Sunday, August 28, 2011

"How Israel takes its revenge on boys who throw stones" by

From the Independent, Here.

"The boy, small and frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one point slumping on to his chest. "Lift up your head! Lift it up!" shouts one of his interrogators, slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his parents at two that morning. "I wish you'd let me go," the boy whimpers, "just so I can get some sleep."


There are many Palestinian children in the West Bank villages in the shadow of Israel's separation wall and Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands. Where largely non-violent protests have sprung up as a form of resistance, there are children who throw stones, and raids by Israel are common. But lawyers and human rights groups have decried Israel's arrest policy of targeting children in villages that resist the occupation.

In most cases, children as young as 12 are hauled from their beds at night, handcuffed and blindfolded, deprived of sleep and food, subjected to lengthy interrogations, then forced to sign a confession in Hebrew, a language few of them read.


Child detention figures

7,000 [Figure corrected, with apologies for earlier production error.] The estimated number of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts since 2000, shows a report by Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP).

87 The percentage of children subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody. About 91 per cent are also believed to be blindfolded at some point during their detention.

12 The minimum age of criminal responsibility, as stipulated in the Military Order 1651.

62 The percentage of children arrested between 12am and 5am."

This is part of the truth about the state that America supports, not just with the weight of our declining power but with $3 billion dollars in taxpayer aid per year. Trying to excuse the behavior of Israel because of the Holocaust is obscene in the extreme. Uncritical support of Israel reminds me of a book that lauded Communist Albania, in that the majority of the book focused on the struggle of Albanian people throughout history to maintain their identity, as well their attempts at self government. Very little of it actually dealt with the reality of Albanian life in the present. The sections that did were interwoven with a romanticism about Albania's past that served to whitewash what the brutality of the current regime looked like.

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