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Criminalizing Dissent in Israel

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Criminalizing Dissent in Israel

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Israel is a rogue police state.

by Stephen Lendman

Netanyahu's government is its most extremist ever. Fundamental freedoms are threatened. 

Repressive Knesset bills target speech, assembly, association, and the right to dissent.

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An earlier Haaretz editorial headlined "Free press in Israel is in danger." It said Israeli democracy has been imperiled for years. 

Netanyahu's government assails it relentlessly. Knesset legislation threatens press freedom. Dissent more than ever isn't tolerated.

On June 20, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)headlined "The Case of Muhammad Amirah and the Criminalization of Protest in the West Bank," saying:

Despite committing no crime, "Amirah was charged with incitement and support for a hostile organization and disturbing a soldier."

During a nonviolent protest near Deir Kaddis village, he was arrested for sitting down in front of a tractor. At issue was stopping illegal settlement expansions on stolen Palestinian land.

Charges against him exclude violence. He's "an important example of the criminalization of all political activity by Palestinians in the West Bank...."

They face Kafkaesque justice. Military orders govern virtually every facet of their lives. Anything Israel wishes can be called hostile or terrorist related. Free speech is an endangered species.

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Participating in public demonstrations is deemed disrupting public order. Pouring coffee for members of declared illegal organizations is called supporting terrorism.

Military regulations criminalize displaying Palestinian flags, banners, or symbols. So is criticizing state policy. Anyone charged is judged guilty by accusation. Conviction is virtually certain.

"Amirah's case exemplifies the extent to which ALL protest action -- including explicitly nonviolent actions are criminalized within the Israeli system in the West Bank."

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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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