Monday, May 28, 2018

Only guilty states do this

Two weeks ago, the Israeli Defence Force massacred over 50 Palestinians and wounded 1,200 more when they slowly and methodically shot people protesting against their border fence. Like other Israeli war crimes, the shootings were filmed, providing both potential evidence against the criminals and bad PR for the IDF. But Israeli nationalists have a solution to this: ban anyone from filming their heroic military!

Israel’s parliament is to consider a law banning the photographing or filming of soldiers, in what critics claim is a “dangerous” attempt to undermine scrutiny of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

Under the proposed legislation, entitled the “Prohibition against photocopying and documenting IDF Soldiers”, those found photographing troops “with the intention of undermining the spirit” of the army can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

“Anyone who filmed, photographed, and/or recorded soldiers in the course of their duties, with the intention of undermining the spirit of IDF soldiers and residents of Israel, shall be liable to five years imprisonment,” says the bill, proposed by Robert Ilatov, a member of the Knesset and the chairman of the right-wing nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party.

“Anyone intending to harm state security will be sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.”

So, propaganda photos and videos will be fine. But showing the IDF doing its actual job of terrorising and murdering Palestinians so as to keep them under subjugation and steal their land will result in a jail sentence. And the intent of the law is clearly to hide the evidence of those crimes.

Only guilty states do this. But its been clear for quite some time that that is exactly what Israel is: a criminal state, built on and sustained by systematic human rights abuses. The one positive thing in this is that they seem to still at least have a sense of shame about them.