Israeli Police Officer Who Brutally Beat American Teenager Is Given Just 45 Days Community Service

140705-tariq-abu-khdeir_d9e4791a5703b6a982fa70b12116a29aThe Obama Administration has responded critically to the decision from an Israeli court to give an Israeli border police officer just community service for his entirely unjustified attack on an American teenager. Tariq Khdeir, 15, a Palestinian-American, was beaten by the officer, whose name has been withheld by the courts to avoid any further repercussions for him or his family. The beating was filmed after the officer caught the teenager near a riot in East Jerusalem in July 2014. Despite this evidence (and no evidence of just cause) the Israeli court gave the officer just 45 days of community service and a suspended prison term of four months.

Here is the video showing the officer stomping on the teenager and hitting him despite his being on the ground and apparently immobilized. Indeed, he appears unconscious as they carry him to the road but he is again attacked by the officer:

State prosecutors requested a seven-month jail term for the beating after international outrage over the video.

The Court however noted the officer’s remorse and his service to the state security forces as mitigating circumstances.

WPTV-Tariq-Abu-Khdeir_1404660083817_6693577_ver1.0_320_240Tariq, who was 15 at the time, was spending the summer with relatives in East Jerusalem when violence broke out over the gruesome killing of his cousin Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, by Jewish extremists. The killers reportedly acted to avenge the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths by Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Police said that Tariq was masked and holding a wooden slingshot when the officer chased him.

The State Department has sharply criticized the Israeli handling of the case in the following statement from Spokesperson John Kirby:

We were disappointed to learn that the Israeli police officer who severely beat American teenager Tariq Abu Khdeir in July of 2014 was spared prison time by an Israeli court yesterday. Given the clear evidence captured on videotape of the excessive use of force, it is difficult to see how this sentence would promote full accountability for the actions of the police officer in this case. We understand there is a possibility for the Israeli state prosecutor to appeal the decision, and we’re going to continue to follow that closely, as you might expect.

I’ll just state again, the safety, security, and protection of American citizens overseas is of paramount importance for this Administration, and we have demonstrated repeatedly – we’ve demonstrated that repeatedly in cases all over the globe.

Here is a statement from the family of Tariq Abu Khdeir:

“To hear that the officer responsible for the inhumane beating of our young son, Tariq, was only sentenced to one-and-a-half months of community service is a shameful slap on the wrist and sends the wrong message that Israel tolerates the violent, extrajudicial beating of children. We continue to demand that justice be served, for the officers that participated in his cruel beating to be held accountable in a transparent manner, and for assurances that such treatment of Palestinian minors by Israeli forces will end.”

I cannot imagine how a court could justify community service in the face of this videotape evidence. Even if the teenager was guilty of some crime (for which he was not charged), the beating was clearly excessive and unjustified. Community service is hardly a commensurate punishment for the beating received by this American teenager.

What do you think?

191 thoughts on “Israeli Police Officer Who Brutally Beat American Teenager Is Given Just 45 Days Community Service”

  1. you don’t discuss Israel’s brutal occupation (impossible without our support) of Palestinian lands, but this gets press…..

    dante would be impressed.

    1. Chipk, You don’t know history very well. The 6 day war in which Israel took all of the West Bank and the rest of the territory they now have was done without US arms support. Look at the IDF Air Force to see the difference at the time. Those aircraft were all French and Israeli made Mirages.

  2. As I said before, Randy, you are retracing your own steps, backward, trying to make sense of your path, lost and confused, all the meanwhile walking in circles argumentatively.
    1- You never differentiated between Gaza and the West bank, you spoke of PALESTINIANS and ISRAELIS, you spoke of PALESTINE and ISRAEL. For you now have been caught with your pants down, you are now trying to establish a difference retroactively. You were pretty clear then, less so now.

