Israel moves on child justice

The Editor
The Australian


Your editorial of 11 February says of Israel’s illegal midnight abduction, detention and torture of Palestinian children: “To understand the problem in context, it needs to be acknowledged that the Israeli army faces constant and often dangerous provocation in the area, with children in the vanguard of stone-throwing and violence.”

By your logic, the stone-throwing children in Soweto and other bantustans were to blame and not their Afrikaan occupiers! Occupation, colonisation and the replacement of an indigenous population by the occupying nation’s people has always been achieved and maintained by state violence and overwhelmingly superior military force. Why are you surprised that the children of an occupied indigenous people with no army or access to international courts of justice respond to their occupiers’ tanks, bulldozers, attack dogs, snipers and arbitrary detention policies with stones?

The editorial then makes the amazing claim: “In mainstream Israel, the Middle East’s only functioning democracy, children born to parents of a Palestinian background have the same legal, educational, health and other rights as Jewish children.” You seem unaware that about 1.2 million Palestinian Israelis, those who Israel did not succeed in expelling in 1948 and who make up 20 percent, or one-fifth, of Israel’s population, have second-class citizenship within Israel, which defines itself as a Jewish state rather than a state for all its citizens. More than 20 provisions of Israel’s principal laws discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against non-Jews, according to Adalah: The Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel.

Yours truly

David Albuquerque
QLD 4115

Mob: 0447 523 295

See Israel moves on child justice

WISELY, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has moved swiftly to correct the worst excesses of the treatment of Palestinian children under the military justice system that has operated on the West Bank since 1967. These have been exposed in a joint investigation by The Australian’s Middle East correspondent John Lyons and the ABC’s Four Corners.

The practices alleged were inhumane. They were also counter-productive. Arresting children at midnight, taking them away from their parents, denying them legal representation during interrogations, locking them in solitary confinement and in metal cages during snowstorms has undoubtedly turned them into implacable enemies for life, in one of the world’s most volatile regions. It’s little wonder, as US President Barack Obama warned, that Palestinian children on the West Bank grow up regarding the Israeli Defence Forces as a “foreign” army….

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