Israel challenged over mistreatment of children

by Richard on June 27, 2012

The Independent: UK ready to take on Israel over fate of children clapped in irons

The Foreign Office revealed last night that it would be challenging the Israelis over their treatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding and the use of leg irons.

In the first investigation of its kind, a team of nine senior legal figures examined how Palestinians as young as 12 were treated when arrested. Their shocking report Children in Military Custody details claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles.

Children from the West Bank are held in conditions that could amount to torture, such as solitary confinement, with little or no access to their parents. They can be forced to stay awake before being verbally as well as physically abused and coerced into signing confessions they cannot read.

The team – led by Sir Stephen Sedley, a former Court of Appeal judge – heard that “every Palestinian child is treated like a potential terrorist”. In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }


Daphne Anson 06.28.12 at 9:17 pm

What, no Avraham?
Significantly, Richard, you have omitted the part of the report in which an Israeli spokesperson explains his country’s policy regarding these detentions. That really isn’t cricket, you know.
As for the delegation, there would appear to be some usual suspects among them.
Ah! If only certain Christian clerical bloggers devoted as much time drawing attention to the savagery in the Islamic world against Christians - their fellow Christians! - as they do in itemising the faults, real and imagined, of the little Jewish State struggling to survive.
This, for example:
Ghastly stuff.


Ric 06.29.12 at 1:47 am

If this were being done to little children, it would indeed be cruelty. But the ‘children’ referred to here are great big wallops of 15 or 16, strong enough to kill a grown man and old enough to know what they’re doing. While they might be children according to English law, in Hamastan they are treated as fully fledged footsoldiers. If there’s any abuse going on, it’s the brainwashing of these teenage boys by their cynical masters in an echo of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.


Daphne Anson 06.29.12 at 6:22 am

Precisely, Ric. Well said.


Richard 06.29.12 at 6:39 am

>> “If this were being done to little children, it would indeed be cruelty. But the ‘children’ referred to here are great big wallops of 15 or 16…”

“In the first investigation of its kind, a team of nine senior legal figures examined how Palestinians as young as 12 were treated when arrested … Israeli children must have access to a lawyer within 48 hours and cannot be imprisoned under the age of 14. But Palestinian children as young as 12 are jailed and can be kept for three months without legal representation. Between 500 and 700 are jailed each year.”

If you believe that all these children are guilty of crimes and that they’ve been abused into committing them, do you really think that further abuse is a proper justifiable response?


Ric 06.29.12 at 10:27 am

Midshipmen in the Royal Navy and the Hitlerjugend in 1945 started their combat service at the age of 12. A 12-year-old boy has about 75% of the physical strength of his adult self: combined with the lack of empathy common in boys, this makes him an excellent weapon in the hands of the unscrupulous. The treatment described is necessary to shock them out of their feelings of impunity and invulnerability: the detention is vital to stop them from attacking Israel. They need to understand that their enemy has no respect, but just contempt, for their attempts to become jihadis and shahids. You could call it a form of de-programming.


Ric 06.29.12 at 10:29 am

I mean ‘Midshipmen in the Royal Navy up to the mid-19th century and recruits to the Hitlerjugend in 1945…’


Richard 06.29.12 at 10:47 am

Or you could simply call it what it is — the abuse of children. Dress it up how you like.

Yes of course. In past times, children where treated differently from now. My forebears were working in coal mines before their teenage years. But that wouldn’t justify such child labour today. Would it?


Kim 06.29.12 at 11:14 am

What, no Avraham?

I think he’s surplus to requirements. Though he might want to come over for a fly-past after Richard’s two sane comments.


Ric 06.29.12 at 12:24 pm

Let us do a thought-experiment. Supposing the Israeli authorities contacted the parents of these teenagers and told them that, as parents, they were responsible for their children’s actions. Do you think the parents (as in a civilised society) would say: “Yes, they’ve been very naughty, we’ll accept responsibility for whatever they’ve done, give them to us and we’ll make sure they never do that again.” Or is it more likely that they would say: “Allahu akbar! Khaybar ya-yahud! My son is a glorious shahid, and I am only sorry that he did not manage to kill you!”
My point: the Palestinian Arabs cannot disclaim all responsibility. Nobody has a right to demand that Jews not defend themselves against physical attacks. Israel will not be a nation of humble martyrs.


