The world could learn a lesson or two from the resolve Palestinians show against the Israeli apartheid state.
Palestinian prisoners held without trial or charge have launched a boycott of Israel’s military courts in the occupied West Bank, as prisoner groups warn that one detainee on hunger strike faces “imminent danger of death”.
“Israeli military courts are an important aspect for the occupation in its system of oppression,” the detainees said, describing the courts as a “barbaric, racist tool that has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people
These Palestinians, in addition to the hunger strikes, have refused to show up to their court arraignments to delegitimize Israeli military courts for their continued oppression. And the Palestinians aren’t the only ones that have an issue with the idea of Israeli law (or lack thereof).
According to Michael Lynk, a United Nations human rights expert, the way Israel conducts justice is an abomination to the democratic process.
Israel should release a Palestinian detainee who has been on hunger strike for close to 90 days and end its practice of administrative detention, under which people can be held indefinitely without trial, sometimes for years.
…“Administrative detention is an anathema in any democratic society that follows the rule of law,” Lynk said. “When the democratic state arrests and detains someone, it is required to charge the person, present its evidence in an open trial, allow for a full defence and try to persuade an impartial judiciary of its allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
While Mr. Lynk’s conclusions back the Palestinian detainees’ cause, he seems to have overlooked something important: Israel doesn’t play by the books. Israel has enjoyed masquerading as a “state” that abides by democratic processes while in actuality not implementing even the basic tenets of fair and honest jurisprudence.
Israeli authorities also maintain parallel criminal justice systems for settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities try Palestinians charged with crimes in military courts, where they face a conviction rate of nearly 100 percent.
In Israel, the motto isn’t “innocent until proven guilty,” as is touted by its Western condoners. The motto is “guilty if Palestinian.” Is it any wonder why these Palestinian prisoners refuse to go to court where they know they’ll end up convicted as guilty regardless of their innocence?
Participating in a sham juristic system only embellishes the twisted sadistic notion that Israeli occupiers have of being morally superior to the rest of the Middle East and is an insult to human intelligence.
The boycott comes as the health of Hisham Abu Hawwash – on his 141th day on hunger strike on Tuesday in protest against his administrative detention since October 2020 – continues to severely deteriorate.
The 40-year-old is the latest in a string of prisoners who in recent months have refused food and water to demand their freedom. Many of them reached a critical stage and were hospitalised for long periods until Israeli authorities agreed to release them on a fixed date.
The desperate measures that these prisoners go through to have their message heard are reminiscent of the oft undue American-attributed “give me liberty or give me death.”
These prisoners are willing to risk their lives for each others’ freedoms and to make a point on the international stage about what tyrannical Israeli occupation entails. This is a stark contrast to Western advocacy regarding LGBTQ, veganism, and other superficial causes.
Under the banner, “Our decision is freedom … no to administrative detention,” administrative detainees said in a statement their move comes as a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces”.
They also noted that Israel’s use of the policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children, and elderly people.
We hear the phrase “never again” when it comes to anti-Semitism directed towards those of the Jewish faith, but why does this not extend to Palestinians?
Surely, women and children, at the very least deserve to be protected. Wouldn’t Israelis agree?
For the sake of human decency, “never again” should apply to all races and not used as a catch phrase to let Israeli Zionists kill and cull others with impunity.