PA: Conditions for Palestinians in Israeli prisons
are worse than Jews' conditions
in "the Auschwitzes"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
A Palestinian Authority deputy minister has accused Israel of having worse prison conditions than "the Auschwitzes of the Nazis." Ziad Abu Ein belittled the Holocaust by using the term "the Auschwitzes" three times in two sentences during his PA TV interview.
The PA as policy repeatedly compares Israel to the Nazis, and continuously reiterates the libel that Israel performs medical experiments and tortures Palestinian prisoners. Palestinian Media Watch reported in May that the PA accused Israel of doing Mengele-like experiments on imprisoned Palestinians. (See this and additional examples below.)
The following is PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziad Abu Ein's statement that Israeli prisons were worse than "the Auschwitzes of the Nazis":
"Israel forgets that we are now in the 21st century and that the conditions of our Palestinian prisoners are worse than the Auschwitzes of the Nazis, where Jewish detainees were held. If we return to the pictures of the Auschwitzes, how [Jews] were on beds and so on in the Auschwitzes - in our case, the beds were only introduced in the 1990s, and it was [only] a metal bed."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 6, 2011]
Contrary to this accusation, a released Palestinian prisoner stated last year that the prisoners in Israeli prisons "lack nothing," and the official PA daily likewise described in detail how Palestinian prisoners are allowed to study while serving time, reporting that "prisoners in occupation prisons complete university studies and obtain MA and Ph.D. degrees." (See full texts below.)
The following are more examples of this PA policy of comparing Israel to the Nazis:
Headline: "'Slow death' [is] the Israeli system for exterminating prisoners"
"[There is] an entire system called 'slow death,' which the Israeli establishment uses against Palestinian prisoners, from the moment of their arrest until they are released... The 'experiments' station is perhaps one of the most dangerous stations in the slow death of released prisoners, who suffer from diseases which they contracted in prison. The Israeli prison guards attempt thereby to imitate the German Nazis, who were the first to use prisoners as testing grounds, for testing the weapons and the deadly drugs which they developed. The Nazi German doctor, Josef Mengele, was the most famous among them."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 17, 2011]
Headline: "Palestinian Prisoners' Movement in a predicament"
"The record of the Israeli treatment to our prisoners is not a clean record at all. Some have died as Shahids (Martyrs) inside the prisons as a result of Israeli medical negligence and as a result of logistical negligence: fires have broken out in some Israeli prisons because of electrical faults or something else, and even more serious are acts which even the Nazis and the fascists did not commit at the height of their arrogance and hatred for humanity, such as the imprisonment of pregnant women so that they would give birth in prison; detention of women together with their children; procedures forbidding family visits; Israel's refusal to appoint lawyers for them; isolation for lengthy periods; violent and racist interrogation methods; and other Israeli violations and actions which are considered crimes against humanity."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 5, 2011]
"Director for the Bethlehem region at Al-Quds Open University, Ibrahim Al-Sha'er, met with a delegation of British MP's from the Labor Party... Al-Sha'er told the delegation about the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people under the occupation and the latter's acts of suppression. He said, 'While the Jews experienced a holocaust over a limited period in history, the Palestinians have experienced a continuous and ongoing holocaust for 63 years, and yet this nation has not found a supporter who will halt this holocaust or this injustice.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 9, 2011]
"Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Tayseer Khaled, stated that what the occupation gangs and Zionist organizations carried out in 1948 against the Palestinians was a 'holocaust' against our people."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2011]
Regular PA daily columnist Yahya Rabah:
Headline: "Israel is more dangerous than an ordinary enemy!"
