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OPINION: Poster girl for Palestinian resistance

(Ammar Awad / Reuters)

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi enters a military courtroom escorted by Israeli authorities at Ofer Prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 1, 2018.
(Ammar Awad / Reuters) Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi enters a military courtroom escorted by Israeli authorities at Ofer Prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 1, 2018. - The Guardian

Activist arrested after slapping Israeli solder entering her family's home in occupied West Bank

BY RICHARD DEATON

GUEST OPINION

Israel is willfully destroying and ignoring Jewish values. In a desperate attempt to maintain political and military control of the Occupied Territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, contrary to international law, Israel is resorting to the vicious tactics used by the Germans in occupied Europe, the French in Algeria, and the white apartheid regime in South Africa.

Recent events have demonstrated just how vindictive and petty the Israelis have become, suggesting that the BDS movement is having a real impact. Consider the following. Israel has stopped BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti from accompanying his critically ill 75- year old mother to Jordan for surgery and treatment (The New Arab, Jan 5, 2018). This puts a new meaning to hostage- taking and kidnapping.

Consider the following. That for many years, contrary to international law and various UN resolutions, Israel uses collective punishment against the families of Palestinians allegedly involved in terrorism. In retaliation for these activities the homes of their families are destroyed by the Israeli army (IDF). This is precisely what the Germans did during the Second World War to the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia in 1942 when it levelled the town and killed all of its inhabitants in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.

Consider the following. Recently, Ahed Tamimi a 16-year-old Palestinian activist was arrested after she slapped an Israeli solder who was entering her family's home in the occupied West Bank (Haaretz, Dec. 25, 2017 and Jan. 2, 2018). The Israeli army has charged her with assault and is now vigorously pursuing her prosecution; right- wing Israeli politicians are demanding she receive a life sentence. Contrary to this Yifat Alkobi, an Orthodox settler teenager with 5 previous arrests was given 6 months probation for a similar incident (Haaretz, Jan. 6, 2018). Both are teenage girls. Is there a dual judicial system in Israel?

According to UN documents at least 100 raids against Palestinian villages were carried out by the Israeli army in late 2017. This is reminiscent of US counter-insurgency strategy in Vietnam. Ahed Tamimi has now become the poster girl for the Palestinian resistance and is known as the Joan of Arc of the West Bank.

And, finally, consider the following. The Israeli Knesset (parliament) this past week introduced legislation for the first time establishing the death penalty for terrorism. Biblically the death sentence was rarely used in ancient Israel. Today most civilized countries in the world have totally eliminated the death penalty, and it is contrary to EU policy. Ironically, the British used the death penalty against the terrorist Zionist Stern Gang. The implementation of the death penalty for terrorism most likely will have the opposite effect and will create more Palestinian freedom fighters. Even the Israeli Shin Beth (counter-intelligence service) opposes the legislation, arguing that it will result in making Israelis vulnerable abroad (Haaretz).

These increasingly oppressive and draconian measures against the Palestinians and internal critics suggest that the Israelis are becoming desperate to stabilize their situation as their international reputation and legitimacy decline.

- Richard Deaton, PhD, LLB, is a resident of Stanley Bridge, and former instructor at Canada’s Royal Military College

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