Palestinian prisoners charged with security-related offences are immediately taken as a threat to Israel's security. They are seen as potential, if not actual, suicide bombers. This stereotype ignores the political nature of the Palestinian prisoners' actions and their desire for liberty.
By highlighting the various images of Palestinian prisoners in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Abeer Baker and Anat Matar chart their changing fortunes. Essays written by prisoners, ex-prisoners, Human rights defenders, lawyers and academic researchers analyse the political nature of imprisonment and Israeli attitudes towards Palestinian prisoners. These contributions deal with the prisoners' status within Palestinian society, the conditions of their imprisonment and various legal procedures used by the Israeli military courts in order to criminalise and de-politicise them. Also addressed are Israel's breaches of international treaties in its treatment of the Palestinian prisoners, practices of torture and solitary confinement, exchange deals and prospects for release.
This is a unique intervention within Middle East studies that will inspire those working in human rights, international law and the peace process.
About The Author
Abeer Baker is a senior lawyer with Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (NGO) and heads the Legal Clinic for Prisoners' Rights, in the Law Faculty of Haifa University.
Anat Matar is a senior lecturer of philosophy at Tel Aviv University and a political activist. She is the chair of the Israeli Committee for the Palestinian Prisoners.
Preface: The Palestinian Prisoners: Politicization and De-Politicization, by Abeer Baker and Anat Matar
Part I – Analyses
1 The Centrality of the Prisoners' Movement to the Palestinian Struggle against the Israeli Occupation: A Historical Perspective, by Maya Rosenfeld
2 Towards a Materialist Reading of Political Imprisonment in Palestine, by Esmail Nashef
3 Who Is a Security Prisoner and Why? An Examination of the Legality of Prisons' Regulations Governing Security Prisoners, by Alon Harel
4 The Security Risk as a Security Risk: Notes on the Classification Practices of the Israeli Security Services, by Yael Berda
5 Palestinian Women Political Prisoners and the Israeli State, by Nahla Abdo
6 Prison Policy and Political Imprisonment in Northern Ireland and Israel, by Alina Korn
Part II – Arrest, Interrogation, Trial, Release
7 The Arrest and Persecution of Elected Political Leaders (Interview), by Sheikh Mohammad Abu-Teir
8 My arrests, My Interrogations, by Osama Barham
9 Colonel and Major (poem), by Avigdor Feldman
10 Welcome to Shin Bet Country, by Avigdor Feldman
11 A Decade after the High Court of Justice “Torture” Ruling, What’s Changed?, by Bana Shoughri-Badarneh
12 The Mysteries of Administrative Detention, by Tamar Pelleg-Sryck
13 Reframing the Legality of the Israeli Military Courts in the West Bank: Military Occupation or Apartheid?, by Sharon Weill
14 Are There Prisoners in this War?, by Smadar Ben-Natan
15 Institutional Schizophrenia: The Release of "Security Prisoners" in Israel, by Leslie Sebba
16 Exchange Deals: Between Figures and Emotions, by Mounir Mansour
Part III – Inside Prison
17 Females Prisoners and the Struggle: A Personal Testimony, by Ittaf Alian (Hodaly)
18 Devil's Island: Transfer of Palestinian Detainees into Prisons within Israel, by Michael Sfard
19 Family Visits to Palestinian Prisoners Held inside Israel, by Sigi Ben-Ari and Anat Barsella
20 Isolation and Solitary Confinement of Palestinian Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Facilities, by Sahar Francis and Kathleen Gibson
21 The Impact of Isolation on Mental Health, by Ruchama Marton
Consciousness Molded or the Re-Identification of Torture, by Walid Daka
This book provides an imperative illustration of how the Israeli Occupation has imprisoned the political voices of the Palestinian people. Featuring a spectrum of authors with a range of expertise, this volume offers readers a refreshing insight into and documentation of Israel’s revocation of Palestinians’ right to justice. For many years, the judicial process has been turned against Palestinians, and this comprehensive analysis is essential to understand how Israel has achieved that, and how to overcome this injustice.
No one reading this book will come away without new insight into one of the key areas of Israel’s on-going distortion of Palestinian society by the removal of so many men and women key to its development.
This is a timely and urgent volume that brings to the fore the systematic injustices endemic to the Israeli emprisonment of Palestinians. The volume not only provides extensive documentation that establishes the particular violence of the legal apparatus as it contains and disciplines arrested Palestinians, but it offers a detailed description of the widespread deviation from accepted standards of justice and procedural law. At stake throughout is the criminalisation of political protest, and this volume offers extensive evidence and analysis to resist this violent use of law.
(Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor, Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley)
Out of the grim reality of Palestinians as a People of Prisoners and Israeli-Jews as a People of Wardens, this book offers not only nuanced information and unconventional insights, but also the feasibility of an anti-occupation, anti-colonial life of action, developed together by Palestinians and Jews.
(Amira Hass, Ha'aretz)