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Sweeping New Israeli Police State Legislation

Monday, June 20, 2016 6:45
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Israel automatically calls violent incidents it provokes involving Palestinians terrorism, state-sponsored terror, the real thing, considered self-defense. Following early June Tel Aviv shootings, involving armed men reportedly disguised as orthodox Jews killing four Israelis and wounding 16 others, Netanyahu vowed harsh recrimination. Majority extremist Knesset members used the incident to pass sweeping new draconian legislation on the pretext of countering “terrorism” – enforceable in Israel and East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gazan Palestinians persecuted under militarized occupation harshness. Israel expanded its definition of terrorism to include so-called “passive members” – letting authorities arrest anyone, deny them access to counsel, indict them as suspected terrorist threats, prosecute and convict them, impose long sentences, no verifiable evidence needed. Guilt by accusation suffices. Israel’s defense minister may confiscate property and financial assets of alleged terrorists without judicial approval. A Knesset press release said charity groups accused of “contributing to terrorist groups can be declared illegal,” their officials and members imprisoned. The law’s preamble states its goal is to “set legal guidelines in criminal law and administrative law, including by means of special measures aimed at fighting terrorism in general and to help prevent the establishment and activity of terrorist organizations in particular.” Joint (Arab) List MK Ayman Odeh equated the measure with “panic (in) the final stage of all colonialism worldwide,” adding: “The real terror is your occupation, (not) yet ended.” Joint List’s Ahmad Tibi called the new law “draconian and unacceptable,” mincing no words stressing “(y)ou can demolish houses, arrest people, deport people, kill them and shoot them when they’re on the ground bleeding…But you can’t suppress a nation’s desire to liberate itself from the occupation.” Joint List’s Haneen Zoabi said “(t)his law doesn’t just deal with actions in the past but with what Israel thinks you might do in the future. It is designed to terrorize and persecute citizens over their political beliefs and sympathies…(T)his law…is an act of terror.” Meretz party MK Zehava Galon said the new law “archaic and hysterical,” unrelated to combating terrorism, “plac(ing) (Israel) once again on the list of countries that take advantage of their democratic ability to enact anti-democratic laws.” Like numerous other Knesset laws, the new measure is flagrantly racist, targeting Palestinians for not being Jews, for wanting international law guaranteed rights, including life and liberty. New legislation effectively defines terrorism to mean whatever Israel says it is, including resisting repression it calls incitement to terrorism and ill-defined failure to prevent a terrorist act. The only terrorism Israelis need fear is state-sponsored, the longstanding scourge affecting millions of Palestinians, harsher with passage of this law.

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