|No. 204 | July 31, 2005|
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Israel's Story in Maps
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Sharon lurches toward martial law
Martial law is the system of rules that takes effect (usually after a formal declaration) when a military authority takes control of the normal administration of justice (and usually of the whole state). Martial law is instituted most often when it becomes necessary for a government to favour the activity of military authorities and organizations, usually for urgent unforeseen needs, and when the normal institutions of justice either cannot function or could be deemed too slow or too weak for the new situation, i.e., due to war or civil disorder, in occupied territory, or after a coup. The need to preserve the public order during an emergency is the essential goal of martial law. However, declaration of martial law is also sometimes used by dictatorships, especially military dictatorships, to enforce their rule.
Usually martial law reduces some of the personal rights ordinarily granted to the citizen, limits the length of the trial processes, and prescribes more severe penalties than ordinary law. In many countries martial law prescribes the death penalty for certain crimes, even if ordinary law doesn't contain that crime or punishment in its system.
In many countries martial law imposes particular rules, one of which is curfew. Often, under this system, the administration of justice is left to military tribunals, called courts-martial. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is likely to occur.
Reading this definition, it is stunning to see how many characteristics of a "police state" have been galloping into the "norm" of Israeli life in recent weeks. The latest attempt to squelch freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of movement has been announced by the Minister of Internal Security Gideon Ezra.
Opponents of the government's expulsion policy will not be allowed to gather in the city of Sderot, Ezra says. They will not be allowed to take buses to the planned rally. They will not be allowed anywhere in Israel's southern region, requiring the imposition of dozens of roadblocks and police actions throughout Israel.
Teenaged minor girls are incarcerated for weeks without charges and will not be released to their parents' homes. People are beaten by police for no good reason except that they are opponents of the expulsion policy. 55,000 troops and cops, including special forces SWAT teams training to shoot to kill, are set to confront unarmed demonstrators.
Meanwhile, the revelations of corruption in the Sharon government grow with each passing day. His son is to face trial. Sharon buddies are planning to build a casino on the ruins of Jewish communities. Sharon's disengagement policy coordinator is also in charge of a fund to rebuild the infrastructure of Gaza for the Palestinians.
In an enlightened democracy, these abuses would cause the media to raise holy hell, demanding resignations and investigations and explanations. In Israel, for the most part, mum's the word. The Establishment media don't want to raise any questions that might undermine Sharon's ability to expel the Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria.
This week promises another showdown between anti-expulsion protesters and security forces. But beforehand, if the Israeli legal system maintains even a shred of decency and integrity, it will not negate the rights of those who oppose the government's expulsion policy to come together and make their voices heard. Anything else is a recipe for needless violence and, sooner or later, a rebellion aganst a corrupt and increasingly dictatorial regime.
Shavua tov, faithful readers. May you gather your strength to stand up for what is right, and either join or support the forces on the front lines of the struggle for a democratic Jewish Israel.
Knesset orders full investigation of PM's Disengagement Coordinator
The Knesset formally directed the State Comptroller to launch a conflict of interests probe of Eival Giladi, who coordinates Israel's disengagement policies.
Police vow to ban anti-pullout rally; organizers plan to hold one anyway
The Yesha Council slammed the police and the government, calling the suggestion "another crack in the wall of democracy".
Israel Police to deny basic rights inside Green Line?
By Dr. Aaron Lerner
Will police dare deny freedom of movement and assembly within Israel's sovereign borders just to simplify enforcement of a ban on entry into Gaza?
Three years after the Expulsion
By Shlomi Whitbrod
What transpired in the traumatic years following the implementation of Disengagement, the fate of the Sharon Regime and the Orange Wave Revolution.
Rubble from Jewish homes to be used to build Palestinian structures
Mideast envoy James Wolfensohn said that an agreement on the fate of the rubble from settler homes in Gaza to be evacuated next month is expected within days.
Vatican rejects Israel's protest of Papal omission, says IDF violates law
The Vatican said it hasn't condemned every Palestinian attack against Israel because Israel's response to the attacks has sometimes violated the law.
French kisses: Sharon embraces Chirac in fence-mending visit to Paris
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon ushered in a new, friendlier period of relations with France, calling President Jacques Chirac one of the world's great leaders.
Why is the U.S. building a gigantic military base on the West Bank border?
The appearance near Rosh Ha'ayin of a massive military "supply base", built by the U.S. army with Arab workers, has raised eyebrows.
"Unlimited" anti-expulsion march to Gaza starts next Tuesday
The Yesha Council announced that some 50,000 settler supporters intend to stage a three-pronged protest march from to Gush Katif.
Our move to Gush Katif
By Chaim Eisen
"Disengagement" is aptly named, as it entails disengaging from our G-d-given heritage, from our brethren, and, in the end, from our future.
Kissufim: Cravings to Connect
By David Wilder
In the present war for Gush Katif, you may have heard the word, Kissufim, a junction and corridor leading to Jewish Gaza. Here's what it means.
Just Before Communications Are Cut
By Nadia Matar
Sharon soon will give orders to block phone and Internet lines in Gush Katif, and prevent the media from entering the area to tell the world what is going on.
By Dr. Miriam Adahan
For all who are not sympathetic to the settlers' plight, try to put yourself in their shoes. Try this simple, five-minute exercise. Just imagine...
Roundups and beatings of Jews pick up pace
By Rachel Saperstein
Where are you, my fellow Jews? Where are you, my Christian friends? Where are your protests as democracy is destroyed in our holy land of Israel?
There are no mistakes when world leaders speak
By Howard Galganov
When Pope Benedictine or Prime Minister Tony Blair make public utterances, there is no room for error or misinterpretation. Every word is crafted.
Tziki and His Lone Soldiers
By Alison Golub
There have been times when I couldn't understand why I was even there, and why I was the only female besides Tziki's wife and mother at the table.
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