Mar 28 2018
UK said it was worried about Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian children inside Israeli jails, but it remains unwilling to change this miserable reality.
In the wake of sentencing the female Palestinian teenage Ahed Tamimi to eight months in prison by an Israeli court, the British Foreign Office issued a statement calling for Israel to improve the treatment of Palestinian children in military detention and said it should do more to safeguard vulnerable people in its care.
Britain’s Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said, in a statement, that good treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts is a “human priority” for his country. To make sure that the UK is doing its best to achieve this end, he said: “We will continue to call upon Israel to improve its practices in line with international law and obligations.”
Being worried about the mistreatment of the Palestinian children is a very good thing, and pledging to be committed to achieving justice for them is something more than very good, but is this real and enough? Of course, not real and not enough! Why? Here is the answer:
First, Burt was not persuaded that the Israeli occupation is responsible for the misery of the Palestinian children inside or outside the Israeli courts and jails. In the aforementioned statement, he referred the reason of the plight of the Palestinian children to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as he described sentencing Tamimi as “emblematic of how the unresolved conflict is blighting the lives of a new generation.” I am asking him: if there was no Zionist occupation of Palestine that followed a British one, would the Palestinians have any conflict with anyone.
Before moving to the second point, is he considering the good treatment of Palestinian children a “human priority” only? Does not he believe it is a basic human right? What about adult Palestinian prisoners? Do they deserve mistreatment or being sent behind bars for unlimited periods, without proper treatment, healthcare, family visitations, etc...? Why was not he worried about them?
Second, Burt said that the conflict “is blighting the lives of a new generation who should be growing up together in peace, but continue to be divided.” He did not consider the main reason which has been and will be for ever making Arabs, Palestinians and Israelis divided. Probably, he did not know that the Chief Israeli Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has called for forcing all non-Jews out of Israel and said that those who remain there are entitled for one duty which is serving the Jews. Just a couple of days ago, he described the blacks as “monkeys.”
Burt might not come through the remarks of the Israeli Deputy Education Minister Eli Ben Dahan, who has said: “[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human.” He also said: “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual.” Because the Palestinians are “beasts,” the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.” Such racist remarks, which the Israeli occupation officials feel proud of, might not came to Burt’s mind when he speaks about the rights of the Palestinians.
Third, Burt said his country had offered to help Israel to improve treatment of Palestinian children inside Israeli jails. Why did not Burt say that his country was ready to end Israeli policy of arresting and sentencing Palestinian children? Why did not he say his country knows about Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children for a long time and did nothing practical to end this? Then, he said that Israel had made some improvements but needed to do much more to safeguard vulnerable people in its care. Was he really unaware of the report of the Israeli NGO which refuted the claims that Israel improved treatment of Palestinian children inside its court? If he was really unaware of it, I suggest he goes educate himself about any topic he wants to speak about.
Fourth, I am reminding Burt that his Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was proud of British role which resulted in mistreating the Palestinian children inside the Israeli prisons. This happened when she refused to accept the call to apologise for the Palestinians over the Balfour Declaration, the British promise which granted the Palestinians’ land to the Jews, and insisted to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in London. “We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of state of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” she said, when she received Netanyahu, whose crimes, racism and incitement against mistreating and killing the Palestinians are not a secret.
Fifth, if Burt does not trust my answers, he can ask any little uneducated child about the facts regarding the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian children in jails and the Israeli aggression and violence against the Palestinians, as well as the share of his country in these crimes. I suggest that Burt should have visited the Israeli courts with an army of lawyers to defend the Palestinian children, women and men; otherwise, he should remain silent and not comment on crimes he and his country are responsible for!
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The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Days of Palestine’s editorial policy.
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