Not content to have killed Jawaher Abu Rahme with a lethal CS teargas barrage at the concluding weekly demonstration against the Separation Wall of 2010, the IDF is now smearing her memory and attempting to deprive her in death of the dedication to the cause for which she gave her life. Like someone who throws spaghetti on the wall to see which strands will stick, the IDF first tries one lie and then, if that doesn’t work or resonate in public discourse, it tries another.
The first lie they tried was to claim that Abu Rahme had asthma which either caused or contributed to her death. The IDF whined that the family refused to share with it her medical records so it could get itself off the hook. Not a whit of awareness that personal medical records are private and don’t have to be shared with anyone, especially the party which murdered her (more on my use of this term later).
They also claimed the teargas came as a result of stone-throwing on the part of the protesters. But eyewitnesses noted that the teargas actually preceded any acts of violence on the part of the anti-Wall activists. In fact, they weren’t even in the vicinity of the Wall when the gassing occurred, which is the usual MO for these events.
The latest lie is to claim she wasn’t even at the protest. Which means she died of teargas inhalation how? Israeli anti-Wall activists who themselves were at the demonstration and witnessed her injury tweeted about it en masse. Were they making it up? Or perhaps they weren’t there either. Perhaps, instead they were all out partying in Tel Aviv.
Yonatan Pollak, one of the Israelis who witnessed Abu Rahme’s injuries, begs to differ:
“I saw that Jahawer [sic] took an active role in the protest,” he told Ynet, while presenting his update on the incident in his Twitter account.
“I saw how they put her in the ambulance that took her to the hospital. I know with certainty that she arrived there and stayed there, and later died at the hospital,” he said.
Despite the problematic findings presented by the army, Pollack insisted that “the IDF’s version isn’t based on any facts…the only thing the army’s claims are based on is the error of a doctor who got one digit wrong when he wrote down the time.”
Now a word about CS and other lethal weaponry used by the IDF to suppress mainly non-violent protest. Such weapons have regularly proven lethal in the past. In fact, such a canister fired from a high-velocity rifle into the chest of her brother, Bassam, killed him last year. 21 Palestinians have been killed in anti-Wall demonstrations. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the dead hadn’t engaged in any violent act at all. In Bilin you can be killed for shouting a slogan, which is what happened to Bassam. He was known as a fiery leader loudly chanting calls for justice for his fellow townspeople. The IDF response, a tear gas canister in the chest to shut you up. An American protester, Tristan Anderson, suffered a massive head injury and brain damage from a similar injury. American Emily Hochnowitz recently marked the first anniversary of her loss of an eye at a protest at another village along the route of the Wall. The U.S. government response? Little or nothing: if you don’t want trouble, stay away.
These are largely non-violent protests against the blatant theft of Palestinian land. Such theft is a violation of international law. Which means that the IDF is murdering non-violent Palestinians because they are demanding that Israel adhere to international law and return their land to them. Not to mention that the Israeli High Court itself has directed a rerouting of the wall in the Bilin zone which the IDF has so far refused.
Haaretz has noted that CS gas, though used by some police forces to quell civil disturbances, can be a lethal weapon when used under certain circumstances. In fact, the British medical journal, The Lancet, urged a moratorium on its use two years ago. A study commissioned by the federal government task force investigating use of CS in the Branch Davidian assault found that the gas could be lethal if breathed for a sustained period in close quarters. Exposure to the agent has caused women to miscarry. The U.S. Army Center for Preventive Medicine found that at “specified concentrations” it was an imminent danger to life and health.” The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention outlaws use of CS in war because of the fear that use by one nation against another might spur retaliation and use of even more dangerous agents by the victim nation.
There can be little doubt that, while at Bilin demonstrators are engaging in legitimate protest, the IDF is engaged in a war against them. The repeated use of CS and other lethal weapons, the late night massive assaults on villages housing leaders of the anti-Wall protests, and their incarceration using trumped-up charges as in the case of Abdullah Abu Rahme, can only mean that Israel sees itself justified in waging what is virtually a war. The IDF knows these weapons and agents are lethal. It doesn’t care. It kills with them repeatedly and yet continues to use them. That’s because there is no Judge Goldstone looking over their shoulders and threatening them with international opprobrium for their cold-blooded killings.
Hundreds of Israeli protested against Jahawer’s death in full force yesterday and blocked roads around the Kirya (Israel’s Pentagon) and near the U.S. ambassador’s home (a U.S. company of course makes the teargas used to kill Jawaher). It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a sense of solidarity and anger within Israel over the death of a Palestinian.
