Over the past decade Israel has received a lousy press abroad on the subject of human rights. Strange that for a country which has full freedom of worship, has non-Jews in its Parliament representating several political parties, and has a myriad of national papers.
By way of comparison, yesterday I received a report from the Ramallah-based Independent Commission for Human Rights. Every month they highlight abuses by Palestinian officials in Gaza and the West Bank. Using names, dates, places, in August 2008 alone, they refer to: –
- 1 female citizen who died through so-called “honour crimes”
- 8 citizens were reported to have been killed in family fights and acts of revenge
- 15 complaints from citizens alleging that they were subjected to torture while they were being detained or interrogated. In the Gaza Strip, ICHR received 7 grievances from citizens, claiming that they were subjected to torture.
- Attacks on charitable houses and orphanages
- Interference with the legal system
- Blocking distribution of daily newspapers