Friday, October 15, 2010

military order 101

In America, we pride ourselves on free expression and demonstrating in public is one very important form of it.

Israelis enjoy the same freedom, whether inside Israel or in the West Bank, what's more, they can be armed as they enjoy it.

But Palestinians in the occupied territory live, though on their own land, under Israeli military law. According to B'Tselem, since February of 2010, the Israeli military (IDF) has been operating under "military order 101" resurrected from 1967.

Military order 101 is wonderfully broad, making essentially any demonstration illegal under this wording:
"every gathering, vigil or procession of ten or more persons requires a permit from the IDF commander in the region, if the gathering involves a 'political issue or can be construed as political or to discuss such an issue' or 'for a political purpose or for a matter than can be construed as political.' "
If someone should violate this order, a sentence of ten years can be imposed, not by a civil court, access to which is denied Palestinians, but by a military court. Think of this situation as Guantanamo East, because it's the same idea of making people disappear without due process. For an instance of quashing Palestinian demonstrations see countries in the courtroom, but not the U.S.

But that's not all.

Areas where demonstrations are taking place can be declared closed military zones, giving the IDF even more freedom to act and the demonstrators none. To see a demonstration underway, see another Palestinian languishes in prison

Any "internationals" who might want to join a demonstration can be deported.

It's more of the same story - the Palestinians have no rights. Does America side with the powerless and defenseless and oppose this "military justice"? No.

Call your Congresspeople and ask how they feel about military order 101. They will, of course, have no idea what you are talking about, but they are supporting it even so - and so are you as long as you raise no protest for people who cannot protest on their own behalf.

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