Globe, Human Rights, Politics, United Kingdom, World

Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is about corporate profit and oppression

Israel continues to cock a snook at its obligations under international law, and the British political class is complicit, because they have turned a blind eye to Israeli atrocities.


Chris Williamson / Dorset Eye*


April 17th marked Palestinian Prisoners Day, which aims to highlight the plight of Palestinians who have been unfairly jailed by the Israeli regime.  I have never heard any Western leader speak out against the Zionist entity’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel is flagrantly violating Article 9 of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which clearly state that: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”. Yet, according to some reports, last year alone, the Israeli regime subjected 2,500 Palestinians to administrative detention orders.  Many of the Palestinians being targeted in this way are detained indefinitely without charge or a fair trial.

And these arbitrary arrests and detentions are based on “secret information.” Ethical jurisprudence it ain’t.

There were 7,000 Palestinians arrested in 2022, including nearly a thousand children.

In 2021, the number was even higher with 8,000 arrests being made.  And there are just under 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners currently being held by the Israeli occupation forces.

According to a 2017 report by Addameer, (a Palestinian prisoner support and human rights organisation), over the past 50 years, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel.  That figure is now believed to be closer to a million.

The conditions in these Israeli prisons are appalling.  A more appropriate description would be to call them dungeons rather than prisons.  We covered these Israeli dungeons last year in an episode of Palestine Declassified that I present every week on Press TV.

What we uncovered through our investigations, was that these dungeons of occupation have generated massive profits for Western corporations.  Businesses like the US technology company Hewlett Packard, the US communications firm Motorola and the Swedish manufacturing enterprise Volvo, along with others, have all made a financial killing out of this sick system.

So, the incarceration of Palestinians isn’t just a tool of oppression, it’s also being used as a tool to generate profits for amoral capitalist corporations.

But the Israeli regime also extracts profits from Palestinian prisoners by ensnaring them into debt for a range of capricious and outlandish reasons.

Palestinian prisoners can be fined for missing the morning count or returning their food plates to the jailers late.   They can even be fined for damage to property caused when Zionist guards beat them inside the jail, or if they refuse to be strip searched, or for protesting about the conditions within the facilities in which they’re being detained.

And the scale of the fines is colossal.  Some Palestinians have even been forced to sell their homes to pay off Israeli prison fines, with threat of even more jail time if the debt isn’t paid.  It’s a way of immiserating still further the occupied people in the West Bank.

But despite the wicked brutality of the Zionist entity, or maybe because of it, opposition to the Israeli regime, is growing around the world.  An example of that was the number of rallies and demonstrations to mark al-Quds Day.

I attended and spoke at a huge Quds Day rally in London last month that was held in Whitehall immediately adjacent to Downing Street, so the prime minister will have seen the strength of feeling being expressed.  It was a similar picture in at least 80 other countries all over the globe.

But there is a mismatch between the political class in Western countries and the growing support for Palestinian liberation among the general public.

Here in the UK all the political parties are in thrall to Israel’s apartheid regime.

This was evidenced in the UK last month when the British Prime Minister entertained the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu at 10 Downing Street.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Labour Party says he supports Zionism, “without qualification”, even though it is a racist settler colonial ideology, and he’s overseen a witch-hunt against pro-Palestine members.

Furthermore, last month the British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly and his Israeli counterpart, Elie Cohen, signed a new bilateral relations agreement that will mean greater cooperation between the UK and Israel through to 2030.  The wide-ranging agreement covers cooperation on a range of different areas from defence and cyber technologies to culture and education.  This latest development illustrates the insidious influence of the Israeli regime on Britain’s senior politicians.

But despite the acquiescence of the UK’s MPs, grassroots activists are still managing to force change.

Palestine Action, for example, a British based direct-action grassroots campaign group, has chased the Israeli arms manufacturer out of its London headquarters and forced the closure of one of its factories in Oldham.

But the campaign won’t stop until Elbit Systems has been driven out of the UK altogether.

The heavy-handed police tactics deployed against Palestine Action campaigners in Leicester, who are laying siege to another Elbit factory there, has only strengthening the resolve of the activists.

What I’ve realised is that the more people learn about the Israeli regime, the more they are horrified by what they discover.  For example, the last time Palestine Action targeted the Leicester factory local residents living in the area came out in support of the activists.  This gives me hope that good will eventually triumph over evil.

*Article originally published in Dorset Eye.

(Translated by The Prisma – The Multicultural Newspaper) – Photos: Pixabay

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