"...the conclusion I reached is that Israel, in its current state, is a thousand times more dangerous than an ordinary enemy, or a sworn enemy, or an existential enemy. It is incapable of existing without being an enemy, and it cannot exist even for a few moments if it is not in an exaggerated state of hostility with the Palestinians in particular, and with the region in general. But what is even more dangerous than all of this is that Israel, in its present state, wants to create on its own the enemy against which it is gathering itself... Israel - strong and fragile, realistic and stuck in mythical ruins, democratic and scornful of human existence, which trades in Jewish moral values in the songs of lamentation of Jeremiah and Isaiah, and which has faithfully reproduced the Holocaust - this Israel wants an enemy which it depicts as it wishes: a despicable, fearsome, terrorist [Palestinian] enemy whose religion commands it to murder; barbarous, uncultured and undemocratic, attesting itself to all of these dreadful traits and crimes, but at the same time not [actually] harming it, and not costing it a single penny, or a single drop of blood."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 24, 2011]
"Israeli doctors also carry out medical experiments on prisoners... There are prisons which fall under the military administration - in other words, [they are] directly under the army, and soldiers armed with weapons from head to toe are spread out among them. Often these soldiers shoot live ammunition at detainees; this has led to the injury and Martyr-deaths of many. These prisons are detention camps dotted with tents, with each group of tents forming a wing, surrounded on all sides by a fence and guards who are armed with weapons from head to toe. They resemble the detention camps during the Nazi period."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011]
Headline: "Al-Sana: The racist Israeli laws will not intimidate Palestinians of the Interior (i.e., Israeli Arabs)"
"Chairman of the Arab Democratic Party inside the Green Line (i.e., in Israel), Talab Al-Sana, described Israel yesterday as a Nazi and racist state, whose racist laws will not intimidate the Palestinians of the Interior (i.e., Israeli Arabs). Al-Sana spoke about the recent developments during an open session at the Arab-American University in the Jenin district. He said that 'the laws of Nazi Germany are passed these days in Israel by a majority - for example, the law forbidding commemoration of the day of the catastrophe [i.e., Israel's establishment] and its erasure from the study curriculum.'
He described Israel as a racist state which acts to establish cities for Jews only, like the cities for white inhabitants which were established in South Africa during the Apartheid era. He said that these laws will not intimidate the Palestinians of the Interior, and they will end up in the dustbin of history...
He noted that Israel works day and night to fight against Palestinian instruction and culture as part of its efforts to inculcate ignorance, and uses study curricula to achieve Zionist aims. It proves daily that it is a racist state with regard to the native Arab inhabitants, and a democratic state with regard to the Jews...
He called upon the Fatah and Hamas movements to end the situation of rift [between them] immediately, and to achieve national unity."
[Al-Ayyam, April 12, 2011]
Palestinians describing actual prison conditions
Released Palestinian prisoner on prison conditions:
PA TV host: "You were in Megiddo [prison]. How are the guys?
You were released from prison just today."
Prisoner: "By Allah, the guys in the prison are fine. They lack nothing. They are doing fine."
Host: "Do they lack nothing?"
Prisoner: "They are doing really fine."
Host: "They lack nothing, not even freedom?"
Prisoner: "No. Freedom, Allah willing, there will be freedom."
Host: "How long were you in prison?"
Prisoner: "Two years."
Host: "And you say that they lack nothing?"
Prisoner: "I don't know."
[PA TV (Fatah), June 24, 2010]
Click to view video
Headline: "Prisoners in occupation prisons complete university studies and obtain MA and Ph.D. degrees"
"The occupation authorities (i.e., Israel) don't leave a single option [open] without using it to make things difficult for the prisoners, regardless of their party or faction affiliation. Behind the prison bars, they are all Palestinians, and in the eyes of the warden they are all deserving of the harshest forms of punishment. Despite the oppression of the occupation and its incessant cruelty towards the prisoners, many of them are defying the Israeli oppression and are determined to succeed while behind prison bars. Many of them have succeeded in obtaining the highest degrees, while others are working on the preparation of special research, getting them out to the world outside [the prison] and publishing them in the media, especially the electronic media. Owing to the rise in the number of prisoners receiving degrees - including Ph.D's - while still in prison, Israel recently began a new campaign meant to make things difficult for the prisoners and to try to withhold their elementary rights to education... Prisoner Ayman Al-Hamoud takes great pride in his academic achievements in the Israeli prisons. He emphasized that all of his achievements were to spite the warden, and said that he had obtained an MA through the Al-Huraa University [based in The Hague, the Netherlands]... Al-Hamoud said: 'The occupation is withholding everything from us, even our elementary rights, and therefore we conduct telephone calls with our families in secret, using devices which are smuggled in with difficulty. Today the occupation is trying in every possible way to withhold mobile phones from us; at every moment they storm the tents seeking phone devices. So how will they permit us to study at universities, and award us the rest of the prisoners' rights? They are trying to make things difficult for us in every way and manner, and we can only defy their racist steps.' Al-Hamoud noted that many prisoners have registered at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, obtaining this right after a widespread strike held by the prisoners in the detention camps. Many regard released prisoner Fahd Abu Al-Hajj as an example motivating them to achieve the highest degrees: He entered prison illiterate, in 1978, and now he holds a Ph.D... Since [the year] 2000 more than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners have attained matriculation certificates while still in the occupation prisons. Today there are some 200 prisoners who are registered at various universities around the world."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 9, 2010]