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Israel's so-called democracy exposed. It isn't!

This piece, from truthdig, speaks for itself.   Despite all the claims of Israel being a democracy, it clearly isn't!

"Israel’s army announced Tuesday that an Israeli military court had sentenced Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian Parliament member who has frequently spoken out against Israel, to 15 months in prison.

The reasons cited for Jarrar’s incarceration, The Associated Press reported, were incitement and belonging to an illegal organization. Her supporters are crying foul:

Jarrar was arrested last April in a raid on her home for allegedly violating Israeli travel restrictions that barred her from Ramallah, the West Bank city where her family lives. She was subsequently charged with incitement and membership in an illegal organization.

Palestinians say Jarrar, who is in her early 50s and the mother of two grown daughters who are pursuing advanced university degrees in Canada, was prosecuted for political reasons. They say the evidence against her was flimsy and that she poses no threat to public safety.

Israel’s military courts try Palestinians charged with security offenses against Israel under a separate legal system from the one that serves Israelis. Critics say that Palestinians who are tried under the military courts are seldom acquitted and many, fearing they have little chance of proving their innocence, opt to accept the shorter sentences offered in plea bargains.

Indeed, Haaretz on Tuesday also maintained that, judging by past examples, “Jarrar ultimately had no choice but to agree to a plea bargain”:

When she was detained, Khalida Jarrar could have declared that she does not recognize the military court of the occupying country, and enabled the military prosecution and judges to convict her and send her to prison as they wished. Jarrar, like the huge majority of Palestinians since 1967, chose the second option: to participate in the fixed game. It’s a fixed game (in a military or a civil criminal court) because the representatives of the state, which forces its foreign rule on a civilian population, have decided by means of orders and laws that resisting them and their forced rule for almost 50 years is a crime.

When Jarrar decided to play the game she had the two options open to thousands of Palestinians every year. One – to instruct the defense attorneys to accelerate the process and reach a plea bargain; the second – to make things hard for the system by means of a precise questioning of prosecution and defense witnesses. In other words, to grant the military court a façade of professional respectability that the Palestinians, the attorneys and independent legal scholars are convinced it does not have.

Here too Jarrar chose the second option. Had she been released on bail until the conclusion of proceedings, as ruled by military Judge Maj. Haim Balilty, it is very likely that the trial would not have ended this week but would have continued for many more months. Jarrar would have arrived at the court in the morning and returned in the evening to her home 10 kilometers away in El Bireh; the state would have continued to spend a great deal of money on meetings, summoning Palestinian witnesses and sending soldiers to bring them, allocating interpreters and security guards.

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