Israel’s Shin Bet rearrested Golani Druze Sedki al-Maket (age 48). Until his release in 2012 (Hebrew), he’d been the longest serving Israeli security prisoner, having spent 27 years detained. News of his arrest is under gag order by Israeli media. The gag is laughable since the arrest has been reported not only by Syrian media, but in a Hebrew Facebook post.
Though Israeli security services haven’t offered any reason for his arrest, it’s likely they’re angered because a week ago he followed Syrian rebels to a meeting inside Israeli-occupied territory. The rebels met with IDF forces who’ve previously been shown to receive logistical and intelligence support from Israel in previous reports here and in Israel and foreign media. Al Maket filmed a video while the meeting was underway, in which he described what he saw and offered it to Syrian TV. It was aired to the entire nation and likely monitored by Israeli security.
The Shin Bet doesn’t want any further leaks about such collaboration because it allows the Syrian regime to paint the rebels as Israeli stooges. It also gives the lie to those Israeli intelligence figures and journalists who’ve spoken falsely about Israel remaining neutral regarding the two sides fighting in Syria. Despite numerous air attacks against Syrian government facilities, assassinations of Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian military, and security cooperation with rebels, Israel continues to maintain the fiction it hasn’t chosen sides.
If anyone wonders why Islamists are beheading western journalists and occupying Iraq and Syria, while carefully avoiding Israeli targets, this will explain a lot. It will also explain Israel’s approach which is to weaken central power in Syria, so that the Golan region closest to the border will become a protectorate, as was southern Lebanon until Israel’s withdrawal in 2000. Having Syrian rebels under Israeli sponsorship ruling the Syrian Golan will be much more conducive to maintaining Israel control and occupation for years to come.
Meanwhile, the Israeli media is content to publish happy news about the Golani Druze village of Majd al-Shams (home to al-Maket), which apparently has become a playground for a certain hip Israeli scene which enjoys pub crawling in the midst of Israeli-occupied Golan. If the report is to be believed, you can hardly tell the difference between it and Berlin or New York! And let’s not forget the glorious skiing almost under the guns of those nasty Syrians who spoil all the fun with their inconvenient civil unrest.
Israel’s media fiddles while Syria burns.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.