Amira Hass explains in Haaretz how Mustafa Barghouti, a physician and Palestinian advocate of non-violence, has been refused entry to Jerusalem numerous times by the Shin Bet for alleged links to terrorists. How so, you ask? First you have to start with the notion that a great deal of what the Shin Bet does has no real security component at all. Instead, a great deal of what the Shin Bet does has a POLITICAL component that masquerades as security-related. Such is the case with Barghouti, who advocates the restoration of the Palestinian national unity government between Hamas and Fatah. For this, the Shin Bet calls him a terrorist. I kid you not:
The Shin Bet security service has told Haaretz…that “Mustafa Barghouti is forbidden to enter Israel, and this is because of, among other things, his connections with terror activists and activity on behalf of a terror organization…
So merely advocating a national unity government constitutes “activity on behalf of a terror organization.” I’ve got news for the Shin Bet. Brad Burston, another Haaretz columnist recently advocated Israeli talks with Hamas. That’s also activity on behalf of a terror organization. Why don’t they pick up him? Of course, the Shin Bet doesn’t want to make a habit of arresting Israeli journalists. It might not look too good. But seriously, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Hass talks further about the political inconvenience represented by Barghouti to the Israeli political echelon:
The travel permits are a way to tell Palestinian public figures exactly whom the Israeli patron wants to honor. Whose politics is tolerated, whose is legitimate and whose is intolerable…The messages that are linked with his name are clear, resonant and popular: Hamas and Fatah have to get down off their high horses, rectify the serious mistakes they have made in recent months, and get back on the path of unity to fight the occupation. Popular struggle – along the separation fence, against the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories and against the apartheid roads – is the most effective means, which involves the entire society…And this is what makes Barghouti a thorn in the side of the Shin Bet.
Instead of beating him and fracturing his kneecap as they did in 2002, the Shin Bet should be grateful he’s adopted the path of Martin Luther King instead of Islamic Jihad. But the Shin Bet is too thick-headed to recognize any of this.
Thank you for your site. Its refreshing and encouraging to hear fellow Jewish voices of reason.
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks, Gregory for visiting. I hope you’ll return and keep participating in the conversation & recommend the site to yr friends.
To the last commenter, I don’t really understand your comment.
I find your post both really depressing and at the same time hopeful, Richard. I fervently hope that more and more Palestinians will follow the route of non-violent resistance. I’ve thought for a while that non-violent protest in the spirit of Gandhi and MLK is the real ultimate key to a new opening for Palestinian self-determination. Such a general shift in consciousness, of meeting Israeli state violence, however barbaric, with acts of peaceful civil disobedience would help to lay bare the dark heart of Israel’s daily brutality toward the Palestinian people for the world to see–and crucially, cut through (more effectively) our mainstream media filter which does all it can to rationalize, downplay, and otherwise sweep-under-the-rug Israel’s behavior. (It’s interesting and telling to note how bad Israel often looks notwithstanding the propaganda on her behalf). One of the things that is so morally revolting about the I-P conflict is the way in which the Israeli government and military seems to cynically use and even in a way depend on violent resistance to the occupation to rationalize and ‘justify’ that very Occupation and all the regular state violence–the maiming, killing, dehumanization and oppression that is so intrinsically part of it.
I think that’s partly why Shin Bet is genuinely scared of someone like Barghouti and the spectre of real non-violent resistance. He presents a threat to this meme of rationalization.
Whoever wrote this article is the thick-headed one. It’s so easy to simplify things down to ‘he advocates a national unity govt.’ You don’t have the intel that shin bet does, nor do you have to deal with the constant threat of real terrorist acts. You make wild claims like “most of what Shin-bet does is not security related at all”. You have any proof to back this up? Didn’t think so. I’m not going to bother responding much more than this because it’s apparent that you have an agenda and nothing anyone says would change that.
The one thing the whole conflict boils down to is that there are NO voices on the arab side saying stop suicide bombings, stop targeting civilians and most importantly STOP inciting young children to hate. Just take a look at palestinian TV and see what they’re teaching 4 year olds….than ask yourself how anyone will ever be able to live peacefully with them.
Richard Silverstein says
So nice to have Shin Bet apologists slumming the internet when they would spend their time more profitably reading up on Arab perfidy at sites like CAMERA & MEMRI, where this person apparently learns his points of view. But I’ve got news for you–in this day & age to give the benefit of the doubt to security services like the Shin Bet or CIA, which have long records of abuse, lies & deceit, is a recipe for disaster. The problem isn’t that I don’t have the “intel” the Shin Bet does. The problem is I don’t have the narrow political perspective the Shin Bet does.
Like yr friends at MEMRI, you’re not interested in precision. This is what I actually wrote: “a great deal of what the Shin Bet does has no real security component at all.” “A great deal” and “most” are not the same though they may be to you.
