I knew something was fishy in the Malsin deportation case. Yesterday, an Israeli judge accepted a signed document allegedly from Jared Malsin, an American Jewish editor for the Palestinian Maan news agency, which purported to claim that Malsin wished to vacate his appeal of his deportation order. On the strength of what turns out to be a fraudulently conveyed document and without consulting the victim or victim’s attorney, the Israeli judge dismissed the appeal. Israel promptly turned around and expelled Malsin on the next flight to New York.
This is a terrible miscarriage of justice in which an Israeli judge was a willing participant. Here is what Malsin told Maan:
Upon landing in New York on Thursday, Ma’an News Agency’s Jared Malsin, a US citizen, said Interior Ministry staff pressured him into dropping a legal challenge against his deportation order just two hours after his lawyer left for the day.
After signing a hand-written letter that Malsin said he believed was a “formality,” ministry staff sent the paper to District Judge Kobi Vardi, who had presided over Malsin’s case, and the judge decided to lift the stay of deportation order…
“None of this was my decision,” he [Malsin] emphasized in a phone interview minutes after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport early Thursday morning local time, rejecting reports that he left Israel voluntarily. “There’s no such thing as a voluntary deportation. I was deported, period.”
Hours earlier, in an armored car en route to the plane, Malsin said he was unaware there were legal implications to the paper. “I had no idea I was waving anything, no clue,” he said, explaining how Interior Ministry officials coerced him into creating a legal document to withdraw his case without an attorney present, and offered a misleading explanation over what he was signing.
The document apparently indicated Malsin was leaving the facility “without personal coercion.” But Malsin said he was under the impression that the papers he signed would allow him to simply leave the airport while his case continued in Israel.
Unfortunately, Malsin does not know Hebrew (it’s a very good idea if you want to be an editor in Israel or the Territories that you learn some Hebrew) and even more unfortunately, he signed papers trusting what a Shin Bet official told him about them was the truth. A fatal mistake. Again one you’d think a seasoned reporter in the Territories would not make. But given that he was all of 25 and had suffered incarceration for eight days, perhaps an understandable one.
So Jared Malsin was deported. The Shin Bet lied and committed a miscarriage of justice and Judge Kobi Vardi was a willing participant in the legal charade. This isn’t even kangaroo justice. It’s monkey justice and makes a mockery of the word (justice). Congratulations Israel, you’ve done it again. Sullied your reputation when there was absolutely no need to do so. So much for Israel’s vaunted democratic values and appreciation for the right to a free press.