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PCHR Concerned over Life of Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Nazi camp

NOVANEWS

Image result for Nazi camp CARTOON

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is strongly concerned over the life of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, who have started a hunger strike for 10 days in the Nazi camp in protest against the deterioration of their living conditions and deprivation of their most basic human rights.  PCHR emphasizes that Israeli forces should be fully held responsible for the deterioration of prisoners’ conditions in light of the stubbornness of the Nazi Prison Service (IPS) to meet their humane demands, which the Service confront by escalating measures against the prisoners. Those arbitrary measures included prisoners’ transferals between prisons to break their will and pressurize them to end their strike.  PCHR calls upon the international community to pressurize the Nazi forces and intervene to end the suffering of thousands of prisoners in the Nazi camp and to bring into account those responsible for the crimes against prisoners.

 

Around 1500 Palestinian prisoners in the Nazi camp launched an open hunger strike on 17 April, which coincides with the Palestinian Prisoner Day, to demand their most basic human rights and return what has been confiscated by the IPS during the past years. Among these demands are: allowing first and second degree relatives to visit them; ending the policy of medical negligence and conducting periodic examinations; conducting urgent medical operations; entering specialised doctors from outside the prison; ending solitary confinement and administrative detention policies; allowing them to take the Twjihi (Secondary School) exams and join universities; and stopping arbitrary measures against female prisoners. It is expected that more prisoners will successively join the hunger strike.

 

In contrast, the IPS imposed collective punishments on hunger strikers to discourage them from practicing their right to strike as a tool for exerting pressure on the Nazi authorities to improve prisoners’ living conditions. The IPS launched a campaign of prisoner transferals on the second day of the strike in an attempt to undermine their efforts. Thus, the IPS isolated those leading the strike, including PLC Member Marwan Barghouthi, whose health status deteriorated, and Karim Younis. Furthermore, the IPS deprived the prisoners of family visits, beak and canteen in addition to preventing them from performing Friday prayers, and washing their clothes.  It should be noted that water and salt were also confiscated from the cells and prisons, so the prisoners were forced to use the tap water.

 

The figures and statistics available at PCHR indicate that around 6500 Palestinian prisoners are detained in 22 prisons and detention facilities, most of which are established in the Nazi regime, constituting a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, particularly Article (76), which obliges the occupying power to detain prisoners from the occupied population in the occupied territories until the end of their sentences. Most of those prisoners are residents of the West Bank, including 57 women and 300 children. Moreover, the number of sick prisoners is about 1800 prisoners, including 180 prisoners who suffer from serious diseases in addition to 26 others who have cancer.

 

Being concerned over the life of the prisoners on hunger strike in the Nazi camp and to save their lives, PCHR;

 

  1. Calls upon the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to fulfill their moral and legal obligations and oblige Israel to put an end to the suffering of thousands of the prisoners in the Nazi camp, including dozens who served around a decade and others served around 30 years in the prisons in addition to hundreds of patients, who suffer from serious diseases;
  2. Calls upon the International community to practice pressure on the Nazi regime in order to respond for the humane and fair demands of the prisoners on hunger strike;
  3. Calls upon the International human rights organizations to follow up the cause of the Palestinian prisoners and mobilize International support in order to practice pressure on the Nazi regime to stop its arbitrary measures against the prisoners and work on releasing them; and
  4. Warns the Zionist doctors of attempting to forcibly feed the prisoners on hunger strike, emphasizing that PCHR will prosecute them as war criminals in case they did that.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

The Looting Machine Called Capitalism

NOVANEWS
 

I have come to the conclusion that capitalism is successful primarily because it can impose the majority of the costs associated with its economic activities on outside parties and on the environment. In other words, capitalists make profits because their costs are externalized and born by others. In the US, society and the environment have to pick up the tab produced by capitalist activity.

In the past when critics raised the question about external costs, that is, costs that are external to the company although produced by the company’s activities, economists answered that it was not really a problem, because those harmed by the activity could be compensated for the damages that they suffered. This statement was intended to reinforce the claim that capitalism served the general welfare. However, the extremely primitive nature of American property rights meant that rarely would those suffering harm be compensated. The apologists for capitalism saved the system in the abstract, but not in reality.

My recent article, “The Destruction of Inlet Beach,” made it clear to me that very little, if any, of the real estate development underway would be profitable if the external costs imposed on existing property holders had to be compensated.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/17/destruction-inlet-beach/

Consider just a few examples. When a taller house is constructed in front of one of less height, the Gulf view of the latter is preempted. The damage to the property value of the house whose view has been blocked is immense. Would the developer build such a tall structure if the disadvantaged existing property had to be compensated for the decline in its value?

When a house is built that can sleep 20 or 30 people next to a family’s vacation home or residence, the noise and congestion destroys the family’s ability to enjoy their own property. If they had to be compensated for their loss, would the hotel, disquised as a “single family dwelling” have been built?

Image result for walton county florida

Walton County, Florida, is so unconcerned about these vital issues that it has permitted construction of structures that can accommodate 30 people, but provide only three parking spaces. Where do the rental guests park? How many residents will find themselves blocked in their own driveways or with cars parked on their lawns?

As real estate developers build up congestion, travel times are extended. What formerly was a 5 minute drive from Inlet Beach to Seaside along 30-A can now take 45 minutes during summer and holidays, possibly longer. Residents and visitors pay the price of the developers’ profits in lost time. The road is a two-lane road that cannot be widened. Yet Walton County’s planning department took no account of the gridlock that would emerge.

As the state and federal highways serving the area were two lanes, over-development made hurricane evacuation impossible. Florida and US taxpayers had to pay for turning two lane highways into four lane highways in order to provide some semblance of hurricane evacuation. After a decade, the widening of highway 79, which runs North-South is still not completed to its connection to Interstate 10. Luckily, there have been no hurricanes.

If developers had to pay these costs instead of passing them on to taxpayers, would their projects still be profitable?