    2- Yes, I do know the difference between fatah and Hamas, as I am the one who went into details about the two, and the fact that in order to counter Fatah, israel helped create the Hamas that was to become their bette noire.
    The ONLY difference between Gaza and the West bank is that Israel has actually removed itself from the midst of Gaza.
    Meanwhile, it still:

    A-Can carve out both arbitrarily (taking over land in WB, establishing buffer zones in Gaza)
    B- Can prevent access to and fro either
    C- Can seize, kill, maim or jail anyone in the population
    D- Can punish the whole population on a whim.
    E- Can erect “legal”rules that bind both populations.
    F- Have a say on who is a resident of either community.
    G- Is in charge of providing identity cards to residents of either community.

    Occupation by any other name?

    I’ll even throw you a bone, i’ll let go of the word occupation. Gaza is not occupied, fine, but is Gaza sovereign? Can you please answer that?
    Did you answer my latest post about the legal aspect of the occupation? no?
    Please do so soon, everyone is waiting.

    By the way, Hamas came about in the 1980’s. According to your logic, everything was peachy before that.
    Hamas won power in 2006, everything was peachy before that.
    Israel was adamant about never allowing a Palestinian state, as its leaders, including Bibi, stated quite openly. Since 1948.
    Hamas came about BECAUSE Israel kept “negotiating”while eating of the pizza. That simple. And there will be no palestinian state as long as Israel exists as a Jewish entity, hostage to orthodox judaism and people like Bibi lead it. The one who really attempted to negotiate a solution? Murdered by extremist jews.

  3. And now, randy let us go back to our initial point, which you attacked but never really offered anything to counter the arguments in it.
    Is Gaza Still Occupied and Why Does It Matter?

    by Lisa Hajjar

    Yes, the Gaza Strip is still occupied. Despite official Israeli remonstrations that the unilateral disengagement of 2005, which removed Israeli military bases and Jewish settlers, transformed Gaza into “no longer occupied territory,” neither those changes nor anything that has transpired since has ended the occupation.

    “Occupation” is a legal designation of an international nature. Israel’s occupation of Gaza continues to the present day because (a) Israel continues to exercise “effective control” over this area, (b) the conflict that produced the occupation has not ended, and (c) an occupying state cannot unilaterally (and without international/diplomatic agreement) transform the international status of occupied territory except, perhaps, if that unilateral action terminates all manner of effective control.

    Sui Generis Nonsense

    The irony of Israel’s assertion that Gaza is no longer occupied can be best appreciated when one considers Israel’s earlier position that Gaza and the West Bank were not occupied in 1967. Israeli officials claimed that the status of these areas was sui generis because, at the time of conquest, they were controlled by but not sovereign to Egypt and Jordan, respectively. “Occupation,” according to Israel, only pertains to areas that were recognized sovereign territory of the displaced states. Hence the premise, never accepted by the international community, was: no sovereignty, therefore no occupation. Rather, Israel insisted that Gaza and the West Bank were “administered” territory. The other premise of the original “not occupied” position was that Israel could lay claim to all or parts of these lands because they compose the remainder of Eretz Israel to which the Jewish people have historic and/or biblical rights.

    The motivation for projecting the notion that the status of the Palestinian territories was sui generis was political: If Israel were to accept the international consensus that it was an “occupant,” it would be constrained from permanently seizing or settling territory acquired by force. Instead, Israeli officials constructed an edifice of ornate legal reasoning to legitimize territorially expansive policies. Of course, Israel had no aspiration to assert permanent control over the Palestinian residents of these putatively sui generis territories, so the people were regarded as occupied.

    The concept of sui generis territory may be fitting for some places (like Antarctica). However, it is irrelevant and erroneous in the case of territory that was militarily occupied as a result of armed conflict, as Gaza and the West Bank were. The claim that the occupation of Gaza ended in 2005, and that its status is now sui generis, should be assessed in light of Israel’s earlier attempts to legally license unilateral policies implemented in defiance of international law.

