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Europäische Allianz für die Solidarität mit den palästinensischen Gefangenen e.V.
European Alliance in Defence of Palestinian Detainees

Conference: Parliamentarians against Administrative Detention
Brussels, 4th June 2016
General Coordinator: Dr Khaled Hamad


 


Im Folgenden die Rede von Felicia Langer, Adv. Honorary President of the Alliance
 

Liebe Gäste, liebe Abgeordnete,

ich begrüße Sie im Namen der “European Alliance in Defence of Palestinian Detainees“. Der Titel der Konferenz lautet „Parliamentarians against Administrative Detention“.

Es gibt aktuell circa 650 administrative Häftlinge, und ich werde diese Art der willkürlichen völkerrechtswidrigen Haft analysieren.
 

Das Prinzip der Administrativhaft stützte sich auf eine Verfügung des militärischen Befehlshabers der besetzten Gebiete, des Generalstabs in Israel oder des Verteidigungsministers, bis das Gesetz geändert wurde:

Wer eine solche Haftanweisung erlangen konnte, war nicht verpflichtet, irgendetwas mit gerichtsfesten Beweisen zu belegen. Es genügten Verdachtsmomente oder Erwägungen, die sich auf vertrauliche Informationen des Sicherheitsdienstes stützten, die darauf hinwiesen, dass der Mann eine Gefährdung für die Sicherheit in den besetzten Gebieten darstellte. Die Zulässigkeit dieser Haft basierte auf der Verordnung III der Notstandsgesetze  aus der britischen Mandatszeit (1945). Übertragen auf die besetzten Gebiete diente sie im Laufe der Jahre zu Massenverhaftungen, ganz besonders zur Zeit der Intifada. Während der ersten zwei Jahre der Intifada stieg die Zahl der Administrativhäftlinge bis auf etwa 5.000. Das Erlassen solcher Verfügungen und die Kontrolle darüber wurden vereinfacht, für die Behörden bequemer gestaltet, um eine rasche Niederschlagung des Aufstands ohne überflüssige Verzögerungen durch das Gerichtswesen sicherzustellen.

Basierend auf diesen Verordnungen aus der Mandatszeit wurden die Militärgerichte etabliert. Aus ihnen schöpfte die Militäradministration in den arabischen Gebieten in Israel ihre Kraft und Macht. Sie ermöglichten die Deportation von Menschen, die Zerstörung von Häusern und Zensurmaßnahmen.

 

Was haben jüdische Rechtsanwälte während des britischen Mandats dazu gesagt?

Am 7. Februar 1946 sagte Dr. Dunkelblum, Richter am Obersten Gericht: „Diese Notstandsverordnungen stellen eine Gefahr für die ganze jüdische Gemeinde dar. Für uns Rechtsanwälte jedoch sind sie von ganz speziellem Interesse: Es liegt hier ein Bruch mit den elementaren Rechtsbegriffen vor. Die Verordnungen sanktionieren die absolute Willkür der administrativen und militärischen Behörden.“

Die Administrativhaft wurde routinemäßig verlängert, und die Einspruchskommissionen stützten sich dabei fast zu hundert Prozent auf die Entscheidungen des örtlichen Kommandanten. Das Paradoxe daran war, je mehr einer von Frieden und Verständigung zwischen den Völkern sprach, desto bitterer war sein Schicksal. Dies widerfuhr zum Beispiel Al-Aruri, einer herausragenden Persönlichkeit unter den Palästinensern, der ausgezeichnete Beziehungen zum israelischen Friedenslager unterhielt. Er wurde 1974 in Administrativhaft genommen, als er von seinem Studium in der Sowjetunion zurückkehrte. Vor der Kommission für die Koexistenz mit Israel bestand er jedoch auf dem Recht des palästinensischen Volkes, ohne Besatzung zu leben. Nach seiner Rede mussten wir den Raum verlassen, und der Kasten mit den Geheimdokumenten wurde geöffnet. Wir hatten mehrfach gefragt, was der Grund für seine Verhaftung war. Während der ganzen vier Jahre seiner Haft war die einzige Antwort, die wir jemals darauf erhielten, dass es sich um Gründe der regionalen Sicherheit handele… Schließlich wurde er deportiert.