Now consider the external costs of offshoring the production of goods and services that US corporations, such as Apple and Nike, market to Americans. When production facilities in the US are closed and the jobs are moved to China, for example, the American workers lose their jobs, medical coverage, careers, pension provision, and often their self-respect when they are unable to find comparable employment or any employment. Some fall behind in their mortgage and car payments and lose their homes and cars. The cities, states, and federal governments lose the tax base as personal income and sales taxes decline and as depressed housing and commercial real estate prices in the abandoned communities depress property taxes. Social security and Medicare funding is harmed as payroll tax deposits fall. State and local infrastructure declines. Possibly crime rises. Safety net needs rise, but expenditures are cut as tax revenues decline. Municipal and state workers find their pensions at risk. Education suffers. All of these costs greatly exceed Apple’s and Nike’s profits from substituting cheaper foreign labor for American labor. Contradicting the neoliberal claims, Apple’s and Nike’s prices do not drop despite the collapse in labor costs that the corporations experience.

A country that was intelligently governed would not permit this. As the US is so poorly governed, the executives and shareholders of global corporations are greatly enriched because they can impose the costs associated with their profits on external third parties.

The unambigious fact is that US capitalism is a mechanism for looting the many for the benefit of the few. Neoliberal economics was constructed in order to support this looting. In other words, neoliberal economists are whores just like the Western print and TV media.

Yet, Americans are so insouciant that you will hear those who are being looted praise the merits of “free market capitalism.”

So far we have barely scratched the surface of the external costs that capitalism imposes. Now consider the pollution of the air, soil, waterways, and oceans that result from profit-making activities. Consider the radioactive wastes pouring out of Fukushima since March 2011 into the Pacific Ocean. Consider the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico from agricultural chemical fertilizer run-off. Consider the destruction of the Apalachicola, Florida, oyster beds from the restricted river water that feeds the bay due to overdevelopment upstream. Examples such as these are endless. The corporations responsible for this destruction bear none of the costs.

Image result for pollutionIf it turns out that global warming and ocean acidification are consequences of capitalism’s carbon-based energy system, the entire world could end up dead from the external costs of capitalism.

Free market advocates love to ridicule economic planning, and Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers actually said that “markets are self-regulating.” There is no sign anywhere of this self-regulation. Instead, there are external costs piled upon external costs. The absence of planning is why over-development has made 30-A dysfunctional, and it is why over-development has made metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta, Georgia, dysfunctional. Planning does not mean the replacement of markets. It means the provision of rules that produce rational results instead of shifting costs of development onto third parties.

If capitalism had to cover the cost of its activities, how many of the activities would pay?

As capitalists do not have to cover their external costs, what limits the costs?

Once the external costs exceed the biosphere’s ability to process the waste products associated with external costs, life ends.

We cannot survive an unregulated capitalism with a system of primitive property rights. Ecological economists such as Herman Daly understand this, but neoliberal economists are apologists for capitalist looting. In days gone by when mankind’s footprint on the planet was light, what Daly calls an “empty world,” productive activities did not produce more wastes than the planet could cleanse. But the heavy foot of our time, what Daly calls a “full world,” requires extensive regulation. The Trump administration’s program of rolling back environmental protection, for example, will multiply external costs. To claim that this will increase economic growth is idiotic. As Daly (and Michael Hudson) emphasize, the measure known as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is so flawed that we do not know whether the increased output costs more to produce than it is worth. GDP is really a measure of what has been looted without reference to the cost of the looting. Environmental deregulation means that capitalists can treat the environment as a garbage dump. The planet can become so toxic that it cannot recover.

In the United States and generally across the Western world, property rights exist only in a narrow, truncated form. A developer can steal your view forever and your solitude for the period his construction requires. If the Japanese can have property rights in views, in quiet which requires noise abatement, and in sun fall on their property, why can’t Americans? After all, we are alleged to be the “exceptional people.”

But in actual fact, Americans are the least exceptional people in human history. Americans have no rights at all. We hapless insignificant beings have to accept whatever capitalists and their puppet government impose on us. And we are so stupid we call it “Freedom and Democracy America.”

Posted in Education, Politics0 Comments

Nazi regime celebrates 50 years as occupier

NOVANEWS

Israel celebrates 50 years as occupier

50th anniversary of 1967 occupation

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation.

The centrepiece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour Party, now heading the opposition.

The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature. But the extravagance of the festivities also underscores the growth over five decades of Israel’s self-assurance as an occupier.

… for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of nature.

Documents found this month in Israel’s archives reveal that, when Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, its first concern was to hoodwink the international community.

The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel’s ambassadors to mischaracterise its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem as a simple “municipal fusion”. To avoid diplomatic reprisals, Israel claimed it was necessary to ease the provision of essential services to the occupied Palestinian population.

Interestingly, those drafting the order advised that the deception was unlikely to succeed. The United States had already insisted that Israel commit no unilateral moves.

But within months Israel had evicted thousands of Palestinians from the Old City and destroyed their homes. Washington and Europe have been turning a blind eye to such actions ever since.

One of the Zionist movement’s favourite early slogans was: “Dunam after dunam, goat after goat.” The seizure of small areas of territory measured in dunams, the demolition of the odd home, and the gradual destruction of herding animals would slowly drive the Palestinians off most of their land, “liberating” it for Jewish colonisation. If it was done piecemeal, the objections from overseas would remain muffled. It has proved a winning formula.

Fifty years on, the colonisation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank is so entrenched that a two-state solution is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Fifty years on, the colonisation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank is so entrenched that a two-state solution is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Nonetheless, US President Donald Trump has chosen this inauspicious moment to dispatch an envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a “goodwill” response, Israeli Prime Minister Bintamin Netanyahu has unveiled a framework for settlement building. It is exactly the kind of formula for deception that has helped Israel consolidate the occupation since 1967.

Netanyahu says expansion will be “restricted” to “previously developed” settlements, or “adjacent” areas, or, depending on the terrain, “land close” to a settlement.

Peace Now points out that the settlements already have jurisdiction over some 10 per cent of the West Bank, while far more is treated as “state land”. The new framework, says the group, gives the settlers a green light to “build everywhere”.

The Trump White House has shrugged its shoulders. A statement following Netanyahu’s announcement judged the settlements no “impediment to peace”, adding that Israel’s commitments to previous US administrations would be treated as moot.

Effectively, the US is wiping the slate clean, creating a new baseline for negotiations after decades of Israeli changes stripping the Palestinians of territory and rights.

