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Pity our friends in Al-Tajamu (NDA – National Democratic Alliance, AKA Balad)… The government’s blows fall upon them one after the other. They can’t even respond to the barrage of lies and propaganda that comes to justify the arrests and political persecution. In the last blow, this Thursday, December 22, 2016, Dr. Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member for the NDA, was arrested on the accusation that he tried to smuggle cellular phones to Palestinian prisoners in an occupation prison.free-basel-ghattas

Now NDA members are in a fix. If they argue that the charge of smuggling phones to “security prisoners” is not as serious as presented by the prosecution, it may be interpreted as if they plead guilty while their comrade is under interrogation in custody and, as I understand, denies the accusations. That lets the Israeli security apparatus control the public debate and spread their distorted view of things to justify every injustice and abuse against the Arab public.

Although I know and appreciate Mr. Ghattas from many struggles in which we have participated together, there is no organizational connection between us, and I have no idea whether he might have tried to smuggle phones to prison. So I consider myself free to discuss here objectively not the facts of the case but the racist lies and concepts behind his arrest.

All phones are reliable informers of the regime

Israel’s “security forces” and mobilized media talk day and night about the supposed “security risk” of smuggling phones to security prisoners. They argue or imply or are rolling their eyes to the heavens to convince us that, of course, no doubt, the phones are used by Palestinian prisoners to coordinate “terrorist attacks”. Such baseless arguments could perhaps, and even this is unlikely, be believed by Honi Ha-M’agel who spent 70 years in a cave, did not read newspapers and had no connection to the Internet…

We all know, for example, that Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped by American intelligence agencies. Could anyone, even a diehard Zionist, be so silly to believe that Palestinian prisoners’ phones are not tapped? We are all crammed in a sardine tin, under the supervision of the most stifling Big Brother superpower in the world. All conversations are recorded from all sides and all locations are identified down to the building and the room. Did you ever use navigation system like Waze? The most brilliant Israeli minds are busy exchanging the most intimate details of the romantic life of the laboratory mice under their supervision.

So, as they say, if there were no phones in the hands of the prisoners, the security services would find a way to put them there, as a tool for supervision and monitoring. How much more convenient and expedient for them to have those phones smuggled… They can be used as a fertile ground for economic blackmail and a handy justification for oppression and constant campaigns of arbitrary punishment whenever they see fit.

Lynch by the law

The invention of imaginary security risks in order to justify the crimes of Israeli apartheid is a national pastime and profession. No surprise that most Israeli politicians compete to show their support for El’or Azaria – a solder that shot dead a wounded helpless Palestinian in Al-Halil (Hebron) in March 2016. As they say, “we are all El’or”. They are all conscious partners to the same lies. If you only succeed to think that an Arab is attacking you, you are allowed to shoot him. With a little practice and some effort you can, this way, shoot every Arab you like.

The classic example of this behavior pattern was the cold blood execution of the 14 years old girl Iman al-Hams in 5 October 2004 as she passed by an occupation army outpost near Rafah. The soldiers succeeded to imagine that if her school bag was full of explosives she could constitute a danger to their lives…

This pattern grew stronger until, on October 2015, lynch of “suspected” Arabs became a national sport. The only cases in which “a mistake” was admitted, and the charges were found to be baseless, are those cases in which it eventually turned out that the lynch victims were not Arabs.

Even them

Unfortunately, as usual, even most Israelis who try to show things in a different light are captive to the false “security worldview” posing as if Israel is acting in self-defense against Palestinian “security risks”.

An editorial in “Haaretz”, from December 21, 2016, opposed dismissing Dr. Ghattas from the Knesset before exhausting the legal process. But it also supports the security-hype and lies against Ghattas by writing that he is suspected of smuggling phones to “imprisoned Palestinian senior terror operatives”. As if the Palestinian prisoners are busy organizing terror nets from prison…

Walid Daka was 25 back in 1986, when he was detained on charges of membership of a cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, 30 years ago. If he was a Jew who was involved on a similar level in activities against Arabs, he may not be arrested at all or, at most, would spend a short time in prison. Today he could be a Knesset member or a minister. Since his arrest Mr. Daka excelled and earned fame for his studies, writings and political stance. He is not a “terror operative” of any kind and the only thing that may make him “senior” is the long period he spent in prison due to Zionist vendetta.

Amira Hass, full of sympathy, depicting the humane side of Palestinians, describes in detail (also in Haaretz) the humanitarian benefits of smuggling phones to prisoners. Nice of her… But she finally drifts to share the ruling slander as if those phones can be a “security risk”. She even volunteers to suggest her own methods to counter those risks: “If one really wanted to prevent future smuggling, the authorities should allow Palestinian prisoners to use public phones. Security services can listen to calls in real time, decipher them or place a guard nearby to listen. All of these can be done simultaneously.” How sad.

(This post was initially published in Hebrew in Haifa Ha-Hofshit.)