And as for that claim above, one of the most important subthemes of this blog is documenting breaches by the Shin Bet & other Israeli security forces of human rights. Instead of making a snap judgment that I have no support for my claims you should get up off yr lazy tush & do a search of my site & you’ll find 30-40 posts on the very subject you claim I know nothing about.
Oh I have an agenda & you don’t!!? Ho-ho. That’s a laugh. BTW, I’ve got news for you–my critics cause me to modify my opinions & my posts regularly. But only if they actually have cogent arguments or point out errors I have made neither of which you’ve come remotely close to doing.
I can’t believe how completely uninformed you are. But the amazing thing is that you have no shame in flaunting yr ignorance before the rest of the world. Suicide bombings have been condemned by MANY Palestinians. Brush up yr Shakespeare & you might actually learn something about Palestinians.
How are YOU watching Palestinian TV–your satellite hookup? I thought not. Filtered through the propaganda of MEMRI, not doubt.
When I’m done pondering that question, I ask myself an even more important one–how any Palestinian could ever live peacefully w. someone as ignorant & hateful as you.
Thanks for the amusing “rebuttal” It was nice to see how defensive you are. And I love how you copied and pasted what I wrote as though someone can’t just look above your post to find mine. But enough nit-picking…
You call me a Shin-bet apologist, ignorant and say I get all my info from the internet (nevermind the fact that I am an Israeli living in the US with Palestinian friends and clients). You can name call and falsely accuse me of all you want…problem is, you still can’t back up your claims. I love the fact that you bring the term “human rights” into this when you are defending a people (not all palestinians, but their society as a whole) who accept strapping a bomb to teenagers, women and men alike…sending them into cafes, public buses, nightclubs, etc…transporting weapons in ambulances…teaching children how to hate…and the list goes on.
Yes, you are right that I too have an agenda. Only difference is that mine is actual sane. Instead of defend suicide bombers and rationalize their disgusting actions, I am for putting a stop to the incitement the happens largely on the Palestinian side.
BTW…I suppose what MEMRI, palestinian media watch and the like are staging what they show right? It’s all fake? Oh no..that’s right…the palestinians are the ones who fake things such as Mohammed al Dura!
OH WOW…a palestinian condemned a suicide bombing! All our problems are solved! If you want to believe their bullshit, go right ahead. The rest of us can easily see people talking out of both sides of their mouths.
How to live peacefully with someone like me as well as the rest of Israel?…STOP teaching your children to hate..STOP suicide bombing..STOP stealing millions in international aid and use that money to build your towns…STOP staging fake events to try and win international sympathy…STOP naming schools and streets after suicide bombers…….BUT NONE OF THOSE ARE THE REAL PROBLEM, RIGHT? IT’S ALL SHIN-BETS FAULT…..GO BULLSHIT SOMEONE ELSE
Richard Silverstein says
You appear to know nothing about blogs. This is a common & accepted custom of blogging. How many blogs have you visited?
And you believe that right-wing Israelis don’t get a great deal of their propaganda fr. the internet? And do me a favor & share your two comments here with yr supposed Palestinian friends & clients & let me know if they’re still yr friends & clients after you do so.
Sane for whom? For Israelis perhaps. Not for Palestinians. Yr views would be viewed as insane by most Palestinians & rightly so. And they’d be viewed as nuts by many Israelis as well. Not all Israelis are as ignorant & hateful of Palestinians as you appear to be.
They’re propaganda outfits. But slick ones. THey often mistranslate items or take them out of context. But most importantly they cherry pick what they cover to reflect the worst possible light on Arab society, culture & Islam.
In yr dreams. Again, it’s extremist Israeli nationalists & settlers who believe this killing was faked. You’ve really shown yr true colors. A little boy killed on video in front of yr own eyes & you have a burning need to prove it was a fake. You disgust me.
“The rest of us” as if yr extremism is the majority. In yr dreams.
This is my blog, bud. YOu don’t like it, take a hike & spend some time at Little Green Footballs, CAMERA or any number of sites which would enjoy yr hateful company. Bullshit is in the eye of the beholder & what you’re beholding is yr own bullshit.
“In yr dreams. Again, it’s extremist Israeli nationalists & settlers who believe this killing was faked. You’ve really shown yr true colors. A little boy killed on video in front of yr own eyes & you have a burning need to prove it was a fake. You disgust me.”
You are sadly misinformed…al dura is only one case of palestinians faking things..and it’s not extremists who only believe..
[ed., links removed per comment rules] (this one is priceless)
oh and don’t forget the “massacre” in Jenin…celebrating after 9/11..using their own people as shields and onwards
Quite honestly, after reading your replies to the previous poster and then your other posts, I find you and your blog reprehensible and I won’t waste my time with it anymore.
Richard Silverstein says
Unfortunately, it is you who have wasted yr time by writting such hateful drivel and wasted ours as well by asking us to spend any time reading it. I can only hope you stay true to yr word & stay away permanently.