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Human Rights Get Short Shrift in Israel

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Human Rights Get Short Shrift in Israel

Human rights in Israel aren't tolerated.

by Stephen Lendman

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) assesses human rights in Israel annually. It's 2012 report is "bleak." 

It's true in virtually every category assessed. Netanyahu and dominant Knesset hardliners spurn human and civil rights. They do so for Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and most Jews.

Neoliberal harshness is policy. So are hardline belligerence and institutionalized racism. Poverty, homelessness, and hunger harm growing numbers in society.

Conditions in Israel get worse, not better. Palestinians suffer most. Horrific conditions harm them. They're reflected in ruthless police state policies. Militarized occupation enforces them.

In 2012 alone, 557 Palestinian structures were lawlessly demolished. So were 172 homes. Over 1,000 Palestinians were displaced. Their land was stolen. Israeli policies mock fundamental freedoms. Palestinians have no rights.

Asylum seekers and African immigrants are relentlessly persecuted. Occupation harshness silences dissent. Affordable housing exists nowhere. Water is a precious luxury. Peaceful social protests face harsh crackdowns.

Israel's budget includes enormous amounts for rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades, toxic chemicals sprays, and other implements of police state repression.

Jews aren't exempt when they resist. In solidarity with Palestinians, they're treated harshly. Equity, justice, mercy, and fairness aren't in Israel's vocabulary. 

It's a model police state. It matches the worst of regional tyrannies. It mocks democratic governance. Israel tolerates none.

ACRI's 2012 came down particularly hard on housing. In Arab towns and villages, restrictive planning policies limit residential building. Effective development is prevented.

Many Israeli Arabs have no viable option. They're on their own to supply housing without means or ability to overcome onerous restrictions.

Bedouin communities face especially harsh treatment. In late summer 2011, forced Bedouin evictions began. Thousands in Israeli-controlled Area C were affected. They were ordered to leave. They were threatened with force if they refused.

They were displaced to a regional garbage dump. Their homes were demolished. They had no say. Israel wanted their land for Jewish development.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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