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Daily Telegraph Breaks Case of Mr. X

ayalon prison

Israel's notorious Ayalon prison currently holding Mordechai Vanunu and Mr. X

A week ago or so I wrote about a story in Yediot Achronot reporting on the sad fate of Mr. X in Israel’s Ayalon prison.  I broke the news that Yediot had disappeared its story after a gag order was imposed by the Shin Bet.  An Israeli source of mine explained through an Israeli prison service informant that the prisoner was a “terrorist” involved with a banned organization.  It appeared the individual had not yet been convicted, which meant his rights were being doubly violated.  It also seemed likely to me that the accusation would’ve been of involvement with Hezbollah.

Now, the Daily Telegraph has broken the story in the mainstream media.  They reporters add tantalizing speculation from an Israeli intelligence expert that the case likely involves espionage rather than outright terrorism.

prisoners at ayalon prison

A right even Mr. X is denied, but enjoyed by these detainees at Ayalon prison (Corbis)

What I’m hoping is that publication overseas may embolden an Israeli media outlet to take the bull by the horns and report the story themselves.  I continue to find it weird and unnerving that a country should have to rely on foreign journalists to report important domestic stories because the native media are forbidden from doing so.  But so be it.  We play the cards we’re dealt.  If the Shin Bet makes us play the game this way, then we shall until this stupid intelligence regime is transformed into something truly transparent and democratic.

The Telegraph does add this rather nice encomium about my involvement in the case:

Amid the intrigue and the silence of the domestic press, Mr X’s cause has also been taken up by influential Jewish bloggers, most notably Richard Silverstein, a US-based commentator who has played a leading role in forcing Israel to drop gagging orders in recent months.

Now, if only all the media sites which routinely reject my work would realize what an “influential Jewish blogger” they could be publishing!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • mary June 21, 2010, 10:08 PM

    Good job, Richard. Now, we need the guy’s name and the reason he’s been disappeared. In other words, we need to re-appear him, don’t you think? Both the disappearance, and the gag order, are inexcusable.

    • Richard Silverstein June 21, 2010, 11:31 PM

      Yes, I agree. The problem is I’ve taken it as far as I can from here. We really need someone to find out whether this is an Israeli Jew or Palestinian, and who & from where. And I haven’t gotten any leads on that. But who knows what the day might bring?

  • Christine June 21, 2010, 10:25 PM

    You are such an important man, you do such wonderful work, you are a latter-day hero. Even the Daily Telegraph melts for you. Your place in Eternal Life can be in no doubt.

    • Richard Silverstein June 21, 2010, 11:28 PM

      I’ve never heard of a newspaper “melting” for anyone. The very thought of it is nigh unto preposterous. Thanks for the snark. It only makes me stronger so keep it up.

      Not too concerned about Eternal Life either. I just want to achieve a good reputation in this life first. With you snarking about that shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Shunra June 21, 2010, 10:25 PM

    Well done on being noticed by the D.T.!

  • Shai June 22, 2010, 1:59 AM

    I’ve read the story about Mr. X first on Ynet, but I certainly have been kept updated by you, so good job, and thanks for that.

    I don’t think much else can be done at this point. I’m hoping for a Kamm-esque revelation, with censored blackened lines in the newspaper soon.

    • Richard Silverstein June 22, 2010, 11:16 AM

      Yediot will run a story tomorrow featuring the Facebook group created by Ari Remez devoted to Mr. X. I’m a co-admin of the group. I’m waiting to see what they report though they’re still bound by the gag & the Telegraph story didn’t add much in the way of new info.

      • Shai June 24, 2010, 3:24 AM

        I couldn’t find it, do you have a link?

  • anonimus June 22, 2010, 3:17 AM

    check the name Shahram Amiri and there is another high rank Iranian (connected to their nuclear program) that disappear by 2006. i am almost sure that this is one of them.
    don’t ask me why…

  • almabu June 22, 2010, 3:55 AM

    Congratulations for this new coup!

    In my understanding Mr. or Mrs. X isn’t necessarily a Israeli Citizen or a Palestinian? He/She can hold any nationality as long as no one ask for him/her…

    • Richard Silverstein June 22, 2010, 11:12 AM

      Right. We don’t know what the nationality is. Someone is claiming at Rotter that the person has some affiliation with Hezbollah. But this could be speculation or possibly true.

  • emman June 22, 2010, 6:42 AM

    Great work Richard, may you’re tenaciousness and courage be an example to others.

  • Steffen June 22, 2010, 7:43 AM

    East Germans also had to rely on foreign journalists to report on domestic issues, or any other issues for that matter, for reasons of national security.

  • Kalea June 22, 2010, 6:27 PM

    Glad to see you getting well-deserved recognition.

    Hope there’s a leak and we get a clue to this person’s identity.

  • SimoHurtta June 23, 2010, 7:27 AM

    The Iranian PressTV:

    Israel’s secret prison wing sparks uproar

  • almabu June 24, 2010, 6:59 AM

    Today, 24.06.2010, with SPIEGEL-Online, the first of the big German Media-Players mentioned the Case of Mr. X.

    It seems, that the article is based on the british DAILY TELEGRAPH article using por example the same fotos than the Telegraph. There is no new information about this case…


  • jojo June 24, 2010, 6:42 PM

    Israel must have caught an American Spy. Nothing better to humiliate Obama with.

  • s July 11, 2013, 3:46 PM

    maybee he is another australian jew who ncame to isral as a oleh.

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