By Shulamit Aloni, YNet News – 26 Oct 2009
Shulamit Aloni slams decision not to indict Border Guard officers who abused Arabs
On a hot summer day, two Border Guard police officers walked around the holy city of Jerusalem without any particular mission. At one point they decided that it would proper to prove their authority and respectful position to themselves and to the Palestinians. The officers proceeded to nab two Palestinians, yelled at them, and demanded that they salute “their majesties” numerous times.
Next, they made them face a wall and pulled out a camera, in case their colleagues won’t believe them. They beat the Palestinians on their head and nape time and again, they lifted their shirts, removed their pants, continued to hit them, kicked them in the rear-end, and showed these Arabs how strong they are and how loyal they are to their job as the Jewish Border Guard.
And so, these police officers continued to take pleasure in abusing, beating up, humiliating, and photographing it. They did this until they got tired, and then, satisfied and gleeful, decided to let their victims go.
Such abuse, which is accompanied by photos and glee, must not be disregarded. A representative of the victims turned to the State Prosecutor’s Office and demanded to bring the honorable Border Guard officers to justice on charges of abuse, humiliation, and assault.
Given the photographs and testimonies, these “heroes” indeed deserve to be put on trial for the offenses they committed: Misuse of authority and assault, which carry a prison term of two years or more. Moreover, there are suspicions that additional offences were committed in terms of physical and emotional abuse, as well as acts that border on sexual abuse.
Yet here we were surprised: The State Prosecutor decided not to look into the matter. The response was so impressive that it would be proper to distribute in on posters, so everyone will see and know.
According to State Prosecutor’s Office, the materials available in the case, including the videos, indeed show “improper conduct” on the part of the police officers. However, as the case in question involved very light beating that caused no real damage, prosecutors found no basis for intervention, leaving the matter to be treated by the police’s internal affairs unit.
What an extraordinary response. After all, the police officers indeed did not pluck out their victims’ eyes and did not cut off limbs; besides, after all, these victims are Palestinian, and therefore it turns out that abusing and humiliating them doesn’t count. The appeal filed over the decision was also rejected by the State Prosecutor’s Office.
What we have here then is a new method apparently: The army will probe itself and then will let us know how chaste it is. The police will probe police officers, and it will turn out everyone is righteous, and so on and so forth.
In the face of the State Prosecutor’s decision on this matter, which is not unusual, I believe we should be amending the Basic Law: Human dignity and Liberty, and decide that the State of Israel is committed to maintaining the liberty and dignity of a person only if he’s Jewish; Just like we have land that is only for Jews and roads that are for Jews only.
By modifying the Basic Law as suggested, we will know that “dignity and liberty” in the Jewish state are only reserved for Jews.
Shulamit Aloni is an Israeli peace activist. She founded the Ratz party, was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.