B'Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law a Whitewash Mechanism

Written by Subject: Israel - Palestine

B'Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law Enforcement a Whitewash Mechanism

by Stephen Lendman

With rare exceptions, Israel violates the letter and spirit of international law and its own when it comes to Palestinian rights.

Extremist settlers commit assaults and vandalism against them with virtual impunity. Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens are treated one way, Jews another, justice entirely denied, things today worse than ever.

Arab-hating fascists running Israel created hellish conditions for Palestinians, treating them the way Hitler treated Jews.

For over 25 years, B'Tselem reported abusive treatment to Israel's Military Advocate General (MAG), a fruitless effort for justice, its noblel one now ended, the group saying "there is no longer any point" in seeking judicial redress under a system whitewashing crimes of Jews against Palestinians.

Military law enforcement only investigates incidents involving soldiers 'breach(ing) orders or directives" given them. A crime is only a crime when Israel says so.

Otherwise, it's considered justifiable action, Palestinian rights entirely ignored. Even under its narrowly defined system, it consistently fails badly..

Since the second intifada began in September 2000, B'Tselem said it "demanded an investigation in 739 cases in which soldiers killed, injured, or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields, or damaged (their) property."

A 3% conviction rate followed, punishment most often only hand-slaps. Virtually never are higher ranking soldiers held accountable, even when clear evidence shows guilt of cold-blooded murder.

Israeli torturers of Palestinians during interrogations freely commit high crimes against humanity with impunity. The system is too racist and corrupted to fix, accountability nearly always unattainable.

Israeli criminality against Palestinians is whitewashed, virtually no effort made to collect evidence and seek justice. What soldiers say alone matters, statements by witnesses explaining crimes against Palestinians ignored.

Investigations into serious offenses are routinely compromised, soldiers granted sweeping immunity, international law systematically violated.

Abused Palestinians and/or their families are denied their right to file complaints with Israel's Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU).

Human rights groups or attorneys must do it for them. Processing takes months, at times years, outcomes virtually always the same.

Israeli claims about MPIU doing all it can to investigate properly and bring offenders to justice is polar opposite truth. According to B'Tselem "report after report, committee after committee, the discourse in itself creates the illusion of movement toward changing and improving the system."

"This illusory movement allows officials both inside and outside the system to make statements about the importance of the stated goal of enforcing the law on soldiers, while the substantive failures remain as they were and most cases continue to be closed with no measures taken."

Justice is afforded Jews alone, denied Palestinians virtually always. B'Tselem's best efforts achieved little at best, nothing changing an institutionalized racist system.

It "will no longer play a part in the pretense posed by the military law enforcement system and will no longer refer complaints to it." 

"The experience we have gained, on which we base the conclusions presented in this report, has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators."

Documenting and reporting on Israeli human rights abuses in Occupied Palestine will continue. "The fight for human rights will be better served by denouncing this system and exposing it for what it is," B'Tselem stressed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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