Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Categorized List of B'Tselem Reports Documenting Israel's Violations of International Human Rights

If you ever need factual documentation and eyewitness accounts of Israel's past and continuing violations of the human rights of Palestinians, I have listed below a categorized list of the titles of Reports from B'Tselem sent to me from 2001 to 2014.  Some in the media devote much time to the issue of the illegal settlements which is appropriate but there are so many other inhumane aspects of the occupation that get overlooked and are barely covered.   

B’TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in February 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members to document human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

Titles of Some B’Tselem Reports from 2001 to 2014

Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank; May 2002; 140 pages
Jewish Settlements in the West Bank: Built-up Areas and Land Reserves; May 2002; Map
Hebron, Area H-2: Settlements Cause Mass Departure of Palestinians; August 2003; 45 pages
The Hidden Agenda: The Establishment and Expansion Plans of Ma’ale Adummim and their Human   Rights Ramifications; December 2009; 58 pages
By Hook and Crook: Israel Settlement Policy in the West Bank; July 2010; 69 pages

Dispossession and Exploitation: Israel’s Policy in the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead Sea; May 2011;  59 pages
 Means of Expulsion: Violence, Harassment and Lawlessness against Palestinians in the Southern Hebron Hills; July 2005; 59 pages
Ghost Town: Israel’s Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron; May 2007; 107 pages

Forbidden Families: Family Unification and Child Registration in East Jerusalem; January 2004; 41 pages
Barred from Contact: Violation of the Right to Visit Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons; September 2006; 49 pages
So Near and Yet So Far: Implications of Israel-Imposed Seclusion of Gaza Strip on Palestinians’ Right to Family Life; January 2014; 67 pages
Perpetual Limbo: Israel’s Freeze on Unification of Palestinian Families in the Occupied Territories; July 2006; 49 pages

Policy of Destruction: House Demolitions and Destruction of Agricultural Land in the Gaza Strip;  February 2002; 45 pages
Through No Fault of Their Own: Punitive House Demolitions during the al-Aqsa Intifada; November 2004; 66 pages

Standing Idly By: Non-Enforcement of the Law on Settlers – Hebron 26-28 July 2002; August 2002; 20 pages
Foreseen But Not Prevented: The Israeli Law Enforcement Authorities Handling of Settler Attacks on Olive Harvesters; November 2002; 32 pages
Void of Responsibility: Israel Military Policy Not to Investigate Killings of Palestinians by Soldiers;  October 2010;  53 pages

Caution Children Ahead: The Illegal Behavior of the Police Toward Minors in Silwan Suspected of Stone Throwing; December 2010; 32 pages
No Minor Matter:  Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors Arrested by Israel on Suspicion of Stone Throwing; July 2011; 79 pages

Ground to a Halt: Denial of Palestinians’ Freedom of Movement in the West Bank;, August 2007; 118 pages
Access Denied: Israeli Measures to Deny Palestinians Access to Land Around Settlements; September 2008; 80 pages

Forbidden Roads: Israel’s Discriminatory Road Regime in the West Bank; August 2004; 55 pages

Behind the Barrier: Human rights Violations as a Result of Israel’s Separation Barrier; March 2003; 41 pages
Facing the Abyss: The Isolation of Sheikh Sa’ad Village Before and After the Separation Barrier; February 2004; 25 pages
Not All it Seems: Preventing Palestinians Access to Their Lands West of the Separation Barrier in the Tulkarm-QalQiliya Area; June 2004; 26 pages
Arrested Development: The Long Term Impact of Israel’s Separation Barrier in the West Bank; October 2012; 78 pages
 A Wall in Jerusalem: Obstacles to Human Rights in the Holy City; Summer 2006; 31 pages

Foul Play: Neglect of Wastewater Treatment in the West Bank; June 2009; 45 pages

Absolute Prohibition: The Torture and Ill-Treatment of Palestinian Detainees; May 2007; 104 pages
Without Trial: Administrative Detention of Palestinians by Israel and the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law; October 2009; 74 pages
Kept in the Dark: Treatment of Palestinian Detainees in the Petah Tikva Interrogation Facility of the Israel Security Agency; October 2010; 67 pages

Excessive Force: Human Rights Violations during IDF Actions in Area A; December 2001; 82 pages
Wounded in the Field: Impeding Medical Treatment and Firing at Ambulances by IDF Soldiers in the Occupied Territories; March 2002; 31 pages
Trigger Happy: Unjustified Shooting and Violation of the Open-Fire Regulations during the al-Aqsa Intifada; March 2002; 53 pages
Lethal Curfew: The Use of Live Ammunition to Enforce Curfew; October 2002; 33 pages
Human Shield: Use of Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields in Violation of High Court of Justice Order; November 2002; 21 pages
Harm to Medical Personnel: The Delay, Abuse and Humiliation of Medical Personnel by Israeli Security Forces; December 2003; 30 pages
Take No Prisoners: The Fatal Shooting of Palestinians by Israeli Security Forces during “Arrest Operations”; May 2005; 48 pages

One Big Prison: Freedom of Movement to and From the Gaza Strip on the Eve of the Disengagement Plan; March 2005; 79 pages
Act of Vengeance: Israel’s Bombing of the Gaza Power Plant and its Effects; September 2006; 35 pages
Al-Mawasi, Gaza Strip, Intolerable Life in an Isolated Enclave; March 2003; 25 pages


Human rights in the Occupied Territories; 2011 Annual Report; 63 pages

Monday, March 20, 2017

UN ESCWA Report on Israel Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

Excerpt from the Executive Summary

I may be prepared to scan the entire document in at some time in the future but since the United Nations (under pressure from the Trump Administration) has deleted the Report of the UN ESCWA which found that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, I wanted to immediately print the first and last paragraph of the Executive Summary, also deleted from the UN website. When you follow the links to both of them on the UN website, you get the message PAGE NOT FOUND.

This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.

The report concludes that the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity, the prohibition of which is considered jus cogens (note - peremptory principles or norms from which no derogation is permitted). The international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies, and Member States, have a legal obligation to act within the limits of their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention. More specifically, states have a collective duty: (a) not to recognize an apartheid regime as lawful; (b) not to aid or assist a State in maintaining an apartheid regime; and (c) to cooperate with the United Nations and other States in bringing apartheid regimes to an end. Civil society institutions and individuals also have a moral and political duty to use the instruments at their disposal to raise awareness of this ongoing criminal enterprise, and to exert pressure on Israel in order to persuade it to dismantle apartheid structures in compliance with international law  The report ends with general and specific recommendations to the United Nations, national Governments and civil society and private actors on actions they should take in view of the finding that Israel maintains a regime of apartheid in its exercise of control over the Palestinian people.

The entire report can be found here. One of the recommendations for National Governments of Member States in the full report is:
National Governments should support boycott, divestment and sanctions activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Message for Congressman Moulton who Voted for House Resolution 11

Hi Peter Billerbeck,

I received a letter from Congressman Moulton dated February 6, 2017, in which he explains why he voted in favor of House Resolution 11.

Let me tell you why I strongly disagree with the contents of this letter..

The letter limits the charges against Israel to its expansion of settlements and attempts to set up some equivalency between that and the sporadic violence of Palestinians.

This is an incredibly narrow view of what Israel has done.

You and the Congressman have letters and emails from me describing 50 years of Israel’s oppression and violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories including not only the illegality of the occupation and the settlements but also:  distributing water unequally denying Palestinians fair access to minimal water while allowing ample water to squatters for irrigation and pools, stealing land and taking control over 40% of the West Bank; destroying over 48,000 homes and other structures since 1967 (very few for security reasons); building a wall, 85% inside the green line separating families from their lands, schools and businesses; overlooking squatters and the IDF destroying 800,000 olive trees; illegally establishing one (military) law for Palestinians and another (Israeli) law for squatters; failing to enforce criminal laws against squatters while punishing Palestinians for the same actions; illegally restricted movement by constructing many checkpoints and physical barriers (many unrelated to security concerns resulting in difficulty in getting to jobs and medical assistance); holding thousands of Palestinians, sometimes more than a year, without ever charging them with a crime. In addition Israel has on four occasions since 2006, chosen to invade Gaza, using excessive force, including in 2014, killing over 2000 Palestinians, mostly women and children and two-thirds civilians, and destroying or damaging over 96,000 houses and structures.

The letter states that the shared goal is reaching resolution between the parties of this two-sided conflict. The solution is NOT a resolution between only the two parties. In this case where one side has been an oppressor for 50 years and has been the subject for 50 years of condemnation from the UN, often supported by the US, the solution is world pressure on Israel (including especially the BDS movement) to cease and desist from violating the human rights of Palestinians.

In addition the letters states that the H. Res. 11 “correctly emphasizes that the only path to a lasting peace between the Israeli and the Palestinian people is a durable two-state solution where both sides can safely live side-by-side.” Wrong again! There is increasing acknowledgement (including an op-ed by Thomas Friedman) that because of Israel’s 50 year illegal settlement policy, the two-state solution is dead. It is time to explore possible structures for one democratic state, such as a federation, where  all residents have equal rights.

I apologize for the delay in responding to the letter but I was vacationing until yesterday in southern Arizona. While there I had the opportunity to visit the Tohono O’odham reservation and its cultural center as well as other museums created by American Indians. One learns or is reminded of the  cruel treatment of them by non-American Indians including: maps showing the small fraction of land given to them after most of it was stolen; the forced marches, including the “trail of tears”, endured as they were evicted from their lands and sent to reservations (refugee centers?); the attempted forced “civilization” of the “savages” by shipping off children to boarding schools hundreds of miles from their homes in order to help them forget their culture; and many other violations of American Indian human rights. The results can be seen today in the sad picture of poverty, alcoholism and diabetes on most reservations. There are also, of course, stories about the violence of American Indians such as Geronimo against newly arrived immigrants to their lands.

I mention that, obviously, because there is a great similarity between what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians and what “we” did to the American Indians.

We are today enlightened, perhaps, and would not have so easily have justified the violations of American Indians human rights by saying their violence was the same as our taking of their lands to build towns for our settlers from Europe and elsewhere.

Nor is it likely, except in some parts of the country, to say today that the two parties – American Indians and Europeans should have met and established two-states, one for the American Indians and one Christian state for the non-American Indian settlers..

I would ask Congressman Moulton to consider these thoughts the next time he is about to take a position on an issue involving the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

I am also concerned, based on the letter I received, that the Congressman may not be taking full advantage of a number of individuals, both constituents and others in the Boston area, who can provide him with a wealth of facts about the Palestine/Israel conflict.

I invite you to contact me at your convenience so that I can provide you with contact information about some of them.

Thank you and the congressman for your efforts for peace with justice.

Ron Fox