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Shin Bet Arrests Israeli Druze at Golan Border, Holds Him Incommunicado Under Gag

emad jamil Jawhari

Dr. Eyad Jamil al-Jawhari, arrested by Israel’s secret police at the Syrian border

UPDATE: I’ve just spoken to Eyad’s brother Radwan and Eyad’s attorney.  Dr. al-Jawhari was arrested at the Kuneitra border crossing on June 28th.  On June 29th he was arraigned at Nazareth court for ten days detention.  His lawyers says he hopes to see him by this Thursday.  He has not been allowed to see or speak with his client since his arrest.

The doctor had spent ten years in Syria, returning every year for a visit.  Two years ago, he earned his MD and served as a family doctor in Syria.  Recently he married and his wife is currently pregnant.  He’d not returned back to the Golan for the past three years.  His intent on this trip was to return permanently to Majdal Shams and open a medical practice there.  He planned to bring his wife later.

The Shin Bet has only told his lawyer that it suspects him of “acts against the security of the state,” a catch-all phrase that can mean everything and virtually nothing.

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Israel’s Shin Bet secret police arrested a 38 year-old Israeli Druze doctor, Eyad Jamil al-Jawhari at the Kuneitra border crossing. According to the Syrian new agency, Sana, Jawhari is studying in Syria and was returning to his home in Majdal Shams with his family awaiting him. The Shin Bet notified it he’d been arrested. The entire is under gag and no Israeli media outlet has yet reported anything about it. These are stories and gags I live to break.

He appeared in Nazareth court two days ago, which approved extension of his remand, allowing the security forces to continue interrogating and abusing him without benefit of legal counsel in contravention of Israeli law. He’s being held in the Shin Bet section of Kishon Prison near Haifa.

My human rights colleagues in Israel haven’t yet determined who, or if he has an attorney.

Thanks to Antiwar.com for publishing my first account of this story. I urge you to read it and circulate it as widely as possible. The only way to protect the victims is by letting the victimizers know that we’re watching them.

Several interesting responses from Israeli MSM: Ruth Eglash, the Jerusalem Post’s “social media editor” tweeted asking if anyone knew whether my story was true. She should know better and instead of asking whether it was, she should’ve been trying to report the story and expand on it.

Another Israeli gossip portal, 24/7, actually broke the gag on Facebook, reporting Jawhari’s name, but calling him “an infiltrator.” Keep in mind, this is someone who has an Israeli ID–meaning he’s either a citizen or legal resident (since the Golan is annexed territory).  For many Israeli Jews anyone in Israel who isn’t Jewish is an “infiltrator.”

Plaudits to Rechavia Berman, who has braved the wrath (English) of the Israeli security apparatus by breaking the gag in this post (Hebrew).

This arrest, coming as it does amidst a Syrian civil war, is quite interesting. It could mean the secret police want him to spy for them (though arresting him and getting his name in the papers isn’t a very effective means of recruiting a spy). Or the Shin Bet may believe he’s taken advantage of the turmoil in Syria to engage in contacts with forces or individuals it deems enemies of the State. Such charges are very serious and can land you in an Israeli jail for a very long time. Even if the charges are false, once you’re in the maw of the security apparatus it will not let you go. You will be convicted or you will cop a plea. Dirar Abusisi is one of the few recent exceptions and he’s been in prison for two years after rejecting plea deals of ten and twenty years. He could conceivably remain there without trial for many more.

Another possibility is that the Syrian crisis has caused some unrest or concern among Golani Druze who may be taking sides one way of the other–with the regime or with the rebels.  The Israeli security services would definitely want to keep a tight grip on such political developments lest they leak across the border and “infect” those Druze inside Israeli-Occupied territory.  The Shin Bet have their own informers among Golanis who travel to Syria, so it’s possible that Eyad ran afoul of one of these who reported him to the authorities.

That’s why victims like Jawhari are important. They are the canaries in the coal mine of that tattered, battered flag called Israeli democracy.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Bob Mann July 2, 2012, 1:48 AM

    How reliable is the Syrian News Agency these days? Has the authenticity of their reporting not come into question of late?

    Also, just FYI, there seem to be some typos in this story – a word missing in the second to last sentence of the first paragraph, and the one sentence that makes up the third paragraph seems oddly constructed.

    • Richard Silverstein July 2, 2012, 2:12 AM

      Of course it’s a state supported news agency & therefore suspect in certain matters. But in this case, what it reported was accurate. If you want to correct typos (which I appreciate) let me know where the specific mistakes are so I don’t have to hunt through the entire post to find them.

  • dickerson3870 July 3, 2012, 4:57 AM

    RE: “For many Israeli Jews anyone in Israel who isn’t Jewish is an ‘infiltrator’.” ~ R.S.

    MY SNARK: I have always thought the old tried and true “undesirable” had a rather nice cachet.

  • dickerson3870 July 3, 2012, 5:04 AM

    RE: “Such charges are very serious and can land you in an Israeli jail for a very long time. Even if the charges are false, once you’re in the maw of the security apparatus it will not let you go.” ~ R.S.

    After months of trial postponement, Joseph K goes to court painter Titorelli to ask for advice. He is told to hope for little. He might get definite acquittal, ostensible acquittal, or indefinite postponement. No one is ever really acquitted, but sometimes cases can be extended indefinitely.

    Titorelli: “You see, in definite acquittal, all the documents are annulled. But with ostensible acquittal, your whole dossier continues to circulate. Up to the higher courts, down to the lower ones, up again, down. These oscillations and peregrinations, you just can’t figure ‘em.”
    Joseph K: “No use in trying either, I suppose.”
    Titorelli: “Not a hope. Why, I’ve known cases of an acquitted man coming home from the court and finding the cops waiting there to arrest him all over again. But then, of course, theoretically it’s always possible to get another ostensible acquittal.”
    Joseph K: “The second acquittal wouldn’t be final either.”
    Titorelli: “It’s automatically followed by the third arrest. The third acquittal, by the fourth arrest. The fourth…”

    SOURCE – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057427/quotes?qt=qt0135410

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