Tortured to Death

Since 2003, there have been 700 complaints of torture in the Israeli Prisons, none of which have been investigated. There have been 53 deaths from medical neglect and 72 deaths resulting from torture in the Occupation’s prisons since 1967. Arafat’s death is the second this year that is attributed to Israeli detention; Ashraf Abu Dra’ was subjected to medical negligence during his detention and died on 21 January 2013 from a fatal coma shortly after his release. -  Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association

Israel is a malevolent state that routinely engages in both crimes against humanity and war crimes. Those who criticise it and compare its practices to those of the Nazis are often labelled diabolical anti-Semites. Yet we have an Israeli colonel during one of the occupations of Lebanon arguing with a  sergeant in the presence of the journalist John Simpson that:

We are like Nazis here. Sharon is a war criminal, and we are helping him do his dirty work. It’s genocide. All of us are guilty.

It is not an isolated incident.

There is something quintessentially evil about those who torture. It does not matter what ‘noble’ end to which it is used. In its application it is a monstrous evil. The consequentialist logic of ends justifying means has little ethical value against the humanist position of process legitimising outcome.

While torture has been openly practiced by most if not all countries and religious institutions in the world at some stage, in the latter half of the 20th Century a sense of shame in the face of international opprobium caused most of them to deny it or pretend to take measures to bring it to a halt in those instances where they could no longer deny its existence. That was until the US breached the official discursive protection that was in place. The language of ‘thou shalt not’ which served as a shield was cast aside. When George Bush responded to an allegation that he had approved water boarding torture with the words ‘you bet’ the moral authority that Western democracies liked to claim for themselves vis a vis their less democratic adversaries suddenly seemed quite scrawny. No longer did torture sit on the human rights ‘no no’ pantheon alongside rape and slavery whereby there was no contingency that could ever legally permit them. Even prior to Bush, behaving like some 1970s Argentine dictator,  approved torture, Israel had from 1999, through its High Court, while formally claiming to prohibit the wicked practice, agreed to it in conditions of necessity.

Arafat Jaradat was arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli troops on the 18th February. By the 23rd of February he was dead. The Palestinian Authority Minister for Detainee Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, is reported to have told a news conference in Ramalla that an autopsy conducted in Israel in the presence of Palestinian officials revealed that Jaradat had sustained injuries for which there was no anodyne explanation:

The information we have received so far is shocking and painful. The evidence corroborates our suspicion that Mr. Jaradat died as a result of torture, especially since the autopsy clearly proved that the victim's heart was healthy, which disproves the initial alleged account presented by occupation authorities that he died of a heart attack.

Jaradat's lawyer, Kameel Sabbagh, said about seeing him in court:

When I entered the courtroom I saw Jaradat sitting on a wooden chair in front of the judge. His back was hunched and he looked sick and fragile ... when I sat next to him he told me that he had serious pains in his back and other parts of his body because he was being beaten up and hanged for many long hours while he was being investigated..When Jaradat heard that the judge postponed his hearing he seemed extremely afraid ...

Elsewhere a legal expert has complained that hunger strikers are being tortured by Israeli authorities. It actually sounds like something we would expect to read about in the memoirs of a survivor from a concentration camp run by Rudolf Höss.

Moreover, according to the journalist Charlotte Silver, the same High Court that licenced 'necessary' torture

 has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

Let those who back Israel now have the chutzpah to tell us that there are no points of comparison between the practices of Shin Bet and those of the Gestapo.


  1. In the late 1940s, Zionists were bombing Jewish communities in Iraq to scare families into immigrating to Israel, and torturing women community leaders who tried to keep Zionist army (IDF) recruiters out of schools and households.

    Israel has been nothing but torture and genocide since it started. Anyone who hasn't already been swayed is unlikely to be swayed now. Nonetheless, keep reporting.

  2. Israel is now becoming as shamefully renowned for torture as it is for arrogance.
    Like the Brits, they believe that they are accountable to no-one for their actions.
    Some of our group attended a book launch event on Saturday evening in Scotland. At the event a Basque woman graphically outlined similiar experiences being visited upon their political prisoners.
    Is it then the case that states which came about through the undemocratic means of violence and torture,perpetuate those tactics against those who challenge their legitimacy?

  3. Anthony; this is a fantastic post. Not just because its about something I agree with, but because you've managed to succinctly capture in a few paragraphs how evil this State is.

