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Monday, August 27, 2007

How Israel treats 'Palestinian' prisoners terrorists

The next time someone complains about how Israel treats 'Palestinian' prisoners terrorists, you might want to point them here. It's a post from Anonymous Liberal, who describes himself as a litigator at 'large national law firm' (usually means a big firm not from New York) in which he cites extensively from a 'friend of the court' brief filed in the Guantanamo detention case by a group of Israeli law professors. I'm not taking a position on whether the brief should have been filed, and I believe that we are often too easy on imprisoned terrorists here in Israel. But to hear compliments like this coming from a self-defined liberal was more than a bit of a shock:
For decades we've lectured Israel about the need to respect human rights and the rule of law. But when we find ourselves faced with even a fraction of the threat that they've lived with for decades, we suddenly throw all our principles out the window and start disappearing people into black-site prisons and off-shore lawless zones where they are denied counsel, denied any meaningful process, and in some cases, tortured. Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in Chicago and subsequently held in solitary confinement in a military brig for over four years without any process. Contrast that with the Israeli system:
[The set of laws]--which govern detentions in the State of Israel, detentions in the occupied territories, and detentions of unlawful combatants--protects basic rights that the United States Government denies to Guantanamo's detainees. Specifically, individuals detained by Israeli civilian or military authorities always have (1) the right to judicial review of the basis for their detention within no more than fourteen days of their seizure; (2) the right to have that review conducted by a judicial officer independent of the executive who is empowered, when evidence warrants, to order their release; (3) the benefit of a standard that permits detention only when an individual poses a threat to State security and when no other means are available to neutralize that threat; (4) the right to have the government's evidence subjected to a searching examination by the court; (5) the right to judicial review without having coerced testimony used against them; (6) the right to have a judge independently evaluate any claim that classified information offered to support a detention cannot be disclosed to them; (7) the right of access to counsel within no more than thirty-four days; and (8) the right to have the basis for their detention independently reviewed every six months at a fully adversarial hearing. Though the United States affords Guantanamo detainees none of these safeguards, Israel has proved through experience that each of them is workable and that each of them is essential to maintaining the rule of law.
We really should be ashamed of ourselves. We face a threat that is only a fraction of what Israel faces. We have no enemies that pose an existential threat to us; Israel is surrounded by enemies. We've suffered only one major terrorist attack on our soil. Israel has endured terrorist attacks for decades. Yet while Israel affords meaningful process to all detainees, no matter where or under what circumstances they are detained, our government stands up in court and argues that a military prison just a few hundred miles offshore is outside of the reach of our Constitutional. Our government argues that providing any meaningful process is unworkable and impracticable, even after five years of detention. And our government argues that it should have the right to hold its own citizens, without process, in perpetual solitary confinement solely for the purpose of obtaining coerced information.
Read the whole thing.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Treats them so well they can't wait to go back.


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