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Hebrew University
[Hebrew University, Truman] Maya Rosenfeld promotes anti-Israel political activities at Hebrew U " PCATI Report on Incommunicado Detention"

Article follows bio

Dr. Maya Rosenfeld teaches at both the Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.   She is also currently teaching some courses at Ben-Gurion University.   She is the author of Confronting the Occupation: Work, Education, and Political Activism of Palestinian Families in a Refugee Camp.  Aside from that, she is part of the Middle East Unit of the Harry Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace and participated in a conference of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute entitled “The Politics of Humanitarianism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”


On December 29, 2010, Dr. Rosenfeld will speak as part of a Hebrew University panel that present a report (See below) entitled “When the exception becomes the rule: Incommunicado Holding of Palestinian Detainees,” which was put out by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.   This report is written by Dr. Rosenfeld and claims that Israel tortures and mistreats Palestinian prisoners.   According to NGO Monitor, the Public Committee against Torture in Israel’s attorney referred to Palestinian “martyrs” and Israeli “collective punishment” during their testimony before the Goldstone Report. They also petitioned Spain to not impose limits on universal jurisdiction, so that Israelis can be tried for “war crimes” in Spanish courts.   While the Public Committee against Torture in Israel routinely supports Palestinian prisoners, who are accused of engaging in terrorist attacks against Israelis, they invest almost no resources into helping Gilad Shalit, who has committed no crime at all whatsoever.   The CEO of the Public Committee against Torture was also formerly involved with Yesh Gvul, which is an organization that supports Refusniks, and was also a Hadash party candidate for the 17th Knesset. 


On February 17, 2009, Dr. Rosenfeld referred (see below) to a report written about UNRWA by the respectable researcher Dr. Barry Rubin as “written in the style of the cheapest and most arrogant propaganda” and claimed that his text was “replete with absurd, indeed fanatic and sickening allegations against UNRWA,” just because his report did not agree with her political ideology.   In Dr. Rosenfeld’s report, instead of addressing the legitimate issue of how UNRWA employees have been found to also be working for Palestinian terrorist organizations or how UNRWA has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee crisis by working to keep the Palestinians as refugees until a Palestinian right of return to Israel proper is implemented instead of working for the Palestinians to be settled as equal citizens in Arab countries, just personally attacked the messenger instead of dealing with the message.   Dr. Rosenfeld also did not treat Arlene Kushner’s report that essentially agreed with Dr. Rubin’s conclusions much better.   According to Dr. Rosenfeld, Kushner engaged in “incitement,” is an “ultra-nationalist” and works for an “extreme right wing” media just for expressing political opinions that contradicted Dr. Rosenfeld.    But as if these derogatory and unprofessional insults towards a respectable scholar and journalist was not bad enough, right in the middle of the Gaza War, on January 5, 2009, the Palestinian Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel reported that Dr. Rosenfeld signed onto a petition entitled “A call from within,” which accused Israel of committing war crimes, called for the international community to intervene to stop “criminal Israeli” policies, called for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Israel, for the world to prosecute Israelis for “war crimes,” and for the EU to impose sanctions and cease talks of upgrading relations with Israel.       

Dr. Maya Rosenfeld recently wrote a report for the pro-Palestinian NGO PCATI


Hebrew University Panel marking release of PCATI Report on Incommunicado Detention

When the Exception Becomes the Rule: Incommunicado Holding of Palestinian Detainees

Special evening marking the release of a special report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

PCATI's new report,  "When the Exception Becomes the Rule"  details the brutal trampling of basic due process rights by the State of Israel.  

The report exposes before the public and the legal establishment the manner in which security detainees are routinely held incommunicado,  

with no contact with attorneys or anyone else in the outside world.  This treatment is immoral and sets the stage for torture and ill treatment.  

