Thursday, November 19, 2015

Israel outrage, razing homes of alleged killers

There are lots of  'bad guys' and few 'good guys,' and enough blame to go around to everyone over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israelis are our only reliable ally in the Middle East and many American identify with them, and provide monetary,  media and polticial support.  Thus, it appears that Israel gets a pass on many issues that they should be hammered on and  perhaps sanctioned for.  Destruction of the homes of accused killers on the West Bank (conquered by Israel and occupied, with new Jewish settlements, after the 1967 war), is one of these examples which defies ideas of fairness, due process, and punishes people for merely residing in the same home as an accused killer.   These individuals have not yet been convicted.  Arguably it only makes a bad situation worse.  It also, of course, helps create an opportunity for new or expanded  Jewish settlements on the West  Bank.

"Israeli forces on Saturday destroyed the family homes of three Palestinian men charged with carrying out a drive-by shooting last month that killed a couple in front of their four children, and the forces also demolished the home of a man accused of fatally shooting an Israeli in June. It was the most sweeping use of a recently revived, controversial antiterrorism measure since a wave of unrest escalated last month, mostly through demonstrations, stabbing attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, and attempts to hit Israelis with vehicles. Israel’s Supreme Court approved the demolitions, all in the West Bank, on Thursday after days of debate." . . .
Home demolitions were a tactic widely used against the families of Palestinian suicide bombers during the second intifada, which erupted in 2000. But the practice was largely halted in 2005 after a commission found that it rarely worked as a deterrent, and often inflamed hostility. It was revived as a punitive measure last year.
“There are all too many incentives to encourage people to commit terrorist crimes,” said Mark Regev, a government spokesman. “People who commit these terrorist crimes are not afraid to die. So the fear that the house that they lived in will be destroyed after they are gone provides an effective deterrence and saves lives.” 
"Sarit Michaeli, of the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, denounced the demolitions.
“The authorities have never accused the relatives who are losing their homes of any crimes,” Ms. Michaeli said. “The notion that it’s acceptable to punish people for other people’s actions is an affront to the law.”

The idea that loss of a home is going to deter terrorist acts sounds more like a rationalization than a reality.  However, there are unfortunately, no easy answers to this conflict. 

1 comment:

  1. My question is, were the homes destroyed as part of a wartime military operation or was it a civilian police action? The prior follows Sherman's tactical understanding that "war is hell". If it was the latter, then there's definitely a fundamental human rights violation.