Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Give civil remedies a chance

It’s by now no secret that...

The Israeli defence ministry has concealed information about the extent of illegal settlement-building in the West Bank, a leading newspaper reports.

A classified database of construction compiled by the ministry was leaked to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It suggests most construction took place without the right permits, and more than 30 settlements were built in part on land owned by Palestinians.

The information was leaked to the Israeli press by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.

It may be recalled Yesh Din also recently exposed a scandal in which the Israel Defence Forces’ Chief Military Rabbi propagated among IDF personnel “political messages and degrading and belittling messages that border on incitement and racism against the Palestinian people. Other messages can be interpreted as a call to act outside of the confines of international laws of war.”

But to return to the settlements issue,

Yesh Din told the BBC the report showed that the Israeli government ignored its own distinction between settlements considered legal under Israeli law, and illegal outposts built on privately owned land.

The group said it would use the information to help Palestinians sue Israel for damages. [my emphasis]

The latter is a singularly exciting prospect, because it may pave the way to legal/civil remedies for the issue of illegal ‘settlements’, which has long been a cancer in the Middle East ‘peace process’.

If it can be demonstrated that Palestinians may expect remedies through civil means, then it may help curb the resort to armed violence.

We may, therefore, expect that even the most ardent supporters of Israel will get right behind Yesh Din in its efforts to redress the longstanding injustices suffered by Palestinians, in the interests of peace and justice.



Anonymous Anonymous said...






"In a unanimous decision, the Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that the state is responsible for paying compensation for harm caused by IDF operations against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, if the operations did not occur as part of a clearly defined war."

"Israel's Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the decision by the Central Elections Committee (CEC) to bar [certain] Israeli Arab parties from running in next month's parliamentary election.

"Against the background of the Israel Defense Forces offensive in the Gaza Strip, the CEC voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motions, accusing [certain] Arab parties of incitement, supporting terrorist groups and refusing to recognize Israel's right to exist."


"On Thursday, 17 January 2008, the defense minister announced an increase in sanctions against the Gaza Strip, following massive firing of Qassam rockets on Israeli communities. This announcement contradicts the state’s recent statement to the High Court on 10 January, that the quota on industrial diesel fuel allowed to enter the Gaza Strip would be returned to the level prior to the sanctions. Following the announcement, Israeli and Palestinian organizations this morning petitioned the High Court to issue an interim order requiring Israel to allow renewal of the supply. This request was filed as part of a petition against the sanctions on the Gaza Strip, from October 2007. "

"Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Israel's High Court of Justice unanimously upheld a petition submitted by Palestinian residents of several West Bank villages against the wall that is being built to "defend" Israel. The court ruled that the government must reconsider within a reasonable timeframe an alternative route for the wall near the northern West Bank Jewish settlement of Alfei Menashe."

"Gay Palestinian fears for life, seeks residency in Israel

'"The sanctity of life is beyond reproach and needs no evidence to back it up. A human life must be protected without distention of race or creed," said the petition.

"The plea urged the court to grant the man permanent residency in Israel, since forcing him to return to his village would place him in grave danger. "

Palestinian and other Arabs routinely seek and obtain remedies and protection in Israeli courts, including against the Israeli state.

Of course supporters of Israel support the rule of law. It is one of the reasons we support Israel.

Get back to me when you can find a similiar story from anywhere in the Arab world.

4/2/09 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Oh sure, those efforts to seek remedies are not exactly anything new. Nor are elaborate efforts by the State to counter those remedies.

From Haaretz:

One of the main reasons for this effort [by the Israeli government] was the need to have credible, accessible information to be used to contend with legal actions brought by Palestinian residents, human rights organizations and leftist movements challenging the legality of construction in the settlements and the use of private lands for establishing or expanding them. The painstakingly amassed data was considered political dynamite.

The defense establishment, led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, steadfastly refused to publicize the figures, arguing, for one thing, that doing so could endanger state security or harm Israel's foreign relations.

Barak quite arguably has that arse about.

But, rather than get unequivocally behind groups like Yesh Din and those seeking remedies, the brave anonymous Spammer for Israel wishes to convey the impression that all's for the best in the best of all possible worlds. (Which was the entirely predictable point of this post, by the way.)

We can do better. Yes, we can...

4/2/09 11:36 AM  

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