    Those who assert the sui generis status of Gaza today willfully ignore the criteria for what an actual end to an occupation requires. Not only does it require an end to the conflict, but also the reestablishment—or in the Palestinian case the establishment—of sovereignty through which the “previously” occupied population can exercise and enjoy the right of self-determination. (The also-and-still-occupied Golan Heights was Syrian territory, so an end to that occupation would entail the restoration of Syrian sovereignty.)

    Annexation of occupied territory, while contrary to the international proscription against the acquisition of land by armed force, could be an alternative if that outcome were an internationally recognized means to bring the conflict to an end. It would require that the occupied population be afforded their right of self-determination by becoming citizens of the annexing state.

    Occupied Territory under International Humanitarian Law

    Territory that was militarily conquered remains occupied until sovereignty supplants foreign control. As long as the Gaza Strip is non-sovereign, it is occupied, and as long as it is occupied its relationship to Israel continues to be governed by international humanitarian law (IHL), which forms part of the laws of war. In addition to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, these laws include the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Geneva Conventions Additional Protocols I and II of 1977. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs territories militarily conquered by a foreign government, the civilian population who resides there is legally designated “protected persons.”

    The laws of war are lex specialis, that is, “special law.” What is “special” is conflict, and its opposite, the “not special,” is peace. (IHL pertains to the conduct of armed conflict, jus in bello, and is agnostic about the lawfulness of causes that initiate armed conflict, jus ad bellum.)

    An occupation, even a prolonged one, is a continuation of conflict, and, therefore, IHL remains in effect until peace has been restored. This point of customary international humanitarian law is explained in unambiguous terms in the Prosecutor v. Tadic decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia:

    International humanitarian law applies from the initiation of such armed conflicts and extends beyond the cessation of hostilities until a general conclusion of peace is reached…Until that moment, international humanitarian law continues to apply in the whole territory of the warring States or, in the case of internal conflicts, the whole territory under the control of a party, whether or not actual combat takes place there.

    Any proposition that there is a sui generis third option—neither sovereign nor occupied but nevertheless in a continuing state of conflict—is a spurious interpretation of law. As Mark Levine and I have written elsewhere,

    The designation sui generis literally places the West Bank and Gaza and their populations into a state of exception, outside the reach of IHL and thus open to any and all policies Israel may choose to impose, without fear of violating—at least according to Israel’s interpretations—international human rights and humanitarian norms.

    Proclamations that the occupation ended in Gaza in 2005 because Israel removed its fixed military presence and civilian settlements are political arguments. This is equally the case when government lawyers and legal scholars make them. Even if one was to bracket or ignore the legal in favor of the political, there has been no end to Israel’s capacity to exercise “effective control” over Gaza.

    Effective Control Criteria

    What constitutes measures of effective control in the context of Gaza? In 2007, John Dugard, then UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, explained that the manifestations of Israel’s continuing effective control include: (a) substantial control of Gaza’s six land crossings; (b) control through military incursions, rocket attacks and sonic booms, and the declaration of areas inside the Strip as “no-go” zones where anyone who enters can be shot; (c) complete control of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters; and (d) control of the Palestinian Population Registry, which has the power and authority to define who is a “Palestinian” and who is a resident of Gaza.

    To these must be added Israel’s continuing capacity to invade Gaza, arrest residents, and transport them into Israel. In the wake of Israel’s unilateral disengagement, which included the dissolution of the military court at the Erez base on the edge of Gaza, the Knesset enacted the 2006 Criminal Procedure Law to allow for the prosecution of Gazans in Israeli civil courts, and their imprisonment inside Israel. Moreover, on the very day Israel implemented the completion of its unilateral disengagement plan (12 September 2005), the military issued detention orders for two Gazans under the 2002 Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law. That Israeli law (modeled on the military order issued by US President George W. Bush on 13 November 2001) was originally promulgated to provide legal cover for the imprisonment of kidnapped Lebanese nationals who were to be used as “bargaining chips” in exchange for Israeli prisoners of war and the remains of those who had been killed in Lebanon. Since 2005, that law has been used primarily to administratively detain (i.e., imprison without trial) Gazans.

