Stone Cold Justice – the ZFA has its say

February 11, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Philip Chester, the president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, has this to say about Stone Cold Justice, the ABC Four Corners report made with the collaboration of The Australian newspaper.

From Philip Chester:

Philip Chester

Philip Chester

The Four Corners program aired on ABC was highly emotive and one-sided. It only depicted the allegations in line with the Palestinian position but made absolutely no attempt to report the facts presented to the court or the difficult legal realities on the ground.

The disputed territories have many legal, social and moral complexities with which Israel is continually trying to grapple. John Lyons and Four Corners did not acknowledge these difficulties in dealing with Palestinian “child terrorists” who are caught throwing rocks. Lyons’ attempt to belittle the lethal repercussions of this terrorist activity proves that this investigation is partial.

The issue of the treatment of Palestinian juveniles in the military court system raises a more fundamental question of child abuse. Why have these teenage boys been recruited to participate in armed conflict?  Should they not be attending school, instead of being exploited to use rocks as dangerous weapons, often with deadly repercussions? A Palestinian elder recruiting their own son in terrorist activities signifies abuse of the highest order.

A special juvenile military court operates in the West Bank as until the final status of this area is determined, it is subject to Israeli military jurisdiction. Contrary to Four Corners positioning, the two legal systems are divided between Israeli citizens (including Jews, Arabs, Christians and others) living and offending in Israel and non-Israeli citizens in the disputed territories. This is not a division based on race, ethnicity or religion but rather, the Israeli justice system cannot be applied to Palestinian youth in the West Bank as it is still a disputed territory. To apply Israeli civil law to this region would signify annexation, undoubtedly causing international outcry and accusations of a breach of international law. The Australian’s editorial today stresses that the dual legal systems are an administrative and legal requirement rather than any sort of racism.

Contrary to Lyons’ allegations the system in place is independent and open presided over by professional judges. The fact that Lyons has access to these courts demonstrates the openness of the system

It is important to note that Israel takes these issues seriously and analysis of the Israeli version of events would have shown this to be the case. After consultation with bodies like UNICEF Israel implemented vast improvements and this was even noted in the organization’s most recent report issued in October 2013. A special juvenile court has been established to ensure appropriate care of youth in custody. These are important developments that have been excluded from Four Corners’ expose.

If it is objectively established that youth in detention are not being appropriately treated then Israel should improve its practices. This is something the Israel justice system is emphatically committed to.

It is important to emphasize that neither the information nor interviews presented are new, but are simply recycled from an old campaign and in particular an article Lyons wrote for The Australian newspaper back in 2011.

The program has presented disturbing images, selectively juxtaposing Israelis with extreme views who represent a very small minority with the testimonies of youth who have allegedly been the subject of mistreatment. In ignoring the context, the violence perpetrated by these youths and those who recruit and incite them, the program severely lacks integrity and balance.


5 Responses to “Stone Cold Justice – the ZFA has its say”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    The Zionist Federation of Australia is either plain STUPID or complexly stupid to state that Israel needed to improve her “perfomance” in the way palestinian criminal children are being treated by the respective military Courts by establishing special Childern’s Courts.
    We see right here how NIF is prostituting basic legal principles by gloating at the “necessary” changes Israel had to undertake as a result of NIF’s grantees’ ( ACRI) intervention, thus giving legitimacy to their anti Zionist, betrayal activities.
    We need ZFA to explain how on earth the creation of those children’s courts alter the character of the LAWS applied to the criminal perpetrators. How does a court called “Childern’s” change the NECESSARY legal proceedings !! Are the laws any different if applied in a different building !!?? Obviously NOT because, then, if so, NIF would be beating up their hollow chests claiming that THEIR “magnifficient” have caused changes in the LAWS.
    Phillip Chester owes it to us, dedicated Zionists, not at all lesser passionate about Eretz Israel, to set the reccord straight, to use CORRECT terminology and real notions regarding Israel’s actions.
    We are dealing again with messy, absurd rhetoric, one which only gives undeserved oxygen to that farcical mob, NIF.
    Fact is that Israel had NEVER committed any errors in the way she has prosecuted all criminals, children included and, as such , NO changes, which can only mean changes of SUBSTANCE, have been necessary.

    Phillip Chester needs to answer here these issues for the sake of his communal respectability !!!!

    • Brian Rom says:

      If you think taking a child out of its bed in the middle of the night and from the arms of its crying mother (even a child suspected of stone throwing) is an acceptable practice then Mr Chester owes you no explanation whatsoever.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        if you think that “children” capable of and KNOWN for inflicting serious harm to Jews, should be allowed to sleep tight and care-free, then you need to explain to us that the Rom boys and their families, those terriffic Sydney Zionist kids I know, living now in Israel do not need any protection.

        • Brian Rom says:

          You don’t KNOW they were guilty. Only a court can decide that. Until then, any suspect, especially a child, must be treated proportionately and with dignity (even under law applicable in the West Bank).

          We are not living in the Middle Ages.

          It may be that a night time arrest is the only proportionate method but doubt this is so on every case. Seems this was mostly done to inflict fear and misery rather than for practical reasons.

          I think Israel should be commended for making changes referred to in Mr Chester’s letter rather than derided.

          • Otto Waldmann says:


            I don’t know what derision you are reffering to.
            I don’t know what issue of guilt you are talking about.

            I know that in order to have justice work suspects must be apprehended. You make sense when admitting that the kost effective time for apprehension is at night. To make such an issue about the mere practice of waking up a suspect at any time, be it knight, it shows lack of sobriety in assessing the matter. Compare: child involved in causing intentional harm to Jews. Child suspected of the respective crime being waken up in the middle of the night .
            Is that such a crime, a method proscribed by ANY legal system or any ethical principles. A child being waken up is not such a traumatic act worth making such an issue. This is petty, petulant even mean and unfair, to be honest not worth considering at all.
            Israel is faced with real dangers, serious security issues and you waste time and attention about some children being waken up and want this to be a SERIOUS INTERNATIONAL ISSUE !!!

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