Yes, it gets curiouser and curiouser. Or else closer and closer to Orwell’s 1984. The Shin Bet has clapped a gag order on the Israeli Arab party Balad and the Israeli media from reporting on the strange case of its leader, Azmi Bishara, who may or may not be charged with some sort of security offense if he returns to Israel from where he has apparently been exiled by the intelligence services. Simon Spungin reports at Ariga.com:
Maariv, meanwhile, reports that Bishara’s Balad party has drafted top lawyers from around the world who will arrive in Israel on Sunday to appeal the High Court of Justice to force the Shin Bet to rescind a gag order surrounding the details of an investigation against Bishara. Several Israeli media outlets are set to join the appeal.
The Shin Bet-imposed gag order also prevents the press from reporting that there is a gag order but the Hebrew press reported all day Thursday that such a gag order exists.
That means, as Lally noted at TPM Cafe that “there’s a gag order on reporting about the gag order.”
What really eats me is that none of the foreign media have reported this story. Where is Steve Erlanger of the NYT? How ’bout the Guardian? I’ve asked The Forward to consider publishing on this and heard no word back. What are they waiting for? I’m guessing that with some hot shot international lawyers coming to fight this legal battle that the international media will arise from their slumber and take this on.
I also want to reinforce Israeli journalist, Rehavia Berman’s plea in his blog to his fellow reporters: “Ignore the gag order.”