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Stone Cold Justice (2014)

Monday, November 24, 6:45 p.m.

Location: The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester NY ~ Tickets WPFS pass or $8 student, $10 others from The Little box office

Film run time: 45 minutes ~ Style: documentary ~ Languages: English and Arabic with English subtitles ~ Format: video projection from DVD ~ Year released: 2014

This film is screening in the same program as From al-Araqib to Susiya. Total running time for both films: 1 hour.

This is a joint report by Australian Broadcasting and The Australian newspaper. Reporter John Lyons travels to the West Bank to hear the story of children who claim they have been taken into custody, ruthlessly questioned, and then allegedly forced to sign confessions before being taken to court for sentencing.

Lyons meets Australian lawyer Gerard Horton, who’s trying to help the boys who are arrested, and also talks to senior Israeli officials to examine what’s driving the army’s strategy.

The program focuses on the stories of three boys: Islam Dar Ayyoub, Fathi Mahfouz, and Husam Zumara, all teenagers. In two cases the army came for the children in the middle of the night, before taking them to unknown locations where they are questioned. 

A five-year-old arrested during the night is also described.

“I’ve never broken into houses in Jerusalem and torn apart apartments, but in Hebron where I served 14 months 24/7 that’s what we did to make our presence felt”, says ex-soldier and co-founder of ‘Breaking the Silence‘ group Yehuda Shaul, explaining the huge difference in treatment that the Palestinians in the West Bank receive compared to Israelis, and the tactics used to create a culture of fear.

It’s a claim that’s dismissed out of hand by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “A policy to create fear? There is no such thing. The only policy is to maintain law and order, that’s all. If there’s no violence, there’s no law enforcement.” But there is clear evidence of two legal systems operating, one for Israeli children and one for young Palestinians. Israeli settlers in the West Bank regularly attack Palestinian school children, knowing the authorities will not intervene.

It’s an impossible situation that may provide temporary security for Israel, but in the long term may well breed a new generation of Palestinians prepared to do anything to gain retribution.


Nadia Ben-Youssef
Nadia Ben-Youssef

Based in Boston, Nadia Ben-Youssef is USA Representative for Adalah, the organization that produced this film.

She is a human rights lawyer and international advocate working to promote the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living under Occupation. Since 2010, she has coordinated the international advocacy for Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She was based in the Adalah’s Naqab (Negev) office in southern Israel.

In 2013 she began leading Adalah’s American advocacy efforts as the organization’s first U.S. Representative.

She is increasingly interested in the intersection between art and advocacy in advancing human rights. With Adalah, she has initiated film and photography projects that seek to visualize and humanize human rights violations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

She obtained an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School with a concentration in Human Rights and International Justice.

She’ll join us through Skype for the panel discussion.

Brad Parker
Brad Parker

Brad Parker is an attorney and international advocacy officer with Defence for Children International Palestine, an independent child-rights organization dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of children living in the occupied territories.

Brad Parker is international advocacy officer and staff attorney at Defence for Children International Palestine. He leads DCI-Palestine’s legal advocacy efforts on Palestinian children’s rights.

Parker regularly writes and speaks on the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly issues involving detention, ill-treatment, and torture of child detainees within the Israeli military detention system and violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and received his J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.