Arrest campaign against Syrian citizens in occupied Golan

The Syrian citizens who live in Israeli-occupied Golan don’t get nearly as much international media coverage as the Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza. But the situation they live in is just about equally harsh. Indeed ever since Israel committed a unilateral (and globally quite unrecognized) act of Anschluss against Golan in 1980, the situation of Golan’s legitimate, indigenous residents has been as tough as that of the legitimate, indigenous residents of occupied East Jerusalem.
Yesterday, Haaretz had this report about the arrest of Mona Sha’ar, a resident of the Golan town of Majdal Shams.
Haaretz’s Jack Khoury writes that Sha’ar was arrested

    for allegedly committing crimes against the security of Israel.
    Her son, Fada Sha’ar, was the first in this case to be arrested several weeks prior for alleged espionage and committing crimes against Israeli security. Her husband was also been arrested in connection to the case.

Khoury described Majdal Shams in the piece as a “northern Druze village”, which implies that it is in Israel. It is fairly depressing to think that even the editors at Haaretz, which is sometimes fairly liberal, do nothing to question Israel’s longstanding official narrative that Golan is “just another part of Israel.”

13 thoughts on “Arrest campaign against Syrian citizens in occupied Golan

  1. Salah

    Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana, Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S.?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America?”
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
    Answer: Israel.

  2. David

    Helena,
    Here in the US conservatives frequently try to create scandal by picking out one word or phrase and then create a scandal around it. An example is the recent blog post by Paul Krugman of the NYT where he points out that “right-wingers are accusing Shirley Sherrod of lying when she said that Bobby Hall was lynched, when in fact all that happened was that he was beaten to death”.
    Majdal Shams is a “northern Druze village” relative to Israel regardless of whether it is being considered part of Israel or Syria. In other words, the description is accurate, it’s only your “spin” that wants to make it something else.

  3. David

    Salah, you missed a few:
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has been threatened since it’s creation by the countries bordering it?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East is a democracy?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East does not allow “Honor killings”?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has freedom of the press?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East permits freedom of worship to it’s
    citizens of all religions?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has the most universities?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has the highest proportion of Muslims (as a percent of it’s population) in university?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has the highest proportion women (as again as a percent of it’s population) in university?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East which country has the lowest unemployment rate of Muslims?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East do Palestinians enjoy the greater economic opportunities?
    Answer: Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East do Palestinians enjoy the greatest political freedom?
    Answer: Israel.

  4. bevin

    Israel is not a democracy, it is a country which holds elections,which, as Americans know, is a very different thing. And, every day, we hear more of the erosion of parliamentary, civil and legal rights. Opponents of the regime are detained, often without charge. There is a clear pattern of persecution of those questioning government policies. Proposals for ‘loyalty oaths’ are currently being advanced by fascist supporters of the government. It is proposed to make the public recollection of the “nakba’ illegal! Villages are demolished to make way for foreign settlers; death squads roam the West Bank. Police beatings are common. Torture is a regular part of interrogation. The population is not even told whether or not its government has nuclear weapons.
    It is a subversion of democratic values to designate a segregationist regime such as Israel’s ‘democratic.’

  5. 5 dancing shlomos

    israel is a democracy for selected white jews.
    which country has an active concentration-extermination prison? israel.
    all by david false

  6. bevin

    Here is list from the Israeli Associaion for Civil Rights of current, anti-democratic, legislation in the Knesset.
    1) Knesset Members Declaration of Allegiance Bill (MK David Rotem, Yisrael Beitenu): Members of Knesset would be obliged to declare allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, its laws, symbols, and anthem. The bill would essentially delegitimize and exclude minority groups from participating in Israeli democracy.
    2) Preventing High Court from Ruling on “Citizenship Law” Bill (MK David Rotem and 44 additional MKs): This attempts to bypass the High Court as an independent judicial authority with regards to the Citizenship Law, which the Court has yet to abolish.
    3) Constitutional Court Bill (MK David Rotem): An explicit attempt to delegitimize the Supreme Court by establishing an alternative judicial authority.
    4) Nakba Bill (MK Alex Miller, Yisrael Beitenu): Anybody marking the establishment of the State as a day of mourning (“Nakba”, catastrophe in Arabic, is the term used by some Palestinian Israelis to denote the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel) will be denied public funding. Such legislation constitutes a violation of freedom of expression in which the majority is attempting to silence a particular political position.
    5) Prohibition of Incitement Bill (MK Zevulun Orlev, Habayit Hayehudi-New National Religious Party): The existing prohibition on incitement would be expanded to include a rejection of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
    6) Declaration of Allegiance for Citizens Bill (MK David Rotem): Every citizen would have to declare allegiance to Israel as a Jewish, democratic, and Zionist state, and perform military or civic (national) service.
    7) Acceptance to Communities Bill (MKs David Rotem, Israel Hasson and Shai Hermesh, Kadima): Endorsement of community admissions committees to reject candidates who do not match the community’s worldview.
    8) String of draft bills proposed by the cabinet, aiming to limit the opposition’s power in the Knesset, among them: seven MKs would be able to split from a faction and form a new faction, instead of 40 (one-third of the Knesset); increase the majority needed to approve a budgetary draft bill to 55; if a prime minister cannot form a government after a vote of no-confidence, the previous, failed parliament would once again be instated; and more.
    9) Foreign State Funding Bill (MK Zeev Elkin, Likud, and additional MKs): A number of strict measures would be taken to limit foreign funding of Israeli non-profit organizations. The bill was strategically designed to target certain organizations of a certain political bent and human rights organizations in an attempt to control the actions of Israeli civil society.
    10) Pardon for Disengagement Protesters Bill (MK Reuven Rivlin, Likud, and additional MKs): Though legislation acknowledging the right to political protest is welcome, this particular bill, granting pardons to individuals who were prosecuted for various protest acts against the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, favors a specific political-ideological group because of the Knesset majority’s need to placate its constituents. Instead legislation should be general for all cases in which pardons for political activity are acceptable.
    11) Prevention of Infiltration Bill (Cabinet): Among other clauses, this draft law would render infiltration punishable with 5-7 years of imprisonment including those who assist the infiltrator. The bill aims to delegitimize civil society and refugee aid associations.
    12) Boycott Prohibition Bill (MK Zeev Elkin and additional MKs): Anyone who initiates, advances or publicizes material which serves as a basis for a boycott of Israel would be prosecuted for a criminal offense and would be forced to pay damages to those who suffered from the boycott. Any foreigner who does so will be prohibited from entering Israel for 10 years.
    13) Revocation of Citizenship for Individuals Found Guilty of Treason or Terrorism Bill (MK David Rotem): Citizenship is a basic right and revoking it in such cases would consequently violate other related rights. Israel’s legal system has ample laws aimed at dealing with individuals found guilty of terrorism or treason.
    14) Film Bill (MK Michael Ben Ari, Ichud Leumi): Public funding of films would be conditioned on a declaration of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state by the film’s entire staff.

