Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, February 2nd, 2018 - 60 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, child abuse, democracy under attack, International, israel, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ahed tamimi, lorde, palestine
Recent news from Israel makes you wonder about the State of Israel.
The first is about Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi. She recently celebrated her 17th birthday but unlike most teenagers she did this from behind bars. Why is she there? Because she hit and kicked Israeli soldiers. The blows were not hard and no injury was caused.
Why did she do this? To protest the continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israeli forces. And there are some very personal reasons. Her 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Fadl al-Tamimi was shot in the face a couple of days before the incident and badly wounded.
Israeli propagandists have accused her of engaging in performances designed to discredit the state of Israel. Funny really but shooting kids in the face and subjugating your people to tyranny and oppression can have an adverse effect on the way teenagers feel about a neighbouring state and make them behave in unusual ways.
She is still in custody.
The second is about three Israeli teenagers wanting to engage in legal action against a couple of Kiwis for urging Lorde not to play in Israel. The request was successful although proving causation would be very difficult to achieve. From Radio New Zealand:
Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs, and Nadia Abu-Shanab, from a Palestinian family, wrote an open letter to Lorde last year asking her to join the artistic boycott of Israel.
The singer later cancelled her concerts there.
“If Lorde had the guts to come here … she’d see Israel is the most democratic state … in the Middle East.” – Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Law firm Shurat HaDin was filing a case under an Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits against anyone calling for a boycott of the country, its lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said.
She said it would seek $US15,000 for “mental harm” to three 17-year-old teenage girls who were hurt by the cancellation of the show.
However, the two New Zealanders said in a letter they had not formally heard anything about it.
“As far as we are concerned, this ‘case’ has no legitimacy,” they said.
Strange that a supposed democratic state would pass a law purporting to make people in a foreign country liable in damages for exercising their right of freedom of expression guaranteed in that country.
The law centre involved, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, has close links to the Israeli Intelligence agency Mossad. From Vice:
The centre, which works under the tagline “BANKRUPTING TERRORISM—ONE LAWSUIT AT A TIME” pursues cases in international courts against Israel’s enemies. It has previously named Palestinian authorities, Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and North Korea as defendants in lawsuits it has brought.
The organisation has close links to Israeli intelligence organisation Mossad, according to the Law Centre’s head Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
Darshan-Leitner told Reuters last year that after her law centre began suing Palestinians over attacks during a revolt in 2000, she was invited to Mossad headquarters for a consultation.
“I explained to them what we do, how and where lawsuits are filed, what evidence and jurisdiction is required, the general rules,” she said. “Their response was: What do we have to do to file more lawsuits? What do you need?”
Darshan-Leitner told Reuters that contact evolved into regular briefings with the agency.
Andrew Geddis in his clear scholarly way has analysed the legal issues. His basic advice is that the law is problematic and that it is best for Justine and Naida to do nothing.
The contrast is juddering. Israeli teenagers can sue for compensation for not being able to go to a music concert. Palestinian teenagers can expect to be shot or detained if they stand up against Israeli tyranny.
If Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab are approached by Israeli lawyers can I suggest to them they use the response pioneered in the case of Arkell v Pressdram.
Update: A response from Justine and Nadia has been brought to my attention. They say:
With our open letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of millions of people across the world who are calling for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine. People who know the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a legitimate, non-violent strategy to pressure Israel into ending its occupation and apartheid regime. No intimidation tactics can or will stifle this growing movement. The reality of the situation speaks for itself. Today we’ve been overwhelmed with supportive messages from across New Zealand and the world. New Zealanders value fairness and being able to think for ourselves as a country. We won’t be told what to say. Instead of scaring us, these bullying tactics only embolden us and make it self-evident that there is a right and wrong in this situation. We are proud to stand for what is right.