    According to Addameer, the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, as of 1 November 2012, 445 Gazans were imprisoned in Israel. The International Committee of the Red Cross reports a higher figure of 550.

    Since 2007, when Dugard offered up his authoritative calculus, much has changed, but none of these changes support the contention that Israel does not exercise effective control over Gaza. Sara Roy, in a recent Boston Globe article, offers examples of how, despite the absence of a military administration, Israel continues to control what happens “on the ground” on a daily basis. She writes:

    Israeli-imposed buffer zones—areas of restricted access—now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza’s total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three, where waters are fouled by sewage flows in excess of 23 million gallons daily.

    Assaf Kfoury, who traveled into Gaza as part of an academic delegation in October, summarizes some of the well-documented elements of Israel’s ongoing effective control. He writes:

    The Gaza Strip is hemmed in from all sides. The Israeli naval blockade prevents all transport of people and goods from the sea. The land border with Israel is tightly sealed. Rafah at the southern edge of the Strip…is the only and hard way in and out, via Egypt, for the vast majority of Palestinians. Israel controls the Erez crossing, strictly monitoring entry of international aid workers, journalists, and a trickle of Palestinians…Over past decades and years, Palestinian industry has been systematically sabotaged in favor of Israeli industry, including industry (or whatever is worthy of the name) in Gaza, whose economy is essentially controlled by Israel. Most alarming is a recent UN report, Gaza in 2020, which suggests that Gaza will no longer be a “livable place” in 2020.

    Kfoury also offers some examples of Israel’s effective control that he witnessed firsthand.

    Turning one’s back to the misery inland, and looking out to the Mediterranean and its shimmering waters, should normally be a soothing escape, but not in Gaza. Our mornings over breakfast at the hotel were punctuated by gunfire from somewhere off shore. These were not dynamite sticks that kids or poor people detonated underwater to collect large quantities of stunned fish, as I initially thought, but gunfire from Israeli patrol boats warning fishermen to stay inside the three nautical-mile limit. On the morning we left the Strip, we were told that two fishermen who went beyond the limit were killed the day before.

    These effective control measures and their adverse humanitarian consequences preceded the 2005 unilateral withdrawal and have continued since. Indeed, they were and remain the stock and trade of Israel’s occupation of Gaza.
    check mate(2) randy, unless you can address those points in bold….why bother replying 😕
    looking forward to your legal analysis…or not.

    1. Those points are funny since they refer to the Oslo Accords which HAMAS rejects! So just what part of REJECT do you NOT understand? It is like saying you want to buy a car, but think that you can still get it without paying for it when you decide that the part of the contract that applies to your paying for it are void.

      Not only does it require an end to the conflict, but also the reestablishment—or in the Palestinian case the establishment—of sovereignty through which the “previously” occupied population can exercise and enjoy the right of self-determination.

      The fact is that the Gazans voted for Hamas to establish a government, and that government declared war on Israel. So that part is void. If that had happened when Fatah had control, THEN Israel WOULD be in violation. This writer is simply wrong about requiring an end to the conflict for occupation to cease. This formulation means that Lebanon is also an occupied country as well since they most certainly do not control much on the southern border. I see no such ruling by any body on that point. By the way, Gaza DID have full sovereignty after the Oslo accords and even had a functioning airport too. So Israel lived up to that part of the Accords. Since Hamas rejects that document, they have no cause for complaint.

      (a) substantial control of Gaza’s six land crossings;

      That this is objected to is absurd since ALL nations control their borders with other states. It just shows how far this writer goes to trump up any and all charges against Israel. Even after a Palestinian state is established, Israel is LEGALLY entitled to control those points. Then i had to laugh at the part about objecting to the imprisonment of Lebanese in Israel with the idea of holding them as chips to get back Israelis who were imprisoned or kidnapped. The Lebanese did not need a law to take those Israeli hostages, but they DID IT! So Israel is supposed to simply forget about those folks?

