The Cover-up Theater of the Occupation
After 50 years, one of the occupation's new innovations is doing things out in the open Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently declared that Breaking the Silence’s spokesperson was either a liar or a criminal. If he falsely confessed to beating a Palestinian, he’s a liar. If he spoke the truth, then he’s a criminal. However, Shaked elegantly neglected to raise a third option, which is the heart of the matter – that she and the other leaders of Israel’s justice system are either liars or criminals.
Indeed, when Shaked declares that the Israeli army investigates and handles “cases of violence,” she is not speaking the truth. The minister didn’t invent anything new in this regard. The military justice system, from the criminal investigation department through the military advocate general to the military courts, routinely waters down and covers up cases of injury, abuse and killing of thousands of Palestinians. That is how it’s been since the beginning of the occupation, how it’s been during the tenure of the current justice minister, and how it will probably be in the future. The army spokesperson waves around the few exceptions to this rule to lend credibility to this sophisticated system of cover-up.
However, the force of the lie – and the force of the crime – go much deeper. The Israeli justice system doesn’t see a problem with most of the reasons why Palestinians living under Israeli control are subjected to violence, dispossession and abuse. As far as generations of Supreme Court judges, justice ministers, attorneys general and military advocates general are concerned, the nature of Israeli policy – which embodies organized state violence that is wielded openly against Palestinians – is completely normative.
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Finkelstein in video interview:
What Really Happened in 1967
Free Speech on Israel - the story so far
With the rightward swing of British politics at full tilt, human rights is going out of fashion. That shining moral ideal, which emerged from two world wars and, through universal declarations and legal conventions underpinned an entirely new and hopeful world order is now being viewed in many quarters as just another "politically correct" indulgence of the privileged liberal elite.
But if your belief in fundamental freedom and dignity for all people extends to the Palestinians then it is not just the risk of ridicule which hangs in the balance, but your livelihood and reputation too.
Although only scantily reported, and even more poorly analysed, a wholesale attack on freedom of expression is taking place right now, here in the democracy-loving UK. It is malicious, it is strategic, and it is well-funded. Public life, in all its many civic and institutional forms is being slowly and not always so subtly bound into an intimidated silence about one of the most systematically and criminally racist regimes of the modern world.
This short films summarises some of the key issues arising from this dangerous development through the work of, and by way of introduction to, the Jewish-led campaign group, Free Speech on Israel.
[ Video-Clip (ca. 15 min.) ] [ Free Dpeech on Israel ]
Leaked report highlights Israel lobby’s failures
Key Israel lobby groups have conceded that they have failed to counter the Palestine solidarity movement, despite vastly increasing their spending. The admission is contained in a secret report that The Electronic Intifada has obtained.
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- Episode 1: Al Jazeera Investigations reveals how pro-Israel groups are trying to influence Britain’s youth.
- Episode 2: Undercover reporter joins a delegation from the Israeli embassy at last year’s Labour Party Conference.
- Episode 3: Undercover reporter witnesses a heated conversation between two opposing activists. The evidence raises serious questions about whether accusations of anti-Semitism are used to stifle political debate.
- Episode 4: The senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London discusses a potential plot to 'take down' British politicians - including a minister.