Torture in Israel

Yesh Din is a leading Israeli human rights group. A legal adviser to the organisation writes about a court case that highlights the barbarity in the occupied, West Bank:

“Is slapping the heads of Palestinians allowed or not?” the prosecutor asked, and [Colonel Itai] Virob spilled the occupation’s contaminated truth: “A slap, sometimes a punch to the scruff of the neck or the chest, sometimes a knee jab or strangulation to calm somebody down is reasonable.” Exactly what human rights organizations have been reporting for years, exactly what thousands of physically and psychologically injured Palestinians have been crying out, exactly what defense ministers and chiefs of staff and military lawyers and senior officers have been denying dismissively, all singing the “most moral army in the world” anthem like a mantra.

The ugly, stinking, foul truth — an unwelcome tourist in the State of Israel — was straightforwardly spoken by the highest officer on the ground who is charged with educating his soldiers about what is permissible and impermissible. And the truth is that our soldiers are too often taught to treat Palestinians as sub-humans, with whom they should communicate by “slaps” and “punches” and “knee jabs,” as a species that must be trained by roaring jeeps that “disrupt the balance” of their lives. That is the new teaching of Israel.