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Israel: Profile of a Police State

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Israel: Profile of a Police State

Palestinians live daily under police state injustice.

by Stephen Lendman

Police states are defined by lawlessness, injustice, and contempt for democratic values.

Merriam Webster calls them "political unit(s) characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures."

Power trumps rights. Crackdowns enforce social control. Arrests, imprisonment, torture, and abuse are commonplace. Murder is committed with impunity. State terror is policy. 

Palestinians understand well. They've suffered horrifically for decades. Legitimate resistance is called terrorism. Nonetheless, they persist.

Courageous prison hunger strikers define them. They vow to keep struggling for justice. On May 9, hundreds of family members, supporters, and human rights activists protested in front of the UN's Ramallah office.

The international body has done nothing to help. Demonstrators chanted "(w)e don't want wheat or bread. We want the liberation of detainees." They demand UN officials intervene for justice.

Released hunger striker Khader Adnan called "surrounding the UN office....a daring move that aims at sending the detainees' message to the world." It's also a "move that sheds light on the suffering of the political prisoners."

After weeks of protest actions, Israel began negotiating. Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies head Fuad Al Khoffash called it "cheap bargaining."

Israel offers easily reversed concessions. Prisoners are released, then harassed and rearrested. Promises are made, then broken. Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands and wants things its way. Since 1967, Palestinians were denied all rights. Militarized occupation assures none.

Al Khoffash called Israel's move a maneuver. At issue is subverting unity and breaking the spirit of detainees. They chose "dignity over food." They won't tolerate manipulation. They've been through this before. Harshness masquerades as concessions. Those made are then broken.

On May 7, Israel's High Court spurned justice. In response to an urgent appeal to save Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, they ruled let 'em die. On May 10, both men reached hunger strike day 73. 

They face imminent death. Neither committed crimes. They're wrongfully imprisoned. So are thousands of other Palestinians. 

Israel's High Court won't intervene. Reasons given are spurious. Right-wing justices work cooperatively with Netanyahu hard-liners. Palestinians behind or outside prison walls don't have a chance.

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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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