October 25th, 2012 11:17 EST
Women Mistreated in Israel for Wearing a Prayer Shawl
- Are you under the impression that the state of Israel is a democratic society that has laws and a judiciary that operate at the highest standards of ethical, moral, humanitarian and social values for the essential good of its people and, in general, in compliance with Jewish law?
- Do you currently support the current, right-wing, extremist Likud government of Israel - a government that killed 310 children in Gaza under the age of 16, that imprisons thousands of political activists without trial, that orders state-sponsored assassinations of those who oppose its policies, and which treats the United Nations, the EU and even the US with complete contempt?
- Were you aware, for instance, that an American Jewish woman was arrested at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, last week, for the alleged crime of wearing a prayer shawl: that she was handcuffed, taken to an interrogation room, strip searched, laid a bare floor and then dragged across the floor by Israeli guards before being released? You just cannot bring yourself to believe this report? Neither did I, but it`s factual.
- Did you know that in the last few weeks, there are young right-wing Israeli extremists in the West Bank known as the `Price-tag` terrorists who specialize in burning or cutting down olive groves in Arab villages in an attempt to coerce their inhabitants into leaving their homes and livelihoods? The police do virtually nothing. It is reminiscent of Breslau in 1933. You don`t believe it? Neither did I, but sadly it`s true.
- Were you aware that some peaceful passengers on board a small boat with humanitarian supplies for Gaza that was last week diverted by Israel to the port of Ashdod, were reported to have been deliberately tortured with Taser guns by the Israeli police before being released, as they had committed no crime whatsoever.
- These are not isolated cases and they can be easily verified by checking reputable news sources. Torture and intimidation are routine in military and police circles whether you`re Muslim, Christian or sometimes even Jewish!
- Did you further know that the US congress votes $3billion of American tax payers money every year to Israel under the demand of the Israel lobby but that Israel is never required to account for any these huge sums? You don`t quite believe it? Neither did I, but sadly it`s true.
- Were you aware that Israel is reliably estimated to have built a secret nuclear arsenal of up to 400 warheads that are concealed from the IAEA under a political subterfuge arranged by AIPAC in the US, known as `nuclear ambiguity`? This allows Israel to be the only undeclared nuclear power in the world, one that is estimated to have more nuclear weapons including nuclear-armed submarines, than either Britain or France? Did you know that this huge undeclared arsenal, far from being for state security, is probably sufficient to destroy half the world? Maybe you don`t quite believe it? Neither did I, but sadly it`s true.
- Did you appreciate that the illegal land grab of the West Bank and of East Jerusalem is a deliberate attempt to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state as required by the UN, the EU and UK together with the
majority of the international community?
- Do you appreciate that Israel is a country that operates with a degree of brutality that is unknown in any other claimed democratic society? It is, in parts, a violent, misogynist place were women and girls can be spat upon and assaulted, as was the American Jewish lady last week?
- Do you not think that before you give money again to Israel, you might think it to be a prudent step to ask for proof of what happens to the billions of dollars that it receives involuntarily from the American taxpayer every year? At the same time, you might well enquire as to the assets of the current crop of politicians.
- Far from being just a nice place to retire to in Netanya or Herzlia, Israel is probably the most dangerous place to live anywhere in the world for Jew or non-Jew alike. The illegal settlement policy in the occupied territories ensures that soon there will be another war, only this time it is likely to involve nuclear weapons - and when that happens, you really do not want to be living in an irradiated wasteland. You don`t believe it?
Neither did I, but sadly it`s true.
- Finally, were you aware that there is a net emigration - that far more people leave Israel to live elsewhere than vice-versa? There are, for instance, now more than 30,000 Israelis living in London i.e. nearly 12% of the entire UK Jewish community. Israel under this government, far from being a democratic society in accordance with Herzl`s vision is, in fact, a nightmare of violence and intimidation where large numbers of the population live in poverty - but not, of course, any of the political class.
By Douglas Reed