Friday, 25 June 2010

Targeting Israel's Palestinians

Ben White has written a disturbing article about the growing tension between the Israeli authorities and its Palestinian citizens.
Israel's Palestinian minority has always been subject to discriminatory policies, but some now say that a more open conflict between the Israeli establishment and its Palestinian citizens appears to be brewing.
In May, Ameer Makhoul, the director of Ittijah, a network for Palestinian NGOs, was taken from his home in the middle of the night by the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service.

Once the media gag was lifted, it emerged that Makhoul and another Palestinian citizen, Omar Said, a natural medicine expert and Balad party activist, were facing serious security-related charges.

Both men were denied access to lawyers for approximately a fortnight. Makhoul's wife, Janan Abdu, says she feels that her husband is being made an example of.

"He's in a key position in within the community here, has a high profile internationally and he has been speaking clearly about discrimination and encouraging [a] boycott [of Israel]."

"They have done what they threatened to do," she says, referring to a warning Shin Bet agents gave Ameer in January 2009 that the "next time" he would have to say goodbye to his family for a long time.
Read more here