Daphne Anson 06.29.12 at 2:42 pm

Great points, Ric.
And your silence regarding Islamic crimes against Christians is deafening, Richard. As well as instructive.


Kim 06.29.12 at 3:04 pm

What, no Avraham?

A bomber isn’t needed when a couple of drones will do the job.

Islamic crimes against Christians — Richard doesn’t need to raise his voice in outrage because the condemnation is tacit. Nor, in any case, do Christians have any theological warrant for privileging themselves when it comes to criminal behaviour. Crimes against children, however — some people seem to be defending them, so the condemnation must be explicit.


Ric 06.29.12 at 3:10 pm

Quis tacet consentire, Kim.


Richard 06.29.12 at 3:31 pm

A nice point, Ric. Unfortunately, not a true one. There are hundreds — thousands — of things I’ve never blogged about. You take that to mean I approve them?

Though as a matter of simple fact, persecution of Christians has come up here before. At least twice.


Kim 06.29.12 at 5:18 pm

Quis tacet consentire.

Interestingly, Ric, that was the reply of Thomas More at his trial when asked why he had kept shtum when pushed to acknowledge Henry VIII’s supremacy over the Church in England — and, of course, he hadn’t really consented at all, he deployed the phrase as a legal ruse. Context is all. In this context, only a schmuck would accuse Richard of consenting to terror.


Daphne Anson 06.29.12 at 6:18 pm

Kim, you write “Nor, in any case, do Christians have any theological warrant for privileging themselves when it comes to criminal behaviour. Crimes against children, however — some people seem to be defending them, so the condemnation must be explicit.”
I realise that that is a jibe against da Joos, but the slaughter of your own co-religionists is being done in the name of Islamic supremacy, and “some” people in the Islamic world certainly defend such crimes against innocents (children too). That being so I would have thought that, on your argument, your condemnation of them would be explicit.


Richard 06.29.12 at 6:49 pm

No, no, no! Not a “jibe against da Joos”. By no means, as one of my fathers in faith would have said. This *is* a jibe against anyone who justifies the abuse of children.


Daphne Anson 06.29.12 at 7:24 pm

But what does this sentence signify?
“Nor, in any case, do Christians have any theological warrant for privileging themselves when it comes to criminal behaviour.”


Kim 06.29.12 at 10:38 pm

Ahem. Yes, Richard is right.
And the sentence means just what it says. It should make no difference to Christians, when other people suffer, whether they are fellow-Christians or not, though Christians should have a special interest when Christians themselves inflict, and even self-justify, the suffering — and a special shame. Centuries of anti-Semitism and sporadic pogroms, culminating in the Shoah, is, of course, the most egregious example of such violence, done in the name of the Prince of Peace, but — alas — not the only instance of our historical propensity for collusion in mass murder (the indigenous populations of the Americas, for example — oh, and the Crusades — against Muslims, of course, though yet another outbreak of the persecution of Jews resulted as well). I trust that clarification speaks ad rem.
Shalom, salaam, peace.


Ric 06.30.12 at 2:09 am

Re Richard’s earlier links: Canon Andrew White is a wonderful man, the embodiment of all that is best in the Christian clergy, and an example to us all. I feel for him, as I had a close friend (a keen biker, as it happens) who was struck down with MS and sadly died last year aged 64 after two decades of debilitating suffering.


Daphne Anson 06.30.12 at 10:40 pm

How very sad that the Copts, as well as people in parts of the world who were introduced to Christianity by European missionaries (colonialists, some might call them) and are cleaving fast to the Christianity they imbibed, are now left to their fate by Christians in the West, people who not only through ties of faith but through obligation and duty should be publicising their plight and pleading on their behalf. People who, I repeat, are quick to condemn little Israel for misdeeds real and imagined, yet stay shtum when innocents are slaughtered by rapacious Islamists determined to oust Christianity wherever they encounter it.
But all praise for the Barnabas Foundation, which, Richard and Kim, I assume has your approval?


