Charlotte Silver

How Israel Gets Away with Torture.

Many in the West Bank are grieving over the hapless death of Arafat Jaradat, who was tortured to death in an Israeli prison. He has left behind a pregnant widow and two children. As Charlotte Siver writes for Al Jazeera:

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet's Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummeled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel's Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel's prisons. According to the prisoners' rights organization Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

Read the rest here.

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Comments on the article “Charlotte Silver”

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I don't understand how a culture which claims to have suffered so much during "The" holocaust can ignore the irony of their own infliction of suffering on others to the degree they oppress the Palestinians. It was European Jews, generations removed from the diaspora, who stole *most* of what they now claim as 'Israel' under the guise that it was justified as an earthly reward to an ancient claim, deserved for their modern history of suffering and oppression.

In the 19th century there were waves of legitimately returning Jews returning to legally purchased lands. After WWI the British laid claim to the area through political manipulation and collusion with the French. The Brits were pushed out, and when they retreated from power over the 'Mandate' the Jews seized the opportunity to prevail. With violence and financial backing from other wealthy Europeans, Israel was created while the Palestinians became the oppressed for existing in the way of a state promoted partly as a result of the Jews ostracism from Eurasia. Afterward, they have inflicted the very same conditions on the Palestinians which they have described as oppressive for themselves. Refugees from the 1967 war are denied the right of return that Israel extends to anyone how can prove Jewish ancestry, no matter how remote.

Israel slowly and quietly continues to expand its land claims in what it euphemistically refers to as 'occupied territories.' They have illegally annexed land in order to build a physical barrier, effectively ghettoizing Palestinians further, while they embargo economic activity, impoverishing Palestinian citizens, deny 'taxes' they collect 'for' the Palestinians and decrease the quality of health, health care, lifestyle and life of those who do not share the same religious conviction or maternal, mitochondrial DNA.

The Israeli power-elite has no more claim to the moral high-ground than the average Islamic fundamentalist. They are all proving that religion is like methamphetamine. It focuses ones attention reflexively, exclusively and destructively and renders entire groups incapable of identifying the common good. Judaism should be thrown back into the primordial soup of Social Darwinian failures. Vonnegut once observed that many dead people continue to walk around because they lack the requisite self-awareness to fall over. Goethe postulated that, God is dead. Israel is proving that Dostoyevsky was right when he supposed that the second coming would be met with a trial and conviction of the Messiah as a heretic.

Religion may hold personal value for anyone who chooses to study and internalize the philosophical and moral lessons inherent in its scripture, but when religion becomes a justification for the exercise of power over others, it reveals desires and the hypocrises of its masters.

Americans who support a fundamentalist religious states, of various forms and influences, halfway around the world, in a region where the U.S. government continues to perpetuate conflict should review their own constitutional history and national origin in order to reflect upon the legitimacy of such actions. All the prophetic religions of the Abrahamic tradition have become coercive political tools in the hands of selfish, manipulative, power-hungry people who claim the high ground while justifying racist politics and covert, immoral, offensive, illegal actors like CIA, ISA, Moussad, FSB, MI5, etc. to act with impunity.

Wake up and smell the roses.


The majority of religion isn't bad in and of itself, the harm comes from how people interpret and apply religious teachings.

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