Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Top Ten Reasons Ma'on and Havot Ma'on have Got to Go:
Reason Number 8: For the sake of the Rule of Law and Israeli Democracy

The continued presence of Ma'on and Havot Ma'on is creating an environment of lawlessness is physically dangerous for Palestinians and sets a dangerous precedent of Israeli society. It's in the interest of both Palestinians and the Israeli state that the rule of law is fairly enforced.

When Palestinians are attacked by Israeli settlers, it's nearly impossible for them to get justice. Even when the Israeli police are presented with overwhelming evidence - eye witness testimony, photos, and video - they refuse to arrest and prosecute settlers. Last spring, settlers from the nearby settlement of Susiya were caught on video beating Palestinians. Even though the video was all over the news, the case was closed without prosecution.

When Palestinians build on privately held Palestinians land, they are issued demolition orders. When they protest this injustice nonviolently, they are arrested. Meanwhile, settlers build illegally on survey land, where all building is forbidden. They face no consequences whatsoever. (Photo: Continued construction on new building outside Havot Ma'on, 27 May 2009)

Placing particular citizens above the rule of law is bad for a democracy. It begs the question, at what point this two completely different systems of law called racism. At what point is it called apartheid? Israeli society can't afford to allow its citizens to use violence completely unchecked. And Palestinians can't afford to wait for safety and justice.

PS: According to OCHA, 80-90% of the files opened against Israeli settlers following attacks on Palestinians and their property are regularly closed by the Israeli police without prosecution.

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