Israel’s Torture Industry

Israel is a haven for criminals and a university for budding crooks.

2019

It is not only doctors in the Shin Bet and the Israel Prison Service that collaborate with torture. Doctors in emergency rooms across Israel write false medical opinions in accordance with the demands of the Shin Bet.

Take, for example, the case of Nader Qumsieh from the West Bank city of Beit Sahour. He was arrested in his home on May 4, 1993 and was brought to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva five days later. There a urologist diagnosed him a hemorrhage and a torn scrotum.

Qumsieh testified that he was beaten during his interrogation and kicked in his testicles.

Israel is the torture expert and teaches others how to torture around the world.

Ten days later, Qumsieh was brought before the same urologist for a medical examination, after the latter had received a phone call from the Israeli military.

The urologist wrote a retroactive letter (as if it had been written two days earlier), without actually conducting an additional examination of the patient, in which he said that “according to the patient, he fell down the stairs two days before he arrived in the emergency room.”

This time, the diagnosis was “superficial hematoma in the scrotal area, which corresponds to local bruises sustained between two and five days prior to the examination.” The urologist’s original letter, written after the first examination, disappeared from Qumsieh’s medical file.

History teaches us that doctors everywhere easily and effectively internalize the regime’s values, and many of them become loyal servants of the regime. That was the case in Nazi Germany, in the United States, and in various countries in Latin America.

The same goes for Israel. Qumsieh’s case, along with countless others, reflects the ethical, moral, and practical failure of the medical establishment in Israel vis-à-vis torture.

Palestinian boys dressed up as prisoners protest for the release of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, Gaza City, April 21, 2007. (Ahmad Khateib/Flash90)

Palestinian boys dressed up as prisoners protest for the release of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, Gaza City, April 21, 2007. (Ahmad Khateib/Flash90)

Already back in the 18th century, jurists — rather than doctors — published legal opinions accompanied by proof that there is no connection between causing pain and getting to the truth. Thus, both torture and confessions exacted through pain were legally disqualified.

One can only assume that the heads of the Shin Bet, the army, and the police know this bit of history.

And yet, torture — which includes both mental and physical cruelty — continues to take place on a large scale. Why? Because the real goal of torture and humiliation is to break the spirit and body of the prisoner. To eliminate his or her personality.

The legal understanding for forbidding torture is based on the utilitarian idea that one cannot arrive at the truth through inflicting pain . But doctors are committed — first and foremost — to the idea that anything that causes physical or mental harm to a patient is prohibited.

The Shin Bet medical eligibility document allows for sleep prevention, it allows interrogators to expose prisoners to extreme temperatures, to beat them, to tie them for long hours in painful positions, to force them to stand for hours until the vessels in their feet burst, to cover their heads for prolonged periods of time, to sexually humiliate them, to break their spirits by severing their ties to family and lawyers, to keep them in isolation until they lose their sanity.

The Shin Bet’s medical eligibility form is not the same as the one used to check eligibility to join the air force or even to drive a car. This kind of “eligibility” leads the prisoner directly into the torture chamber — and the doctor knows this.

The doctor knows to what kind of systematic process of pain and humiliation he or she is lending their consent and approval. It is doctors who oversee the torture, examine the tortured prisoner, and write the medical opinion or the pathology report.

Israeli activists participate in an action protesting the use of torture, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli activists participate in an action protesting the use of torture, 2011. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

The white robe passes through the torture chamber like a lurking shadow during interrogations. A doctor who cooperates with Israel’s torture industry is complicit in that very industry. If a prisoner dies during interrogation, the doctor is an accomplice to his or her murder.

Doctors, nurses, medics, and judges who know what is taking place and prefer to remain silent are all accomplices.

We must unconditionally oppose all forms of torture — without exceptions. We, citizens of a democratic state, must refuse to cooperate with the crime of torture, and all the more so when it comes to doctors.

We must also not hide behind the idea that torture is a symptom of the occupation while telling ourselves that the practice will disappear when the occupation ends. Torture is a worldview according to which human rights have no place or value.

It existed well before the occupation and it will continue to exist if we do not change that worldview.

Violent and cruel investigative practices do not benefit national security even if they are committed on its behalf. Torture causes a spiraling destruction of our very social fabric. Not only do those who carry out this terrible kind of “work” lose the values of morality, human dignity, and democracy, but also all those who remain silent, unwilling to know. In fact, all of us.

Healthy Men Don’t Torture Others

The US orders other countries to “behave”, but who destroyed Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan & Yemen & backed coups against elected leaders from Iran to Congo to Honduras? Even our allies are starting to treat us as a rogue state – except the brutal Saudis & apartheid Israel.~ Jill Stein

A new report by Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer claims that Israeli officials “routinely” carry out the “practice of torture” at a key interrogation facility in occupied East Jerusalem.

The report, “I’ve Been There: A Study of Torture and Inhumane Treatment in Al-Moscobiyeh Interrogation Centre”, is based on the testimonies of 138 individuals held in the Russian Compound of Jerusalem gathered during the period 2015-2017.

“For generations of Palestinians, the Russian Compound has represented the most severe interrogation facility in all of the occupied territory,” Addameer states.

“It has been the place of intentionally inflicted suffering for hundreds of prisoners. Its location in the heart of Jerusalem, next to the Old City, is something of a metaphor for the whole apparatus of the occupation. The domination is hidden in plain sight.”

According to the testimonies acquired by Addameer, eight forms of abuse were identified at the facility: positional torture such as “stress positions”; beatings during interrogation; isolation/solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and long interrogation, threats to family members, being subjected to sounds of torture, deliberate medical neglect, and screaming and cursing.