    One of the more sadistic crimes of Zionism is the treatment of expectant mothers at checkpoints.

    It's estimated that between 65-80 pregnant women go into labour each year at Israeli checkpoints. These numbers are fairly low estimates as data like this is hard to gather and is often buried or manipulated by the occupiers.

    Almost half those births end in miscarriage and stillborn births.

    This is murder. There is no grey area here, it's murder of innocents and its deliberate. Detaining pregnant women at these checkpoints is common practice and while decent people are shocked and appalled at this practice, the hateful murderous Zionist bastards show off about it and notch it up as 'kills'.

    I absolutely detest them. I hope every last one of them rot in hell for their crimes and inhumanity. I hope the PLFP are victorious.

  4. "when I sat next to him he told me that he had serious pains in his back and other parts of his body because he was being beaten up and hanged for many long hours while he was being investigated..

    the Israelis went this far to get a confession from a "stone thrower"? The PA has now said that Palestinian collaborators killed him at the behest of the Israelis.
    No one really knows what happened, all the facts are very much unknown as of now.

  5. Ryan,

    if this is true it simply sounds like a Sabra Chatilla type logic at play again. It would amount to the authorities engineering his fate by placing him with Israel's own colloborators. If the British put a republican on a loyalist wing and the loyalists beat the republican to death we would conclude the British were responsible.

    If all the facts are unknown then let an outside body investigate. The Israelis have little problem in going this far. They have murdered numerous Palestinian children to pursue their ends. What did Mohammed Elargi do to merit his fate?

  6. My son was telling me this morning that Amnesty has made another ruling on the barbarous crucifixions in Saudi Arabia , but the eyes and cheeks will be turned in all directions as Saudi remains rich and a British and American alley.

  7. Ryan;

    'the Israelis went this far to get a confession from a stone thrower?'

    Yes? Why is this hard to believe?

    The British, another parcel of murdering low life scum, beat many young Irish women and men so hard, threw them from helicopters even, to get 'confessions' out of them. Birmingham six, Guildford four and the Maguire family are just some of the more notorious cases.

    Do you find this hard to believe?

  8. Britain was the first to use torture to control Palestinians during the Great Arab Revolt of 1936-39, bringing in former members of the Black and Tans to quell the uprising. Over the course of the 20th century Britain perfected its use of torture to interrogate and intimidate in places such as Malaya, Kenya, Aden, and of course, Northern Ireland, in an attempt to control those Mark Curtis described as unpeople -- "those whose lives are seen as expendable in the pursuit of Britain's economic and political goals." In fact, the British use of torture against Ireland's Hooded Men in 1971 stands as the benchmark used by other countries, including both Israel and the United States, to determine exactly how far they can go with their "enhanced interrogation techniques" without contravening the Declaration of Human Rights.

  9. Dr. L.A Farrell,

    Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain does a great job in respect of the examples you raised.

  10. Bookworm,
    No I find it hard to believe that everyone believes whatever the PA says. The israelis say he died of a heart attack, the PA says he was tortured to death-first by Israelis themselves now by '' Palestinian collaborators". How do you know who to believe when both sides have lied/embellished in the past?
    What is needed is an independent inquiry.

  11. Thanks, Anthony. I have read Ian Cobain's book; Mark Curtiss's Web of Deceit is also a good source of information about the British use of torture, as is my doctoral dissertation, a copy of which is held in the Republican Museum in Lurgan. Of course, one need not go further than the Parker Report to learn about the British use of torture in its colonies.

  12. Ryan; I don't believe anything the PA says. I actually question everything.

    I do however believe things when the majority if not all of the palestinian rights organisations and movements say something, what my own friends in the occupied territories say and what I've seen with my own eyes.

    Unlike you, I scratch beneath the surface and look beyond what the mainstream media 'reports' to discover at least half a truth.

    Nice sidestep by the way regarding the British torture issue. Stump you did it?

  13. Belfast Bookworm,

    you are right to adopt a sceptical stance to what the PA or anybody says for that matter. But we know only too well that Israel has a history of this type of thing. And what is not in dispute is that the guy was killed in Israeli custody.

  14. Uh no I'm an Irish republican, I don't dispute any of those things happened, I don't dispute that Israelis have tortured. But that doesn't mean this guy was. I just think in this case people need to wait for the facts. The last thing the Middle East needs right now is another intifada.

  15. His solicitor claims he told him he was tortured. He bears the signs of torture. Israel has a history of torture. The chances that he was not tortured would look pretty slim I imagine.

