Friday, July 3, 2009

Law enforcement in Judea and Samaria: Facts not fiction

Tammuz 11, 5769, 7/3/2009

Law enforcement in Judea and Samaria: Facts not fiction

law enforcement is selective in Judea and Samaria and depends on the ethnic origin of the alleged perpetrators 

From time to time the media features a rash of news and opinion articles about the state of law enforcement in Judea and Samaria. These are invariably highly critical of allegedly inefficient law enforcement, the lack of police manpower, the need for exceptional enforcement methods due to the “lawless” nature of the area, and of the courts which are accused of restricting the work of law enforcement authorities.  Politicians and media pundits as well as the law enforcement authorities send out myriad statements whose main defect is the absence of corroborative facts and data, to the Government, the Knesset and the public.

The Report on Law Enforcement in Judea and Samaria (henceforth “Report”), researched and published by the Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria, is the first attempt to reveal the truth about law enforcement in this area using data, facts and statistical analysis. All the figures and statistical analyses in the report are from official law enforcement authorities and therefore incontrovertible.  The data was analyzed by experts in criminology and statistics and the conclusions are shocking, because they stand in direct contradiction to all the information that the Israeli public has been led to believe for years.

The main finding revealed by the Report is that law enforcement is selective in Judea and Samaria and depends on the ethnic origin of the alleged perpetrators i.e. overzealous law enforcement towards Jewish settlers and minimal law enforcement when dealing with Arab offenders or leftist activists.  This selectivity is backed by instructions and by-laws composed by the Legal Advisor to the Israeli Government. Their implementation is overseen by a high ranking lawyer in the governments’ legal department, Shai Nitsan.

The graphs and tables brought in the Report prove without doubt that there is discrimination in all the parameters used to measure law enforcement: the ratio of police officers to population, percent of files made public, percent of disclosures of interrogation files, percent of indictments passed on to the courts, percent of those found guilty. The sum total of these parameters present a clear and unequivocal picture of directed overzealous enforcement encouraged by the “powers that be” and of an unprecedented allocation of resources for this purpose. This occurs at the expense of police services in other areas including the one researched here, at the expense of the basic rights of the Jewish residents, at the expense of security in these areas, and at the expense of the most basic principle of the rule of law in a democratic state: that of equality before the law.

Possibly the most significant aspect of the Report is the chapter containing the official responses to it because it is abundantly clear that the respondents do not succeed in dealing with the real data or in refuting the analysis and conclusions.

What is the legal, lawful, ethical justification for this? Why is the true state of law enforcement in Judea and Samaria kept hidden from the public, while a picture that has virtually no connection with the real situation is purposely made to seem like an accurate one? These are the incisive questions that this Report addresses to the heads of law enforcement in Israel. Its authors demand an answer.

The Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria intends to give this Report to all Government Ministers and MK’s, and demand a thorough change. In the meantime—the Report is a data bank and essential tool for anyone who is faced with the inequities of the law enforcement authorities towards those living in Judea and Samaria and their supporters. It is highly recommended.

For information pertaining to donations to cover costs of publication in English and Hebrew, as well as obtaining copies of the Report, call Shifra at tel. 052-5666942.


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