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From Israel To Abu Ghraib: Globalisation Of Torture

By Ghali Hassan

12 August, 2004

The horror of abuse, torture and executions of Iraqi prisoners by the Anglo-American occupation soldiers are not "few isolated incidents" by "few bad apples". It is the tip of the iceberg of a wide spread systemic torture and violation of human rights of Iraqi citizens, including women and children, all over Iraq. The system is modelled on Israel's vicious system of Palestinians torture.

Torture has been routinely practised in Israeli prisons against Palestinian detainees since 1967 occupation of Palestine. Israel's Supreme Court, with the full knowledge and approval of the American and British Administrations,sanctioned the so-called "lite torture" and electric shocks torture in 1987.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli prisons and torture centres since 1967. Many of these prisons and torture centres are well known to the West, and have been visited by the Red Cross.

Israeli prisons are modelled on the prisons of the Gulag, such as the "secret" Facility 1391, Jerusalem's notorious Moskobiyya, Gush Etzion and Ashkelon are just a few, where Palestinian youth and Palestinian resistants have been tortured by Israeli Security Service (SS) and Shin Bet or Shabak.
Israeli interrogators have murdered many innocent Palestinians. Most of the interrogators are migrants from Russia, well known for their brutality against Palestinian detainees.

A 15-years old Palestinian boy recounted his ordeal with the Israelis as follow: "They handcuffed and beat me during the journey to Fara'a [Israel prison in Nablus]. Once we arrived, they took me to a 'doctor' for a 'check-up.' I found out later that this 'check-up' is to locate any physical weakness to concentrate on during torture. They paid particular attention to my leg, which was once injured and was still sensitive. Before they began interrogation, they asked me if I was ready to confess. They then hanged me by my wrists, naked, outside in the cold, and gave me hot and cold showers alternatively. A hood covered in manure was put over my head"[1].

The victims of Israeli occupation were innocent Palestinian teen-agers arrested randomly. Children are arrested "at checkpoints, on the street, or at their homes by heavily armed Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night. The soldiers take them to detention centres in Israeli settlements or military camps... the children are interrogated. This almost always involves some form of torture or abuse, including sleep and food deprivation, threatening language, beatings with heavy batons, being punched and kicked,
as well as being tied in painful and contorted positions for long periods of
time" [2].

Reliable evidence showed similarities between Israel SS interrogation methods and the US torture of Iraqi civilians in Iraq. These include sleep deprivation, severe beating, sexual abuse, forced to stand in painful positions for long period of time and violent shaking. An Israeli Knesset member told "there are many Israeli experts on torture in Iraq who are transferring to the Americans their accumulative experience of thirty-seven years of torturing and mistreating Palestinians"[3]. Similar reports of Israeli involvement in torture of Iraqi prisoners have been reported in the Daily Star of Lebanon.

According to Robert Fisk of The Independent, "the head of an American company whose personnel are implicated in the Iraqi tortures, it now turns out, attended an 'anti-terror' training camp in Israel and, earlier this year, was presented with an award by Shaul Mofaz, the right-wing Israeli defence minister."

Western propaganda for preaching human rights has been the subject of Professor Noam Chomsky careful analysis. Chomsky has noted, if we don't believe in justice for those we despise, then we don't believe in it at all. The US, Israel and Britain, the real "axis of evil", have been the most violators of human rights of victims of their brutal and illegal occupations of sovereign nations. In the case of Britain, torture has been used on activists in Northern Ireland, and the same atrocities continue to be
committed by British soldiers in southern Iraq on the Iraqi people. The U.S. is the master of torture perpetuated on the victims of its own prisons population.

Furthermore, the US and Britain have consistently hindered the application of International law to their actions, and cover up crimes perpetuated by Israel against the Palestinian people. Israel is not only the largest recipient of American weapons and aids for its occupation of Palestinian land; most Western governments support Israel's policy against the Palestinians. Indeed, Israel is the darling of the West.

Former President of South Africa Mr. Nelson Mandela, who was himself the subject of prison's abuse and torture during the long apartheid regime of South Africa, had this to say to those who preach democracy and human rights: "[those] powerful countries, so-called democracies manipulate
multilateral bodies to the great disadvantage and suffering of poorer developing nations". Western hypocrisy for preaching human rights and democracy to the rest of the world is sickening propaganda and should be condemned by every democratic nation. The moral credential of Blair and Bush
"messianic mission" is dead in Iraq and beyond.

According to Mr. Rumsfeld testimony: "the worst was yet to come" out of Iraq. "There are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he said. "It's going to get a good deal more terrible, I'm afraid". Mr. Rumsfeld is the moral guru of the Pentagon and has been praised by Western leaders for his horrendous abuse of power.

Add what has been revealed so far and you have a global system of injustice and torture, purposely mounted in the moral and legal darkness, beyond reach or oversight of anyone but those in the highest levels within the U.S. and British governments. Soldiers behave according to their training and the instruction of their superior officers.

American citizens are paying for the horror inflicted on the people of Palestine and the people of Iraq by America's reckless and inhumane colonial policy. American citizens should not allow these crimes to be committed in their names. Americans can stop their government crimes and interference in the affairs of nations around the world.

Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He can be contacted on:






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