[Palestinians fear] Trump will try to impose a regional solution on Arab states, over Abbas’s head, designed to “eliminate the Palestinian cause altogether”.

Although none of this bodes well, Egypt and Jordan’s leaders met Trump this month to push for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The White House is said to be preparing to welcome the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Some senior Palestinians are rightly wary. Abbas Zaki, a Fatah leader, fears Trump will try to impose a regional solution on Arab states, over Abbas’s head, designed to “eliminate the Palestinian cause altogether”.

David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, reportedly once said: “What matters is not what the goyim [non-Jews] say, but what the Jews do.”

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Oslo accords dangled an illusory peace carrot that usefully distracted the global community as Israel nearly quadrupled its settler population, making even a highly circumscribed Palestinian state unrealisable.

Now, that game plan is about to be revived in new form. While the US, Israel, Jordan and Egypt focus on the hopeless task of creating a regional framework for peace, Israel will be left undisturbed once again to seize more dunams and more goats.

Israel’s imminent celebrations should lay to rest any confusion that the occupation is still considered temporary. But when occupation becomes permanent, it metamorphoses into something far uglier.

In Israel, the debate is no longer simply about whether to build settler homes, or about how many can be justified. Government ministers argue instead about the best moment to annex vast areas of the West Bank associated with so-called settlement blocs such as Gush Etzion.

Israel’s imminent celebrations should lay to rest any confusion that the occupation is still considered temporary. But when occupation becomes permanent, it metamorphoses into something far uglier.

It is past time to recognise that Israel has established an apartheid regime and one that serves as a vehicle for incremental ethnic cleansing. If there are to be talks, ending that outrage must be their first task.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

IMF Meeting Signals Descent into Global Trade War

In another step toward world-wide trade war, the International Monetary Fund over the weekend became the second major global economic organisation to back away from a commitment to “resist all forms of protectionism.”

In the wake of the decision at last month’s meeting of the G20 finance ministers to drop the phrase from its communiqué, the IMF adopted the same course at its spring meeting in Washington. In both cases, the “free trade” commitment was removed as a result of pressure from the Trump administration, in line with the White House’s “America First” agenda.

The statement issued by the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) said it sought to “promote a level playing field in international trade,” dropping the previous wording.

The current chair of the committee, Agustin Carstens, the governor of the Bank of Mexico, sought to cover over the significance of the decision by suggesting that the previous wording had been removed because “the use of the word protectionism is very ambiguous.”

In reality, the omission of any disavowal of protectionism is an unmistakable expression of mounting trade tensions, fueled above all by the Trump administration.

These conflicts could not be completely suppressed at the meeting. In his statement to the IMFC, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said

Germany “commits to keep the global economy open, resist protectionism and keep global economic and financial cooperation on track.”

This statement stood in stark contrast to the remarks of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said the US would

“promote an expansion of trade with those partners committed to market-based competition, while more rigorously defending ourselves against unfair trade practices.”

He directed his comment in particular against the two major countries, China and Germany, that have the largest trade surpluses with the US. Washington insists that the Chinese economy is not market-based, while members of the Trump administration have asserted that Germany enjoys unfair advantages because the value of the euro is lower than where its former currency, the deutschmark, would have been.

While not directly naming Germany, which recorded a record trade surplus last year, Mnuchin said that

“countries with large external surpluses and sound public finances have a particular responsibility for contributing to a more robust global economy.”

The decision of the IMF to bow to US pressure came just days after the Trump administration announced a major initiative aimed at imposing sweeping restrictions on steel imports, which, if carried through, will have far-reaching implications for the global market in this basic commodity.

Under a little-used law dating from 1962, Trump signed an executive order to launch an investigation into the impact of steel imports on US national security. Describing the decision as a “historic day for America,” he declared that steel was “critical to both our economy and military,” and that this was not “an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries.”

The invocation of “national security” has clear connections to the militarist drive of the administration. But the use of this legislation is also part of a broader strategy on protectionism laid out by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the head of Trump’s National Trade Council, in a submission to Congress earlier this year.

It is based on using previous US legislation to circumvent international trade laws enforced by the World Trade Organization, enabling the United States to impose protectionist measures with impunity. Significantly, in their paper, Ross and Navarro invoked the infamous Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930, widely credited with being responsible for the trade conflicts of the 1930s that contributed to the outbreak of World War II.

Commenting on the latest Trump move to the Financial Times, Chad Brown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and a former economic adviser to President Obama, said that citing “national security” to justify restrictions on steel imports amounted to carrying out the “nuclear option” on trade.

“This is one more piece of evidence in the worrisome trend that Trump seems to be turning over every rock and investigating each tool available under US law to stop trade,” he said.

In recent years, the US has launched 152 anti-steel dumping cases and has another 25 in the pipeline. But the latest move represents a major escalation. According to Commerce Secretary Ross, the present system is too “porous” and allows only for narrow complaints against particular countries, which can be easily skirted.

The new measures are intended to bring about a “more comprehensive solution with a very wide range of steel products and a very wide range of countries,” which could “conceivably result in a recommendation to take action on all steel imports.”

This would cause chaos in international markets, as steel exporters sought to shift their output to other markets, leading to accusations of dumping, the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions—in short, a full-scale trade war.

There are two essential driving forces behind the actions of the American government:

First, the ongoing economic decline of the US, which it now seeks to overcome by political and military means—a process that has accelerated in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent decline in world economic growth and contraction of world markets.

Second, the striving by the Trump administration to deflect rising social tensions caused by low wages and growing economic hardship, and channel them along reactionary economic nationalist lines. In this, Trump has the full support of the trade union bureaucracy, with key union leaders standing beside him as he signed his executive order on steel. It is also backed by the economic nationalists of the Democratic Party, whose most prominent representative is the self-styled “socialist” Bernie Sanders.

Image result for imf descent global trade warThe inherent, objective logic of these processes is economic and military war, to which the capitalist politicians can offer no progressive alternative, as the impotence displayed by the IMF in the face of what it recognises as a great danger once again underscored. This is because the growth of economic nationalism and protectionism is rooted in the very foundations of the socio-economic system based on private profit and the division of the world into rival nation-states.