  7. Salah

    David,
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has been since it’s creation by the it?
    Iraq, china, Japan had long threatened by countries bordering for long history, however Israel a country have no bases to be or regarded as country since its strange creation by UN resolution which is the only state in human history that sate created from nothing.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East is a democracy?
    Answer: Turkey
    Question: Which country in the Middle East does not allow “Honor killings”?
    This very laughable thoughts of mindless man, tell us the figures of your very “humanly” concerns numbers compare them with number that same nation member killed women babies men by Israeli or US in Iraq I don’t like to go to 1900 and WWI what the British did and how many Muslims “of your Concerns’” killed, but I know that on city in Iraq during WWI was boomed and a large number of civilans killed its name “Tella’afar” same city that American destroyed after the invasion of Iraq after Fallujah.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has the highest proportion women (as again as a percent of it’s population) in university?
    Answer: Iran, go read about them man don’t stick to your dreams.

  8. David

    Bevin,
    Appreciate the list, it’s very impressive. My first thought would be, could you produce a similar list on say, Syria or Saudi Arabia? The reason I ask, is I came of age here in the states during the Vietnam war and civil rights movement and like many other liberal I was disgusted with my government. It was only starting in the 70s as read more of what was going on in the world that I realized that despite some faults (some of them major) there were pluses that put it way ahead of a lot of other countries.
    To get back to your list I have to admit I don’t follow the specifics of internal Israeli politics enough to be familiar with most of your items but I have read of some of them, for example the loyalty oath. So let’s for the sake of this discussion I will assume that the broad outlines are true, I say broad outlines because where ever you got that list they want to put the worst possible interpretation on them. Much the same as liberals want to interpret Arizona’s immigration law and conservative want to interpret, well anything Obama does.
    For a lot of the items there is no defense. There is in Israel an effort to marginalize Arabs. Despite the fact that the President of the US is black there are still efforts to marginalize and put obstacles to prevent blacks from voting. Indiana’s voter ID law is plain and simple an effort to lower black vote. Other items on your list are in fact reasonable, or at least could be depending on how they are to be executed.
    For example item 11 Prevention of Infiltration Bill. You mean if somebody infiltrates Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Lebanon they face no criminal charges? I find that very hard to believe. As a matter of fact it seems to me I remember one day touring the Banias (you can decide what country it’s in) when someone came by looking for a couple of German tourists from his group. Months later it appeared in the news, they wandered across the border into Syria and were put in jail. Come to think of it, aren’t there some Americans in jail in Iran for crossing the border illegally?
    Item 12, the Boycott Prohibition Bill, makes perfect sense to me. Ditto item 13, it would be interesting to see what the final wording would be and what the courts would decide but I think most, if not all the countries on this planet have some law against treason.
    No, at least not me claims that Israel is perfect, but despite its problems it’s way better than most of the other countries in that part of the world.
    Regarding your earlier post: Yes, Israel is a Democracy. Nothing in your post negated that.

  9. Salah

    David one more for you, never been found in all the world countries and history!
    Question: Which country in the Middle East most if not all of its leaders are either war crminal and murdres done attrociteis during thier life since it’s creation?
    Answer:Israel.
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has been threatened since it’s creation by the countries bordering it?
    Answer: UK Jewish MP: Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza

  10. Salah

    “Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism” Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist” Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

    During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

    Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

    “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”

    He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants “was the reply of the Nazi” and added: “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”

    He accused the Israeli government of seeking “conquest” and added: “They are not simply war criminals, they are fools.”

  11. David

    Bevin,
    After posting I realized I missed one of the points I wanted to make. Most, if not all of your items are proposed bills. They are not laws. This is one of the things that make the expression “Democracy is the worst of all systems, except for all the others” so appropriate. In a Democracy nothing stops a member of the parliament or in this case Knesset from introducing legislation. It still has to pass. Countries like Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia don’t have this problem. They aren’t democracies.

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