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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Omer's beating: a lesson to innocent Palestinians??

This is something I posted at (N&O). My fellow N Carolinians aren't much interested in foreign affairs it seems. I've got some in politics and current events and no one responds, so I'll turn it into a blog post. Not that anyone will read this, either!

Mohammed Omer was beaten (to put it mildly!) by Shin Bet on his way back to Gaza from London after receiving the Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism.

10th topic down

Is this proof that the oft repeated claim that if the Palestinians would stop doing x, y or z then Israel wouldn't have to use force is false?

When Palestinians who are obviously innocent and unarmed are treated in this way, what incentive is there for other not so prominent Palestinians to turn from violence or resist joining the violent fringe?

Was this a political statement by Israel? Are they trying to silence his reporting in Gaza?

Shin Bet response to the issue: Omer “received decent treatment and no extraordinary measures were taken against him.” Read and decide for yourself. Should the US also institute these routine measures? We have learned a lot from Israel about torture-Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, etc. I wonder if these critical safety measures will accompany the taking off of shoes in our security procedure since they are routine and so effective.

Check this link if you want to know exactly what happened to this guy. It was obviously not in the name of security. The agent said we wouldn't have let you out if we knew you were coming back. The guy posed absolutely no threat and did nothing threatening except speak out at conferences, which in a democracy you'd think this would be respected to some degree. The agent reveals that the goal of so called security measures (entry policies, collective punishment, and torture) is ethnic cleansing. Pure and simple. Security is not part of it at all.

If this is how the innocent are treated, how can Palestinians believe that even if they had power over the militant groups to stop suicide bombing, that they would get rights, justice, respect, etc?? Collective punishment so harsh that it involves killing, torture, bulldozing homes, etc of innocents is not proportional or warranted in response to the threat. They have the wrong target and criticize suicide bombers for targeting innocents. Their weaponry is more advanced, precise, and plentiful and still they target or have A LOT of "accidents". Is Israel any better than those suicide bombers?

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