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Israel's Proposed Counterterrorism Law

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Israel's Proposed Counterterrorism Law - by Stephen Lendman

The law is another repressive police state measure.

In recent years, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) increasingly warned about infringements of democratic freedoms in Israel. 

Major concerns involve undermining free expression, human dignity, equality, pluralism, freedom of assembly and right to protest, and whether certain positions can be declared illegitimate, despite the democratic right of anyone to profess them.

Another major concern is Israel's proposed counterterrorism law. On August 3, it passed its first Knesset reading. It proposes to make current "state of emergency" measures against terrorism permanent law, including administrative detentions, control orders, and broad definitions of "terrorism" and "terror organizations."

The law smacks of police state justice that should worry dwindling numbers of less extreme MKs and all Israelis. Of course, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs already experience Israeli terror. Perhaps Jews will soon learn firsthand how unjustly repressive.

According to ACRI attorney Lila Margalit:

"(T)he bill includes elements that may lead law-abiding individuals and organizations to be deemed as 'terrorists.' (It) grants the State draconian and unchecked authority to take extreme measures against individuals and organizations without due process, on the basis of suspicion alone, without guaranteeing the minimal right of self-defense in court. The bill therefore provides a huge opening for the State to intervene in the public debate and to limit freedom of assembly and freedom of movement."

It also endangers free expression without which all other rights are at risk. If passed, the bill will legitimize police state justice, rendering anyone vulnerable to be judged guilty by accusation. 

It's the same slippery slope America headed down post/9/11. In numerous ways, Israel replicated it. This law will add another nail in the coffin of a free society, leaving everyone unsafe - uncertain whether midnight justice will leave them isolated in detention, awaiting harsh rulings to keep them there for exercising rights they've now lost.

Israel's 2011 Counterterrorism Law (CL)

ACRI explained its provisions, subject to debate and amendments, including:

(1) Administrative Detentions and Control Orders

They let authorities arrest and detain individuals indefinitely without charge, based on secret withheld  evidence. Obama made if official policy in America. Yet under US, Israeli and international law, it's illegal, deplorable, and an affront to democratic principles.

Under Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, it's flagrantly illegal, violating the law's limitation clause - "namely, it is not consistent with the values of the State of Israel, and does not make use of the principle of proportionality."

Moreover, it's justified on alleged or concocted evidence, previous activities or motives. Yet due process is denied because no proof is needed. In other words, administrative detentions are police state measures used to imprison individuals without evidence or legal justification.

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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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