One hundred years ago, the world was embroiled in the carnage of World War I. It was not the “war to end all wars,” but only the start of a more than three-decade-long struggle to decide which of the imperialist powers would achieve global dominance. Eventually, after tens of millions of deaths and untold horrors, including the Holocaust and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, the US emerged as the preeminent global power.

Now the world is being brought face to face with the even more explosive consequences of America’s economic decline.

But this year also marks the centenary of the greatest event of the 20th century, the Russian Revolution, and the successful conquest of political power by the working class, led by the Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik Party on the basis of the program of world socialist revolution. That must be the perspective that animates the international working class in the struggles it now directly confronts.

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Neoliberal Globalization: In the Shadow of Social Democracy, Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives

We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups – sometimes lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat – struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class – once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently chaotic sees of everyday life – have turned into subjects of theoretical debate with little to no connection to political praxis.

Vacated by the left, a new right adopted the language of class to appeal to those who were steamrolled and marginalized by economic globalization. Many of the policies advanced by the new right could have been taken out of social democratic programs of old but are now loaded with claims to racial and national superiority. Some on the left, and pretty much everybody in the political centre, takes the new right ideology at face value and concludes that working class politics, even if originally meant as harbinger of universal human liberation, invariably lead to nationalism and racism. Such reasoning ignores that much of the discontent on which the new right thrives is produced by neoliberal globalization, the very project that appropriates left aspirations of human liberation in the pursuit of profit.

It also ignores the fact that most of the support for the new right does not come from people with low incomes and little educational attainment but from the middle-brackets of Western societies. People at the low-end rather opt out of casting their votes. The franchise for which socialists fought so hard at various points in history is increasingly abandoned by the have-nots whose ancestors still thought the sheer number of their votes might counterbalance the power of concentrated capital.

Dormant: Class Politics from Below

That class politics is dead, or at least dormant, doesn’t mean there are no political and social conflicts. In fact, there are a lot and most of them are fought out in the shadow of social democracy. The demands put forward by political upstarts like Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece, who grew out of the post-class politics of occupied public spaces, would have been considered as social democratic mainstream back in the 1970s. The same is true for Jean-Luc Mélenchon‘s presidential campaign in France or Jeremy Corbyns efforts to put social democratic content back into the British Labour Party. And it is also true for a whole number of left-wing parties all over Western Europe. Some, like the Swedish Left Party, have roots in Soviet Communism, the Dutch Socialist Party comes out of the Maoist movement, and Ireland’s Sinn Fein out of the struggle for national independence. Back in the 1970s, all of these organizations were more or less critical of social democracy but began filling the vacuum left when social democratic parties, spearheaded by New Labour’s Tony Blair, began deserting the political space they had occupied throughout the post-WWII-era. To the Blairites and others in the political centre, a continued commitment to social reforms and the welfare state, not to speak of further reaching goals of socialist transformation, is not only a step toward the convergence with the populism coming from the new right. It is also seen as an expression of nostalgia unable to come to terms with the new realities of global capitalism.

This nostalgia charge contains a kernel of truth but misses the point. Widespread nostalgia has nothing to do with anyone’s inability to understand the harsh realities of global capitalism. It has anything to do with growing numbers of people resenting these realities and looking for alternatives. Ironically enough, social democratic parties abandoned their commitment to social reform and welfare state expansion at some time during the 1990s when the neoliberal promise of a rising tide that would eventually lift all boats began to ring hollow. With more and more people finding out that they were at the losing end of neoliberal globalization the welfare state regained popularity, which – under conditions of near full employment up until the 1970s – had been challenged by women, ethnic minorities and youth who resented their exclusion from welfare state provisions as much as the bureaucratic ways such provisions were delivered.

Yet, with the collective bargaining power of unions receding in the face of automation, relocations and the reorganization of firms and labour processes, inequality and insecurity began to rise. Under these conditions welfare states, despite cuts and even stricter bureaucratic control, became more important to increasing numbers of people who could have done without many of the welfare state’s provisions in the good old days of high employment and rising real wages. Memories of those days, even if they appear rosier in hindsight than they were experienced at the time, seem to be an inspiration for current struggles against further welfare state retrenchment. They can also contribute to the imagination of a better future.

Forward and Backward Looking Memories

Three Worlds of Social Democracy by Ingo Schmidt

In fact, ‘forward-looking memories’ did play key roles in the making of socialist movements in the past. The moral economy shaped by pre-capitalist agriculture and artisan production turned into a guide to struggle against the factory regime under which the first generations of wageworkers had to toil. Later, the traditions of craftsmanship inspired workers fighting against the degradation of work under the guise of scientific management and developed visions of workers’ councils and self-management out of these traditions. There is no reason that memories of more generous welfare states couldn’t inspire visions of a future beyond ever tighter budget constraints and bureaucratic control under which welfare states suffer at the present time. Unlike the memories of pre-capitalist times and craftsmanship, which motivated workers to build movements focused very much on the point of production, memories of the heyday of welfare state expansion open the focus to the much wider world of social reproduction. This could be a starting point of amalgamating movements organizing around specific issues – such as minimum wages, public healthcare, housing or education – into a more unified movement, which, in Marx’s and Engels’ words in the German Ideology, “abolishes the present state of things.”

Such a vision for the future doesn’t automatically develop out of memories of a better past. It needs to be actively created. This requires political interventions that allow people to see their past in a way that opens prospects for a better future. Without such prospects, ‘backward-looking memories’ can lead to a demoralizing and demobilizing yearning to restore an irredeemable past. The frustrated recognition of the impossibility to restore the past may then open the door to right-wing praise of the glorious past of the chosen people. Falling for such praise inevitably leads to frustration as this ideological cover stands in stark contrast to the politics that new right formations pursue. Rather than offering alternatives to an unloved present, these formations aim at the further radicalization of neoliberalism. Avoiding a vicious cycle of right wing policies thriving on backward-looking memories, further radicalization of neoliberalism and frustration fueled by the outcomes of such radicalization requires not only the opening of future prospects for a better world. It also requires an understanding why better conditions that existed in the past ceased to exist. In this particular case, this means an understanding of social democracy and the welfare state project it pursued, whether in office or in opposition, in the post-WWII-era.