Wednesday 29.12.2010 

18:00 - Gathering and refreshments

18:30 - Dr. Maya Rosenfeld, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Writer of the report

19:00 – Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Anat Horowitz, Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Honorable Justice of the High Court of Justice (retired), Dalia Dorner

Atty. Shai Nitzan, Deputy State Attorney for Special Affairs, Ministry of Justice

Atty. Avigdor Feldman

The Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Room 302

Click to view the report in English:

הפקולטה למשפטים באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים מקיימת ערב עיון בדו"ח מיוחד של הועד הציבורי נגד עינויים בישראל, שכותרתו "כשהחריג הופך לכלל – מניעת מפגש בין עצירים פלסטינים לבין עורכי דינם". בערב העיון ישתתפו כב' שופטת בית המשפט העליון בדימוס, הגב' דליה דורנר, עו"ד שי ניצן, המשנה לפרקליט המדינה לתפקידים מיוחדים, עו"ד אביגדור פלדמן, ד"ר ענת הורוויץ מהפקולטה למשפטים באוניברסיטה העברית, וכותבת הדו"ח, ד"ר מאיה רוזנפלד, ממכון טרומן באוניברסיטה העברית. ערב העיון יתקיים ביום רביעי השבוע, 29.12.2010, החל מהשעה 18:00, באולם 302 בפקולטה למשפטים באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים . נשמח לראותכם! מצ"ב ההזמנה.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Maya Rosenfeld <msma@mscc.huji.ac.il>
Date: 2010/12/27
Subject: הזמנה לערב דיון בנושא מניעת מפגש בין עצורים פלסטינים לעורכי דינם

מצורפת הזמנה לערב דיון על דו"ח חדש מטעם הועד הציבורי נגד עינויים בישראל בנושא מניעת מפגש בין עצורים פלסטינים לבין עורכי דינם


מאיה רוזנפלד 


WebMail: http://plutomail.huji.ac.il 

1 of 1 File(s)

PCATI Board of Directors:

Prof. Gideon Freudenthal, Chair Person

Att. Avigdor Feldman

Att. Shlomo Lecker

Prof. Emmanuel Farjun

Prof. Avishai Ehrlich

Att. Leah Tsemel

PCATI Legal Department

Attorney Bana Shoughry-Badarne - Head of Legal Department

Attorney Tahreer Atamleh-Mahanah

Attorney Samah Elkhatib Ayoub

Attorney Irit Ballas

Attorney Nabeel Dakwar 



Latest update 01:06 28.12.10

'Shin Bet tortures prisoners and denies access to lawyers'

As many as 90% of Palestinian prisoners are denied this basic right despite civilian and military legislation, says study produced by Public Committee Against Torture and Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

Amira Hass

As many as 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners being interrogated by the Shin Bet security service are prevented from consulting with an attorney, even though civilian and military legislation state clearly that such prohibition should be rarely applied, according to a report published by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

The Shin Bet says it has legal clearance to keep certain detainees from lawyers.

Among these interrogation methods are tying prisoners for a long time to a chair with their hands behind the back, sleep deprivation, threats (usually of harming family members ), humiliation and being kept for long periods in unsanitary cells.According to Dr. Maya Rosenfeld, the author of the study, during prolonged periods when prisoners are kept from meeting with lawyers, the Shin Bet utilizes interrogation methods that run contrary to international law, Israeli laws and Israeli commitments to avoid such methods.

The Shin Bet has refused in the past to provide data on the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with a lawyer.

A petition filed by the human rights group Yesh Din and the Movement for Freedom of Information in March 2009 is still pending.

In the absence of official data, The Public Campaign and the Prisoners Society carried out research and cross-referenced their information with different sources in order to estimate the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with lawyers.

According to estimates of the authors, out of 11,970 Palestinians the Shin Bet admits to interrogating between 2000 and 2007, the numbers of those whose right to an attorney was blocked ranged between 8,379 to 10,773.

