This is political persecution’: Israel cracks down on internal critics of its Gaza war

12:00 Oct 17 2023 Israel ( יִשְׂרָאֵל إِسْرَائِيل)

This is political persecution’: Israel cracks down on internal critics of its Gaza war This is political persecution’: Israel cracks down on internal critics of its Gaza war This is political persecution’: Israel cracks down on internal critics of its Gaza war
Israel's chief of police Kobi Shabtai is seen flanked by other police officers responding to an alleged terror attack in the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, outside of Jerusalem, August 1, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90 Published by 972Mag

Police watch on as Palestinian and left-wing Israeli students attend a Nakba Day rally at Tel Aviv University, May 15, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90) Published by 972Mag

Members of the Jerusalem Yamas special forces counter-terrorist unit arrest a Palestinian accused of wounding Israeli Border Police officers and planning a terror attack, Abu Dis, south of Jerusalem, June 7, 2023. (Nati Shohat/Flash90) Published by 972Mag

Palestinians, as well as some left-wing Jews, are being suspended from studies, fired from jobs, or arrested at night — all because of social media posts.

By Ghousoon Bisharat, Oren Ziv & Baker Zoubi for 972Mag
October 17, 2023

“Hello Dr. X. A complaint was submitted to us regarding the fact that on Oct. 7 you uploaded a profile picture on your Facebook page with the caption ‘The Gaza Ghetto will be liberated.’ As a senior faculty member at the college, the message spread by you on such a day stings the eye, upsets the heart, and tarnishes the name of the college.

“A reaction to a day like this, in which acts defined by international law as crimes against humanity were carried out by murderers, targeted at civilians, including adults and helpless babies, reminiscent of the Nazis’ actions against the Jews, can be interpreted with full plausibility as support for them.

“In addition, in the evening we were exposed to your assertion that the State of Israel is committing ‘genocide’ against the Palestinians. This type of moral inversion constitutes, seemingly at the very least, behavior that is not appropriate for a faculty member, as required by the regulations.

“In view of the seriousness of your posts, you are suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry that will be held for you in the coming days, and on a date to be determined as soon as possible.”

A growing atmosphere of repression
For more than a week, much of the world’s attention — as well as that of most Israelis and Palestinians — has been on the Israeli army’s escalating assault on the Gaza Strip, following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre and kidnappings in southern Israel. Less-noticed has been the rising political persecution inside Israel against Palestinians, as well as some Jews, who oppose the destruction and blockade of Gaza.

The letter reproduced above, obtained by +972 Magazine, was sent to a Jewish-Israeli faculty member at an academic college in central Israel (the individual in question requested that their details be kept vague). It is just one example of the growing atmosphere of repression in Israel since the war began, and particularly at universities.

According to the Haifa-based Palestinian human rights organization and legal center Adalah, around 50 Palestinians studying at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the University of Haifa, Western Galilee College, Tel Aviv University, and other academic institutions have been summoned to disciplinary committees in recent days on the basis of social media posts seen as supportive of Hamas — and some of them notified that they have been suspended from their studies.

The Attorney General’s Office announced on Monday that it had “instructed some of the heads of higher education institutions, who contacted it following cases of students who published words of praise for terrorism, to forward the details to the Israel Police, so that their case could be dealt with as soon as possible at the criminal level, beyond the disciplinary level handled by the educational institution. At this time we will examine the case of several Israeli students who allegedly published words of praise and support for Hamas.”

But the rising persecution in recent days has not been limited to academic institutions. The newly-established Civil Society Coalition for Emergencies in the Arab Community reports that at least 30 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been fired from their jobs — in retail, car companies, and restaurants, as well as the Jerusalem Municipality — since Oct. 7 because of social media posts perceived as supporting the Hamas attack. Meanwhile, the Municipality’s inspectors today prevented Arab construction workers — including senior managers — from entering several sites in central Israel.

Israel Police has stated that at least 170 Palestinians have been arrested or brought in for questioning since the Hamas attack on the basis of online expression. According to Adalah, this number — which includes both citizens of the state and residents of Jerusalem — represents the highest rate of arrests in such a short period of time for 20 years, and comes after State Attorney Amit Aisman authorized such investigations without his office’s prior approval.
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Continue reading at 972Mag News Source Link

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (20 October 2023) – OHCHR Press Release

FROM: Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani

Geneva, 20 October 2023

With over 3,700 people killed in Gaza and 1,000 more presumed under the rubble, as well as 1,300 people killed in Israel, and a further one million Palestinians — half of them children — reportedly displaced, we implore all parties to allow the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for all civilians in need, wherever they are.
. . .

There has also been an increase in arbitrary arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and of Arab Israelis in Israel, including Palestinian activists and Palestinian workers that were previously working in Israel, with reports of ill-treatment and lack of any due process. This must cease.

Read full press release at United Nations (UN) News Source Link
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