By Asa Winstanley
In 2018, veteran Palestine solidarity campaigner and Jewish anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein was expelled from the Labor Party after being smeared as an anti-Semite. As has been seen so often during Labor's manufactured anti-Semitism crisis, the charges cited by party lawyers referred not to actual "anti-Semitism", but to legitimate criticism of Israel.
On his blog, Greenstein had pointed to the anti-Palestinian record of the then Labor MP Louise Ellman. She's been a leading pro-Israel lobbyist in Britain for decades. At that time she was the vice-chair of Labor Friends of Israel, and later became the group's chairperson.
While in parliament, Ellman frequently asked questions on behalf of Israel and its lobby. As Greenstein put it, her habit was to "put forward the standard Israeli security argument." He wrote that she was an "apologist for Israel's occupation forces" and a "supporter of Israeli child abuse."
This was no mere rhetorical attack, though. As Greenstein detailed on his blog, in one parliamentary debate, Ellman strongly defended the Israeli army's practice of detaining Palestinian children during night raids on their homes.
Ironically, Greenstein's condemnation of Ellman's defense of Israeli child abuse was considered to be "abusive language" by Labor's desiccated bureaucrats. There was plenty of evidence, even then, that Israeli practice towards Palestinian children constitutes child abuse.
Now a new report by Defense for Children International – Palestine provides detailed new evidence in exhaustive detail. The report concludes "overwhelmingly" that Israel's practice of isolating Palestinian child detainees "amounts to torture under international law."
The 73-page report — "Isolated and Alone: Palestinian children held in solitary confinement by Israeli authorities for interrogation" — evaluates and details the patterns of arrest, detention conditions and interrogation practices used by the Israeli authorities.
This is child abuse sanctioned by the Israeli government, not an aberration, or a case of a few bad apples. This is standard Israeli practice towards Palestinian children. Torturing children is normal for Israel.