Attorney Irit Ballas of the Public Committee, who authored the epilogue of the report, entitled "When the Exception Becomes the Rule," says the relevant data for the years 2008-2010 suggests that the scope of this phenomenon has not been reduced.

Prisoner access to counsel is considered a basic right in Israeli law. Preventing such access is considered out-of-bounds and the maximum period such prohibition can be in effect, in security related cases, is 21 days. In Israeli military law, the minimum time permissible is 15 days and the maximum is 90 days.

According to the report, preventing a meeting with a lawyer for long periods of time enables illegal interrogation aimed at exhausting the prisoners and moving them to cells where undercover agents pretend to be regular prisoners. The report mentions a number of cases in which after a prolonged interrogation, the physical and psychological exhaustion resulted in admissions of relatively minor violations which were carried out several years earlier and did not justify the violation of the prisoners' rights.

The Shin Bet stated in response that "the phenomena of terrorism and espionage, which are the subject of Shin Bet investigations, have unique characteristics which justify the use of essential court arrangements to counter them. These arrangements were established by legislators and received extensive approval over the years by the courts, especially by the Supreme Court in its rulings. One of the tools given to the Shin Bet by law is the authority to prevent meetings between the suspects and a lawyer - the claim that preventing such meetings is meant to evade supervision over 'methods of physical and psychological abuse' are baseless."

The report describes as "fruitless" the legal efforts the Public Committee has undertaken in recent years against the phenomenon.

Some 70 percent of the hundreds of appeals that they submitted to the State Attorney, asking to revoke orders preventing meeting with an attorney, have been rejected. In the dozens of cases that were deliberated by the High Court, the judges were convinced by the Shin Bet's arguments.



Maya Rosenfeld: System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees


The heart of Lindsay's crusade lies in the endeavor to identify UNRWA
with a political role and a political line that conflict with the
agenda of the US Administration for the Middle East. To this end he
devotes the most exhaustive sections of the paper, entitled
"Evaluating Recent Criticisms of UNRWA" and "The Future of UNRWA: U.S.
Policy Options", respectively. The discussion in the former draws on
two sources: the first is a series of papers on UNRWA by Arlene
Kushner, an Israel-based (since 2001), ultra nationalist free-lance
writer, who has written four reports (2003-2005) on UNRWA as "an
investigative journalist for the Center for Near East Policy Research"
and under the supervision of the "Israel Resource News Agency".[13]
The second source is a recent (May 2008) publication from the Global
Research of International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, a stronghold of
ultra-hawkish commentary on the Israeli Palestinian conflict and on
Near East affairs at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
Entitled "UNRWA: Refuge of Rejectionism", the GLORIA paper is
co-authored by Barry Rubin, Asaf Ramirowsy and Jonathan Spyer. Rubin
is the director of GLORIA, editor of the GLORIA- sponsored journal,
Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), and member of the
board of directors of the pro-Israel lobby-organization, Scholars For
Peace in the Middle East (SPME); Romirowsky is the manager of Israel &
Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, "a think tank that
seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle
East"[14]; Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the GLORIA
Neither the Rubin et al paper nor the Kushner series[15], however, are
studies of UNRWA. Written in the style of the cheapest and most
arrogant propaganda, the Rubin et al paper is devoid of any
investigative research whatsoever. Rather, it consists of a
re-assemblage of quotations from eclectic sources that bear direct or
indirect relation to Palestinian politics and or to the Palestinian
refugee issue, which the authors drew out of their original contexts
and mobilized to support the view that UNRWA is no less (and no more)
than an instrument at the service of Palestinian terror[16].
Accordingly, their text is replete with absurd, indeed fanatic and
sickening allegations against UNRWA, as the below selection amply

"… the "badge of honor"--indeed the very entry ticket for acceptance
as a proper citizen--associated with UNRWA fosters eternal hatred
towards Israel. Israel very existence is the cause of one being a
refugee; only Israel's extinction can change that status. Nothing else
is important; nothing else is responsible for one's daily fate."