More than half of those surveyed reported being held in stress positions; one 18-year-old former prisoner was held in a stress position for eight hours a day, for 18 days. A third of prisoners reported being beaten, while a fifth of individuals were subjected to violent shaking.

Addameer noted that “children are no exception when it comes to mistreatment and intimidation”, with 47.8 per cent reporting “that they were beaten during their arrest”, 45.5 per cent experiencing positional torture during interrogation, and 40.9 per cent “threatened with the potentially injuring of their families if they did not cooperate”.

Read: Palestinian man dies after Israel forces beat him at his home

According to the rights group, “the primary conclusion that the above research and indicators provide is that mistreatment, and coercion, amounting to torture, are commonplace and systematic within the occupation’s interrogation systems”.

Addameer added that “as a result of torture’s status in international law, the international community has a distinct responsibility to take action to sanction the perpetrating entity”, urging “the international community to begin sanctioning the occupier for its crimes”.

Abu Ghraib Interrogator: Israelis Trained U.S. to Use “Palestinian Chair”

Just the fact that the Palestinians in occupied Palestine have a torture chair in their name. The Israelis are really a special kind if evil.

The Jews did more than that: Abu Ghraib was their idea. They not only built it but gave it its code of conduct and trained the gentile Americans in all sort of torture techniques, not just the ‘Palestinian Chair’. Never forgive, never forget.

 

Army interrogators had learned to use this chair by Israeli interrogators, and the Israeli interrogators presumably called it the Palestinian chair because they were torturing Palestinians in it.

As a former interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI, Eric Fair was stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison and in Fallujah in 2004. While in Fallujah, he witnessed a torture device known as the Palestinian chair.

He writes in his new book, “Consequence: A Memoir,” that the chair was a way to immobilize prisoners in order to break them down both physically and mentally. He also wrote that the Israeli military taught them how to use the Palestinian chair during a joint training exercise.

“We pass by the interrogation room where Tyner has been working on Raad Hussein. We haven’t heard Tyner scream or throw anything today. The door to the room, a flimsy sheet of plywood, has blown open in the hot desert wind. Inside, Raad Hussein is bound to the Palestinian chair. His hands are tied to his ankles. The chair forces him to lean forward in a crouch, forcing all of his weight onto his thighs.

It’s as if he’s been trapped in the act of kneeling down to pray, his knees frozen just above the floor, his arms pinned below his legs. He is blindfolded. His head has collapsed into his chest. He wheezes and gasps for air. There is a pool of urine at his feet. He moans: too tired to cry, but in too much pain to remain silent.

“Henson comes out into the hallway and walks past the room. He covers the side of his face as he walks by and says, ‘I don’t even want to know.’

“I am silent. This is a sin. I know it as soon as I see it. There will be no atonement for it. In the coming years, I won’t have the audacity to seek it. Witnessing a man being tortured in the Palestinian chair requires the witness to either seek justice or cover his face. Like Henson in Fallujah, I’ll spend the rest of my life covering my face.”

Army interrogators had learned to use this chair by Israeli interrogators, and the Israeli interrogators presumably called it the Palestinian chair because they were torturing Palestinians in it.

The Palestinian chair was simply a confined space. It was a way, rather than putting someone in a box and confining them inside, was to essentially confine them with the chair. And it was designed, like all enhanced interrogation techniques, to simply break the will, to simply break them down physically in this case and then essentially break their will.

We tried the chair

It locks you into what is essentially a squat, a permanent squat, from which you can’t recover. We only lasted about a minute. And physically, we may—we certainly could have lasted longer, but it was the—it’s the overwhelming sense of fear that a horrific sort of pain is on its way. And because your hands are bound, you recognize that there’s no way to recover from it. So, certainly, the physical pain is excruciating, but the mental and sort of emotional strain of knowing that you can’t—there’s simply no way to recover from that is what amounted to torture.

 

Trump’s CIA Pick, ‘Bloody Gina’ Faces Possible Arrest Warrant in Germany over Torture

 The Senate report details a list of torture methods used on prisoners—waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks, medically unnecessary “rectal feeding.” In one case, a prisoner had his entire “lunch tray” of hummus, pasta and nuts puréed and administered by enema. Prisoners were threatened with buzzing power drills. Some captives were deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, at times with their hands shackled above their heads. Haspel played a role in the 2005 destruction of two interrogation videotapes that depicted the torture of prisoners.

We decided to target her, in particular, last year, when she was employed as the deputy director, because as a deputy director, she is traveling a lot around the world. And therefore, we think it’s important that the justice—the judicial authorities in Germany, but also in other European countries, make—try to investigate her role in Thailand and elsewhere, and that they are prepared, if Gina Haspel travels to our countries, that they eventually arrest her. And we also will have to communicate now, as she’s director, to our foreign offices, not only in Germany, but also in other countries, to declare her persona non grata, so that she isn’t invited to our countries because she is a notorious torturer, and notorious torturers shouldn’t be allowed to travel freely through Europe.

She was one of the most prominent persons in the Senate torture report from December 2014. So, she was mainly acting undercover, but because of the revelations in 2014, we could connect her name with some of the other evidence we have. And so, therefore, it was clear that she played a prominent role in the CIA extraordinary rendition program, which is—yeah, it’s a torture program. It’s a kidnapping and torture terrorism suspects. And, I mean, we singled her out because of her prominent role in the new government, but we could also have named hundreds of other CIA employees, and we did so in other occasions. So, this is not the first complaint. We were active in Belgium, in France, in Spain, in Switzerland and in Germany before. We filed complaints against Donald Rumsfeld, against the lawyers, but also against George Tenet and other CIA people.