Censoring injustice and human rights abuses in Israel
Marianne Azizi writes:
In an extensive interview I gave last May, I discussed rarely-reported abuses of human rights in Israel committed by state officials – the police, judges and social workers, among others.
The interview can be viewed on YouTube here, from 21:10 minutes onwards.1
Censorship in Israel is so effective that half the population does not know what is happening to the other half. It is a country split in two. Those who are touched by the system know all too well how desperate things can become, and those who are not touched by it have no idea of what could happen to them.
In Israel, there is little help for people to deal with the law. Those who begin a process in the family courts would not know what to expect. The process is unclear – and lawyers say that usually it depends on the day and on the judge.
The Latet report, issued annually by an Israeli non-governmental organisation, goes into extensive detail about the poverty and lack of medical care for people. It says there is little prospect of improvements by the government to help citizens.
Yet, despite evidence people prefer to believe something else. Better to believe that all Israelis are living it up on beaches and travelling extensively. Better to believe that no poverty exists other than with religious groups and “lazy” people. Better to believe fathers are all going to flee the country and don’t care about their children.
But is the truth anti-Semitic? Attempts are being made to silence dissent both inside and outside Israel. With the recent attempt to gag an Israeli blogger under the pretext of “insulting public officials”, where is freedom of speech?
Surely, Jewish identity should come second to civil and human rights. Only naming and shaming Israel for abusing its own people will work. That is why judges are being outed for their own crimes, social workers are being shamed publicly for their involvement in taking children from their homes, and police brutality is being shown on national TV stations as much as possible.
Decent Israelis don’t want to destroy the state – they want a fair country for all. Most say they want a peaceful life but believe their neighbours do not. When turning things around, the neighbours say the same, that Israelis do not want peace, but they themselves do. However, what they all have in common is the fact that the core state institutions are hurting them all.