Wednesday, May 29, 2013

'Price Tag' As "Terror" - A Stupid Move

An initiative to change the legal standing of "price tag" attacks to that of an act of terror will be brought before the cabinet next week, according to a resolution devised by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and representatives from the police and security forces.  The initiative is part of a larger shift intended to bolster police and Shin Bet action against "price tag" offenses in the West Bank and Israel.

...Minister Livni has recently met with several settlement representatives in order to gain support for the initiative.

She's following Peace Now's lead, this from October 2011:

The extremist settlers call it "Price Tag." We have always called it by its proper name: Terrorism. Now, Israel's Shin Bet, the IDF's top brass and Israeli Cabinet members agree with us.

and Amos Gilad from last September:-

So-called "price tag" attacks represent criminal acts of terror meant to drag Israel into a religious Armageddon, a senior Israeli security official said on Monday...Speaking at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's 12th world summit, Amos Gilad, the Defense Ministry's director for policy and political-military affairs, referred to recent acts of violence against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, saying that the right-wing activists who perpetrate "price tag" attacks must be restrained

Of course they must be found, placed and trial and if guilty, sentenced.  But in any case, "terror" is not "criminal" but war.

The real question is why can't the police do their job.  But Livni's idea is stupid.

Why "stupid"?

First of all, there are freedom of expression issues here since more than 70% of the "price tag" acts are daubing and graffiti and not only torching of cars (which, as has been proven, Arabs have done to themselves) and the burning of fields (as has been proven never occurred). 

Read here, too.

Second, equalizing Jews to Arabs as terrorists is simply immoral in that there are enough laws to permit adequate supervision and punishment for the criminal activities that are "price tag" acts without suggesting that what Arabs do to Jews is what Jews do to Arabs.  As Carl wrote:

Declaring vandalism to be terrorism in Israel is a sure way to ensure that no one takes our claims about terrorism seriously.  

And thirdly, imagine what a field day some Arab groups would have.  Someone might even presume they can file a criminal suit against persons or groups supporting Jewish communities where "price tag" acts take place, as if they are funding terror. (see UPDATE) (see UPDATE 2)

Consider that the last time Livni called something "terrorist", she got in trouble in February 2009:-

Newly appointed Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni ruffled US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in their first Washington meeting, Wednesday by publicly calling a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority a terrorist entity.  "When a state is run by terrorists, it becomes a terrorist entity," Livni said alongside Rice at a State Department news conference. Rice did not react to Livni's statement, but an Israeli diplomatic source said that the Secretary of State did not appear "thrilled" with it


...“Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups?

...Let me provide another possible clue, found in the June 16, 2009 minutes of the Palestinian negotiating unit headed by Saeb Erekat–part of the Palestine Papers published by Al Jazeera in 2011.

At the June 16 meeting, Erekat said Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 14 Bar-Ilan speech had sought to put the Palestinians on the defensive...
Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat:

“We should also focus on the government incentives to settlers: loans without interest, land for free, agricultural subsidies in the Jordan valley. We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration investigate this.” [Emphasis added].
Shatayyed was wrong about Israeli government incentives, which had been terminated by Israel during the Bush administration...Given our evolving knowledge of how the IRS operated under Obama, however, it seems possible the Palestinians followed through on Shtayyed’s other suggestion, asking the administration to investigate pro-Israeli groups...Perhaps a Palestinian request to “investigate” 501(c)(3) entities found a welcome response at the highest levels of the U.S. government, even before the New York Times article appeared a year later.

And guess what?

IRS Crosses Green Line

Pro-Israel groups felt wrath of Obama IRS, WFB investigation reveals
Alana Goodman, May 30, 2013

A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010.

These organizations, some of which are too afraid of government reprisals to speak publicly, say in interviews with the Free Beacon that they now believe the IRS actions may have been coordinated by the Obama administration.

Many of the charities openly clashed with the Obama administration’s policy of opposing Israeli settlement construction over the so-called “Green Line,” which marks the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and West and East Jerusalem.

And I forgot this:

Relentless” attacks by “terrorist settler militias” on Palestinians have become commonplace in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged on Thursday in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.  “We contend with attacks on our people, our mosques, our churches and our schools,” Abbas said, in a reference to the burgeoning phenomenon of price-tag attacks and vandalism in response to Israeli evacuations of outposts in the West Bank.

Update 2:-

A West Bank village is suing two Quebec-based companies for $2 million, alleging they violated international law by building Israeli settlements on occupied territory.

The claim, filed Wednesday [but first reported in 2008] against sister companies Green Park International and Green Mount International, also asks the Quebec Superior Court for an injunction to stop further construction, and demolish apartment buildings already erected in Moddin Illit, a Jewish settlement northwest of Ramallah.

The Palestinian village of Bil'in alleges both companies committed war crimes by building housing in the settlement, Israel's largest in the West Bank. The lawsuit also names Annette Laroche, who is named as the director of both companies.

The apartment buildings are built on land that was part of a Palestinian village until Israel seized the West Bank from Jordanian control in the Six-Day War in 1967...

The lawsuit asks the court to rule whether the construction violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilians in times of war and occupation; Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act; the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms; and the Civil Code of Quebec.

The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an occupying power from transferring its own civilians into occupied territory...the lawsuit is believed to be the first time a private company has been sued for investing in Israeli settlements...



Ariadne said...

I would like to see some figures. How many "price tag" acts and how many have been proved to be Jewish acts. Figures on things that never happened would also be of interest. I'll never forget the pruning of olive trees described annually by Arabs as "uprooting by 'settlers'".

Anonymous said...

equate a suicide bomber to a graffiti vandal? that's stupid.