- Torture in Palestinian prisons
- Netanyahu backs embassy move
- Fury after UN Sec-Gen says there was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem
- Iran launches ballistic missile in violation of UNSC resolution
New arrivals are blindfolded and severely beaten by five to 10 security officers. Many are subjected to torture in the “shabah” position, when one has one’s hands shackled and then is hanged from the ceiling for several hours. Sometimes this takes place in lavatories.
Other practices include sleep deprivation, whipping bare feet, and being asked to “climb” a non-existent ladder on a wall. Because there is no actual ladder, the detainee is punished for his inability to complete the task with more beatings.
A London-based human rights organization reported 3,175 cases of human rights violations by the PA security forces in the West Bank during 2016. Hundreds of those detained include university students and lecturers, as well as schoolteachers.
Moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem comes with substantial benefits, Robert Satloff, the executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in the Washington Post last Wednesday. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 declared the move to be official policy dating back to the Clinton era.
A chief benefit would include “restoring balance to U.S. policy.” The United States already maintains a diplomatic facility in Jerusalem to represent Washington to the Palestinian Authority—skewing U.S. policy in favor of the Palestinians, he wrote.
“Sending a strong message that the new administration stands with the Israeli government on a major symbolic issue with high potential costs could push the Palestinian leadership to a greater sense of urgency in negotiations,” according to another Washington Post op-ed published last month. “The U.S. Embassy move could even help advance efforts to duplicate the precious Jewish-Muslim coexistence model of Samuel’s Tomb for Jerusalem’s other contested sacred spaces.”
The resolutions were fiercely criticized worldwide. U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) released a statement reading, “That’s why we at UNESCO like to pass bigoted resolutions, such as this silly one that revises history and denies the known Jewish and Christian connections to the Temple Mount. Please visit our alternate universe often, where you will see unicorns and flying dragons. But in the UNESCO alt-reality, you won’t encounter any Jews or Christians because they don’t exist.”
Then-Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called the vote “mistaken”, “inconceivable”, and “shocking”, as well as “incomprehensible, unacceptable and wrong.” The vote was also criticized by outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and nearly 40 other members of Congress.