      So once again, since the Gazans can go and live where they want absent Israeli approval, and can run businesses without Israeli approval, they most certainly sovereign de facto. I also disagree with the jurisdiction of the ICC for many reasons, not the least of it because the Tribunal itself is composed of states which did the SAME THING as Serbia and Milosevic did. I will respect it when the ICC goes after the US military leaders who committed war crimes in Vietnam. It would be even better if they went after the DUTCH military and leaders who committed massive war crimes in Indonesia.. The Brits need to be brought in as well. When THAT happens, THEN I will respect the ICC, I am not holding my breath.

      1. Thanks for attempting to rebut the legal brief, randy. Where your legal rebuttal however? All I see is you blasting the legal basis of the brief while offering a PERSONAl opinion on the issue?
        Nice red herring, bringing up the legality of the ICC, hahaha…how deceptive and infantile!
        you are clearly lying about Gaza being ever sovereign, which is countered by your own claim that the West Bank is NOT sovereign.
        I noticed the past tense in Gaza being sovereign after the Oslo accords (a lie) but my question is present tensed.
        What other sovereign state do you know of that is subject to this:
        A-Can carve out both arbitrarily (taking over land in WB, establishing buffer zones in Gaza)
        B- Can prevent access to and fro either
        C- Can seize, kill, maim or jail anyone in the population
        D- Can punish the whole population on a whim.
        E- Can erect “legal”rules that bind both populations.
        F- Have a say on who is a resident of either community.
        G- Is in charge of providing identity cards to residents of either community.

        and this:
        Do they have access to their maritime extents? No
        Do they have access to their land mass extents? No
        Do they have access to their airspace? No
        Do they have access to their natural resources? No
        Do they have freedom of movement? No
        Do they have access to the international market? No
        Do they have access to their monetary earnings/ remittances? No

        And which entity is the SOLE entity causing all those no’s? Yes, Israel! There is your occupation.
        Who controls Gaza?

  4. Randy, you are jetting all across the thread, creating as much white noise as you can in order to distract us from the topic at hand. So far you have made illogical parallels, raised straw men and red herrings, indulged in some ad hominem attacks, conflated all kinds of issues, all of which based on a complete distortion of history.
    And all of which in order to hide that this emperor, you, is wearing no clothes. Yes, Randy, you are naked.
    As usual, I use your own words to check mate you.
    I dont know how it works but the longer the conversation goes, the more likely you are to contradict yourself ( I suspect it has to do with your running from having to answer the core questions I posed). I raised some of those already, let me finish you off, peacefully however, islamically. ‘
    Randy said:
    [“I am appalled that there are some people here who are outright Nazis when discussing the Palestinians. It is like the slogan during the Vietnam war, Kill them all and let God sort them out. These people would have no problem pushing Palestinians into concentration camps and the gas chambers. Simply murdering all of one people or race is called genocide, and I am proud that the UN executed those types after WWII. “]

    Then Randy added:
    “[I also know that Israel is in violation of many laws of warfare and occupation, laws that were brought about by the suffering of the Jewish victims of the Nazis. It is very disturbing to me to see that Israelis are mimicking the Nazis in many of their measures. Karen is using myths rather than facts to justify the Isreali atrocities. The Palestinians are long time residents of Palestine and were hardly brought in after the Zionists started coming. They are the ones who were there to greet the Zionists who LIED about the area being vacant. Jerusalem did have a bare majority Jewish population around the time of WWI, but the rest of the land was mainly Palestinians. They of course had no governmental power or a state, but that hardly means that they had no rights or property. After WWI, the entire area was under British control except for Syria and Lebanon. I had to laugh at Karen saying Jordan was the right place for Palestinians to have a home since the Zionists were vehemently OPPOSED to the formation of Jordan since they wanted that part as well. The Zionists have their sights on a good part of Iraq as well as Jordan since it is part of their homeland.