Limits to Social Democracy

Blueprints for an organized capitalism in which the spoils of rising productivity would be shared between labour and capital were floating around socialist circles for quite some time. They only came to fruition during the Cold War. The overarching goal of containing Soviet Communism prompted capitalists’ willingness to strike a deal with social democracy. On the basis of unprecedented and, after the experiences of the Great Depression, unexpected prosperity such a deal could be reached without cutting into company profits. Social democratic theoreticians attributed the prosperity to the virtues of Keynesian demand management that stabilized the accumulation process and therefore reduced the risk of large-scale investments. This Keynesian story is true but incomplete. It misses the role played by the unequal exchange between cheap resource imports from and relatively more expensive industrial exports to the South. And it misses the role played by unpaid household labour and the super-exploitation of groups of workers, often immigrants, who were excluded from the deal between capital and organized labour. The convergence of struggles of these excluded groups, militancy of unionized workers and anti-imperialist movements in the South represented a formidable threat to profit rates from the late-1960s onwards. In the mid-1970s this threat coincided with a crisis of overproduction, on its part induced by a long boom of investment in production capacity and the rise of new industrial economies in Asia.

At that point, capitalists decided to turn from welfare state compromise to neoliberal class struggle from above. This included a global restructuring of production and distribution processes that ultimately destroyed the social basis for the various but largely unconnected movements that had challenged capitalist rule in previous years. During the Keynesian era, capitalists had more or less grudgingly accepted social reform as a means to contain the real or just assumed threat of communism. When that acceptance turned into a threat to profits and capitalist rule in its own right, they built a global economy in which the quest for social reform pushes capitalism to the verge of revolution. At this time, social movements – remnants of old workers’ movements and the new social movements of the 1970s but also movements dating back to the alter-globalization movement of the 1990s and more recent anti-austerity movements – are far from posing a revolutionary threat. At best, they slow the continuation of neoliberal restructuring down and articulate alternatives to the new right. Experiences made in these struggles might contribute to the remaking of working class politics that could effectively challenge capitalist power in the future.

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Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

 NOVANEWS

(13 – 19 April 2017)

Image result for Nazi army Photo

  • Nazi forces killed a Palestinian civilian in southern Bethlehem in employment of deadly force.

 

  • 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank.

 

  • Nazi forces continued to target the Gaza Strip border areas, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • Nazi forces conducted 39 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 limited ones in Jerusalem.

–        40 civilians, including 19 children, were arrested in the West Bank.

–        18 of them, including 12 children, were arrested in Jerusalem.

–        Contents of 3 bookshops for university services in Hebron were confiscated and the bookshops were closed. 

 

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–        2 houses in al-Mukaber Mount were demolished.

–        Hundreds of settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in the Jewish holiday. 

 

  • Nazi forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.

 

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th year.

–        Due to the Jewish Passover holiday, the Nazi regime continued imposing a security closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

–        Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

 

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (13 – 19 April 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed a Palestinian man and wounded 7 others, including 3 children, in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces continued to pursuit the Palestinian fishermen in the sea and open fire at Palestinian farmers at the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, on 19 April 2017, in employment of deadly force, Nazi forces killed Sohaib Mashahra (21), from al-Shaikh Sa’d village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned person was killed when Nazi forces stationed at “Kufr Ezion” settlement, south of Bethlehem, opened fire at a car he was driving after the car hit an Israeli bus. Nazi forces claimed it was a deliberate attack targeting settlers, but photos of the scene shows it was likely a normal car accident.

 

During the reporting period, Nazi forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, using force against peaceful protests. On 14 April 2017, 2 children were wounded when Nazi forces opened fire at Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

 

On the same day, 4 civilians were wounded to the lower limbs when Nazi forces erected a checkpoint at the intersection of Tamoun village, south of Tubas, and opened fire at the youngsters who gathered and throw stones at the Nazi soldiers.

 

On 15 April 2017, a Palestinian child sustained a bullet wound to the head when Nazi forces opened fire at Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

 

In the Gaza Strip, concerning Nazi attacks on fishermen in the Gaza Strip sea, on 13 April 2017, Nazi navy forces opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles, west of al-Sudaniya shore, north of the Gaza Strip. On the same day, Nazi gunboats opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 1.5 nautical miles northwest of Beit Lahia shore, north of the Gaza Strip. A similar attack recurred off al-Sudaniya shore on 14 April 2017 while 2 others recurred off Beit Lahia shore on 15 and 19 April 2017.

 

In the context of targeting the border areas, on 13 April 2017, Nazi forces stationed at the border fence, north of al-Sayafa area, northwest of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Nazi.

 

On 18 April 2017, Nazi forces stationed at the border fence, east of Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area, however, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

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On the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Prisoners’ Suffering in Nazi camp’s Continues

 NOVANEWS

 

Image result for JEWISH Prisoners IN NAZI CAMP PHOTO

Today, 17 April 2017, marks the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Over 6,500 Palestinian and Arab prisoners have been detained in the Nazi camp’s and detention centers under cruel and inhumane conditions.

The Palestinians commemorate this day since 1979, supporting the cause of prisoners detained in the Nazi camp’s, as it marks the anniversary of the first prisoner released in the first prisoners’ exchange deal between the Palestinians and the Nazi illegal occupation on 17 April 1974.

This occasion comes in a time whilst the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners in the Nazi camp’s has exacerbated due to the Nazi violations and punitive measures taken against them. These prisoners are regularly subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including torture; denial of family visitation; naked search; night raids; solitary confinement; medical negligence; denial of education under a decision issued by the Nazi camp’s Service on 20 July 2011[1]; applying the force-feeding law against prisoners on hunger strike[2]; in addition to other violations falling within the Nazi policy against Palestinian prisoners.

The Palestinian prisoners in the Nazi camp’s declared today moving to the hardest choice which is starting a hunger strike until their minimum human demands are met. Statistics available at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) shows that about 1,500 prisoners in a number of prisons and detention facilities has declared starting a hunger strike claiming a number of human demands, the most prominent of which are, inter alia, putting an end to the solitary confinement policy, offering medication to sick prisoners, constant communication with their families, ending arbitrary and degrading measures against female prisoners, receiving magazines and newspapers permanently and the right to education. It is expected that other prisoners would join them in their hunger strike which was described as a rolling strike.

