Saturday, December 13, 2008

What You Won’t Read in Haaretz Online

Today's print Haaretz has a large ad addressed to Israeli soldiers and police serving in the Occupied Territories. Here is a rough paraphrase:

Soldier/Policeman Serving in the Territories:

Lately there have been many cases of Israeli civilians harming Palestinians and their property. This phenomenon upsets the rule of law and the security of the State. Moreover, it damages the moral backbone of Israeli society.


That your commanders, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the General for the Central Command, are responsible by law to protect the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

You have a legal and moral responsibility to protect Palestinian civilians from damage caused by Israeli civilians.

You have the authority to arrest any man suspected of committing a violent crime and inciting to violence, even if he is Jew.

Refraining from protecting citizens under attack is a criminal transgression.

If you receive an order that forbids you from fulfilling this obligation, this order is entirely illegal.

If you have witnessed a case where Israeli civilians perpetrated crimes against Palestinian civilians, and the security forces refrained from interfering, you are invited to contact us at 050-8454725 in order to submit testimony. Confidentiality is assured.

The ad is signed by "Breaking the Silence" and "Yesh Din" – the former group is devoted to collecting testimony by soldiers of human rights violations in the territories against the civilian population; the latter is devoted to seeing that Palestinian rights are not trampeled upon by Israel.

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