Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, December 20, 2010

Which democracy locks up non-violent protestors indefinitely without trial? Have a guess.

Do you remember this post, featuring the ever-irrelevant Tony Blair talking bollocks on Israeli "justice"?

"I had an argument with a friend about Israel. I said to them: ‘ok let’s assume you are charged with a crime you didn’t commit and the penalty is 20 years in prison. And you’re a critic of the Government. Tell me: under which country’s legal system, in this region, would you prefer to be tried?’ He struggled for a bit and then said: ‘that’s not the point.’ ‘But it is’ I replied."

I was too lenient on Israel's treatment of critics of its government's policies: I said it would kidnap you and haul you back for a show trial. Of course, as the Mavi Marmara massacre demonstrated, what would actually happen is a brief session of torture followed by being knelt down in handcuffs and shot in the back of the head. (And then having your belongings looted.)

But enough of stating the obvious. I also pointed out that

....if the penalty is 20 years in prison I would have a better chance of release after those 20 years almost anywhere other than Israel. Look at Mordechai Vanunu, who served his sentence in appalling conditions and was immediately re-arrested when his sentence was up, and has been kept either in prison or under house arrest ever since.

Well, here is another example of that.

Last month, the yearlong prison sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a schoolteacher and activist involved in nonviolent civil disobedience in the West Bank, came to an end. But an Israeli military court refused to release him, on the grounds that he would resume his activities if freed.

And this is the justice system that the fool Blair trumpets as being so wonderful, such a beacon for the region, so fair to critics of the government. It's hard to imagine that the man could make a worse job of anything than he did of being Prime Minister, but since he decided that he could make more money from the Israeli government by acting as a full-time propagandist for its policies than he ever could by doing his job as Peace Envoy (for which we still pay him millions, of course) he's shown that "Yes, He Can".

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