Eritreans Tortured by Israel
…and turn aside the way of the meek—Amos 2:7
Recently I commented on how, trapped in obsolete Roman Empire principles, the Western Judiciary system is sinning against the people. Only days afterwards, a hideous ruling of an Israeli judge reminds us that evil run deeper than described. Westphalian-States (what passes as “Western-Democracies”) are based on the separation of powers into legislature, executive, and judiciary. The latter is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the unholy state. However, the judges are elected by the executive and legislative powers (there are small variations among the countries) and are under their payroll.
How can judges claim to be impartial? Many years ago, I had the opportunity to ask a relevant addressee this troubling question. I got a phenomenal answer: “We are professionals; we can separate personal interests.” This website often evaluates rulings of Israeli judges. Invariably, they show the impartiality of a 3-year-old being offered a candy in exchange for… it doesn’t matter, the kid would invariably: Candy first!On March 7, 2013, the Israeli Judiciary system provided another example of this eternal truth.
Judge Eliahu Bitan, from the Be’er Sheva District Court, doesn’t live in a vacuum. He reads Israeli news, speaks with Israeli citizens, and occasionally receives salaries from the Israeli state; he is an interested side. When the Eritrean citizen kept in the Saharonim Prison was brought to him, the honorable judge already knew what the story was. In recent years, Israel is experiencing a migration of African workers into its territory (see box at the bottom of this page).
Israel loves them, they are excellent workers and accept slave-salaries. Many of them are political-asylum seekers. They can be extradited at any moment; thus they don’t complain. When their number became too large for the taste of the administration, Israel started to expulse them using illegal ways as described in Snugly Smuggling Sudanese.
One of the most disturbing parts of this saga is that the workers reach Israel through Sinai. In order to cross the desert, they pay large sums of money to Bedouins who rule the ancient trade paths; often they experience torture along the way. This last topic had caught the attention of international human rights organizations and is well documented. Following the pain, they reach the Egypt-Israel border. They must cross it and reach one of Israel’s metropolitan areas without being caught by the IDF or the Israeli police.
If caught, they are imprisoned, taken to court and expelled. Yet, since they often come from countries where they may experience violence for their odyssey, their expulsion is forbidden even by Israeli government regulations. Yet, the Population Authority of the latter had recently started to break governmental directives with the silent approval of Israel’s Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. Judge Eliahu Bitan not only knew that, but he became a willingly cooperator in this deadly policy. Requesting refuge due to evils caused by an oppressive government is a basic human right, it was recognized by the UN as international law in 1994; nobody can be jailed for that.
Yet, on March 7, 2013, the Army Radio reported that the judge had decided to leave Simon Waldo, an Eritrean refugee, in Saharonim Prison, where he had been in the last six months. The judge said that Mr. Waldo torture in Sinai cannot justify his being released. Instead, he decided to add a chapter of Israeli torture to Mr. Waldo’s life; being imprisoned with no reason is torture. “Let them learn not to violate the Zionist State!” was the judge’s bestial message. He rejected article 30 of Israel’s Law for the Prevention of Infiltration, which instruct judges to release infiltrators for humanitarian reasons.
The inhuman judge claimed that since almost all infiltrators via Sinai experience violence, the article cannot be sanctioned. He failed to mention the treshold number. Honorable Israeli Judge Bitan, would you have ruled the same for Jewish refugees escaping Auschwitz?
Eritrean Asylum Seekers in Israel
Similar disregard of Israeli law has been recently expressed by the Speaker of the Knesset who requested to annex the West Bankwithout proper legislation. Other senior officials of the Israeli government expressed a similar attitude. Israel is playing a hypocrite game. “Let’s legislate laws that can be marketed internationally as proof of our being respectful of law, but we will do what we want, to who we want, in the best fashion we have learned from the Nazi regime. Human Rights exist only when we can profit from their enforcement!” With all the disgust towards the judge’s ruling, the issue is not personal. We are witnessing here systematic crimes purposely performed by the State.
He is a proud Israeli judge, he can decide whatever he wants. No law will restrict him. Judge of Israel, perpetrator of crimes against humanity. The United Nations requested from Israel explanations on related criminal behaviors already on February 27. As of now, Israel has not complied. Why should they? They are Holocaust survivors; hence, they can commit any crime their cold hearts wish.
Yet, the judge is correct in principle. Oppressive laws designed to benefit the few while violating the many cannot be accepted as legitimate. They are legal in the same way that the Nazi laws were legal, but they are not legitimate. Israel crossed the threshold from legal laws to illegitimate laws many years ago. They remember Hitler only when it is profitable.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.