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.
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!