  16. Whatever else can be leveled against the PA, why would it say this man was tortured if it was not true? The medical examination of the body discovered evidence of torture. Nowhere have I saw this claim contradicted expect by Israle.

  17. If we look back over our own experience, those who claim they were tortured were telling the truth and those who tortured them lied through their teeth. I would imagine Ryan that even if you wish to postpone a judgement in this particular case you could still demand that Israel drop its 'neccessary' defence of torture which is always going to make it more likely that torture will occur.

  18. Ryan; that's the most feeble answer I've ever read on TPQ.

    Also, since you don't deny the Israelis engage in torture, how can you even begin to show any degree of support to them. If you are as you claim, a republican, id imagine you have at least some knowledge of the struggle and history here. If so, then you should really be a bit more appalled at the war crimes of Israel.

  19. Bookwarm,
    "Also, since you don't deny the Israelis engage in torture, how can you even begin to show any degree of support to them."

    I'm not that supportive of Israel other than to believe they have a right to exist on the pre 1967 lines. Going by your logic How can you support the Palestinians when they engage in torture? A man named Ayman Samarah died in a PA prison last week. His family claims he was tortured. The PA claims he had "high blood pressure and diabetes". Sound familiar?
    Hamas lynched four Palestinians and dragged their bodies through the streets of Gaza last November for allegedly informing. News flash to everyone on here-all Middle Eastern countries/organizations engage in varying degrees of torture. This is not Switzerland or Denmark we're talking about.

  20. Ryan,

    The PA has always been corrupt to varying degrees, probably much worse under Arafat and Fatah. But none of this decreases the liklihood of this guy having been tortured to death.

  21. Ryan; if I remember correctly you do support Israel. I accused you of being a silly little shankill road boy because of it last year on ths blog.

    TPQ would delete my post if I wrote what I thought about Hamas or the PA. Your drawing attention to both these bodies to argue a point with me illustrates how little you know about Palestine.

    The 1967 bullshit you are spurting here is null and void with me. You're listening to Obama's spin too much methinks.

    Oh, and regarding torture. Have a look out your window and take in the view - there you will see the worlds biggest terrorists, torturers and warmongers. Yes, the good old US of A Ryan.

    Or look in the mirror maybe? Your justification in any shape or form of Israel makes you complicit in their crimes against humanity.

  22. I find it incredible that anyone doubts that this young man died in Israeli custody due to torture - my first clue in this goes to what's already been stated by others here, Israel at no point exclusively denied he was tortured - it is not news that Israel - its security forces and extremists engage in torture day and daily both within its prisons and also towards the populace as a whole.
    Ryan I challenge you to look at what you claim is your "republicanism" and explain how it is that you have no issue in supporting an occupying force ..... do you support the partition of the island of Ireland ? if so i'd like to know what kind of republicanism you are claiming ...... is it that of the american wasps?

    Israel is an evil entity that has perpetrated some of the worst practices a "democracy" can upon its population.
    The British may very well have perfected torture through its centuries of imperialistic slaughter and occupations - but the situation stands today that not many governments will hold Israel to the same standards as they hold others ...... nuclear non proliferation, torture, equality, freedom of religion, i could go on and on and on.

    An illegal state backed by the most powerful military's in the world which implements apartheid and murder of innocents day and daily - and you are ok with it's existence Ryan? I for one am not ........

  23. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.
    129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians :

    1,516 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis
    since September 29, 2000.

    If Americans Only New the Truth

  24. This reminds me of South Africa during Whites only shops/toilets/Buses/walkways.

    Israel opens Palestinian Only Bus routes I look upon the palestinian people as being trampled upon on there own land, which is being stolen mile by mile, I see no difference between them and ourselves, not once has palestine been sanctioned by the UN, Israel has had over 1000 sanctions against it by the UN.

  25. Aine; you've hit the nail on the head here with your comments about partition.

    If someone who claims to be an Irish republican recognises the damage partition did to Ireland and opposes that partition, how then can they not see what partition has done to Palestine.

    Far from resolving the Palestinian issue, partition has exacerbated it. For someone to even bring up the boundaries and border issue, which do in fact hold no legitimacy, speaks volumes about their understanding on this.

    Ryan, as a republican - whether Irish or otherwise, you should oppose any form of imperialism. Because the people in this case have brown skin should not cloud your judgement.