Ich habe während meiner juristischen Tätigkeit versucht, viele Hunderte  Administrativhäftlinge zu verteidigen, aber vergebens. Das war ein Kampf gegen Phantome, und so habe ich es auch immer beschrieben.

So ist die Lage auch heutzutage nach fast 50 Jahren der Besatzung und Entrechtung der Palästinenser. Viele hungerstreikende Administrativhäftlinge gerieten dabei an den Rand des Todes, so wie jetzt der Journalist El Qik. Ich habe versucht, sie zu retten. Aber die israelische Administration hatte kein Erbarmen, hat das Völkerrecht und die elementaren Menschenrechte mit Füßen getreten.

 

 

I would like now, at this moment, to share with you something more of my experience: Then in May 1990, and this year in April.

In 1990 I decided to close my office in West-Jerusalem, as a matter of protest against the rotten judicial system pertaining the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. The “Washington Post” interviewed me for their Sunday Final Edition of 13th  May as follows:

             Israeli Defender of Arab Rights Quits in ‘Despair and Disgust’;
            Lawyer for Palestinians Rarely Won a Case in 23 Years
Jackson Diehl, Washington Post Foreign Service

For 23 years, ever since Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a tenacious lawyer named Felicia Langer has haunted the crowded courtrooms where the army administers justice to rebellious Palestinians. Prosecutors seeking summary convictions have had to bear her interference; defendants, with little hope of mercy, have counted on her passionate summations to affirm their dignity.

Langer, a 59-year-old Holocaust survivor, has rarely won a case. And yet for years, when Arabs have been arrested on political charges, faced deportation or the demolition of their homes, or fallen victim to soldiers’ brutality, their families

have looked for justice at her shabby Jerusalem office.

Now, as Israel’s military machine relentlessly grinds down the 30-month-old Palestinian Intifada, or uprising in the occupied lands, Langer has decided to quit. She has closed her Jerusalem office. Two months from now, she is leaving for Germany to take an appointment as a university lecturer.

But first, Langer has one last appeal to make. Sitting formally in a desk chair, neatly attired in a flowered print dress, she delivered a long, well-prepared testimony of a career she described as a failure.

“I want my quitting to be a sort of demonstration and expression of my despair and disgust with the system, and maybe as a proof that something must be done to grant protection to the Palestinians in the occupied territories,” she said, speaking smoothly in accented but precise English. “Because for the Palestinians, unfortunately, we can’t obtain justice.”

Langer’s last pleading describes a judicial system in the occupied territories that, swamped by the army’s mass arrests, has lost every semblance of due process or respect for human rights since the onset of the intifada. It lambastes a series of rulings by Israel’s Supreme Court that have institutionalized house demolitions, deportations and detention without trial as legitimate tools of order. And, with a touch of melancholy, it describes a 23-year effort by one attorney to make the judicial system into a legitimate channel for the anger and frustration of the Palestinians – a crusade,

Langer says, has achieved almost nothing.

“I realized that all this time, by bringing Palestinians to the courts, I had been

legitimizing the system, but the system had not brought the Palestinians any justice,” she said with glistening eyes. “And I decided I couldn’t be a fig leaf for this system anymore. It was very painful for me to see this, but I couldn’t avoid it.”

In the late 1970s, Langer became involved in the most celebrated scandal ever to engulf Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet, after Arab suspects, who hijacked an Israeli bus, died in police custody, prompting a subsequent coverup. Langer represented the families of the Arabs who died. She also defended leading Palestinian political figures and argued for the rights of Palestinian universities and economic institutions.

