Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Israel Solves the Problem of Human Rights Abuses – Stop People Filming Them!

Congratulations are in order to the Middle East’s only democracy for its ingenious solution to the problem of human rights - make filming them a crime!

Credit Yesh Din
Under the proposed legislatioin the person filming these soldiers could be gaoled for undermining the morale of the animals who fired at this couple

It’s not often that I congratulate the Israeli government but their latest proposal, to ban journalists from photographing soldiers who are engaged in abuses of human rights, beating people up, shooting a few demonstrators etc. has the touch of genius.  After all, if you stop people filming the abuses then they won’t exist, never happened, are just allegations without any supporting evidence.
At a stroke we get rid of the embarrassment of people being caught in flagrante.  Now I know that organisations like the BBC can be relied on to look the other way, but even they, on occasion, find it impossible to cover everything up, no matter how hard they try.  How much easier it will be when the BBC can turn round and say that unfortunately they were unable to capture any photographs because ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ has made it a crime.
Who knows?  Perhaps if German soldiers hadn’t filmed the execution of Jews on the steppes of White Russia all those years ago then the Nazis too could have maintained what is now called plausible deniability.  But I forgot. Comparisons with the Nazis are ‘anti-Semitic’ which means I guess that it would have been wrong for the Nazis but  not wrong for the ‘democratic’ Jewish state.
Either way I really do believe that congratulations to Netanyahu and Lieberman are in order and only anti-Semites full of nothing but sour grapes will complain.
Tony Greenstein
Maan News Agency 05/27/2018
Israeli soldiers confront a Palestinian journalist
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PCJ) released a statement on Saturday condemning the proposal of a new bill in the Israeli Knesset that would criminalize the photographing or recording of Israeli soldiers while on duty.
The bill was proposed on Thursday with the support of right-wing Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and if passed, those found in violation of the law could face a prison sentence of up to five years.
The PCJ called the proposed bill “racist,” saying that it “severely attacks the profession of the press and legitimizes the criminal practices committed by the Israeli occupation army against the Palestinian people.”
The group said the law would “grant legitimacy to the Israeli occupation to commit more crimes,” and is an attempt by the Israeli government to “escape punishment and international justice.”
“The core of the law is to mislead justice and provide a formal cover for further crimes,” the group said.
In the statement, the group called on the United Nations (UN) and other international institutions “concerned with the freedom of press work to express their opinion and exert pressure on the occupying entity to comply with its laws in accordance with international laws and conventions, and to protect the freedom of press work and the role of fundamental journalists in uncovering and documenting the truth.”
June 17, 2018 / 5:03 PM / 7 days ago

FILE PHOTO: An Israeli soldier shouts as he aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators at a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Hebron December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma/File Photo 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel moved on Sunday to snap the lens shut on rights groups that film its troops’ interactions with Palestinians by introducing a bill that would make it a criminal offense.
Rights groups frequently film Israeli soldiers on duty in the occupied West Bank, documentation the organizations say is necessary to expose abuse by the military.
A video filmed by Israeli rights group B’Tselem in 2016 showing an Israeli soldier shoot dead an incapacitated Palestinian assailant drew international condemnation and led to the soldier’s conviction for manslaughter in a highly divisive trial.
The proposed law, formulated by the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition, would make filming or publishing footage “with intent to harm the morale of Israel’s soldiers or its inhabitants” punishable by up to five years in prison.
The term would be raised to 10 years if the intention was to damage “national security”.
A ministerial committee which oversees legislation voted to approve the bill on Sunday. It will now go to parliament for a vote that could take place this week and if ratified, will be scrutinized and amended before three more parliamentary votes needed for it to pass into law.
Yisrael Beitenu leader and Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, praised the committee and said: “Israeli soldiers are under constant attack by Israel haters and supporters of terrorism who look constantly to degrade and sully them. We will put an end to this.”
Despite Avichai Mendelblit's reservations for constitutional reasons, ministerial panel okays bill but demands other changes before Knesset vote.
The proposed Israeli law that would ban the filming of soldiers carrying out their duties is problematic from a constitutional standpoint which may prevent its enactment, says Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.
Despite the attorney general's reservations, on Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill, but demanded significant changes in its wording and further discussion in the committee, in advance of the preliminary vote on it in the Knesset plenum.
The parliament is expected to vote in favor of the proposed law, sponsored by MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu), once it is revised substantially.
A senior member of the coalition told Haaretz that an agreement had been reached with Ilatov whereby the proposed law will call for a ban on interfering with Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the line of duty, but there will not be a total prohibition on filming and documenting such activities. 
The final wording of the bill has yet to be agreed upon but coalition MKs say it would call for a prison sentence of up to three years for preventing a soldier from carrying out his duties.
The version of the law approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation calls for a five-year prison term for anyone filming or distributing footage on social media that documents confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, with the intent to “break the spirit of Israeli soldiers and inhabitants.”
Anyone who documents such activities and disseminates the information with an intent to harm national security could face up to 10 years in prison.
“For many years," according to explanatory information appended to the text of the bill, "Israel has witnessed a worrisome phenomenon in which IDF soldiers are being documented."
"Via video, stills and audio recordings by anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups such as B’Tselem, the women of Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence and various BDS groups. In many instances, these organizations spend entire days near IDF soldiers waiting with baited breath for some action they can document in a biased way in order to slander the IDF," according to the addendum.
"Such documentation generally interferes with ongoing and operational IDF duties, sometimes accompanied by accusations and insults being hurled in their faces.”
Defense Minister Lieberman hailed the bill in a tweet. “I congratulate the Ministerial Committee for Legislation for approving the Yisrael Beiteinu bill that bans taking pictures of of our security forces with the purpose of delegitimizing them,” he wrote.
“Israeli soldiers are under attack from groups of people who want to destroy Israel and support terror who want to discredit, humiliate and harm them. Let’s put an end to this!,” he concluded. 

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