Furthermore, data and statistics available at PCHR indicate that over 6,500 Palestinian prisoners have been detained in 22 prisons and detention facilities, the majority of which are located in occupied Palestine 1948 in a clear violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that obliges Nazi regime to detain the prisoners of the occupied country in their country until they serve their sentences therein. The majority of the prisoners are from the West Bank, including 57 women and 300 children. Moreover, the number of sick prisoners reached about 1,800, including 180 suffering from serious illnesses and 26 having cancer.

Nazi regime continued to place 500 under administrative detention in the Nazi camp’s, including 15 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and former ministers, in a clear violation of their right to fair trial and right to receive adequate defence and be informed of the charges against them. The violation of the right to fair trial is part of the administrative detention policy implemented upon an administrative without a court ruling in a way that violates the fair judicial procedure.

PCHR, on this day, draws attention to the increasing violations committed against the Palestinian prisoners and the poor conditions under which they live in view of the Nazi regime insistence to violate the rules of the international humanitarian law and principles of human rights to which the Nazi state is a state party. PCHR further highlights that the international community’s silence encourages the commission of more violations without accountability.

Since it was established, PCHR has been following up the prisoners’ cause, offering them and their families the legal aid they need, working on unveiling the Nazi violations, and calling upon:

  1. The High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations;
  2. The international human rights organisations to follow up the Palestinian prisoners’ cause and rally international support to pressurise the Nazi regime to stop all its arbitrary practices against the Palestinian prisoners;
  3. The European countries to activate Article 2 of the EU-‘Israel’ Association Agreement, which provides that the Nazi regime should respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation; and
  4. The UN bodies, International Committee of the Red Cross and international community to pressurise the Nazi regime to improve the detention conditions of the Palestinian prisoners, stop torture and open prisons to observers until prisoners are released.

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Nazi National Union Youth’NNUY’: Barbecue in front of Nazi Jewish Camp

NOVANEWS

By: Kitty Moses

Event aims to break Palestinian her’s spirit, calls government not to surrender, to act diligently to release terrorist Goldin and Shaul.

Juicy barbeque

Nazi barbeque

The Nazi National Union ‘NNUY’ party youth organization decided to celebrate the hunger strike of imprisoned  Palestinian hero’s with Nazi barbecue in front of Ofer Nazi Jewish camp, where among others the leaders of the Palestinian protest are incarcerated.

The event will be held today (Thursday) at 12:00 to break the spirit of the terrorists and to call upon the Israeli government not to surrender to terrorist blackmail but rather to work energetically for the release of kidnapped soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul) Said Nazi NNUY.

“The time has come to stop listening to the hunger strikers and show them that we are not giving in to their whims,” ​​said Nazi Ophir Sofer, secretary-general of the Nazi National Union party.

“We call upon the government and its leader to further worsen conditions for terrorists and to act with conviction for the release of the soldiers Goldin and Shaul who fought for us all.”

Chairman of the Nazi National Union Youth, Nazi Avichai Greenwald, asks “Surrender to a hunger strike? It is not even clear why there is no death penalty for terrorists. We wish the terrorists success in the strike. Let them go through with it all the way.”

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Zionist PA slams ‘Israel’s’ refusal to talk to hunger-striking prisoners

Palestinian Authority official Issa Qaraqe gives a press conference in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on the large number of Palestinians staging hunger strikes in Israeli jails, April 19, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
PA official Issa Qaraqe gives a press conference in the Nazi occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on the large number of Palestinians staging hunger strikes in Nazi camp, April 19, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

The Palestinian Authority’s head of detainees’ affairs says that the death of any hunger-striking prisoner may lead to a “new Intifada.”

Issa Qaraqe made the remarks on Wednesday, while condemning the Nazi regime’s refusal to negotiate with the some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners who have been taking part in a mass hunger strike since Monday.

On Tuesday, Nazi Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said he believes the strike is politically motivated, and he sees no need to engage in negotiations with the Palestinian inmates.

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He added that the hunger strike leader, Marwan Barghouti, has been transferred to another prison in the northern Nazi occupied Palestinian territories and placed in solitary confinement.

A man holds a photo of prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally supporting those detained in Nazi camp after hundreds of them launched a hunger strike, in the West Bank town of Hebron (al-Khalil) on April 17, 2017. 

“If their demands are not met, more prisoners will join the strike,” said Qaraqe while calling on the global community to intervene in the crisis besetting Palestinian hunger strikers.

“We have asked the international community and the UN to intervene immediately,” he stressed.

On Monday, the United Nations said it was keeping a close eye on the hunger strike situation.

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Nazi Camp’s hold around 6,500 Palestinians, including 300 minors. Some of the inmates are held under Nazi policy of administrative detention, which enables confinement without charge.

Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest against the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

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Nazi Media: When shooting a teen in the back is a ‘professional error’

NOVANEWS

ISRAEL IDF PALESTINE GAZA

972 MAG – An IDF brigade commander shot a Palestinian teen who threw a rock at his jeep, while the boy was running away, and then left him bleeding on the road. Initially, the colonel claimed his life was in danger. With each subsequent interrogation, the story changed. The military police determined the incident was a ‘professional error’ –  bad aim – and closed the case despite evidence that tells a very different story.

On July 3, 2015, Col. Yisrael Shomer, then-commander of the IDF’s Binyamin Brigade, was driving towards the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank. Mohammad al-Kasbeh, a 17 year-old Palestinian, threw a large rock at the windshield of Shomer’s vehicle, and started to flee. The Binyamin Brigade commander stepped out of the car, fired two bullets into the back of the fleeing boy, and left him wounded and bleeding on the ground without offering any help. Kasbeh died from his wounds. The military police file was closed with no indictment filed, and Col. Shomer was promoted to commander of the IDF’s Southern Command.

Now, for the first time, our investigation reveals that a subordinate soldier who was with Shomer at the time of the shooting testified to Military Police investigators that neither man was in immediate danger, and that his commander failed to follow the protocol for arresting suspects. Furthermore, while Shomer claimed that the boy was holding an object, the soldier testified that that the boy held nothing. Video analysis of the incident, made possible by these testimonies, also showed that the entire shooting was documented, and contradicts Shomer’s claim that he fired in the air.

