We seem to be used to cruel images showing children in the middle of wars, misery, and starvation. Calls for donations for children in Yemen, Syria, or Africa are often made. But what has become more apparent is that images of Palestinian children under Jewish occupation are almost never shown, and calls for donations are never made.

An image is doing the rounds!

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

We seem to be used to cruel images showing children in the middle of wars, misery, and starvation. Calls for donations for children in Yemen, Syria, or Africa are often made. But what has become more apparent is that images of Palestinian children under Jewish occupation are almost never shown, and calls for donations are never made.

After the cruel images of the 50-days Israeli orgy of violence against Gaza “Protective Edge,” during which among the 2.205 murdered Palestinians there were also 480 children to be mourned and thousands of others injured including hundreds severely injured to the extent of being handicapped for the rest of their lives. These children never made the news headlines. Not to mention the countless orphans and half-orphans!

Even if the tragedy of the predicted uninhabitability of the destroyed Gaza Strip becomes apparent — the promised reconstruction by the “community of values” has yet to happen — the urgent necessity for medical aid is anotherdisaster, the school education system remains under the Israeli blockade and at the hands of the Israeli regime, but only a small part of the media covers this reality.

Another reality is the military detention of Palestinian children who are exposed to physical and psychological violence without any protection. For the Israeli military law, the compliance with children’s rights during interrogations in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories does not exist at all. Children who are arrested because they throw a stone, are exposed to the occupation power without any protection and may get maximum penalties up to 20 years because of their resistance.

The “Jewish defence soldiers” treat Palestinian children without any respect. These children are just struggling for their freedom. The shameful occupation policy of collective punishment does not exclude children and is applied with brutal force. For this purpose, also dogs, in particular German shepherds, are used to chase frightened children. This reminds me the stories of my father of his times in the Nazi concentration camp. There similar methods were used against frightened Jewish prisoners.

While Judaic settlers are protected by “Jewish defence soldiers,” defenceless Palestinian children are exposed to settler violence. All additional announcements of authorisations of new settler home units is exacerbating thesituation.

Violence, intimidation, and humiliation in the illegally occupied Palestine happens daily and is accepted by the hypocritical “community of values” without any criticism. Even statements by the activists of “Breaking the Silence,” which should shake everybody, have remained without any consequences up to now.

The systematic policy of arbitrarily imprisoning Palestinian children is horrifying and is not restricted to minors. According to the Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghuti, since 2000, 12.000 Palestinian children between 12 and 17 have been arrested by the “Jewish security forces,” for minor offences like throwing stones and that number has since dramatically increased by.

Organisations for the protection of children such as DCIP (Defence for Children International-Palestine) have published research studies which prove that children’s rights are violated after their arrest and interrogation as for example with regards to information about their rights including the right to have a parent or solicitor present.

Even though according to the UN children rights convention every child has the right to be visited by the family, this right can also be denied for weeks to the Palestinian kids in prison. The child welfare organisation UNICEF, which referred to “children’s mistreatment” in 2013 as a “diffused, systematic and institutionalised phenomenon,” with theadditional damning verdict that: “there is no other country in the world where children are systematically brought before the military tribunal.” B`Tselem has also denounced the double standards in the treatment of Jewish/Israeli and Palestinian children. Israeli children are not sentenced to prison.

This state of affairs is reflected in the racist discrimination in the illegally occupied West Bank where there are two parallel “legal systems”: while for the Judaic settlers and land occupiers the Israel civil law is applied, the Palestinian occupied population is sentenced according to military law. According to the Israeli civil law, children are criminally responsible from the age of 14, while according to the military law, Palestinian children are criminally responsible from the age of 14. While an Israeli guy is treated as an adult before the civil court at the age of 18, a Palestinian is treated as an adult before the military court at the age of 16. Welcome to the “Jewish Apartheid State”!

Human rights organisations have been criticising this treatment for a long time, by pointing to the traumas of children and young people because they are almost always arrested during the night, when hordes of “Jewish defence soldiers” surround houses to attack them, to arrest the alleged stone-thrower, by denying parents to accompany the kid.

