Mörderische israelische Staatsmacht
“Uncomfortable findings from the inquiry into the internal
NINE months after Israel‘s 1 million or so Palestinian
citizens briefly joined the intifada, their towns and villages are
quiet. Their mood is not. “All of Israel now recognises us as
a problem for the Jewish state,“ says Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian
[…] In recent months, Palestinian politicians have been
detained without charge, writers have been questioned by intelligence
officers about their “extremist nationalist“ writings, and the police have
recommended that Azmi Bishara, a radical member of the Knesset from the
Arab nationalist Balad movement, should be tried for sedition.
[…] And at a
time when Jewish Knesset members are calling Yasser Arafat “a murderer“
and questioning whether Israel‘s Arab citizens should have the vote, the
police‘s recommendation suggests double standards.
standards are being examined by an official commission of inquiry into the
violent events last October, the “internal“ Palestinian intifada.
The commission was reluctantly set up by Ehud Barak‘s government, and
is now into its seventh week of public hearings. “Black October“ was
perhaps the bloodiest confrontation between the state and its Palestinian
minority in Israel‘s 53-year history: in the demonstrations, 13
Palestinians were killed and 1,000 sent to hospital.
commission‘s recommendations “may or may not be accepted,“ says Uzi
Landau, Israel‘s public-security minister. The minister‘s discomfort
arises from the evidence the commission is hearing about the behavior of
his police. The line of the last Israeli government, from Mr. Barak down,
was that the police bad used only rubber bullets in the October clashes.
The commission has swiftly put paid to that fiction. It has unearthed the
government‘s own autopsies to prove that at least two of the 13
victims were killed by conventional ammunition (and that,
suspiciously, only four autopsies were carried out).
It has also found
that police snipers were authorised to fire conventional bullets from
rooftops at protesting boys and young men armed with slingshots. For
Israel‘s Palestinian public, this sounds perilously dose to a
shoot-to-kill policy. It quashes the previous government‘s defence that
the police shot only in “life-endangering“ situations.
Above all, the
commission has exposed the disparity in government policy towards its
Jewish and its Arab citizens. Against Palestinian protesters, the police
were given “a green light to do whatever is needed“ (as Mr. Barak put it
in an interview on Israeli radio on October 2nd). Yet when faced with a
3,000-strong Jewish mob torching mosques and attacking Arab shops in
Tiberias, the police‘s orders were to “leave their guns in their cars“.
Aus: Economist, 14.07.2001