    Itsjustmacker; Yes. Mile by mile they're thieving the land that never was and never should be theirs.

  26. "Because the people in this case have brown skin should not cloud your judgement."

    What a stupid and revolting thing to say. I can assure you brown skin has nothing to do with it. If you had ever been to Palestine/Lebanon/Syria there are many white Arabs as well as Ugandan and Nprth African Israeli Jews.
    As the son of a Brooklyn Jewish mother and grandson of New Lodge republicans on my dads side I have been blessed to experience two great traditions and I see no contradiction at all being a republican and Israel supporter. Ireland is a clearly established nation, 6 counties of which are currently under foreign occupation. Israel in addition to Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon are artificially created remnants of the Ottoman Empire. The entire Arab Middle East with the exception of Egypt is one big partition with artificially created states. So how is one partition (creating Israel) bad but the rest are fine? Israel needs to leave the West Bank and create a Palestinian state but to argue it has no right to exist at all is ridiculous. The Jews immigrated to Palestine, the UN gave them their own state and they were attacked. They won in 48, again in 67 and again in 73.
    Maybe the Irish could learn a thing or two from some Israelis-how to build a state, how to keep your best and brightest from leaving, how to revive a dead language i.e. Hebrew, Gaelic, how to build a thriving economy. If Ireland had leaders like a Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin Ireland would've been united decades ago. But instead you got Adams, Mcguinness Hume Devalera and all the other useless worthless touts, rats and weasels.
    Excuse my tangent but I had to get that off my chest.

  27. Ryan; why are you bringing Jews into this? Who mentioned Jews? Only you - paranoid much?

    Just before Christmas I was invited to celebrate Hanukkah with some Jewish friends in belfast. I know how rich and beautiful the traditions of the religion are. These Jews mind you, are anti-Zionist - I wouldn't associate myself with zionists in any shape or form... Wouldn't even let them breathe the same air as me.

    I take great exception to your suggestion that the Irish could learn from Israel for I like to think that we have learned. Learned how not to behave, how not to become a shower of greedy murderous bastards intent on genocide.

    Your da being a republican from the new lodge holds no sway. So what like? That does not automatically make you one. Certainly, your buy-in to the partition of Palestine leaves me wondering if you really even understand what republicanism is. Sure, you have at least some grasp that the north is occupied by the Brits but here's a bit of free information for you;


    Stop spurting dates at me you muppet. Remembering dates does not demonstrate an understanding of anything only a good memory for numbers.

    The wars were funded and facilitated by the Brits and the Yanks - for imperialist reasons..Stop talking about the UN who are also a shower of incompetent bastards... Read and understand the history - not from the publicly sanctioned history books either or mainstream shite media you gorge on in the US; fox, CBS, CNN. Open your mind a bit.

    Read Naomi Klein, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky. Fantastic writers/journalists/thinkers.

    All Jews by the way.

    PS I'm tempted to write what I think about Ben Gurion but I'm afraid Anthony will not publish my post.

  28. Ryan.

    You have me slightly confused with this;

    "As the son of a Brooklyn Jewish mother and grandson of New Lodge republicans on my dads side"

    So you are actually stating that your grandfather came from the New Lodge and was a Republican?, I don't mean any disrespect when I ask you this, Was your Grandfather a Catholic ?, if the answer is yes, then I assume your father is also a catholic?, would I be correct?. The reason I am asking the question is, There is no way any Jewish parents would let there Daughter Marry a Catholic, Unless your mother married out off love and took no heed off either of her parents. I.m just lost at the moment because Jews hate the Catholic Religion, the abhor Jesus. and, Please don't come back on me as being anti Jew, or, a racist, I am far from it.
    and again, Please don't take any offence at my questions because none is intended.

    But I had to laugh at this ;

    "Maybe the Irish could learn a thing or two from some Israelis-how to build a state,"?

    Ryan, they have a part of palestine which the British broke off for the Jews after the 2nd world war.Every piece of land they have gained since then they have stolen. You need to do serious history research, try google search for "Palestine 1949.

  29. BB,

    write about Ben Gurion if you please. We try to publish everything.

  30. Okay, but ill tone it down a bit.

    David Ben Gurion was a hateful, racist bastard hell bent on ethnically cleaning the Arabs from their own land.

    I believe he saw the holocaust as an opportunity to exploit his fanatical desire to create a state of Israel out of pure and utter fantasy and fairy tale.

    He was a bastard. I hope he's rotting in some hell.