Thursday, August 19, 2004
Drawing the under-35 crowd
In the West Bank refugee camp of Ein Beit Ilma, near Nablus, Israel Defense Forces troops rounded up dozens of Palestinians early Thursday and corralled them in a schoolyard.Also in Ha'aretz, there is a short news article that I found quite confusing. The title of the article is Despite court rulings, Shin Bet still tortures 'ticking bombs'. But the lead of the article is this:
The troops moved into the camp at about 6 A.M., ordering men under the age of 35 out of their homes, residents said. Residents said the men remained in the courtyard at mid-afternoon.
About 150 people were taken to a nearby school, where they were held in a courtyard closed by barbed wire. TV footage showed the men lifting their shirts - to show they didn't have an explosives belt - as they marched into the area.
Mahmoud Kilani, who lives next to the school, said the Palestinians had not been fed. The IDF did not immediately comment.
The Shin Bet security service continues to use violence in its interrogations of suspected terrorists, despite a 1999 High Court of Justice ruling that forbade violent interrogations except in the case of a "ticking bomb," a Shin Bet document obtained by Haaretz reveals.It seems to me that the High Court of Justice ruling allowed for the torture of prisoners that qualify as 'ticking bombs'. So it's not that the Shin Bet still tortures 'ticking bombs' despite the court ruling. The real issue here is not that the Shin Bet is somehow refusing to comply with the court ruling, but to what extent the Shin Bet is able to exploit the caveat that the court ruling made explicit. Namely, what constitutes a 'ticking bomb'? It seems that, to some degree, the Shin Bet is free to choose who they decide is a 'ticking bomb' and who isn't, effectively rendering the court's ruling toothless.