Palestine: The Case For Justice

Posted: February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Israel’s two-tier justice system – Israeli human rights organisations, such as B’tselem and the public Committee against torture in Israel and the international  NGO’s like Amnesty international protest against the legal procedures and inhuman treatment meted out to Palestinian detainees.

Hannah Friedmen – Director of PCATI 2001 wrote “Two judicial systems are functioning simultaneously in Israel, creating a rule of apartheid under which Israeli and Palestinian detainees accused of identical offences are tried according to different laws. The high court of justice should decree that the system of justice is equal to all men and put a stop to this racist policy”  Minor “offences” on the part of Palestinians, such as throwing a stone at a tank, merits a prison sentence. In contrast to January 2001 Jewish settler Nahum Korman was sentenced to 6 months’ community service and a modest fine for beating to death a 10 year old Palestinian child with his rifle butt; a month later a sentence of six and half years was handed down to a 17 year old Palestinian for attempting to stab a settler.


Collective punishment like house demolitions, in retaliation for actions such as stone-throwing are permitted. Israeli law forbids the rebuilding of properties, even in occupied territories without prohibitively lengthy and expensive legal procedures; Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been made homeless in this act.  In all there are 38 statutes in force which enable the Israeli state to expropriate Palestine land. A method of denying Palestinians access to land and then confiscate it to the state on the grounds that it is being under-utilised, under obsolete British and Turkish legislation.

British responsibility and the Nakba catastrophe – In 1917 British foreign minister Arthur Balfour established a client state in the Middle East to watch over the Suez Canal and the British trade route following the pressure received from Zionist lobby’s. A letter to Lord Rothschild from Arthur became know as the Balfour Declaration, promising a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine” stipulating the notion of inactivity for the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities.



Balfour commented “we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country” the declaration was endorsed by US president Woodrow Wilson within a month of its release.

A revolt occurred when Palestinians seeking the right to self-determination took place from 1936 to 1939 against British policies in the area.  According to British figures, over 5000 Palestinians were killed and 50,000 detained, through British mandate Jewish immigration continued. In 1938 Ben Gurion prime minister of Israel clarified the acceptance of partitions only as an interim measure: “After we become a strong force, as the result of the creation of state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine”.

By Jasjeet Singh


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