An Israeli court ruled today that Amir Makhoul, held for four months without trial on security charges, can meet his lawyer without any barrier (Hebrew) between them. In Israel even detainees charged with criminal offenses can meet with their attorneys unfettered. But security prisoners must suffice with a glass partition and speaking by telephone in a room where a sign hangs warning that conversations may be recorded by prison authorities.
The judge told the prison authority that there was no reason to treat criminal and security detainees differently and that the impediment that Makhoul faced was a violation of Israel’s Basic Law (a sort of proto-constitution).
Undoubtedly, some of you will be asking why this is a story worth reporting. A court decision like this certainly wouldn’t be reported in the U.S. media. What you don’t understand is that in Israel’s version of ‘democracy,’ a security defendant must fight for every right, even those guaranteed him under Israeli law. The Shin Bet does this to grind down the will to resist. It gives nothing, offers nothing and takes everything it can get away with.
Now, if only the courts would force the Shin Bet to actually bring Makhoul to trial so this farce could be brought to an end, since clearly the secret police have precious little evidence to prove their claim that Makhoul spied against Israel on behalf of Hezbollah.