Thursday, February 14, 2013

Israel admits it

So, its true: Israel disappeared an Australia citizen, and held him in secret until he killed himself:

After more than two years of silence, the Israeli Government has admitted a prisoner it held in detention for "security reasons" – believed to be the Australian Ben Zygier – committed suicide in custody.

Amid increasing pressure on the Israeli and Australian Governments to reveal what they knew about the December 2010 death of Mr Zygier in solitary confinement in Ayalon Prison, Israel's Justice Ministry released a statement on Wednesday night announcing that the court's gag order had been partially lifted.

Without naming Mr Zygier or identifying him as an Australian citizen, the statement said: "For security reasons, the prisoner was held under a pseudonym, but his family was notified of the arrest immediately. The prisoner was held by proxy of an arrest warrant issued by the court. The proceedings were overseen by senior officials in the Justice Ministry and he was duly represented in all the proceedings against him by attorneys Roi Belcher, Moshe Mazor and Boaz Ben-Zur.

And it gets worse: the Australian government was told about it, but looked the other way. So they basically sold one of their own citizens down the river tot he Israelis without a peep of objection.

Again: disappearance is a crime under international law. Secret detention is a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Both underline Israel's status as an outlaw regime.

This isn't the first time israel has done this. The Israeli government has a long history of kidnapping, torturing, and secretly imprisoning those it deems to be "enemies of the state", then using censorship to keep their crimes out of the media (and their politicians from being held accountable for them). This is not how democracies are supposed to behave. But with a perpetual war mentality, Israel is fast slipping away from being one.