    Just what would Karen do if a foreign country invaded her home, and decided that they wanted it? They would simply kick her out, destroy it or give it to their people with no compensation. What could she do? This is the situation the Palestinians are faced with. They have no rights that an Israeli has to respect. They are routinely murdered by settlers, police and army. So while I think individual terrorism is not the way to go, I can understand their frustration and that the Israeli terrorism of the Israeli state is viewed as being less malevolent. Just because the terrorism is done by the Army does not make it legal or right. Sharon was notorious for having murdered women and children in West Bank villages when the men had run off.because they thought wrongly that Major Sharon would not kill them. It was OK for Sharon to go into Palestinian homes and kill all the people found, but an outrage when a suicide bomber kills Israelis. Sorry but I find that double standard wrong and obnoxious.]

    1. po, I see that you are simple minded since you cannot understand that I STILL stand by those words since they apply to the WEST BANK, NOT GAZA! Just what part of that can you not understand? Do you understand the difference between Fatah and Hamas? Just because Israel does wrong in the West Bank does NOT mean that they are in the wrong in Gaza! Your idea is that if it is Palestinian it is right, and if Israeli it is wrong. Sorry, but that is simplistic and rather stupid thinking if it can be called that. I have not seen any reports that Fatah on the West Bank is sending rockets into Israel. They have signed the Oslo Accords which Israel has cheated on and which recognizes Israel’s right to exist. HAMAS DOES NOT! Of course, you cannot understand what occupied territory means and what it does not, so there is no hope for you.

      In fact, it was Hamas which prevented the peace agreement from being carried out with its suicide bombing campaign in Israel. If you would think, it is Hamas which gives Netanyahu the ability to stay in power and he needs Hamas to keep from allowing a real Palestinian state to come about. They both need each other for their own ends.

      While I oppose the settlements in the West Bank, they could act as a means to compensate the Palestinians who lost their property in Israel proper. Any possibility for a peace settlement will require Hamas to change its policy, or be taken out of power by some means. I don’t much care which means is used either. The FACT is throughout history or colonialism, there is always a rejectionist faction which has to be militarily defeated. The prime example is Ireland when the civil war broke out among the IRA factions prior to and after independence. In Israel itself, there was an incipient civil war brewing between the different factions at independence. As long as Hamas exists, there is no chance for peace or any settlement at all. Thus I support wiping them out.

  5. DBQ

    The notion that Muslim martyrs have 72 virgins awaiting them in paradise is actually an incorrect translation of the Arabic wording. A quite common mistake. What, you ask, is the actual translation? Well, I’ll tell you. Muslim martyrs have countless 72 YEAR OLD VIRGINS awaiting them–not 72 young and nubile ones. Sounds like Sister Mary Margaret will be leading the welcoming committee for po. 🙂

  6. Po—a legend in his own delusional and warped mind. He resorts to denigrating those who wish to use the words and knowledge of experts, as he, himself, claims to be the ultimate expert on all things. How sad to be him or to have to be around the likes of him. Po, the person who boldly and proudly claimed to be the owner of a slave. Yes, folks, you heard that right–a slave, and not the kind you pay by the hour off of 42nd Street in Manhattan with a studded dog collar. Yes, po–the truly enlightened one–is the expert in all that is true and just–an admitted slave owner. Let’s just hang on every word this displaced migrant, banished from his home country and hailing from some sweltering African hellhole, has to say about what is right and wrong in this world. Demented–and I’m being kind.

  7. Sounds as if there may be no 72 fat, ugly and hairy virgins waiting for him if he keeps it up

    I’ve always treasured the ironic thought that when the martyred Islamists get to heaven (or whatever their version is) that the 72 virgins turn out to be 72 Catholic Nuns…..WITH rulers. Watch out what you wish for, you might get it.. Sister Mary Margaret is a real ball buster.


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