General, Occupied Territories

“Legal” discrimination in the occupied territories

0 Comments 06 March 2012

Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann describes the discriminatory application of the “law” in the occupied territories by two events in the villages of Burin and Farata. The Palestinian can not receive real protection from the Israeli security forces. In these moments of darkness, Rabbi Grenimann finds RHR’s work important and enlightening.

The discriminatory application of the “law” as our readers know is  now an established standard in the area – in the west bank (Judea and Samaria). And despite the winter cold, the violence and vandalism continues in the Samaria region without any adequate response from the sovereign power! As the settler slogan tells us – what’s going on there daily is “our story”. (i.e. as Heschel teaches – our responsibility).

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of incidents in the villages of Farrata, Burin and Yanoun  with which we have dealt.  Twice trees have been destroyed, 37 olive trees in Burin on 27th February and 28 olive saplings in Farrata on 4th March. There was also one case of a supposed Palestinian arson in Havat Gilad. (The settlers there have been known to use false accusations of this sort in the past to deal with locals who “dare to raise their heads’! so one must relate to their story with some skepticism.)

Not Mentioned in the Newspapers

After we called the police that day because of  a threat of a settler “revenge”  attack from there (10-15 settlers coming down the hill carrying batons, sticks, and perhaps weapons) a couple of Palestinians were arrested and accused as arsonists . No settlers have been arrested, detained or investigated as far as we know. The fact that the settlers feel comfortable in taking the law into their own hands no longer rates a mention in the popular press, nor that the Palestinians arrested by the police who claim no jurisdiction in such a case were handed over  to the army and jailed without families being informed, or due “legal” process.

I must admit that in a reality so filled with accusations and counter-accusations, propaganda and counter propaganda as well as ongoing culpability of members of the security forces  in local abuses it is extremely hard to know who to believe sometimes. Official disinformation, widespread cynicism and ideological passions make our attempts to deal with such situations particularly difficult. On the other hand the built-in blatant discrimination against Palestinians in the day-to-day dealings with Israeli authorities on the ground make our work all the more important as rabbis who believe that the Torah is about doing justice. It is our religious duty to try to  balance situations in which settlers can and do take unfair advantage of their status as protected Israeli citizens in calling and manipulating police and army for purposes other than security, while the stateless local population cannot turn in area C to either for protection from ongoing criminal activity from their illegally present  Israeli neighbours.

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  1. Electricity in Danger – Newsletter of Parashat Ki Tissa | Rabbis for Human Rights - March 6, 2012

    […] Rabbi Yehiel Greniman describes the “legal” discriminating regime in the occupied territ… by two events of harassment of Palestinians in the villages of Burin and Farata. The Palestinians can not get a real protection of the Israeli security forces. In these dark moments Rabbi Greniman sees RHR’s work and important and enlightening. […]

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