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"Something Rotten in the State of Israel"

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Reprinted from Wallwritings

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
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Palestinian President Muhammed Abbas has announced that the Palestinian Authority will join the International Criminal Court (ICC), a long overdue action which potentially could bring the state of Israel to an international courtroom at the Hague.

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Al Jazeera reported that "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the documents ratifying the Rome Statute that established the court last Friday, the last formal step to becoming a member of the world's permanent war crimes tribunal."

Instead of preparing to defend its conduct as an occupying military power, Israel has fallen back on its usual form of punishment, withholding tax funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Why, we must ask, does Israel collect tax funds from Palestinians and then return the funds to the Palestinian Authority to finance its government?

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The quick answer is that Israel is the controlling military and economic master on all such matters in the West Bank and Gaza. You want to pay the tax collector? You pay through Israel as the tax collector.

Israel also handles matters of the security which it enforces through its own military force, the IDF, and with police forces it controls under the Palestinian Authority, a control that has been going on under increasingly draconic rules, since 1967.

The international community knows that this control of a neighboring people is illegal and its length unprecedented. And yet, the international community stands mute, with only the occasional peep of protest.

Photos of the new film Hamlet
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"There is something rotten in the state of Israel," sounds an alarm for modern times, updated from Marcellus' warning as he spoke with Horatio about Denmark in William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

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In Act One, Marcellus and Horatio are talking on the battlements of the castle of the new king of Denmark, Hamlet's Uncle Claudius, who had murdered his brother, Hamlet's father King Hamlet.

In the play, Hamlet, who seeks revenge against his uncle, has just left his colleague on the battlements to follow the Ghost of his murdered father.

Hamlet knows, as Shakespeare notes, that there is "something rotten in the state of Denmark." The Ghost will show him what to do.

Denmark's governmental rottenness begins within the King's palace, where Uncle Claudius is now married to Hamlet's mother, a marriage which took place "within a month" of the death of Hamlet's father.

There is today a rottenness at the leadership level in the modern state of Israel, which over decades has developed in a state whose current government considers itself "exceptional" and beyond all criticism.

It is this rotten condition that tolerates lawlessness in the occupied territories, a lawlessness that both randomly and systematically, kills, wounds, destroys and imprisons at will.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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