What follows is a review of the Military Police’s file, the changing versions of the officer’s testimony (especially after B’Tselem released video footage documenting the shooting), the contradictory testimonies of the soldiers who were with Shomer that day, and the decision of the Military Advocate General (MAG) not to file an indictment against the IDF colonel.

Last month, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed an appeal to the High Court of Justice demanding that the army prosecute Shomer for murder, or at least negligent manslaughter. The appeal is based on the military’s own investigation file, reviewed in this article, and the crux of the argument is that Col. Shomer was not in mortal danger when he fired into the boy’s back.

A lethal threat that wasn’t

On the morning of the incident, around 6:30 a.m., Binyamin Brigade Commander Col. Yirael Shomer was driving in his vehicle with three other soldiers on the road between Jabah and Qalandiya. Shomer’s second in command, who had passed through the same spot a few minutes prior, reported that stones were being thrown along the route. Accordingly, the soldiers in the vehicle testified they were aware that they might also be targeted by stones. “We were alert following the announcement,” one solider testified during his first interrogation, according to the investigation file.

When the commander’s jeep, moving relatively slowly, reached the intersection, Mohammad al-Kasbeh approached the vehicle and threw a rock at the windshield from close-range. The rock smashed the windshield, but did not enter the vehicle. After the rock had been thrown and the boy began to run, Shomer and his radio man, D., got out of the car and chased Kasbeh.

Shomer fired three shots, two of which hit the boy: one in the upper back and one in the neck. The officer and the soldier approached and saw Kasbeh injured and bleeding on the ground, yet left the scene without calling for medical assistance and without trying to help the dying boy, who succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

In its initial report to the media, the army claimed that Kasbeh threw a stone, and Col. Shomer returned fire. Government ministers rushed to Shomer’s defense. “A stone kills,” wrote Minister Miri Regev. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, paraphrasing Jewish religious texts, said “He who comes to kill you, hurry to kill him.” Shomer said his life was in danger, and that he therefore acted legally when he fatally shot the teenager. However, security camera footage from a nearby gas station — which captured part of the incident and was published by B’Tselem — shows without a shadow of a doubt that Shomer’s version of the truth is false, and that the shooting took place during a chase, after the boy had thrown the rock and attempted to escape.

Three stone throwers, or one teenager?

The military police’s initial interrogation of the three soldiers and their officer took place at noon on the day of the incident, about six hours after the shooting of Kasbeh and after everybody had participated in an operational debriefing during which each person heard the others’ version of events. At this point, it’s critical to note, they were unaware of the existence of security footage. According to their version, there was a planned ambush: “In front of us were two cars which stopped driving, deliberately as I understood it, in order to set an ambush and to force us to stop the jeep and serve as a target for the rock throwers,” Shomer said in his first interrogation, and his soldiers corroborated this description of events.

According to documents from the first interrogation, the narrative of all four was that their car was trapped after two cars stopped in front of them, blocking their route. When B’Tselem published the video, this version of the story collapsed. All four were summoned to further interrogations, and confronted with the inconsistencies.

At first they repudiated these claims, and according to investigation documents, claiming that the video was forged. Soldier A. testified, “You see ‘B’Tselem’ in the upper right corner, so I think it’s a fake.” But after they were convinced by military police that the video was authentic, that even the head of the police’s digital imagery division confirmed its authenticity, the soldiers’ testimonies began to change. This time, there was no ambush: they stopped after the stone was thrown. There weren’t any cars blocking them: they could have driven away but chose to stay. Not unreasonable behavior, but it negated the original claim that they had they not left the vehicle, they would have been in mortal danger.

Back to the first interrogation. The three soldiers and the officer initially testified that at least three young men, each holding a rock, attacked the stopped vehicle. “I see… a Palestinian holding a rock… close behind him, on the left, there are two more Palestinians, also holding rocks in their hands,” testified Col. Shomer to the military police. “At the time of the throwing the Palestinian is in zero-range, that is to say less than a meter from the jeep, and when the jeep stops completely he moves away after he throws the rock. When I exit the jeep, I’m standing about 5 or 10 meters from the jeep, and he’s about 15 meters away.”

A few months later, when military investigators threatened to charge S., one of the soldiers who was in the jeep, with obstructing the investigation, he admitted that there was only one teenager present, not three. Yet in the first statement by the IDF Spokesperson, broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2, there was talk of an “angry crowd” throwing stones.

Then, the commander decided to ‘unload’ — that is, to leave the vehicle, after which, he claims: “I shoot a bullet in the air, shout ‘Hello’ or ‘Waqf’ in Arabic, something like that, and shoot a bullet in the air at a 90 degree angle, so I won’t harm anyone in the vicinity, god forbid. After that, I still feel my life is in danger, from the three of them, two of them still with stones in their hands, so I shoot in the direction of the Palestinian who threw the rock and is holding something in his hand — two shots, aimed at the knees and below.” It’s not clear whether Shomer meant to say 60 degrees, or if he is unfamiliar with the army’s arrest procedure which specifies that firing in the air should be done at a 60 degree angle.

Contradictory testimonies

Along with Shomer, soldier D., who served as the brigade commander’s radio man, also exited the jeep. According to D.’s testimony, he himself knelt, yelled “Waqf!,” and pointed his weapon at Kasbeh’s legs. Before he managed to finish the arrest procedure, according to documents from the second interrogation, he says that he heard three shots and the youth fell. When he was asked during the interrogation if the commander had shouted at Kasbeh, as is required when attempting to arrest a suspect, D. gave a [crushing] response: “I didn’t hear, to your question, I would have heard if he was shouting.” In other words, Shomer’s subordinate claims that his commander failed to follow the full protocol for apprehending a suspect.

When asked specifically if Col. Shomer even initiated the arrest procedure, D. refused to answer, claiming that he only knows the answer to this question from the operational debriefing, and that this is information the military police shouldn’t be exposed to.

In fact, in the first interrogation, D. refuted part of Shomer’s version of the story. “After he threw the stone and we exited the vehicle, that Palestinian, individually, was not life-threatening in my opinion,” testified the soldier. This evidence is critical.