I want commenters to be very clear that I will not countenance anyone in threads here raising bogus Truther/Birther nutcase claims regarding Jawaher’s death. If you want to believe delusions that absolve the IDF of responsibility I invite you to the Jerusalem Post Talkback section or Debka Files. That’s where you belong. I’m prepared to debate the legitimate issues. But claiming a murdered woman wasn’t at the place where she was murdered or that asthma killed her is so absurd, so breathtakingly cruel and heartless, that I won’t be part of it.
The IDF lies. Period. If you want to accept the lies of the IDF based on no evidence whatsoever other than the claims of known prevaricators, you’re welcome to do so. But you won’t speak ill of the dead here.
- From Bilin to Tel Aviv, outrage at killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah (josephdana.com)
- IDF Kills Unarmed Protester, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, May Her Memory Be For A Blessing (jeremiahhaber.com)
Nessim Dayan says
THEATER OF THE ABSURD or THE BOY’S FINGER IN THE DIKE
How can this be not more absurd than Netanyahu NOW claiming that Israel was ready to extend the freeze by 3 months but the US reneged on the deal.
At times I believe that FAUX News utters more truths that this bunch.
At least with FAUX News I can switch it with the remote, what choice do we have here. ELECTIONS? you kiddin’ right?
Look at the last one, Netanyahu is in power thanks to the BILLIONS handed the band of religious blackmailers and not because he won the elections.
In Israel, and in the occupied territory, much like any other place on the globe, you need a license to conduct a demonstration. As such the demonstration in Bilin or any other place may be legitimate in assent but are absolutely illegal, which shakes the foundation of their legitimacy. Two wrongs do not make one right. There are other ways to protest. Any illegal demonstration in the US will result in the use of more violence by the police. You have seen the same in any G summit around the globe.
This time it led to tragic results, though, I do not agree with your murder statement. For Murder at least you need to show intent, I don’t think that the IDF was aware of the fact that she may be more sensitive to the application of CS, hence no intent. and if the IDF really wanted to murder anyone they would have authorized the use of live ammo.
Nessim Dayan says
When was the last time the Haredi’s got a permit to demonstrate in Askelon for the hospital
or in Jaffa for the construction
or in Jerusalem in front of IBM
or in front of police stations to kidnap the body of a murdered child
and the list goes on and on
I guess the palestinians do not wear the proper dress code to get away with murder (literally)
What’s necessary for the goose must be OBLIGATORY FOR THE GANDER
“As such the demonstration in Bilin or any other place may be legitimate in assent but are absolutely illegal, which shakes the foundation of their legitimacy.”
The freedom rides and desegregation marches organised in the southern states were ‘absolutely illegal’. That didn’t shake the foundation of their legitimacy; it simply emphasised the unjust and discriminatory nature of the laws themselves.
Can you imagine the people of Bi’lin applying for a special permit to demonstrate? “You are oppressing us and harming us. Could you please give us a permit so that we can object to you publicly?”
P.S. You say that there are other ways to protest. Would you mind making a few suggestions? I’m serious; the charity I work for is actively collecting suggestions for non-violent resistance at the moment. If you have any good ideas I’ll pass them on to the director.
Hear, hear, Vicky! I could not agree more!
Sh irin says
Brava Vicky! As usual you said it beautifully.
And if you don’t they’ll run you over with a bulldozer a la Tianamen Square or shoot your eye out if you’re an art student and citizen. If you peacefully protest — jailtime.
Ahh the putrid stench of “demigogracy”
@ ilan p…you fascist murderers always have something to say , “they threw stones”, “we felt threatned” ” arabs only understand force” ” and so on and on. Now, you want victims of your lawless Reich to get “permission”. Peace will come when the Palestinians will be able to do to YOU what you’ve been doing to them for 6 decades. F– Ghandi you animals deserve the Cossacks.
Richard Silverstein says
I am absolutely not interested in whether or not the IDF has ruled the demonstration illegal. As far as I’m concerned the IDF is the lawbreaker in almost everything it does related to the Palestinians. It has no moral or legal right to outlaw such a demonstration & in doing so it violates common sense, morality, democracy, & international law. So don’t attempt to argue that because the IDF said it was illegal that this ipso facto denies the protesters any rights. It doesn’t. The protesters are wholly in the right & the IDF wholly in the wrong.
SUch protests in the U.S absolutely would not be illegal. Not only that, if police attepted to outlaw such demonstrations & used such level of lethal force the local community (all of it, not like Israel where only a few hundred protest) would rise up & force the resignation of the police chief & mayor. I know this for a fact because in Seattle, which used far less violence to suppress the WTO riots, the police & mayor both lost their jobs.
It is murder because they have murdered protesters in the past & knew if they continued to use such weaponry that they would murder others in the future. So this is murder. When you know a weapon has killed in the past in similar circumstances & you continue using it anyone else you kill is murder, plain & simple.
They didn’t need live ammo when the weaponry they were using killed quite nicely thank you.