"Over time, it has become apparent that UNRWA does not only embrace
Hamas, it actually teaches the violent Hamas platform. Since UNRWA
teachers are typically alumni of the UNRWA school system, they
perpetuate the vitriolic curriculum they were taught which vilifies
Israel and the West."

"Not surprisingly, UNRWA institutions have produced terrorist
ideologues. They have also produced terrorist masterminds. As Dore
Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, writes, UNWRA has produced
graduates like Ibrahim Maqadama, who "helped create the military
structure of Hamas." Gold notes that, "at least 46 terrorist
operatives were students in the UNRWA schools.""

"On the surface, UNRWA seems a humanitarian group helping Palestinian
refugees. In reality, it actually helps destroy the chance of
Arab-Israeli peace, promotes terrorism, and holds Palestinians back
from rebuilding their lives."

"UNRWA's job is to keep Palestinian refugees in suspended animation -
and low living standards – until they achieve the goal set for them by
the PLO and Hamas: Israel's extinction."

The Kushner series compares favorably with the Rubin et al text, as it
is at least based on a considerable investigative effort on the part
of the author, the main thrust of which is to trace "evidence" that
would ultimately link UNRWA to terrorism. Her failure to establish the
connection she set out to prove probably accounts for the somewhat
less arrogant tone that Kushner adopts. The message, however, remains
equally inciting[18]:
"Thus, what is in evidence here, at best, is an agency mandated to
serve a humanitarian purpose that is being held hostage by terrorist
elements—so that it is literally afraid to interfere with recipients
who are terrorists. At worst, the terrorist population and the refugee
population (from which the UNRWA staff is drawn) are so enmeshed that
it becomes impossible to separate them".

She concludes:
"That status quo [of UNRWA policies and practices] fosters terrorism,
is antagonistic to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, and
works to the detriment of the refugees themselves."
Yet Lindsay refers to sheer defamation of this kind as perfectly
legitimate, academic "critique". What is more relevant for our
concern, while he raises several reservations regarding some
allegations against UNRWA, it appears that, by and large, Lindsay
accepts the conclusions and recommendations and shares the general
approach of Kushner and of Rubin et al, especially that of Kushner. In
fact, closer examination reveals that major items in Lindsay's "What
Is To Be Done" are adaptations from Kushner. Specifically, the call
for the US and other donors to withhold contributions to UNRWA as a
means of pressuring the agency to introduce policy changes, the call
for the vetting of all UNRWA employees and for subjecting refugee
beneficiaries to "security" tests, and above all, the call for
promoting Palestinian refugee resettlement outside Palestine through
the curtailing of UNRWA's mandate and authority, were all raised by
Kushner. Lindsay elaborated further on each of these recommendations
and added an operative or practical dimension that builds on his
inside knowledge of UNRWA and the donor community and on his
familiarity with the US State Department. Thus, for example, he argues
that the weakening of UNRWA is in the interest of the US despite
considerations that might suggest otherwise, proposes how UNRWA's
vulnerability, in particular its dependence on voluntary
contributions, can be used to exert exceeding pressure on the agency,
argues that the transfer of UNRWA's authorities to Arab states would
be more effective than extending UNHCR mandate to include Palestine
refugees, etc. To be sure, a number of Lindsay's recommendations are
solely the fruit of his own creative mind; e.g., the idea of
restraining UNRWA's Commissioner General, so as to prevent her from
delivering speeches that convey identification with the refugee
plight, and the advice to stop UNRWA's ambulance service.

To wrap things up, then: the policy recommendations on UNRWA that a
former legal adviser for this agency and a current affiliate of the
Washington Institute addresses to the US State Department are based,
by and large, on incitement and defamation campaigns against UNRWA by
the Israel-based, extreme right wing "Israel Resource News Agency"
(better known as Arlene Kushner) and GLORIA Center.

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