Richard 06.30.12 at 11:06 pm

Kim must make his own decision, but I’m not pursuing this Daphne. You don’t listen.


Kim 07.01.12 at 7:15 am

Only to add that athough the UK’s Charity Commission ruled that the Barnabas Fund “does not appear to be inciting racial hatred” [my italics], a quick read of its widely dissiminated booklet Slippery Slope: the Islamisation of Britain suggests to me that it is an alarmist little piece of work with a whiff about it of that kind of anti-Semitism known as Islamophobia. About Barnabas abroad I do not know and therefore will not comment. If it’s working for reconciliation and peace, and counselling Christians to love their Muslim neighbours and to maintain a non-violent witness at all times, that’s great.
I too am now done.


Daphne Anson 07.01.12 at 12:19 pm

Ah, gentlemen, you have been more than eloquent on the subject of Islamic savagery towards Christians. I thank you.


Kim 07.01.12 at 1:33 pm

Daphne, on the other hand, does more than appear to be inciting religious hatred …
I think she means the savagery of some Muslims against some Christians. On Savagery Street we all live in glass houses.


Avraham Reiss 07.01.12 at 4:12 pm

“every Palestinian child is treated like a potential terrorist” - as far as I am concerned, this is the way the Arab children are brought up. I’ve seen it myself. During the 1st Intifaddah as a reserve soldier I was driving a jeep at the end of a patrol when I suddenly saw a 12-year old standing and holding something bright and shiny. I realized what it was just a second before he was about to throw it at the jeep - and at me. A Molotov cocktail!

Yet another anti-Israeli “report”, dredged up from one of Britain’s most anti-Israeli papers - the Independant. I ask myself why a man of the cloth living in Wales does this time after time? (Of course, if I ask him why he doesn’t address the Syrian Assad’s genocide, there will be some prepared answer. But if you use the website’s search facility, the name “Syria” will bring you just one halucination by comrade Kim.)

I browsed through a few Welsh newspapers online, and found at least one answer. As life is reported by its newspapers, Wales must be the most boring nation on earth (possibly barring New Zealand or Switzerland.)

Just one headline that showed a bit of Welsh life:
“Sex for sale in Denbighshire town centre’s public toilets. TOWN centre public toilets closed amid claims of lewd behaviour between men cruising for sex, have now re-opened.”

Boy! What excitement!

It thus appears that the only way to feel alive in Wales is to live other people’s lives!

One other reason for peddling such one-sided, hate-filled and inciting stories, is the religious one. Them there Jews, they killed Christ, so even after 2,000 years it can’t be possible that they’se good people, so they must be besmirched and shown up as evil on every possible occasion.

Israel! Be careful! Welsh Methodists are on your case!


Daphne Anson 07.01.12 at 6:57 pm

Kim, I refer to the savagery perpetrated against Christians in parts of the developing world, as I mentioned in my previous post. As you well know.
I guess the suffering of Copts, Nigerians, and other persecuted and traumatised Christians with non-white skins doesn’t rank that high on some humanitarians’ agenda. Some humanitarians prefer to concentrate on bashing Israel.
I too “am done”.


Richard 07.02.12 at 7:27 am

It’s good to hear from you again Avraham, but I’d don’t think your comment does you much credit.

Sounds like we’re all done, so let’s recap. No one has denied that Palestinian children are treated differently than Israeli children, nor that they receive some pretty harsh treatment (to say the least). The only justification for that seems to be that they’re Palestinian and they deserve it.

The reason I shouldn’t be blogging about this is that I don’t also blog about lots of other bad stuff that happens in the world.


Avraham Reiss 07.02.12 at 9:45 am

Richard, you don’t think my comment does me much credit?
Your publishing it does in fact do you credit for open-mindedness, but your consistent attacks on the State of Israel place you in the camp of enemies of Israel. You’ve done this too often, which is why I and other Jews appear here from time to time.

As for “Palestinian children are treated differently than Israeli children”, how many “palestinian” children have been murdered by Israeli suicide-bombers and other Arab terrorist acts? In fact, I would be correct in saying that “Israeli suicide-bombers” is an oxymoron! You have a rebuttal for that?

“The only justification for that seems to be that they’re Palestinian and they deserve it.” Richard - that is a lie! “palestinians” are singled out because they want to kill us; Jews do NOT turn the other cheek.


Richard 07.02.12 at 10:31 am

Avraham, you say “your consistent attacks on the State of Israel place you in the camp of enemies of Israel”. But you’ve also said “from a number of discussions with you here in your blog, I have never felt that you personally are in any way anti-Semitic.” Which is it? Here you interpret what I’ve written as an attack born out of emnity. What I’d like you to consider is at least the possibility that these criticisms instead arise from the obligations that come with kinship. Because that’s the reality, whether you believe it or not.

As for “Jews do not turn the other cheek”, I simply remind you that it was a Jew who coined the phrase. And suggest that you might have misunderstood what it means.


Kim 07.02.12 at 10:50 am

You gotta love Avraham. He certainly brings some sunshine and sweet reason to the grey Gomorrah of witless Wales.
Shalom aleychem.


Avraham Reiss 07.02.12 at 11:30 am

Richard, I agree that you have pointed out a dichotomy. I stand by both sides of it. Your tone is always moderate, I have never felt anti-semitism in your words, and you allow me a lot of leeway on your blog.

But when I see time after time that you publish attacks on Israel, I must draw from this a statistical conclusion.

‘Criticism from kinship’, were it so, would take a far more moderate form.

Regarding ‘turn the other cheek’, I will read the source you quote, and then reply. That could lead to an interesting discussion, not so much religiously, as to how to behave in life in general.


Richard 07.02.12 at 2:01 pm

>> “‘Criticism from kinship’, were it so, would take a far more moderate form.”

Well, I’m telling you that the criticism I offer of the modern state of Israel does in fact come from the obligations of kinship. Whether you believe that is up to you — but calling mea liar isn’t ever going to be a basis for worthwhile conversation. I apologise if I’m not ‘moderate’ enough for you. But I’m not moderately against injustice.


Avraham Reiss 07.02.12 at 2:14 pm

Richard, my use of the word ‘lie’ was not to call you a liar, but to say that one particlular sentence you wrote was a lie. In my book, “liar” is a habitual thing. And its not you. My apology if it offended you.

As for criticism and its intentions, I think that you’d have to get far more involved in understanding the super-complicated structure that is today’s Israel and the pressures under which it exists, if you really wanted to assist it as a friend. You - or anyone - can’t just pick a headline from an anti-semitic newspaper - and publish it as “friendly criticism”. Doesn’t work.

Regarding ‘turn the other cheek’, it is not of Jewish origin. Your source proposes an interpretation of “creative non-violent strategies of protesting oppression”. In today’s world this would be regarded as a Leftist policy.

That is not the Jewish way. The basic Jewish command is to stay alive. Hence the Talmudic instruction “He who comes to kill you, get up and kill him first”. Meaning we show no understanding for those intent on killing us.

A case in point is the Western, Christian world’s weak, Leftist fumbling around with pre-nuclear Iran, more or less giving in to it, while (unfortunately non-religious) Israel is preparing to meet Iran in the Tamudic sense. And of course, to survive it.

That’s why we’ve been around for 3,500 years.


Kim 07.02.12 at 3:44 pm

No, Avraham, the people of Israel are still standing due to the gracious election of God, which, as the Jew Paul points out (Romans 11:29), is irrevocable. You might also want to temper your zealous militarism with Zechariah 4:6.

Of course, both Richard and I respect that you are not a follower of the Jew Jesus, so we hardly expect you to buy into Christological pacifism. We also understand that there is no tradition of Jewish pacifism, and, indeed, that violence in a just cause is not only acceptable but mandatory in Jewish thought. Your sabre-rattling over Iran, however, is another matter, contigent on geopolitical as well as tactical and strategic considerations, not to mention the theological/ethical issues of “proportionality” and “last resort”. Israelis themselves, let alone diasporic Jews, have different views on the matter. Thank God not everone is a get-your-BIG-retaliation-in-first kind of guy. Jaw-jaw is always better than war-war. And if your reply is along the lines of “You can’t talk or negotiate with these Muslim savages”, please accept my apologies in advance for not getting back to you. Pace Ric, quis tacit consentire does not apply.


