Hagada Hasmalit

a critical review of israeli culture and society

Posted by רני On February - 8 - 2008 0 Comment

To Meni Mazoz, Government Legal Advisor
P.O.B 49029, Jerusalem, 91490

Hello,
how symbolic is the fact that your decision not to put on trial any of the policemen and officers who shot and ordered the killing of 13 Arabic citizens on the October 2000 demonstrations, was received on January 27, 2008, the International Holocaust Memorial Day. While this day should be a symbol for the struggle against racism, in Israel, a country who prides itself in being a shelter (though a lacking one) for the survivors of Auschwitz and the other concentration camps, the senior member of the Israeli government’s prosecution system issues a racist decision. As it is undoubtedly so, that your decision is pure racism, and it will be listed, so I assume, at the highest rank of institutionalized racism of Israeli governments across the generations.

Your decision mocks the writings of the Scroll of Independence about equality for all Israeli citizens undifferentiated by religion, race, nationality or gender, and it is another proof that being called “a Jewish democratic country”, is nothing but a cover for institutionalized racism. Israel can either be a “country of all it’s citizens” which spreads the canopy of democracy on everyone, or it can keep being a Jewish country developing into a country of discrimination and apartheid.
I see no point in a specific debate concerning the document you wrote, as we have already learned from near and far history, that legal documents can contain any abomination, beginning with the Nuremberg laws, through the apartheid laws in South Africa (a “White and Democratic” country), and ending with the United States slavery laws. Your decision belongs to the same family. No democratic lawyer will treat the documents written by the apartheid lawyers, as legal documents by serious adversaries. It is clear to any democrat and human rights advocate, that the killing of 13 people by the police, all unarmed citizens belonging to a specific national minority, cannot go by without putting the shooters and their officers on trial. Can you imagine that if the officers of New York or London killed 13 Jews in a demonstration, the affair would’ve ended in a massive closure of the shooter’s cases? And if such a thing would have happened, you can imagine the reaction over here.
How afflicted by racism is your decision, is apparent as we compare the police internal affairs department’s, the attorney office’s, and the court’s treatment of policemen who only hit very violent settlers as opposed to policemen who killed Arab demonstrators. The settlers of the Amona settlement in the occupied territories, displayed brutal violence toward policemen which surpassed or at least did not lessen from that of the Arab demonstrators (By the way, one should distinguish between the settler’s violence, the violence of a fascistic mob defending special priveleges, and the violence of the Arabs which is the result of discrimination along many years). In Amona no settler was killed, the police did not use firearms, and at the most they hit some of the settlers with clubs. Officers participating in the Amona eviction were put on trial and convicted for using excessive violence with their clubs, while the officers who killed Arab demonstrators, includings minors who did not use violence at all, were relieved from trial by you.
The message given is that the life of an Arab citizen are not equal to the life of a Jew. The policemen will conclude that killing Arab citizens is allowed, and they will remain unscathed.
You are responsible for law and order, but by your decision discussed here, you in fact encourage the privatization of justice. What can the members of a religious or national minority who see their family members killed by the authorities, while the killers are not put on trial? Naturally, they will look for alternative methods to punish policemen and authority members who participated or aided the killing.
I refer you to the days after the second world war, in which Jews, soldiers of the Jewish brigade among them, looked for war criminals who were not put on trial and commited quick field trials. That is the path you have left for the hurt and discriminated citizens of Israel.
The first duty of a legal advisor responsible for law and order, is the preservation of the lives of people, and people, Jewish as Arab, religious as secular, woman as man, boy and girl. You failed this basic duty, and for that you should be held responsible. I hope you find the appropriate court, and so private methods of making justice, which there is no room for in cultured countries, will be averted.

Gideon Spiro

Categories: The Left and Protest

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