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Crush legal opposition?

  1. Dec 8, 2003 #1
    From Arutz Sheva (Channel 7/Israel National News)

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR "TEST CASE" NOAM FEDERMAN
    Atty. Naftali Wurtzberger [he represented me during my appearance before Israel's High Court, paid for by the Temple Mount Faithful] continues to speak out about the torturous prison conditions of his client Noam Federman of Hevron. "Noam has been hunger-striking for seven weeks not over the imprisonment itself," the lawyer said this morning, "but because of his conditions. He has a very practical side, and he is of the opinion striking against the imprisonment would not be effective. He is rather protesting the isolation and the terribly difficult conditions. Even though he has not been convicted of a crime, he wants to be treated only as 'well' as any convict. Even if it can be claimed that he is a master terrorist and should not be allowed to meet with whomever he wants, how can this justify his not being able to touch his little children or meet with them without a glass partition between them?... Regular convicts don't have these conditions."

    Even more alarming than Federman's personal suffering is what Wurtzberger fears may be the ramifications for the entire Jewish public of Judea, Samaria and Gaza [acronym Yesha]. "He is the test balloon," Wurtzberger said, referring to the apparent intention of the Shabak (General Security Service) to check the public's reaction to the use of administrative detention. The Shabak wants to see if it could be used to quash expected opposition to the destruction of Yesha towns, if applicable.

    Wurtzberger noted that in a recent interview with Yediot Acharonot, former GSS chief Avraham Shalom implied that it would not be difficult to deal with the expected opposition: "Lock 15 of them [leading Jewish Yesha residents] in administrative detention, and see how the rest disappear..."

    Private citizens have organized an ongoing protest vigil outside the Ashmoret Prison in Netanya, where Federman is being held. Kiryat Arba's Chief Rabbi Dov Lior has called for a day of fasting and prayer in solidarity with him.

    Wurtzberger noted that Federman is the only Israeli currently in administrative detention. "Even the head of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raad Salah, who was accused of raising funds for Hamas, was not placed in administrative detention. It is a tool specifically intended for use in an emergency situation, as part of the war against terrorist leaders and in cases where intelligence information points to a terrorist preparing to commit an attack."

    Asked why judges have not acted against the use of administrative detention, Wurtzberger answered that the judges have traditionally acted as "rubber stamps of approval" to GSS requests. "The only way a judge can issue a real verdict is after hearing both sides present arguments and evidence. If the GSS comes and presents one-sided secret evidence, he does not have the tools to pursue the truth, and therefore relies automatically on the GSS."

    There have been exceptions, however. "The freeing of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg from administrative detention was a very exceptional case," said Wurtzberger, "in which the judge ruled that the reasons given for his detention were exaggerated. The GSS had claimed that the rabbis students might read his works and commit acts of vengeance against Arabs [next they could seek to ban the Bible for its "incitement"]. Surprisingly, the judge ruled against the GSS claim and ordered him released."

    Moshe Feiglin [I've been in demonstrations with him in Jeruaslem], head of the Manhigut Yehudit [Jewish Leadership] faction within the Likud, sent a sharply-worded letter to Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz yesterday. Bitterly criticizing Mofaz's recent positions regarding the release of terrorists and destruction of outposts, Feiglin then asked,
    "Are you aware that the regulation that you invoked when you signed the administrative detention order for Noam Federman, is one enacted during the British Mandate against veterans of the underground movements, who later established the very Likud party that you wish to lead? Are you aware that one of the underground heroes who was arrested administratively and exiled to Eritrea by the British in accordance with this Draconian regulation, was none other than Noam Federman's father? ... Do you understand the significance to Israeli democracy of the detention of a citizen, without an indictment, without a defense counsel, and without knowing the charges against him?" [In America next?]

    Federman has lost over 40 pounds during his strike, and his health has noticeably deteriorated. Asked if it wasn't time for him to stop his strike, his wife Elisheva told Arutz-7 today, "Isn't it time for them to grant him normal prison conditions?" She said that though the six-month order ends shortly before Passover, "I've heard that they gave him six months only because that's the maximum allowed by law, and that they plan to extend it again."

    "I talked with him yesterday by phone," Atty. Wurtzberger said. "He is allowed to talk with me by phone once a day, but not with his wife at all. Lawyers are allowed to visit, and this is practically his only connection with the outside world. He is in total isolation. He is not allowed, for instance, to fulfill the basic religious practice of praying with a minyan [quorum]. After Rosh HaShanah, when practically every Jew in the world - except Noam - prayed in a minyan, Defense Minister Mofaz made a gesture and transferred him to Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle for the rest of the holiday season, where he had normal conditions - but immediately afterwards, had him returned him to Ashmoret, even though there had been no complaints against his behavior... It's clear that the authorities are 'closing accounts' with him for his behavior that angered them over the past few years."
     
  2. jcsd
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