Noam Sheizaf has a very good post about the small story involving two international peace activists working in Palestine who were arrested by the IDF and almost deported. They managed to lodge an appeal of their deportation and the government’s defense before the Supreme Court is sweeping, breathtaking and dangerous in the extreme.
What did the activisits do to deserve expulsion? Nothing. That is, no act. Not even words are cited. But their ideology and that of the International Solidarity Movement are cited as sufficient grounds for expulsion:
…The state said that Marti and Chappell belong to the International Solidarity Movement, an organization “that supports an ideology that is anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian and universally revolutionary.”
The state maintained: “The organization’s activists are involved in activities against the security forces in areas of friction in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.”
The two were “taking advantage of their tourist visas so they could participate in demonstrations in areas of friction…
Frankly, I don’t know whether the ISM takes any position on Zionism though it’s certainly pro-Palestinian. As for being “universally revolutionary,” this sounds straight out of the Joe McCarthy lexicon. I don’t even know what the phrase means, nor does the person who wrote it undoubtedly. But Alan Dershowitz would be proud and it’s a lie worthy of him.
It should also be noted that the ISM is absolutely non-violent. So when the government claims activists act against the security forces, whatever opposition they mount is non-threatening and pacifist in nature. Since when does a so-called western democracy need to be afraid of a few young people with pierced ears and ratty T-shirts (excuse the hyperbole) sitting in the road on behalf of Palestinian rights?
Noam raises another excellent point here:
It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first (but certainly not last) attempt to present criticism of Zionism or support for the Palestinian cause as illegal
I suppose the next step will be to make Israeli citizens culpable for similar views, which would then truly symbolize the death of Israeli democracy, which now is only on life-support.
Another important aspect of this case is that Israel claims that Area A around Ramallah, where the women were arrested, is wholly under Palestinian control. According to an agreement it signed, Israel has no right to exercise any control within this zone. Yet the IDF swooped down on a Palestinian-controlled area and arrested citizens of a foreign country. Under any other regime in the western world this would be state-sponsored kidnapping and viewed with outrage by the states whose citizens were apprehended. This being Israel, the nations do very little to oppose the violation of international agreements and the rights of their citizens.
Israel did something similar under Ehud Olmert when it entered Jericho, destroyed a prison and kidnapped Palestinian prisoners and transferred them to Israeli custody where they were promptly tried and imprisoned (Israel never heard of double-jeopardy I suppose).
Noam raises a good point asking what good any future Israeli peace agreement will be if it arrogates to itself the right to trespass on Palestinian territory virtually at will. In other words, and as I repeat endlessly here, this is a regime that does not believe in the rule of law. It uses the law when it suits its purposes (to expel the foreign activists) and ignores it when it suits (as it did when it pursued targeted assassinations in violation of a Supreme Court ruling). Is it “universally revolutionary” to demand that Israel uphold the values of democracy in its own interactions with its citizens and neighbors?
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