Since last I wrote, I have been thinking a bit about rule of law. You can never go wrong with the rule of law, someone said at a conference I went to a good while back. But that is exactly what you can do here, you can go very wrong with rule of law.
Rule of law is a basic tenant of democracy, at least that´s what they taught me when I did my masters in international studies! And that means that as a citizen you have to be able to influence the law. As the West Bank operates under Israeli military law, in addition to their own civil administration law, citizens have basically no chance at influencing it. The Palestinian Parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council is not working since the internal split between Fatah and Hamas brought it to a close. That means law can only be changed through Presidential decree at best. This has obviously challenged the advocacy work of some of the organizations that we support. Meanwhile Israeli military law is developed by military leaders and not necessarily through the Israeli Parliament, where of course Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza have no influence.
I went to see the film The Law in these Parts (http://www.thelawfilm.com/eng), which if it comes to a cinema near you I can certainly recommend. The film shows how rule of law was changed and adjusted to better fit the development over the years of the occupation. One such development is that people can be kept in administrative detention, without being made aware of the allegations against them, as was the case with Khader Adnan. Adnan had been on hunger strike for 66 days when he stopped on Wednesday, and was told he would be released in April, still unaware of on what charges he was being held. Whether Adnan is guilty or not, the point is that the rule of law should protect people from such arbitrary detention. Like one interviewee in the film said, and I paraphrase, the approach might be adequate in emergency situations. But how long can an emergency period be extended to?