Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Tortured’ Reasoning

Melanie Phillips

Britain’s human rights anti-America activists are champing at the bit to convict British and American politicians and officials – at the very least at the bar of public opinion – for their alleged complicity with the torture of suspected Islamic terrorists. Britain’s human rights anti-Israel activists are also intent on arresting Israelis for “war crimes” – so much so that Israelis who have played prominent roles in military operations to defend their country against Palestinian terror attacks cannot set foot in Britain without running the risk of being thus arrested Three days ago, Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ya’alon was the latest to be targeted by such a move during a brief visit to London.

Yet as the Mail on Sunday reported last weekend, Britain is complicit in the torture of Palestinians – by other Palestinians. So much so that – surreally – Britain is now sending British police and intelligence officers to the West Bank to try to stop a wave of torture by Palestinian security forces (pictured above in a batle with Hamas activists in Qalqilya last June) funded by UK taxpayers. The paper reported:

Yesterday a senior official from the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA), which runs the West Bank and its security agencies, admitted for the first time that torture, beatings and extra-judicial killings have been rife for the past two years, with hundreds of torture allegations and at least four murders in custody, the most recent in August.

... Support for the new department follows the disclosure by The Mail on Sunday in January that Britain spends £20million a year funding the forces responsible for the abuse. Most of their victims are accused of involvement with Hamas, the radical Islamist party that seized power through violence in the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is controlled by the rival Fatah party.

... In the region’s largest city, Nablus, Nasser al-Shaer, a former Manchester academic who was deputy prime minister in the short-lived Hamas Palestinian Authority government elected in 2006, said many of those released from detention in recent months were telling the same story – of torture, including beatings, being suspended from the ceiling and electric shocks.

Fatah are of course the party that Britain and the U.S. represent as “moderate” and legitimate partners in the “peace process.”

Might we now see moves by “human rights” activists to arraign British officials and politicians for having funded the torture of Palestinians by Palestinians? And if not, why not?

As Tom Gross observes:

Meanwhile, as Palestinian detainees are being tortured to death in Palestinian Authority jails, Palestinian prisoners (including convicted terrorists) in custody in Israel are studying for Israeli university degrees (at Israeli taxpayers’ expense) and also given cable TV, IPods and dental treatment – but international human rights groups criticize Israel, whose deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon narrowly escaped being arrested in Britain for ‘war crimes’ yesterday.

And the world community that routinely and harshly condemns Israel even when Israel hasn’t done anything wrong, has failed to condemn the Katyusha rocket fired from Lebanon which narrowly missed an Israeli town last night. It is a strange world.

To put it mildly. Contributor Melanie Phillips is the author of the powerful and frightening Londonistan, and she blogs at The Spectator.

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