Israeli Counterterrorism Bill Bans Palestinian Flag
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article said Israel finds new ways to prove its pariah state status. Abuses repeat with disturbing regularity.
Including repressive laws. Racist by any standard. An accompanying article compared them to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws.
Yariv Levin is a right-wing extremist MK. Ideologically over-the-top and then some. Fascist by any standard.
In late November, he drafted an 8-point so-called counterterrorism bill. Requested by Netanyahu.
Dealing with legitimate Palestinian resistance. What Netanyahu and likeminded extremists call “terrorism.” More on this below.
Levin mocks legislative legitimacy. In January, he proposed discriminating between Muslim and Christian Israeli Arab citizens.
Because Christians “are not Arabs,” he said. They deserve special privileges, he believes.
At the time, saying his “legislation (would) grant separate representation and treatment for the Christian public, which will be separated from the Muslim Arabs.”
Calling his bill an “important historical move that could balance the State of Israel and connect us and the Christians, and I am careful not to call them Arabs because they are not Arabs.”
“We have a lot in common with the Christians. They are our natural allies, a counterweight to the Muslims who want to destroy the state from the inside.”
“The Christians are also concerned about extreme Islam, which excludes them. If we know how to give select, appropriate treatment to this population, they’ll also join” the IDF.
At the time, Druze Palestinian Wadah al-Qasim said “(t)he state tried to brainwash us for over sixty years by telling us that we are not Arabs, that Muslims and Arabs want to kill us.”
Levin is unapologetically racist. Supporting the worst of occupation harshness.
Calling Muslim Arabs “duplicitous.” Saying “we will apply an iron fist and zero tolerance towards Arabs who tend to identify with the terrorism of the Palestinian state.”
“We will make it clear to them that being an Israeli citizen is a right that cannot be taken for granted.”
“Anyone who yanks the chain will find that the chain tears, remains hanging in the air, in a place that is unpleasant to be in.”
Levin’s legislation is racist and then some. Blatantly violating international law. Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Its Basic Laws.
It didn’t matter. In late February, Knesset members voted 31 – 6 in favor of what demanded rejection.
Israel has about 160,000 Christian citizens. Compared to about 1.7 million Muslims.
Persecuted for their faith and ethnicity. Denied equal rights. Most often few at all. At times, none.
Levin calls Muslims Israel’s enemies. So do numerous other extremist Israeli ministers and Knesset members.
Treating Muslims the way Hitler treated Jews. Increasingly cracking down harder with new racist legislation.
A previous article called Levin a racist lunatic. Outrageously claiming Muslims “want to destroy (Israel) from within.” Calling them “terrorists.” “Inciters.” His 8-point plan includes:
(1) Automatic citizenship or residency revocation if convicted of anything Israel calls terrorism. Including legitimate resistance. On release, deported to Gaza or outside territory Israel controls.
(2) Immediate home demolitions. Within 24 hours. By court order. As soon as targeted individuals are identified.
(3) Families of “terrorists” denied funeral rights. Bodies buried in undisclosed unmarked graves. In state cemeteries. Access to their locations prohibited.
(4) Automatic interior ministry citizenship or residency status revocation. For anyone convicted of throwing Molotov cocktails or firecrackers.
On release, immediate deportation to Gaza or outside territory Israel controls.
(5) Immediate detention of anyone committing anything Israel calls terrorism. Incitement. Waving Palestinian flags during prohibited demonstrations or marches.
Other flags or symbols of nations Israel considers hostile to its interests. Loss of social benefits permanently on conviction. Driving rights for 10 years.
Restricted movements up to five years on release. By court order.
(6) Family members punished like alleged perpetrators. So-called second-circle members.
Subject to citizenship or residency status rights revocation. For publicly supporting their loved ones. Justifiable resistance.
Media statements unacceptable to Israel. Or on social networks or posters. Other public expressions.
(7) Closure of printing shops or other businesses producing posters expressing support for terrorism or terrorists.
Equipment confiscated and impounded. By order of Israel’s district police commander.
(8) Automatic firing of employees with past security related convictions. Without severance pay or benefits. Innocence is no defense.
Levin urges swift passage. Before yearend. Netanyahu wants citizenship or residency rights revoked for Palestinians calling for “incitement.”
Legitimate resistance. More than ever needed. Against a lawless, repressive, racist state.
Reflecting police state ruthlessness. State terror writ large. Netanyahu represents the worst of odious racist hate.
“(O)nly the Jewish People have national rights,” he claims. “A flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to the country, and other national symbols.”
At a Sunday cabinet meeting, he instructed “Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelbit, along with Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, to submit draft legislation to revoke rights from residents who participate in terrorism or incitement against the State of Israel.”
“This law is important in order to exact a price from those who engage in attacks and incitement, including the throwing of stones and firebombs, and it complements the demolition of terrorists’ homes, and helps to create deterrence.”
At issue is responding to legitimate Palestinian resistance. In East Jerusalem. Throughout the West Bank. In response to continued Israeli state terror.
Israel considers its own harshness self-defense. Legitimate Palestinian self-defense is called “terrorism.”
Imagine criminalizing free expression, assembly, and displaying a national flag. What Israel calls an “enemy” symbol or emblem.
Israeli historian Ilan Pappe emailed the Electronic Intifada. Saying until recently, Israel “was uncomfortable with the contradiction between racism and democracy.”
Ludicrously believed it could be an exclusively Jewish state and democratic at the same time.
It “hesitated to legislate in (an outright) racist manner since it was possible, in its leaders’ eyes, to practice a de facto apartheid state with laws that were democratic in discourse but discriminatory in nature when implemented,” said Pappe.
No longer. At least not now. Confronting legitimate resistance with increasingly racist legislation.
In 1964, the PLO adopted the Palestinian flag. After Israel’s 1967 Six Day War, it was outlawed.
In 1993, lifted the ban. Following the Oslo Accords. Legalizing it didn’t matter.
Israel continued criminalizing its display. Targeting Palestinians carrying it in marches, demonstrations or student protests.
Having them on cars, outside homes or in other public places.
Human Rights Watch calls home demolitions “collective punishment. Potential war crime(s).”
“(B)latently unlawful,” according to HRW’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director Joe Stork.
“Israel should prosecute, convict, and punish criminals, not carry out vengeful destruction that harms entire families,” he said.
Israel’s High Court rejected the Israeli human rights group HaMoked’s appeal to end what it called punitive demolitions.
Prohibited under international law. Forbidding collective punishment.
Justices called illegal demolitions a lawful form of “deterrence.” Despite no evidence proving it.
Israeli forces don’t destroy Jewish homes, argued HaMoked. When settlers or other Jews kill Palestinians.
Netanyahu “should reject a policy of punitive home demolitions,” said Stork. “It is a basic principle of law that one person should not be punished for another’s crime.”
Israel ignores virtually all international humanitarian and human rights laws. Operating unaccountably.
Collectively punishing millions of Palestinians. Violating their rights. Getting away with murder and then some.
Inflicting horrendous pain and suffering. Ongoing with no signs of change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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