Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court Releases Hunger-Striking Prisoner
The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that hunger striking Palestinian prisoner, 31 year-old Mohammed Allan, will be released from administrative detention…but only if medical tests show that he’s suffered “irreversible” damage as a result of his 65-day hunger strike. Apparently, a healthy Allan was a grave national security threat. While a near-dead Allan poses no such threat. While the Court has done the decent, humane thing, it erased any good will it might’ve generated by compelling Allan had to prove that his ordeal had caused damage to his body and mind so severe that it supported freeing him.
If he recovers and shows no sign of permanent damage, he could be rearrested and forced to serve the remainder of his term under administrative detention. Further, he could be rearrested at any time by authorities under a new order. Such is the caprice of the Israeli legal system regarding security offenses. Under administrative detention, a victim need not be charged with a crime. And such detentions may be extended for six month periods indefinitely. That is why prisoners have begun to resort to hunger strikes. Killing themselves seems to be the only message that moves the hardened Pharaonic hearts of Israel’s security services.
Israel was placed in this “awkward” position by a ruling from the national medical association refusing to participate in force-feeding him, which had been the prison service’s plan. After no doctor would agree, it had to let the hunger strike run its course. It is a pleasant surprise that the Israeli security police couldn’t mange to find a professional willing to perform such a ghoulish procedure. Keep in mind, that a number of countries including the U.S. do permit force-feeding of hunger strikers.
This is a cold, brutal judicial decision in line with a string of such judgments offered by this Court since a hardline majority took over in the past several years. Lest any apologists continue prattling about the liberal views and support for human rights offered by the highest judicial body as a counter to the racism of the legislative branch, the days of Aharon Barak are long past. Nor are we likely to see such a person on the court in the future.
That doesn’t mean the extreme right in Israel is any less angry at this Court. In fact, one minister said last week the Court should be “bulldozed.” Apparently, having a court that is obeisant to the right-wing policies of the government as this one is, isn’t enough. They want a Court that opens its sessions with the Likud anthem and swears allegiance to Rabbis Ginsburgh and Lior.
NOTE: I recently published a long piece for Mint Press News on the fate of Gaza civil engineer, Dirar Abu Sisi, railroaded by the Israeli justice system into a 21-year prison sentence. I will now be publishing weekly for Mint Press. My author page is here, where you may find all my articles. A new piece of mine, calling for holding Israel financially culpable for acts of terror by its citizens, will be published there either today or tomorrow.
21 thoughts on “Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court Releases Hunger-Striking Prisoner – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Is this guy a member of Iranian backed Islamic Jihad, or isn’t he? Isn’t that the question?
An MRI test revealed he had suffered irreversible neurological damage as a result of vitamin deficiency.
It’s not Israel’s fault if Allan chose to go on a dangerous, life threatening hunger strike? That was his choice.
No, Mitchell Blood, the question is: Why is “democratic” Israel imprisoning the indigenous population of the land that it’s illegally occupying, without charge or any chance to defend themselves against the “accusations” of the illegal occupiers?
No, that’s most emphatically NOT the question. In democratic countries they prosecute people based on what they’ve done, not for what they believe. Only dictatorships do that. In Israel, if you have a cup of coffee with the wrong person, you become a terrorist (see case of Ameer Makhoul). This is not the behavior of a normal country.
And yes it most emphatically IS Israel’s responsibility. Allan’s fate is in Israel’s hands. Only dictatorships jail people indefinitely, without trial or charges against them. Welcome to Shushu, land of moral pygmies & justice delayed and denied.
“Is this guy a member of Iranian backed Islamic Jihad, or isn’t he? Isn’t that the question?”
And that strikes me as being a FANTASTIC question to pose to the jury of a criminal court in a country where membership of IJ is regarded as a crime punishable by imprisonment.
Because, you know, that’s why criminal courts were invented.
Mind you, the jury of a criminal court requires all that stuff like…. “evidence”, and even…. “proof”.
So the real question is this: does the Israeli intelligence have any “evidence” against this person?
And, if so, then let’s see it……
@ Yeah, Right: A criminal court in any other democratic country than Israel would require proof not just of membership in a terror group, but actual criminal acts or intention to commit them. It’s only in Israel where having a cup of coffee with a member of Hezbollhah, Hamas, or IJ gets you thrown in prison for “consorting with enemy agents” (cf. Ameer Makhoul).