In his second testimony, D. added that after the shooting had ended, he rose from a kneeling firing position. This occurs in the 23rd second of the video. Until that moment, Col. Shomer is still in the frame, and so is his weapon. That is to say, the whole shooting is documented. The video clearly shows that the colonel did not aim his weapon at the sky. He exits the vehicle with his gun aimed at the fleeing Palestinian boy – not firing in the air, as he claimed. This also reveals his failure to carry out the arrest procedure as required.

Mohammad Kasbeh was not shot in the legs, where Shomer claims to have aimed. One bullet pierced his back and exited his chest, and the other entered the back of his neck and was lodged in his jaw. Shomer does not admit to shooting the boy in the back. “He stood facing me, half-turned, at an angle towards me,” he insisted during interrogations. The commander also claimed he fired because he saw something in the boy’s hand. But D., who did not look away from Mohammad, is sure that there was nothing. “He ran in a straight line away from me with his hands in fists,” D. testified during his second interrogation. “I didn’t see any object or weapon in his hands.”

From the moment that the stone was thrown to the fatal shooting, Kasbeh can be seen running in the video, except for the last moments in which he leaves the frame. Shomer himself testified that Kasbeh held a “rock” in both hands when he slammed it into the jeep and then began to flee, but this was before the escape.

Moreover, according to the testimony of Shomer, which was contradicted by A.’s testimony, there were two other youths who held “rocks,” as he put it, and he felt that his life was in danger. Yet he didn’t shoot the two youths holding rocks, although he testified that “after the first shot the Palestinians remained in place, and posed a lethal threat.”

Later, it also seems that Shomer didn’t fear them at all when he approached the seriously-wounded Kasbeh. In his second interrogation, Shomer claimed that under the open-fire regulations at the time of the incident, it was permissible to shoot a Palestinian who carried out an attack and fled, and that these guidelines only changed after the incident at Qalandiya. Yet higher-ups didn’t change the orders, only clarified them to explain that one only fires to kill in the case of mortal danger. Furthmore, the orders have always prohibited lethal fire toward anyone who does note pose a lethal threat.

Abandoning a wounded person

The problematic conduct of the Binyamin Brigade commander, Yisrael Shomer, didn’t end with the shooting. “I see him fall, get a bit closer to assess the situation. I understand that he’s injured and I understand that in that situation its best to do everything I can to leave the situation, in order to prevent further harm on both sides,” testified the senior officer during his first interrogation. In another instance during the interrogations he said, “I didn’t see where I hit. I was aiming towards his knees, later I approached until I was almost two meters from him and I couldn’t see where I had hit at all.”

D. remembers differently. “He approached so that he was standing right over the Palestinian’s body, leaned forward, then down, looked a few seconds at the Palestinian — to answer your question, I didn’t see him touch the local — and then he stood up and said, ‘He’s dead, we’re leaving’” — so says the soldier of his commander.

D.’s testimony is supported by Lt.-Col. S., head of the Jerusalem District Coordination and Liaison Administration, the first to talk to Col. Shomer when he arrived at the Qalandiya checkpoint after the shooting: “The colonel entered the checkpoint agitated and pale… he said ‘I hit someone in the head,’ he said he saw pieces of the head on the street, on the ground, on the concrete, I don’t remember which word he used.” When asked if he was certain, he stresses: “He definitely said there was a head wound. He stated that he had seen pieces of head or brain on the ground.”

Even if we accept Shomer’s version of events, it still appears that the officer shot a boy in the back and left him bleeding on the road without medical treatment or without calling for help. Shomer didn’t even bother to call an ambulance to treat the dying Kasbeh. Instead, according to D., what Shomer was concerned with at the time was photography: “The moment we entered the vehicle the colonel was yelling ‘Documentation! Documentation!’ we didn’t have time to document…”

During his first interrogation, the colonel signed a document consenting to take a polygraph test if asked to do so. Later, with his twisting and conflicting stories, he hired a civilian attorney who advised him not to take the test. The file notes a number of exchanges between the interrogators, the brigade commander and the civilian attorney, at the end of which Shomer decides not to undergo such an examination.

The brigade commander’s misdirection

In April 2016, the Military Advocate General decided to close the case without charging Shomer. According to the military police, the implementation of the arrest procedure was justified, and the fatality of the shooting was due to a professional error — that is to say, Shomer aimed for the knees and hit the back and neck by accident. This, he claims, is because Shomer was running while firing his weapon, rather than looking through the crosshairs. He entirely ignored the fact that Shomer then abandoned the injured Kasbeh. The MAG’s ruling that Shomer correctly carried out the arrest procedure is entirely contradicted by the video and D.’s testimony, which point to the opposite conclusion.

Yet another finding revealed in the investigation file is that Shomer tried to persuade investigators to determine that the case was a “professional error.” He tried to stop the boy, but “missed” and shot him twice in the neck and back. “I didn’t mean to kill the Palestinian,” he said in his final testimony, which took place in October. “I’m not a vengeful person… I didn’t mean to kill him, I made a professional error, I wasn’t negligent. Soldiers in operational situations make mistakes, make errors. So long as it’s not a deliberate mistake, so long as it’s a professional error, we need to back them up.”

Response from the IDF Spokesperson

Yisrael Shomer referred us to the IDF Spokesperson for comment:

The IDF Spokesperson’s office stated: “The investigation shows that Col. Shomer carried out the shooting while in motion, and not in a static situation. Accordingly, the aim was imprecise and killed the Palestinian.

“The military police found that the fact that the shooting was carried out as part of a suspect detention procedure was justified in this context, and was intended to bring about the immediate detention of the rock-thrower. It was also found that firing while moving fell within in the range of a professional error on the grounds of the context in which the shooting was carried out, but that it was made in clearly operational circumstances. In the eyes of the military police, the incident does not cross the criminal threshold and does not justify taking legal action against the officer.”

The IDF spokesperson chose not to answer our questions about the changes Shomer made to his testimony before and after the video was revealed, about the military’s failure to address the contradictions in his various testimonies, about abandoning Kasbeh as he bled to death, or about the promotion that Shomer later received.

 

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