-Israeli children, while Palestinian children living under
occupation are defenceless.
childhood, Palestinian children have known nothing apart from a horrifying
daily life under occupation with check points, humiliations, arbitrariness, and
indignity. If they oppose the arbitrary confiscation of Palestinian property,
land, or houses of their families by throwing stones, they are put into jail.
Now an image is
doing the rounds: the photo of Ahed Tamimi, a wonderful Palestinian girl,
defying the ugly symbol of injustice, by slapping the face of an Israeli “defence soldier,” Ahed
Tamimi comes from a famous family of the Palestinian resistance against Zionist
occupation: parents, uncle and aunt have been arrested; another uncle was
killed, and a cousin lays in a coma after a headshot. This last person was the
trigger of the actual resistance actions. However, the story had already begun
in 2009, when the inhabitants of the Palestinian village Nabi Saleh protested
against the land and resource grabbing for the illegal extension of the Jewish
settlement of Halamish.
representation in the German media of the heroic family with their unbending
resistance against the illegal Jewish occupation cannot be taken seriously. The
“slapping” Ahed Tamimi is the pure image of the resistance. And neither the
media nor Israeli right-wing extremist politicians can drag it through the mud.
slap, in the night, the henchmen of the occupation, dragged this brave,
courageous girl from her bed. They arrested her like a criminal. And up to
today, she has been in prison. She has to appear before a military court. While
war minister Lieberman is foaming with rage, and wishes her, her parents, and
her “environment” all imaginable penalties, the uneducated minister of
education Bennett calls for “life imprisonment.” A real state under the rule of
law, this Israeli state of occupiers!!
context, I recommend the Guardian comment by Harriet Sherwood, in contrast to
the German media report. (1) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/02/ahed-tamimi-israel-occupation-palestinian-trauma
The same can be said about
the homicide of the wheelchair user Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who lost both legs
during an air raid of the “Jewish Star of David bombers” in 2008, and was shot
to death by “Jewish defence soldiers” in December, after the protests in the
Gaza Strip. The inhuman response of the army after the investigation succinctly
read: “No moral or professional error was determined.” Like Ahed Tamimi’s
photo, also this image did the rounds as symbol of Palestinian heroism against
the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
I would like to know how
long it will take for the German government and the EU to oppose these Israeli
crimes including crimes against international law and human rights, committed
by the so called “only” democracy of the Middle East, and by the so called
“most moral” army of the world.
Jerusalem decision, every day the Netanyahu regime announces new violations
against international law and human rights, the construction of thousands of
new settler units, the elimination of the relief organisation of Palestinians
and the travel bans for representatives of NGO like “Jewish Voice for Peace”
and of the BDS movement (2) http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/boycott/israeli-government-publishes-full-anti-bds-blacklist/2018/01/07/.
It is surprising that
considering this horrifying Israeli cabinet, the CDU/CSU faction is inclined to
submit a decision to the Bundestag, exactly on 27 January, to threaten with
expulsion all Muslim immigrants who call for Jewish hatred, refuse Jewish life
in Germany or doubt about the existence right of Israel.
In my opinion,
this is just shameful news that avoids
any criticism against Israel! As expected, the president of the Central Council
of German Jews Schuster was excited. He supports the request and thinks that
such a law will protect democracy in Germany.
Mr Schuster, I can do
without this “protection,” since democracy in Germany is at risk because
of Jewish officials like you, who do not dissociate themselves from the Jewish
anti-democratic crimes, committed in the “Jewish State” and turn the mood
against Muslim refugees. You are a shame for all other Jewish citizens in
Germany who still have some decency.
And you, Chancellor
Merkel, defending “Jewish-Christian values”, stand for democratic values in the
“Jewish State,” since the crimes committed in the Jewish State are not
“self-defence,”, but Israeli cruelties you cannot blandish!
After Ibrahim Abu
Thurayeh’s image, the photo of Ahed Tamimi is also doing the rounds. The
legitimate Palestinian resistance is unbroken, and we will support it!