Report by Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine), 27.2.2013
Masked Palestinian gunmen fired in the air on Monday as thousands marched at the West Bank funeral of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner whose death in an Israeli jail, almost certainly caused by torture.
Aljazeera reports: “Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.
Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.
When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.
What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.
The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect”. (Charlotte Silver: How Israel legitimises torturing Palestinians to death, Aljazeera, February 25, 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201322511744515745.html)
Israel officially sanctions torture
Israeli tortures enjoy the protection of the Israeli states including the Israeli courts. This is the class nature the Israeli imperialist apartheid state. Between 2001 and 2011 700 hundreds Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.
Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture: “The GSS’s (“General Security Service”) impunity is absolute.”
Israel’s High Court has been shielding the Shin Bet, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.
The former president of the Israeli Supreme Court, Aaron Barak, said openly that there is no legal prohibition on the execution of targeted killings, both by the laws of the State of Israel and according to international law. The writer of this article demanded in one of his appearances before the Supreme Court of the Judges to look with their own eyes and see the clear signs of tortures. However, the judges refused to look.
In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected the petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organization Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, andPublic Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.
In May 2009, even the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) condemned Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the racist Zionist parliament, the Knesset, extended the exemption for another three years.
The official position of the Israeli state is that protecting the crimes committed by the Israeli army and the GSS is in the interests of “national security”, and for this reason its interrogation techniques cannot not be made public.
Even the Zionist liberal daily Haaretz wrote: “After Palestinian dies in Shin Bet hands, time to question the interrogators. For years, Palestinian detainees and prisoners have complained about sleep deprivation, painful and prolonged handcuffing, humiliation, beatings and medical neglect. By international standards, this is torture.” (Amira Hass: After Palestinian dies in Shin Bet hands, time to question the interrogators, Feb.25, 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/after-palestinian-dies-in-shin-bet-hands-time-to-question-the-interrogators.premium-1.505533)
The self-proclaimed Arab friends of the Palestinians who try to sabotage the struggle
The murder of Arafat by torture is answered by thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the heroic struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners. At least 300 prisoners are on hunger strike. Thousands of Palestinians are demonstrating in the streets of Gaza and demonstrations take place in the West Bank as well. The Zionist army fired and wounds two Palestinian teens in West Bank. The Israeli imperialist army used Ruger metal bullets to disperse West Bank demonstration after funeral of detainee Arafat Jaradat.
A Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Tuesday, for the first time since the last criminal attacked on Gaza ended last November. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade claimed responsibility for the rocket, calling it revenge for the death of Arafat Jardat. Under the Egyptian-mediated cease-fire that ended the attack because of the ruling classes in Israel and Egypt were afraid of a new Intifada. Israel agreed to refrain from any military operations in the Gaza Strip and from assassinations of senior leaders there. Hamas agreed to refrain from launching rockets at Israel or firing along the border. This however has not prevented Israel from torturing to death Palestinians in the Israeli Jails. Nor to defend the settles armed militia who act in the service of the apartheid state.
In an effort to cut down on arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian bourgeois army defending the Egyptian capitalists and collaborating with the imperialists, instead of sending arms to the Palestinian resistance, has been flooding the tunnels between the coastal strip. Mubarak or Mursi are essentially the same.
According to a report by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an the Palestinian Authority instead of organizing the masses in the West Bank is trying to end the justified rage. Palestinian bourgeois President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly met Monday evening with Palestinian security chiefs in Ramallah and instructed them to enforce calm in the West Bank. However the Palestinian police have thus far refused to disperse protests.
According to Haaretz: “A well-informed Palestinian source told Haaretz on Monday evening that the Palestinian leadership is not seeking a frontal confrontation that would destroy the Palestinian Authority’s institutions. But no one can guarantee that the events won’t spin out of control, he added, asserting that Israel and the Palestinian protesters are the ones setting the pace.” (Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid: Abbas to Palestinian Authority security officials: Don’t get drawn into Israeli violence, Feb.26, 2013,http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/abbas-to-palestinian-authority-security-officials-don-t-get-drawn-into-israeli-violence-1.505800)
The Palestinians have the right to ask Mr. Abbas: Who needs your institutions that act in the service of Israel?! You have declared many times that you will lead us to freedom and instead you led us to hell.
U.S imperialism – the self declared champion of human rights, while in realty the worst enemy of the working class and the masses and a close ally of the Israeli apartheid state – is preparing Obama’s visit to Israel to embrace Netanyahu. Of course, it does not blame the Israeli state of another murder. Instead it issued a statement saying: “We made it clear to the Israelis and the Palestinians that both [sides] can take steps to calm things in the field and prevent incidents that would just pour more fuel on the fire.“
Time for Solidarity Actions!
So far the Palestinians parties in Israel have not organized any protests in solidarity with the demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza.
This is the time to organize large demonstrations of all of those who claim to defend the Palestinians in this country and in the world with concrete demands like:
* Free all the Palestinian political prisoners!
* General strike of all the Palestinians!
* Prosecute the Shin Bet’s officers for murder!
* Struggle for the return of the Palestinians refugees!
For a Palestinian workers state from the river to the sea!
We in the Internationalist Socialist League (ISL) understand that as long as Israel exists, the oppression, the theft, the tortures, the murders will continue. Only the struggle for a democratic state in its form, from the river to the sea will end the Apartheid state.
History has shown that the nonsense of a mini state – a Bantustan in the West–Bank and Gaza – is no more than a screen smoke that allows Israel to continue to steal the land water, torturing and killing and to divide the Palestinian nation The UN and the other imperialists that back Israel have not and will not force Israel to give up on any stolen land. Israel is a front line imperialist state for the robbers. The only power that can end this Apartheid state is the organized power of the Palestinians workers in alliance with the peasants, radical youth, the poor and the small business people that are collapsing in this worst global capitalist crisis since 1929. This struggle is part of the struggle of the Arab workers and the masses in many Arab dictatorial bourgeois states like Egypt and Syria. It is the same struggle of the workers in Greece and in India. Together the mass struggle of the region will end the Apartheid state.
We also understand that when the workers at the head of the masses will conquer the power, the democratic state in its contents will be only a workers state from the river to the sea. The workers, supported by the peasants, the youth, the unemployed, the poor in power, will not divide this county again. This is the real reason why the reformists do not struggle for one democratic state. They are afraid of a working class revolution. They feel in their bones that such one state will be a transitional state to socialism. Soviet Stalinism was not socialism it was the counter revolutionary force against socialism that destroyed the workers state and among other crimes assisted the birth of the Zionist state.
For this reason we also offer the perspective of the struggle for a Palestinian workers and peasants government!
Israel is not only an apartheid state against the Palestinians but a death trap for the Jews. The revolutionary victories may split a section of the Jewish workers that today are Zionists, and allow them to join the revolutionary struggle. This happened indeed – and for the only time – after the Bolshevik revolution. The Communist party – the P.K.P – emerged as a revolutionary workers party. But with the degeneration of the Communist International under Stalin it was transformed by 1935 into a reformist party as it is today.
Since the Israeli Apartheid state rules over Palestinian majority, the national character of the state will be Palestinian. The Israeli Jewish masses that will want to live in this state will enjoy equal civil rights. Those Jewish workers, who will join the revolution, will be part of the new ruling class.
The only solution is working class led a socialist revolution!
For a Palestinian workers state from the river to the sea!
For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
For a Revolutionary Workers Party as part of a new Communist International!