“They will not break us!”
There is a witchhunt going on against peace and human right activists. The government is behind it. The mainstream media help to stoke the fire. It started with laws specifically targeting left-wing associations and with attacks on the reservist group "Breaking the Silence." A new stage has been reached with a TV broadcast of two weeks ago.
Human Rights Defender Ezra Nawi is one of the tireless Ta'ayush activists supporting South Hebron Hill Palestinians - fighting for their homes, against demolition and expulsion. It turns out the group has been infiltrated, and that Nawi was framed.
Infiltrators of the "Ad Kan" group made him believe to be in contact with Palestinians willing to sell their home to Israeli settlers (all set up). The unsuspecting and furious Nawi was caught on a hidden camera announcing his intention to give their names to the Palestinian Authority. It is well-known that under Palestinian law, selling of land to settlers – who then make use of it to establish armed enclaves at the heart of Palestinian towns and villages – is a highly illegal act, carrying (at least in principle) the death penalty. It might be unwise of an Israeli activist to involve himself in providing such information to the Palestinian authorities; however, since in this case the supposed sellers were fake agent provocateurs, they were not arrested by the Palestinian Security Services and no harm was done to anybody.
Following the TV broadcast on Channel-II, hell broke loose. After days of ever more serious incitement and threats Nawi decided to leave and go abroad – and there was no legal impediment to his so doing. However, he was removed from a plane in which he was already seated, taken hastily into detention and a gag order put out which forbade to publish his name (which was by now on everybody’s lips).
After some days in which he had been prevented from seeing his lawyer, another two activists were also arrested and under the same conditions - Guy Butavia of Ta'ayush, an Israeli who like Nawi had spent much of the past years helping threatened Palestinian communities; Nasser Nawaj'ah, a Palestinian who is himself member of one of these communities and who is a field worker for the Human Rights Organization B'tselem.
While some 200 demonstrated for the release of the three, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered to lift the gag order and release the three. But, after being petitioned, the District Court permitted to prolong the detention by several more days.
That is where things stand now.
Our conclusion: We are at the beginning of a McCarthy era, Israeli style. The government, under increasing international criticism, takes it out against the anti-occupation camp.
For more details: http://972mag.com/ (several articles)