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Getting Away with Torture in Israel

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Getting Away with Torture in Israel

Torture is official Israeli and US policy.

by Stephen Lendman

Torture is illegal at all times under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions. Israel's Supreme Court ruled both ways. 

On the one hand, it banned torture. On the other, it permitted physical force in "ticking bomb" cases. At the time, Court President Aharon Barak claimed it saves lives. He authorized use of the "necessity defense" to get away with lawless practices.

He let Israel's attorney general determine guidelines. They constitute an a priori authorization to torture. International law is clear and unequivocal.

The UN Convention against Torture calls it:

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain and suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...."

Israel and America are the only modern states officially sanctioning torture. Doing so contradicts their own statute laws. 

International laws prohibiting torture are jus cogens. They're higher, compelling laws. No nation may pass laws permitting it. No courts may justify it. Jus cogens prohibitions allow no immunity from criminal liability.

Fourth Geneva's Article 27 states:

Protected persons "shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof...."

Articles 31 and 32 say:

"No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons." 

"This prohibition applies to....torture (and) to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents."

Fourth Geneva's Article 147 calls "willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment....grave breaches" under the Convention and are considered "war crimes."

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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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