They also do not stop at the destruction of Palestinian property and in 20% of the cases violence is applied. As Palestinian solicitors regularly report, during interrogations a confession is forced. In some cases, Israeli authorities do not even stop at threats of sexual violence. With this threat, for Israeli security forces it is an easy game to force a confession. After up to 6 months provisional detention according to military jurisdiction the frightened kids and young people confess to almost anything, if you consider that they are also without legal assistance.

The presumption of innocence does not apply to Palestinians and the release on bail is denied in the majority of the cases. What remains, are traumatised children. The “Jewish State” signed the children’s rights convention, but this convention is just valid for Jewish-Israeli children, while Palestinian children living under occupation are defenceless.

Since their childhood, Palestinian children have known nothing apart from a horrifying daily life under occupation with check points, humiliations, arbitrariness, and indignity. If they oppose the arbitrary confiscation of Palestinian property, land, or houses of their families by throwing stones, they are put into jail.

Now an image is doing the rounds: the photo of Ahed Tamimi, a wonderful Palestinian girl, defying the ugly symbol of injustice, by slapping the face of an Israeli “defence soldier,”  Ahed Tamimi comes from a famous family of the Palestinian resistance against Zionist occupation: parents, uncle and aunt have been arrested; another uncle was killed, and a cousin lays in a coma after a headshot. This last person was the trigger of the actual resistance actions. However, the story had already begun in 2009, when the inhabitants of the Palestinian village Nabi Saleh protested against the land and resource grabbing for the illegal extension of the Jewish settlement of Halamish.

The “balanced” representation in the German media of the heroic family with their unbending resistance against the illegal Jewish occupation cannot be taken seriously. The “slapping” Ahed Tamimi is the pure image of the resistance. And neither the media nor Israeli right-wing extremist politicians can drag it through the mud.

After this slap, in the night, the henchmen of the occupation, dragged this brave, courageous girl from her bed. They arrested her like a criminal. And up to today, she has been in prison. She has to appear before a military court. While war minister Lieberman is foaming with rage, and wishes her, her parents, and her “environment” all imaginable penalties, the uneducated minister of education Bennett calls for “life imprisonment.” A real state under the rule of law, this Israeli state of occupiers!!

In this context, I recommend the Guardian comment by Harriet Sherwood, in contrast to the German media report. (1)

The same can be said about the homicide of the wheelchair user Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who lost both legs during an air raid of the “Jewish Star of David bombers” in 2008, and was shot to death by “Jewish defence soldiers” in December, after the protests in the Gaza Strip. The inhuman response of the army after the investigation succinctly read: “No moral or professional error was determined.” Like Ahed Tamimi’s photo, also this image did the rounds as symbol of Palestinian heroism against the occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

I would like to know how long it will take for the German government and the EU to oppose these Israeli crimes including crimes against international law and human rights, committed by the so called “only” democracy of the Middle East, and by the so called “most moral” army of the world.

After Trump’s Jerusalem decision, every day the Netanyahu regime announces new violations against international law and human rights, the construction of thousands of new settler units, the elimination of the relief organisation of Palestinians and the travel bans for representatives of NGO like “Jewish Voice for Peace” and of the BDS movement (2)

It is surprising that considering this horrifying Israeli cabinet, the CDU/CSU faction is inclined to submit a decision to the Bundestag, exactly on 27 January, to threaten with expulsion all Muslim immigrants who call for Jewish hatred, refuse Jewish life in Germany or doubt about the existence right of Israel.

In my opinion, this is just shameful  news that avoids any criticism against Israel! As expected, the president of the Central Council of German Jews Schuster was excited. He supports the request and thinks that such a law will protect democracy in Germany.

Mr Schuster, I can do without this “protection,” since democracy in Germany is at risk because of Jewish officials like you, who do not dissociate themselves from the Jewish anti-democratic crimes, committed in the “Jewish State” and turn the mood against Muslim refugees. You are a shame for all other Jewish citizens in Germany who still have some decency.

And you, Chancellor Merkel, defending “Jewish-Christian values”, stand for democratic values in the “Jewish State,” since the crimes committed in the Jewish State are not “self-defence,”, but Israeli cruelties you cannot blandish!

After Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh’s image, the photo of Ahed Tamimi is also doing the rounds. The legitimate Palestinian resistance is unbroken, and we will support it!


Originally posted AT

1 Comment

  1. January 11, 2018 at 17:25

    […] via IMAGES THAT GO VIRAL — Desertpeace […]

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