Much of the time, she said, she was proud of her work. “Those years were exhausting and trying,” she said, “but I can’t say it was completely futile. It was worthwhile to try it, worthwhile to explore; sometimes you could ease somebody’s pain, sometimes people just wanted to have a trial and show their own dignity, and sometimes you could just show the wrongful evidence of the prosecution.” Even the modest satisfactions, however, disappeared once the intifada began in December 1987. “We were always aware that these were military courts appointed by the military authorities with the clear aim to impose military order on the territories,” she said. “But when the intifada began, the situation became impossible. The courts started to be overwhelmed by the massive arrests, and it started to resemble a factory, or a supermarket for setting punishment that only slightly resembled the administration of justice.”

She decided to concentrate on appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court, hoping to win decisions outlawing some of the army’s most repressive tactics, or at least forcing investigations of cases of alleged excesses.

Again, she said, she failed. “I was going from one hospital to the next, writing complaints, and I was thinking, maybe here and there a complaint will help stop this policy. But I didn’t succeed in Gaza, I didn’t succeed in Nahalin. Then I tried to stop the use of plastic bullets by the army, and I didn’t succeed.

Then I started taking cases of individual deaths of Arabs in which there was a clear-cut case of killing or murder. But with the exception of two (Jewish) settlers who were tried for wrongful killing, I didn’t get anywhere. It was very hard to prove anything against the army; the local people were afraid to testify, and I could never get anything from the Israeli side.

“The last straw,” Langer said, “was appealing to the case of house demolitions. I had one case of several houses that were to be destroyed in Kalkilya as a collective punishment there. And when I went to the High Court and tried to appeal against it under international law, I was cut off. The judges said, ‘Felicia Langer, you know that we have already ruled under every conceivable circumstance that house demolitions are not a violation of international law.’ And I realized that they were right, that we had lost all these battles long before and I had nothing more to argue.”

 The “Washington Post” of April 2016 brought a story by William Booth under the title “There is what happened when some famous writers want to visit some hardcore Jewish settlers” (nachzulesen im Palästina Portal).

 

Arriving aboard of a tour bus – accompanied by a former machine-gunner, now a human rights activist, Yehuda Shaul, an international delegation of pretty famous writers came to the heart of the old city to see themselves – how 850 hardcore Jewish settlers, protected by 650 young Israeli soldiers, live among 200.000 angry  Palestinians. It is Hebron. The writers did not like what they saw, the settlers did not like the writers, much either their hosts (the organisation “Breaking the Silence”). “The Israeli military occupation is the most grievous injustice I have seen in my life”, Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-Winner, told the “Forward”, a Jewish newspaper, a day after having seen Hebron. “Liars”, the settlers shouted at the writers and at Yehuda Shaul. “Do not believe him, he is a traitor! The Israeli Army is the best in the world!”

The writers who were guided by Yehuda Shaul on a visit to Hebron, organized by “Breaking the Silence”, are planning to write essays about this tour through a sterilized zone where Palestinians are forbidden to walk. The Palestinian shops were all closed, the once thriving vegetable and meat markets are but a memory.

The author Ajelet Waldman, a Jew, said, “There are not two sides to an occupation, there are two sides of a conflict, but there are not two sides of an occupation! There are occupied and the occupiers!”

That’s a piece of information from the “Washington Post” of today!

 

At the end I am returning to the administrative detention: A detention without an accusation, the detainee is without any remedy, his lawyer is without any hope…

The lauded “only democracy in the Middle East”, Israel, has maintained this judicial scandal for many years, with impunity, and therefore can afford to continue.

Israel is instrumentalizing our dead, the victims of the Holocaust. It is a shame!

People with a conscience, everywhere, have to put an end to this, for the sake of justice and humanity!

 United we can !

 


 

Dr. Ahmad Muhaisen und Mahmoud Zabin aus Ramallah (Er arbeitet in einem Büro der PLO in Ramallah) im Hintergrund Marwan  Barghuthi

 

 

 

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