Israeli Persecution of Palestinian Children - by Stephen Lendman
Repeatedly in many ways, the real Israel belies the myth of a free, open, democratic state. In fact, the very notion is ludicrous even to growing numbers of fed up Israelis, voting with their feet and leaving.
As a result, it's no exaggeration calling Israel a failed state, a topic Noam Chomsky addressed in one of his many books.
Titled "Failed States," he listed characteristics they all share, including:
-- their inability or unwillingness to protect their citizens from violence and other forms of harm;
-- their abrogation of rule of law standards;
-- their lawless belligerent pursuits; and
-- if democracies, their policy deficiencies, exposing a serious "democratic deficit."
Evaluating America honestly, he said "we should have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of 'failed states' right at home." It's as true for Israel, a democracy in name only.
Its treatment of Muslims is especially appalling, notably children, the topic of this article, based on a July 19 Defence for Children International Palestine Section (DCIP) report.
Covering the period January 1 through June 30, 2011, it's titled, "In their own words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military court system." It follows previous reports on how Israel abuses young children as lawlessly as adults, violating international law in multiple ways.
Each year, about 700 West Bank children are arrested, interrogated, detained, and prosecuted in Israeli military courts. Since 2000 alone, around 7,500 have been affected, facing torture, ill-treatment and other forms of abuse during the entire arrest/transfer/interrogation process.
Belligerent soldiers usually raid homes late at night. Young children are arrested, blindfolded, hands tied painfully, and taken to detention centers. Physical and verbal abuse are common. Reasons for arrest are seldom given, and parents aren't told where their children are held. The entire process is lawless, no different than in a police state.
During interrogations, family members and lawyers aren't present, nor are audio/video recordings made for independent oversight. Moreover, children aren't told their rights because they have none, in Occupied Palestine or in custody. As a result, they're isolated, intimidated, physically assaulted, and forced to sign confessions, at times in Hebrew they don't understand.
Afterwards they're brought to military court. Bail most often is denied. Children as young as 12 (sometimes younger) are affected, and most plead guilty when innocent because it's "the quickest way out of the system."
In September 2009, a juvenile military court was established, though few practices differentiate them from adult ones. Two or three children are brought there together in brown prison attire, legs chained around their ankles and handcuffed. Hand restraints are removed in court, then replaced when leaving.