Thursday, August 2, 2018

After 51 Years of Tyranny in the Territories, Is It Any Wonder Israel Interrogates Its Critics at Airports?

Zehava Galon,

Image from article, with caption: Activist Moriel Rothman-Zechar, who was detained at Ben-Gurion airport.
  • For second time in a month, Shin Bet detains left-wing activist at Ben-Gurion airport
  • Shin Bet detains left-wing Israeli activist to glean intel on Gaza-bound flotilla
  • In unusual step, Shin Bet detains settler activist without trial after court ordered his release
Shin Bet security service [JB - on Shabak, see] interrogations of left-wing activists are nothing new.
Image (not from article) from, with caption: Emblem of the Shabak

In 2007 Yuval Diskin, then-Shin Bet chief, declared that “the opinion of the service is that ‘subversion’ can also include an attempt to change the basic laws of the state,” and that the Shin Bet considers itself authorized to keep track of legal political activity and to use invasive “collection” tools for the purpose. But recent months prove that what in 2007 was cause for concern has become accepted practice in 2018 – the automatic interrogation when you leave or enter the country: “Did you pack by yourself? And this dirty laundry, where do you plan to wash it?” ...

In Israel, “washing one’s dirty laundry in public” has become an existential threat that whitewashes everything, from Shin Bet investigations to the most recent series of laws aimed at silencing voices. The house is filled with dirty laundry, but washing it is prohibited. That’s no coincidence. Israelis like to complain about Israel’s public diplomacy  [JB emphasis] or hasbara, but it’s a huge success. ...

Israel is the target of a few toothless condemnations at most in the international arena. In that case, is it any wonder that Israeli “security” allows itself to interrogate political opponents? ...

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