Thursday, December 24, 2009

Legal Absurdities

It might not reach the level of absurdity seen earlier this year when the Israeli navy impounded a humanitarian vessel in international waters, forced its crew into Israel against their will, and then charged them with illegally entering the country, but the indictment of Abdallah Abu Rahma in a military court for weapons possession last Tuesday is up there. Rahma, a teacher by profession, is a leader in the West Bank town of Bil'in's Popular Committee, an organization that stages non-violent demonstrations with international and Israeli peace activists to protest the construction of the wall dividing the village from its land. The charges against Rahma stem from an exhibit he constructed showcasing used tear gas canisters the Israeli military had fired at unarmed demonstrators, such as American Tristan Anderson who remain in a coma after being hit by such a canister earlier this year. The military was forced to drop charges against an associate of Rahma after it was proven the man was travelling abroad when he was alleged to have attacked Israeli soldiers. This case illustrates, better than any other, that Israel's military operations in Palestine are aimed at expansion and not security. Why else would they detain non-violent activists?

No comments: