Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of Israel

Background: IJAN Toronto members, working with other local Jewish activists in Toronto, put together and op-ed piece and collected 161 names of Jewish Canadians within a week, debunking the myth that criticism of the Israeli state is anti-Semitic, or that Israel acts out of self-defense. It also decries recent attacks on Israeli Apartheid week at several Canadian Universities. The statement, “Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel.” speaks about the current climate as analogous to the Red Scare of the 1950s. Both the Toronto Star and the national Globe and Mail refused to publish it. The piece was then placed as an “advertisement” in one of the free weekly papers in Toronto, NOW Magazine. It is currently circulating on various lists and websites on the Internet, and may eventually be placed as an advertisement in either the Globe and Mail or the Ottawa Citizen, if more money can be raised. And names keep coming in.
We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy “Never again” means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel. We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university presidents and
administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper, B’nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because “anti-Semitic hate fests” were being allowed on campuses. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December 2008, Israel’s siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there, with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel’s accountability to the international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate criticism of the State of Israel

Israeli Apartheid

For the liberation movements of southern Africa, Israel and apartheid South Africa represented a racist, colonial axis. It was noted that people like John Vorster had been Nazi sympathisers, interned during World War II - yet feted as heroes in Israel and, incidentally, never again referred to by South African Zionists as anti-Semites.

It is instructive to add that in its conduct and methods of repression, Israel came to resemble more and more apartheid South Africa at its zenith— even surpassing its brutality, house demolitions, removal of communities, targeted assassinations, massacres, imprisonment and torture of its opponents, collective punishment, and aggression against neighbouring states.

Any South African, whether involved in the freedom struggle or motivated by basic human decency, who visits the Occupied Palestinian Territories is shocked to the core at the situation they encounter and agree with Archbishop Tutu’s comment that what the Palestinians are experiencing is far worse than what happened in South Africa, where the Sharpeville massacre of 69 civilians in 1960 became the international symbol of apartheid cruelty.

I want to recall here the words of an Israeli Cabinet Minister, Aharon Cizling in 1948, after the savagery of the Deir Yassin massacre of 240 villagers became known. He said: “Now we too have behaved like the Nazis and my whole being is shaken.”

It needs to be frankly raised that if the crimes of the Holocaust are at the top end of the scale of human barbarity in modern times, where do we place the human cost of what has so recently occurred in Gaza and against the Palestinians since 1948 in the nakba (catastrophe) they have endured? Guernica, Lidice, the Warsaw Ghetto, Deir Yassin, Mai Lei, Sabra and Shatilla, Sharpeville are high on that scale— and the perpetrators of the slaughter in Gaza are the offspring of holocaust victims who are yet again, in Cizling’s words, behaving like Nazis. This must not be allowed to go unpunished and the international community must demand they be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Once more, let me turn to our South African experience. There, as with other struggles such as Vietnam, Algeria, the former Portuguese colonies, the just nature of the struggle was the assurance for success. With that moral advantage, on the basis of a just liberation struggle, we learnt the secret of Vietnam’s victory and strategised according to what we termed our Four Pillars of Struggle: Political mass struggle; reinforced by armed struggle; clandestine underground struggle; and international solidarity.

At times, any one of these can become predominant— and it is not for outsiders to direct those at the frontline of the struggle as to what and how to choose, but to modestly provide the lessons of our experience, pointing out that the unity of the struggling people is as indispensable as the moral high-ground they occupy. For the Vietnamese, the military element was generally primary but always resting on popular mass support.

In South Africa the mass struggle became the primary way, with sabotage actions and limited guerrilla operations inspiring our people. It all depends on the conditions and the situation.

But unquestioningly, what helped tip the balance, in Vietnam and South Africa, was the force and power of international solidarity action. It took some 30 years but the worldwide Anti-Apartheid Movements campaigns, launched in London in 1959, for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions not only provided international activists with a practical role, but became an incalculable factor in (a) isolating and weakening the apartheid regime (b) inspiring the struggling people (c) undermining the resolve of those states that supported and benefited from relations with apartheid South Africa, (d) generated a change of attitude amongst the South African White population generally, and political, business, professional, academic, religious and sporting associations in particular. Boycott made them feel the pinch in their pocket and their polecat status everywhere— whether on the sporting fields, at academic or business conventions, in the world of theatre and the arts they were totally shunned like biblical lepers. There was literally no place to hide from universal condemnation backed by decisive and relentless action which, in time, became more and more creative.

To conclude: we must spare no effort in building a worldwide solidarity movement to emulate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Nelson Mandela stated after South Africa attained democratic rule that “we South Africans cannot feel free until the Palestinians are free.” A slogan of South Africa’s liberation struggle and our trade union movement is “An injury to one is an injury to all!” That goes for the whole of humanity. Every act of solidarity demonstrates to the Palestinians, and those courageous Jews who stand by them in Israel, that they are not alone. Whilst many Palestinians have lost their lives the Palestinians have not been conquered or cowed. Repression generates resistance and that will grow. Israeli aggression stands exposed.

A turning point has been reached in humanity‘s perception of this issue. The time is ripe for us to drive home the advantage— we know the times are changing and Zionist hegemony is fast losing control. Like South Africa, this can mean, must mean: freedom, peace, security, equality and justice for all— Muslim, Christian and Jew. That is well worth struggling for!

RONNIE KASRILS is a South African politician. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the African National Congress since 1987.
We Learn From History That We Learn Nothing From History
by Ronnie Kasrils

"The Only Democracy in the Middle East"!!!!

Israeli Spying on the United States

The Pentagon and the Department of State] are channels through which flow thousands of messages dealing with the nation's top secrets each day...

But how secure are the secrets?

The leaks to Israel are fantastic. If I have something I want the secretary of state to know but don't want Israel to know, I must wait till I have a chance to see him personally.
This declaration came from an ambassador, still on active duty in a top assignment, while he reviewed his long career in numerous posts in the Middle East. Although hardly a household name in the United States, his is one of America's best-known abroad. Interviewed in the State Department, he spoke deliberately, choosing his words carefully: "It is a fact of life that everyone in authority is reluctant to put anything on paper that concerns Israel if it is to be withheld from Israel's knowledge," said the veteran. "Nor do such people even feel free to speak in a crowded room of such things."

– Paul Findley, They Dare To Speak Out
(Entire chapter coming soon.)

Breaking the Taboo on Israel's Spying Efforts on the United States
Christopher Ketcham, AlterNet - Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S., yet public discussion about it is almost nil. more

Now I've Seen Everything: A spy goes to work for a thinktank
Justin Raimondo, - Of course there's nothing all that unusual about a spy going to work for a Washington thinktank. Ex-CIA employees do it all the time: so do all sorts of other spooks, who would otherwise be haunting the world's darkest corners. No big deal. But what I've never seen, and don't recall ever hearing about, is the spectacle of a spy for a foreign country being hired by any organization that hopes to influence U.S. foreign policy. Well, here's one for the record books: the Middle East Forum has hired Steve Rosen, once the head of policy development for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen is accused of stealing highly classified information from the U.S. government and passing it on to Israeli government officials. more

Israel’s “Spy” in the White House
MER Monthly Magazine - Take the word "spy" here in the overall context of the background, role, connections and allegiances of Rahm Emanuel. more

Army veteran accused of slipping secrets to Israel in '80s
Larry Neumeister, San Francisco Chronicle - An 84-year-old U.S. Army veteran was charged with revealing secrets about America's nuclear weapons, fighter jets and missiles to Israel more than 20 years ago in a case linked to an earlier spy scandal that strained U.S.-Israeli relations. more

Where Did AIPAC Come From?
Grant Smith,, Excerpt from Foreign Agents - AIPAC was founded by Isaiah L. "Si" Kenen, springing from the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs Kenen registered twice with the U.S. Department of Justice under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) as a foreign agent for Israel. more

AIPAC on Trial: The lobby argues that good Americans spy for Israel?
Justin Raimondo in The American Conservative - Is there a First Amendment right to engage in espionage? Dorothy Rabinowitz seems to think so. Describing the actions of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two former top officials of AIPAC, the premier Israel lobbying group, who passed purloined intelligence to Israeli government officials, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist characterized them as “activities that go on every day in Washington, and that are clearly protected under the First Amendment.” If what Rabinowitz says is true—if passing classified information to foreign officials is routine in the nation’s capital—then we are all in big trouble. more

Video: Israel Is Spying In And On The U.S.?
Fox News - It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work. Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn't tell us before September 11. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a four-part series

US Interests and Israel/Palestine

lthough it is not often reported by the press, a large proportion of American diplomatic and military experts have long held that U.S. support of Israel is often contrary to and, in fact, extremely damaging to U.S. interests.

Support for Israel interferes with: American relations with the oil-producing nations, with whom we previously had friendly ties; with Muslim consumers, who represent 1.2 billion people world-wide; and removes much-needed money from domestic American requirements — tax revenues that could be addressed to domestic needs are instead sent abroad to prop up a system of discrimination that is antithetical to American principles of equality and democracy.

In addition, the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and Israel is increasingly imperiling American lives.

Why, then, is this done? Close examination of the history and current situation reveals that U.S. policies in the Middle East are rarely driven by U.S. interests. Rather, they are largely driven by two very different factors:

1.Special-interest lobbying of the sort that is common to Washington. The only difference from typical lobby groups is that this lobbying is on behalf of a foreign government. Fortune Magazine rates one of the many lobby organizations working on behalf of Israel, AIPAC, as the second most powerful lobby in Washington. In total, many experts rate the pro-Israel interest group as the most powerful lobby in Washington.

2.The efforts of a growing number of individuals with close ties to Israel (known as neoconservatives) who have attained key positions at high levels of the U.S. administration, State Department, and Pentagon.

Interestingly, the oil and weapons industries, although very influential over parts of American Middle East policy, are not responsible for our relationship with Israel. In fact, quite often both of these industries find our support for Israel undermines their corporate interests in the region.

Some Muslims Are Not Bad

I attended an extremely disturbing event Thursday night. It was hosted by WETA, the PBS station in Washington DC, and was part of the national launch of an 11-part PBS series, "America at a Crossroads," to begin airing April 15. It featured clips from the series followed by a panel discussion with some of those involved in the films, moderated by Robert MacNeil. The panel discussion represented a "wide" spectrum of opinions: all the way from, at one end, suggesting that all Muslims are terrorists to, at the other end, suggesting that some Muslims are not terrorists.

In other words, from what we were shown on Friday, it appears that much of the series contains subtle, intellectually "acceptable" Muslim-bashing. While the title of the series claims that it is focusing on America, many of the clips seemed to be focusing, over and over again, on Islam, largely examining "bad Muslims" (the majority) with a few "good Muslims" thrown in (often consisting of those who bash bad Muslims).

One entire program in the series, funded with federal money dispensed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), is dedicated to Richard Perle, the neoconservative strategist who pushed for "regime-change" in Iraq and is now promoting it once more in Iran. While his opponents are also included in the segment, Perle is given the opportunity to rebut each one; the film was produced by his associate Brian Lapping. The title of the program, "The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom," seems to indicate a perspective that few facts would support. While only short clips were shown on Friday, Perle's approving, and welcomed, presence at the screening seems to indicate a happy CPB-PBS-Perle relationship. Happy for Perle that is; not for those of us who are less than pleased at manipulations that destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, at least, and whose agenda appears to be an Israeli American empire based on a mutilating sword, and whose deathly swath cuts many ways.

At the other end of Friday night's "A" through "C" gamut of views was Michael Isikoff, whose rebuttal of Perle's claims about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction was deservedly applauded by the audience. Isikoff's own clip portrayed him as a crusading investigative reporter, a la Dustin Hoffman in "All the President's Men." However, it turned out that Isikoff's form of crusading reporting was not to uncover presidential malfeasance but to expose "dangerous Muslims," i.e. those who oppose tyrannical regimes or who dare to suggest that Hamas and Hezbollah are resistance movements opposing brutal Israeli aggression.

Practicing the reverse of A.J. Liebling's dictum that the duty of journalism is "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," Isikoff's offering in this series appears to be to go after arguably the most attacked community in the US today. A few miles away from where Isikoff was being feted by PBS for his work in exposing "Muslim terrorists," Sami Al-Arian (who has never been convicted of any crime, but who has spoken out passionately in favor of Palestinian rights) is spending his fourth year in prison, largely in solitary confinement. Perhaps Isikoff will now turn his investigative skills to examining the role of Israel and its partisans in Al-Arian's persecution and in the Crossroads series itself. He may wish to begin with CPB's head, Cheryl Halpern, a former chairwoman for the Republican Jewish Coalition, who, according to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, currently sits on the board of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), whose husband is a member of AIPAC, and whose family has business interests in Israel. Her predecessor at CPB was similarly solicitous of Israel, as are so many of the neocons now associated with the organization.which brings me to my next point:

It is interesting that in an 11-program series focused largely on the Middle East, no mention is made of the core issue of the region: the enormous injustice perpetrated in 1948 when Israel ethnically cleansed most of the indigenous population, and its ongoing and ruthless efforts in this direction today. While the series focuses on the activities of people who are opposing past and present dispossession, it appears that no mention is made of the oppression they are resisting. It is a little like describing the actions of someone being attacked by wolves without mentioning the wolves.

The issues in the Middle East and 9/11 have far more to do with the usual causes of war, competition over territory and resources, than with religion. Nevertheless, there are religious dimensions to the conflict, and it would certainly be valuable to explicate these. Yet PBS ignores the fact that there are three major religions centered in the Middle East, not just one, and that the major ethnic-cleansing at the region's core was done in the name of one of the two religions ignored in the series. If one of the religions is going to be examined, with much of the focus on its alleged warts, it seems to me that the other two should be exposed to equal scrutiny. Why was this not done?

Fundamentalist Jewish settlers are among the most fanatic and violent populations in the Middle East, and they proclaim that their violence is endorsed, even required, by their religion. Growing numbers of Christians endorse and fund this violent dispossession of the world's original Christians and others, and also claim to base their activities on their religion. Similarly, violent Jewish and Christian extremists operate in the United States, some cells defined, even by the US government, as "terrorist." While at least six out of PBS's eleven programs focus on Muslims and their connections to violence, not a single program focuses on Jewish extremists who torture farmers, attack children regularly, and whose core beliefs include the proposition that a non-Jew is "not worth the fingernail of a Jew." Similarly, there is not a single program examining American Christians who advocate violence at home and abroad, and who eagerly anticipate mass slaughter, in the name, they say, of their religion.

Moreover, with all this attention on Islam, one would at least expect some depth from a $20 million, publicly funded series that spends so much time on this subject. Sadly, however, despite a surface appearance of balance, there is much to suggest that PBS has actually provided little more than tokenism. In Washington DC there are numerous scholars on Islam, many of them living and working within a short distance of Friday's event. Yet, PBS gave us a panel in which two Jews and one Christian informed us about Muslims. While I suspect that no one would accuse the panelists of undue humility, I sincerely doubt that even one would claim to be an Islamic scholar. In addition, for the only program of the series in which a Muslim is the main "expert" on Muslims, PBS has chosen to utilize a woman whose new-found media fame, and resultant fortune, have come from attacking Muslims.

Soft Core
Let me emphasize that I am not accusing PBS of hate speech. I fully anticipate that the 11-part series will contain many uplifting and accurate statements about Islam and Muslims. My expectation is that the series will be skillfully produced, its approach will be intelligent, and its tone will be tolerant. (One of the shows that received Public Broadcasting Corporation funding for the series, by neoconservative Frank Gaffney, a member of the Project for a New American Century who previously worked under Perle, was deemed too openly "alarmist" and has been postponed for further editing. A second program, by yet another neoconservative, Robert Kaplan, is also being held for broadcast later.)

Overall, I expect that the series will provide what appear to the general public to be nuanced and thoughtful answers. My concern is simple: that it will so rarely, if ever, ask the right questions. Most of all, I am worried that in its many hours of programming, the wolves, and these are many and diverse, will be missing.

In some ways, the title of the series is quite correct; America is indeed at a crossroads, but of a very different nature than the series discusses. Either we will continue to let our mainstream media, from the "public" to the commercial, from the liberal to the conservative, manipulate Americans into fear and hatred of Muslims, thereby enabling Israeli and American aggression; or we will stand up and oppose this media manipulation, and refuse to allow the resultant policies of barbarism.

During the question and answer period following the screening, I briefly raised a few of the points mentioned above. (Robert MacNeil responded that PBS probably should have included something about Israel-Palestine; Isikoff misconstrued what I said and then disagreed.) Afterwards, several people came up to tell me they agreed with my comments. One man who expressed deep concern at the targeting of a minority population explained his own experience with such activities: he had fled Nazi Germany at the age of seven.

Instead of undertaking a thinly veiled prosecution of Muslims in which it found some of the accused "not guilty," it would have been valuable for PBS to do what it claimed: examine ourselves and the divergent paths from which we must choose. Either we will continue in the direction promoted by Perle, Gaffney and others, and continue destroying more and more of the globe, and quite possibly ourselves; or we will turn back to efforts to build a nation and a world in which ethnic agendas and outmoded tribalisms give way to universal principles of justice, equality, and coexistence.

In my opinion the second path is not only the direction that morality decrees, it is also the only path that will ever provide the safety from violence and cruelty that we all seek for ourselves and our children.

If you agree, I hope you will let PBS ombudsman Michael Getler ( know: 703-739-5290. He's never returned any of my phone calls (even in his previous incarnation as ombudsman at the Washington Post); maybe he'll return yours
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew. Her blog is


The Emirate of Dubai in the U.A.E. is one of the great success stories internationally in the process of economic development. Traditionally the trading hub of the Region, Dubai is now extending its success into tourism and knowledge based industries.
Dubai's strategic location is also a key element in its success. The heart of one of the worlds richest regions, Dubai is located midway between the Far East and Europe. Over 120 shipping lines and 100 airlines connect to more than 140 global destinations. The award winning Emirates airlines is ever expanding into new destinations.
Surrounded by vast dunes of rolling sand lapping at the foothills of the arid Hajar mountains to the east, Dubai has come of age as the ideal tourist destination. Often known as ‘The City of Gold' or ‘The City of Lights', these days it seems like it could be known as ‘The City of Records'. With the first 7-star hotel, the first ski domain in desert the largest man-made islands and the richest horse race in the world. Dubai is also breaking records for tourism growth. Between 2001 and 2004 the yearly number of visitors to Dubai has grown by almost fifty per cent to over 6 million.

Parents of critically injured US peace activist demand justice from Israel

he parents of an American peace activist who was severely injured by Israeli forces at a demonstration in the occupied West Bank called on the Israeli government today to take "full responsibility" for the shooting.

Tristan Anderson, 38, was hit in the forehead by a high-velocity teargas canister fired by an Israeli border policeman in the village of Nilin earlier this month. The incident came after a demonstration against Israel's West Bank barrier, which as elsewhere has cut off a large slice of the village's agricultural land.

Since last July, four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in similar demonstrations in the village.

Anderson was rushed to the Tel Hashomer hospital in Israel, where he has already had three operations. He lost the sight in his right eye and doctors had to remove portions of his frontal lobe. It is not clear if he will survive, or how much brain damage he may have suffered.

His parents, Nancy and Michael, who flew out from their home near Sacramento in California to be at his bedside, said he remained in a "very critical condition" in a medically induced coma.

"We are horrified and overwhelmed," said Nancy Anderson. "We are scared and really still in shock. To shoot peaceful demonstrators is really horrifying to us. What we want to ask is that the Israeli government publicly take full responsibility for the shooting of our son."

She said no Israeli official, from either the government or the military, had contacted the couple since their son was hurt. "I don't carry any negative feelings towards the soldier who shot our son," she said. "All I feel is love for Tristan and fear for his recovery."

Tristan Anderson worked in Oakland, California, as part of a crew involved in setting up conventions. He arrived in Israel in February with his girlfriend, and was planning to stay three months before joining his parents in Europe for a holiday.

He had been involved in previous peace demonstrations elsewhere in the world, including in Iraq in 2003, El Salvador and Guatemala. He was at the 2000 demonstration in Prague against the World Bank and IMF.

"Tristan has always been interested in how societies that go through conflict are able to resolve their issues," said his father. "He came to understand for himself what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was about. It is ironic that the country in which he was shot is a democracy where it is supposed to be a duty for everyone to follow their conscience. We want to know the truth of what happened and we want justice for our son."

Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist who was at the demonstration this month, said Tristan was hit at around 4.30pm inside the village, at least 1km from the barrier, at a time when the demonstration was dispersing. Although, as is often the case, there had been some stone-throwing at the protest, he said Tristan had never thrown any stones or taken any violent action. Pollack said Israeli border police had led an incursion into Nilin that morning.

"For hours before he was shot, Tristan was nowhere near the wall," he said. It is thought he was hit by a high-velocity teargas grenade, a weapon newly being used against West Bank demonstrators. It comes in a black canister labelled in Hebrew "40mm bullet special/long range", and is silent when fired, according to demonstrators. Tristan was hit from a distance of about 60 metres, they said.

Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer acting for the Anderson family, said he had filed an official complaint demanding an independent investigation. He said that evidence from Israeli human rights researchers showed neither the border police nor the barrier itself were under any threat at the time of the shooting.

"The incident took place in the village of Nilin when the protesters came back to the village after a peaceful demonstration," Sfard said. "The policemen involved, both the guy who shot and the officers who gave orders, must take the full might of criminal justice."

The Israeli military described the protest as a "violent riot", saying that "approximately 400 rioters threw a massive number of rocks at security forces".

"Israel regrets that the Israeli and foreign nationals co-operate with violent rioters against the building of the security fence, whose purpose is saving the lives of Israeli citizens," it said. "As such, any Israeli, Palestinian, or foreign national who illegally participates in a violent demonstration takes upon himself the risk of personal harm during the dispersal of these disturbances."


Crime in Israel

Crime in Israel is present in various forms which include drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering, burglary, car theft, human trafficking etc. Organized crime has increased dramatically in Israel since the 1990s and is described by the BBC as a "booming industry". The Israeli mafia have extended their activities in foreign countries like the United States, South Africa, and the Netherlands.[1] According to a report by the Israel Police, drug trafficking, trafficking of women for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, illicit gambling, pirate filling stations and real estate are the major forms of crime in the country.[2]
Cocaine and heroin abuse is increasing in Israel with the drugs coming mainly from countries like Lebanon and Jordan. Israel is also a money-laundering center.[3] Director of the Latin American Institute of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C. Dina Siegel, criminology professor H. G. van de Bunt, and lecturer in criminology Damián Zaitch showed in their book Global Organized Crime that a significant amount of crime in Israel, especially crime against property, is committed by the citizens of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA).[4] Motor vehicle theft is a major crime committed by the Palestinians. Since the early 1990s, there has been an increase in the rate of robberies in Israel. Between 1994 to 2001, the rate of robberies increased from 14.0 to 30.6 cases per 100,000 population. The reason behind this increase in robberies is analyzed as a result of the establishment of the PA which according to the book Global Organized Crime "serves as a safe heaven for Palestinian offenders". However, the organized crime industry associated with motor vehicle theft involves not only Palestinians, but also Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. The parts of the stolen cars are removed in "chop shops" in the PA and then these vehicles are sold in the black market in the Israeli territory. Media reports suggest some of these vehicles are even handed over to high-ranking PNA officials.[5]
Although Palestinian criminals are involved in organized crime in the country, Siegel et al. suggested one should not conclude that "organized crime in Israel is dominated by Palestinians. Organized crime committed by Jews or other non-Palestinians has been part of the Israeli crime scene for many years".[2]
Arms trafficking is another form of crime and it is directly associated with terrorism. There are many links between Israeli and Palestinian gangsters that facilitate these ventures.[5] Violence against minors is also a problem in Israel. In 1999, approximately 7,000 cases of crimes against minors were documented which included physical assault (54%), molestation (37%) and repeated physical victimization (9%).[6] However, Israeli minors are not solely the victims of crime, they are also sometimes the perpetrators. Teenage violence in schools is a problem in Israel; the first major study on teenage crime in the nation by T. Horowitz and M. Amir in 1981 indicated three major forms of violence in Israeli schools: theft, breaking and entering, and vandalism.[7] Studies have suggested that Israeli Arab youth are more violent than Jews in the country, a fact which academics attribute to cultural, social, and economic differences.[8]
In 2002, the Israel Police documented 464,854 criminal files and non-prosecution cases while the number was 484,688 in 2003. This was an increase of 4.5% over 2002