Avraham Reiss 07.02.12 at 5:25 pm

“zealous militarism … violence … sabre-rattling … get-your-BIG-retaliation-in-first … Jaw-jaw …” - are you one of those fire-and-brimstone preaachers I’ve read about? Like a previous time, your language is full of violence and hatred.

“the people of Israel are still standing due to the gracious election of God” - Jews don’t need the NT to point out that this is irrevocable. We knew this 2,000 years earlier, from the time of Abraham.

“get-your-BIG-retaliation-in-first ” - retaliation? you obviously don’t know or understand the 1st thing about the Iranian problem. For us its life-or-death, Iran having threatened to wipe us of the face of the earth. But then the churches were silent during the Holocaust as well, so we know on whom not to rely.

“You can’t talk or negotiate with these Muslim savages” - it’s not only the Iranian problem you don’t understand. You have a view that I don’t know whether to term childish or primitive. Makes not much difference. But your tactic of trying to put words into my pen shows your weak points. Setting up scarecrows in order to knock them down.

Personally, I much prefer Muslims to Christians. Muslims don’t hate Jews on religious grounds, we just have a territorial dispute that may one day be resolved. They don’t accuse us of killing their god, and they didn’t instigate 2,000 years of European anti-semitism.


Ric 07.02.12 at 7:58 pm

Thank you, Richard, for the link to that instructive expatiation of the meaning of that section of the Sermon on the Mount. It highlights one of the central problems that we Jews face when trying to explain our position to you Christians. From the fall of Jerusalem in 70CE until 1947, we Jews have in fact turned the other cheek, trying to awaken your conscience by appealing to your better nature. That might have worked if there had been hundreds of millions of us to sacrifice and all the time in the world to wait until your consciousness was raised. But Hitler and his millions of willing helpers gave us the definitive answer. Our enemies do not have a better nature. Would that it were otherwise.


Daphne Anson 07.03.12 at 7:24 am

I was “done” but now that I’ve read the responses to Avraham I would like to point out to Kim that - desirable though peaceful solutions to conflicts undoubtedly are - in some circumstances negotiations, as Neville Chamberlain found, are useless. What, for example, would be the basis on which Israel would negotiate with Iran, whose leaders, like Hamas’s, want the Zionist Entity extirpated? And want it extirpated they certainly do, by some means. For militant Islam, bent on re-establishing the Caliphate, the very existence of a non-Muslim state in the region - even one as tiny as Israel is (the size of Wales, remember) is an outrage. That is the reality of what Israel faces.
I would also draw to your attention the many videos on the web in which Islamist clerics inveigh in bloodthirsty and antisemitic terms (”the descendents of apes and pigs”) against Israel and Jewish Israelis.
And see this example of poisoning tender young minds - since you inveigh against Avraham’s supposed militarism, inveigh against the choice example of militarism exposed here:


Kim 07.03.12 at 9:35 am

Yeah, Avraham, “fire and brimstone” — that’s me alright. Richard’ll tell you I’ve got them all aweepin’ and awailin’ every Sunday morning. You are one of the few people I know who is able to perform the miracle of getting the wrong end of both ends of the stick. Which is just as well suspecting what you’d do with it. Have you tried anger management?


Avraham Reiss 07.03.12 at 10:16 am

you haven’t related to any of the points I made about your lack of knowledge and/or understanding of subjects upon which you comment.

As for “anger management” - Kim, you are my comic relief.


Kim 07.03.12 at 11:04 am

On Iran there are different views, even in Israel, let alone among other Jews (as I say). It’s not as if you are Elijah, Avraham, with all but you and a few bowing to the baals.

In the end, however, if I make you smile I am happy. People who are smiling (in distinction from smirking) don’t kill each other!

I’ve just posted a piece on a recent article by Edward Kessler. I hope you like it.


Daphne Anson 07.03.12 at 1:02 pm

And your answer to me is what, Kim? Or would you rather mere females keep silent?


Kim 07.03.12 at 2:44 pm

What Richard said @ #21.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>