The big question is how far can a state hold people without a trial. 10 days? 10 years? forever?
@ Yair: Depends on the state. If it’s China, the Gulag, Nazi German: then forever or till death do us part. Similar case in Israel. As long as the state wants you behind bars, you’re there.
If it’s the U.S. we have habeas corpus (at least for U.S. citizens), thank God.
And exactly how is that different from the US holding onto its Taliban captives indefinitely?
The UK used and uses it for for IRA and illegal immgrants.
Ireland uses it for illegal immigrants.
Australia uses it for illegal immigrants.
Jordan uses it for “habiltual offenders”
Do you dare compare these states to Nazi Germany or the Gulag?
You – sir, are the epitome of a hypocrites.
Allan is NOT an Israeli citizen – he is a Salafist member of the Islamic JIhad.
You can thank “God” for Islamic Jihad (in its myriad of colors and flavours).
“..Depends on the state. If it’s China, the Gulag, Nazi German ”
Richard. As you well know, habeas corpus has been suspended several times in American history.
The issue, than, as now, is the security threat.
@Mitchell: First, it was only suspended during the Civil War if I recall my U.S. history. Second, it was suspended. Meaning, the norm was having habeas as an active provision of law guarding suspects’ constitutional rights. Israel has never had habeas & security prisoners have NO rights essentially. Third, if you think a Palestinian lawyer poses a security threat to Israel then you are farther gone in terms of become a supporter of the authoritarian security state than I’d thought.
Watch those terms “Salafist.” They border on Islamophobia. You know no more about Allan’s views of Islam than you know what brand of toothpaste Bibi uses. Terms you throw around are meant for shock value & to raise prejudices. They have little or no probitive value.
Look who’s talking, Richard. It’s “Islamophobia” to call Allan a “Salafist” on a blog where every Israeli living in the West Bank is, ipso facto, a “Kahanist”. Give me a break.
“Djf: Neither you nor the reporter even knows what a “Salafist” means. It’s just handy Islamophobe-speak. However every Israeli I call a Kahanist holds certifiable Kahanist views.
These guys are arguing to defend Israel, it is like someone deep in an open sewer saying he is not as dirty as the one who is shovelling poop.
Can’t have it both ways; you can’t be promoting Israel as an ideal, God-given country and yet seek to defend its inhuman atrocities.
Iranian controlled, Islamic Jihad, dangerous as ever.
@ Mitchell Blood: That’s a stupid lie. Islamic Jihad is as controlled by Iran as Israel is controlled by the U.S.
“That’s a stupid lie.”
Well, tweet veteran Israeli journalist, Ron Ben Yishai.
What do you want from me?
@Mitchell: You’re offering Ben Yishai as a credible source?? That’s like offering Judith Miller as a credible source on Iraq & WMD.
@Richard: The art of journalism: You rely on sources that match your ideology. You do exactly the same in your blog.
@ Hed: I rely on quite varied sources including right-wing websites & media publications at times. If you don’t like the sources point out where & how they’re wrong. You can’t invalidate a source’s credibility with vague complaints like yours.
No one mentioned Japanese in WWII in the USA , and Quantanamo.
@ File ad: The Japanese internment was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court after WWII. Not to mention that it was a plan that lasted only the length of WWII. Israel’s violations of security prisoners’ rights have continued for decades with no end in sight.
Guantanamo is another phenomenon that many Americans reject & despise. Also, it applies only to 100 prisoners now detained there (not the tens of thousands whose rights Israel has violated over the years). Guantanamo is not located on American soil as Israeli prisons are. So the government argues that U.S. law doesn’t apply to it. Of course, this is stupid, callous argument that should be reversed by a court. Nevertheless, it does differentiate Guantanamo from Israeli security prisoners.
Finally, Guantanamo prisoners are not U.S. citizens & were captured on foreign soil, so they’re (wrongly in my opinion) entitled to less rights in U.S. courts. Palestinian prisoners are, for the most part, captured either inside Israel or in territory Israel controls. Israel rather nicely recognizes no Palestinian political entity, so these Palestinians have no one to represent them or their interests. By rights, since Israel controls the territory from which it snatches these victims it should accord them the same rights it would arrested Israeli citizens.