The Truths Left in the Shadows: Palestinian Governments are Serial Human Rights Violators

Israel oftenly receives harsh criticism and is accused of systematically violating the Palestinians’ rights and general human rights as well. Now, I’m not saying that everything’s perfect (then again, look at what we know that most modern, western and free countries around the world are doing at the same time), that these claims are 100 percent false (nor am I saying they’re 100 percent right), but as Israel receives less than proportionate global focus, condemnation and criticism, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about something that is oftenly kept in the dark – the incredible human rights violations committed by the Palestinian governments.

You see, unlike many nations and people under opression throughout the world (and of course in the Middle East region, as we’ve come to see in the past year and a half), the Palestinians have active governments. Two, in fact. Because of the Palestinian fued, de-facto there are two seperate Palestinian governments in power. One in the West Bank (the Fatah government) and one in the Gaza Strip (the Hamas government).

Many people who enjoy (this is my verb of choice and I am sticking to it!) criticising Israel, like to quote from Amnesty reports. And while the report clearly shows that there are millions of people around the world who need international help and support and get ingnored while the Palestinians receives ho so many spotlight, and there are much harsher human rights violations going ignored by most of the world’s attention everyday, the people who like to quote Amnesty reports, neglect to account for the Palestinians own violations.

Personally, I have mixed feelings regarding these reports. But for those who quote them, you might as well quote them in full!

Anyway, when Amnesty released their annual report today, I found it important to remind these people that they are advocating not for the relief of the suffering of the Palestinians, but for them to stay under constant rules that systematically violates thier human rights.

What are the Palestinians violations, according to Amnesty? Well, for instance –

  • The Palestinian governments don’t allow freedom of assembly, freedom of press, freedom of speech.
  • Journalists, bloggers and other critics of the Palestinian governments are prosecuted and sentenced to jail.
  • The Palestinian factions make arbitrary political arrests of the other party’s people (according to the report, the number of arbitrary arrests is roughly 1,700).
  • Palestinian people trialed in Palestinian courts are only put to trial in military courts with judges that have poor to no understanding of the law.
  • They have no seperation of power. The justice system has no justice in it.
  • Many prisoners are tortured and abused. Among the tortures mentioned in the report are savage beatings, hanging by the wrists and ankles, forced to stand in painful positions for long periods of times and so on.

And there’s more. The report cites four deaths in Gaza prisons the organization find to be suspicious. The previous annual report of Amnesty, by the way, also details 8 journalists who were tortured in Palestinian prisons.

So for those who blame Israel and only Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians, there’s another truth out there. Another villian.

If you truly want to help the Palestinians, you should aim your work for the benefit of the Palestinian people, rather than against Israel.

Because even though it’s extremely hard for some to acknowledge this, Israel is not the only problem and the only side in this conflict. It simply isn’t. There’s another side. Who is refusing to enter any kind of negotiations for more than two years now. A side that tortures its’ people. Forcing them to live in war. Taking away their freedoms. And that side ain’t Israel.

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