Nessim Dayan says
Problem is this country lives in self made cocoon painted on the inside of the injustices from 1945 and back in order to justify their activities.
This acts as a vaccination against any consequences of ignoble activities.
Every word uttered has to be seen as part of the mosaic painted inside the cocoon, then everything is rightly justified.
No one inside this cocoon dares open the windows to bring in the fresh air.
The cocoon illusion fantasy will be the only cause of it and the people inside of it destruction and when this WILL happen everyone will be wide eyed wondering how did this happen we had such an savvy military, police, secret services and political leadership.
Savvy military? I suppose so. Savvy police? That’s stretching it. Savvy political leadership?
And here is a list of testimonies from Bil’in on that very day: http://popularstruggle.org/content/substantial-evidence-contradicts-armys-version-events-surrounding-death-jawaher-abu-rahmah including the ambulance driver who evacuated her and her employer.
It’s funny that the idf feels it needs to lie.
What could happen if it didn’t? Public uproar? International criticism? Since when? Nothing would happen if they just admitted what happened or even ignored it altogether. So I wonder why.
Ex Israeli says
They can’t admit anything. They got themselves into such crimes that no one can admit it. So they have to continue with the killing to the bitter end. America and Britain seem to move gradually into that mentality as well with their crimes in Iraq & Afghanistan. Mega-criminals rule us.
Sh irin says
Not so gradually, really.
They’re just acting out their consciousness of guilt: it’s not the crime; it’s the cover-up.
Jawaher Abu Rahmah was at the protest last Friday and you can see her targetted by the IDF in this video next to someone in a wheelchair (1:58):
Deïr Yassin says
And here a close-up photo of Jawaher:
Sure looks as if she was ‘staying at home’.
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks for the video. I’ll add it to the post.
Deïr Yassin says
Here a video that most of you probably know. Richard has already posted it (July 21 2008).
A handcuffed Palestinian shot by the IDF with rubber bullets. Well, this guy is the brother of Jawaher and Bassem Abu Rahmah, Ashraf.
This is truly a heroic family.
“Such theft is a violation of international law. Which means that the IDF is murdering non-violent Palestinians”
“a U.S. company of course makes the teargas used to kill Jahawer”
“But claiming a murdered woman wasn’t at the place where she was murdered”
If there was any justice on the web you would be held to account for libel and shown to be the fraud that you are, but we are in Blogland where any half-wit and faux journalist can spout as many false and malicious statements as they care to, so long as it’s in the worthy cause of the demonisation of the state of Israel. Murder is a serious allegation to make and any one doing so should be prepared to step up to the plate and take the consequences if said allegation is proved to be unfounded and mendacious. Are you?
One would hope that if someone, such as your good self, were accused of murder that there would be a fair trial, where all the evidence is brought forward, where a presumption of innocence is held before guilt, and where the accused is able to state their case. None of which, you (or the many liars on your site who are so eager to jump on any old anti-Israeli bandwagon) are prepared to do for the accused, just because he, or she, is an Israeli soldier.
You not only deny this for the soldier concerned and race to their judgement, but deny anyone the decency to protest your propaganda on your site. This is a travesty.
Let the evidence be brought forward without prejudice and allow both sides to state their case before you sentence the accused. Jahawer Abu Rachme would want nothing less than the truth, unlike yourself.
RE: “Let the evidence be brought forward without prejudice and allow both sides to state their case” – Steve
My Question: So you are calling for an international inquiry where the witnesses are questioned under oath (with a significant penalty for perjury)? Surely you will admit that the IDF and the Netanyahu government cannot be trusted to get to the truth of the matter “without prejudice”.
Richard Silverstein says
I invite you to try to find “justice” by suing me. I’ll gladly defend myself fr. yr outageous nonsense. I’m prepared to step up to the plate. Sue me. I’ll even give you the name, address & phone number of any relevant court in Seattle if that will help yr efforts.
As for allowing the IDF to present its case & being presumed innocent–did they give that perogative to Jawaher before they killed her? Did they give that right to the hundreds of Palestinians both militants and civilians killed in target killings and collateral damage? If you sue me, can Jawaher’s family also sue the IDF for finding her guilty w/o trial?
You’ve broken so many comment rules I’m not even going to give you the usual 2nd chance. YOu’re banned.
Sh irin says
Seriously Steve? Libel? You are quite the comedian. Please let me know when you will be performing in my area. I really enjoy good standup.
The IDF doth protest too much, methinks.
Mary Hughes-Thompson says
A tiny correction, Richard. The courageous young American girl, Emily Henochowicz, was injured at Qalandya checkpoint following the massacre on board the Mavi Marmara last summer. The date she was hit by an IDF tear gas canister was May 31, 2010.
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks for that correction.