The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
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Many individuals and organizations supported me over the years ofresearching and writing this book. Foremost are the people who permit-ted me to interview and spend time with them. Although relatively feware mentioned by name in this text, I am grateful to all of them.Association of University Women, the Joint Committee on the Near and...
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The weather was bitter cold and rainy on February 3, 1992, when I mademy Wrst visit to the Israeli military court in the West Bank town ofHebron. Over the previous six months, I had been to the military courtsin Ramallah, Gaza City, and Nablus. That day, I went to Hebron with LeaTsemel, a Jewish Israeli lawyer who has been representing Palestinian...
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The Israeli military court system is the central subject of this book, aswell as the main setting for a sociological inquiry into law and conXict inIsrael, the West Bank, and Gaza, an area I refer to collectively as “Israel/Palestine” (see Chapter 1). This duality, subject and setting, reXects the factthat the military court system is both a product and a site of the Israeli-...
PART ONE: LAW AND CONFLICT IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
1. A Political Geography of Law and Conflict
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Law inspires, commands, and narrates social life. It creates or identiWescategories of social being and meaning, marking boundaries to connectand diVerentiate its subjects. It authorizes, prohibits, and in other waysregulates desires and relations and the activities to pursue them. It con-stitutes a terrain of social action and interaction where individuals and...
2. Legal Discourses and the Conflict in Israel/Palestine
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The Israeli state has made prodigious use of law to maintain and legit-imize its rule over Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and to punishand thwart resistance. Three bodies of law have been particularly impor-tant: international humanitarian law (especially the Fourth GenevaConvention), the British Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, and...
PART TWO: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE MILITARY COURT SYSTEM
3. Going to Court
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The Israeli military courts and the compounds in which they are locatedexemplify how architecture can provide for control and surveillance. Thespace itself operates as a technology of power to facilitate or impede visi-bility and to regulate movement and interactions. The physical design andmanagement of the courts reinforce the disciplinary potential of the space,...
4. The Face and Arms of Military Justice: Judges and Prosecutors
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The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is the longest militaryoccupation in modern times. According to the oYcial Israeli narrative, themilitary administration, established in 1967 to govern Palestinians in theoccupied territories, has exercised its powers legally and acted reasonablyand with relative restraint under the circumstances of enduring conXict...
5. The Politics of Language: Translators
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Language provides a particularly useful point of reference to analyzesocial relations and political identiWcations in multiethnic societies wherediVerent languages “coexist,” like the groups of people who speak them.In many contexts, language is politicized through a discourse of rights,notably the right to self-determination; the collective “self” is often...
6. Cause Lawyering and National Conflict: Defense Lawyers
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When rights are the stakes of a conXict, politically engaged lawyers oftenplay important roles. Their professional knowledge of the law, politicalvision, and commitment are vital resources for articulating rights claimsand challenging rights violations. In the course of those struggles, lawyers’skills can be put to the tasks of defending those who are Wghting for rights...
7. Political Subjects, Legal Objects: Defendants
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In the Israeli military court system, the “defendant” category includesPalestinians from all walks of life. All Palestinian residents of the WestBank and Gaza are potential defendants, since all are subject to the juris-diction of this court system. And hundreds of thousands have beenactual defendants, among a population that now numbers 3.6 million.2...
8. A Suq of Deals: Plea Bargaining
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Is this really a legal system? This is a recurring reaction I encountered whendescribing my research on the Israeli military court system. What peoplewere asking, in essence, was what possibly could be learned that wasn’talready obvious: that the Israeli state has the power to punish Palestiniansand that punishment is what they get. Such skepticism is understandable...
Conclusion: The Second Intifada and the Global “War on Terror”
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The second intifada, which began on September 29, 2000, has been themost intensely deadly and destructive period in Israel/Palestine since1967.2 It terminated the interim, shattering any prospects that diplomacymight have held for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank andGaza and a two-state solution.3 Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee...
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On September 19, 2002, I spent my last day in an Israeli military court. Iwent with Andre Rosenthal, a leftist Jewish Israeli lawyer, to Erez, thecourt located in a base at the edge of the Gaza Strip. On the drive fromJerusalem to Gaza, we talked about changes in the military court systemover the last few years, the political situation in Israel/Palestine, and the...
Appendix: The Institutional Structure and Administrative Features of the Military Court System
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Page Count: 335
Publication Year: 2005