Israel’s overreach exposes its corrupt security system

Modern democratic systems work very hard to separate the political echelons from those who carry out their policies. One area of ​​extreme danger to democratic systems is when politicians use their own executive power to shape the political ideas they have. Such action often brings short-term results, but erodes the basic principles of democratic government and the separation of powers.

The latest unproven Israeli decision to accuse six well-known Palestinian organizations of being terrorist organizations has been questioned not on their merits but on recurring cases where the scarecrow of terrorism is similar to security and anti-Semitic. one is used to camouflage a partisan political objective regardless of the actual events.

Several analysts and media outlets have revived the case of Mohammad El Halabi, who has been in jail for more than five years on charges of diverting some $ 50 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinian terrorist organizations, according to Israel. Halabi’s story has become a showcase for corruption in the Israeli security system, which has been hijacked by Israeli political groups to justify whatever policies are current.

At the time of his arrest in 2016, the Netanyahu government was trying to pressure Hamas to surrender and wanted to weaken international humanitarian support for Gazans so they could rebel against the terror group that controls the Palestinian enclave.

Halabi, a respected director of one of the world’s largest charities, was arbitrarily arrested after a visit to World Vision’s Jerusalem offices and was pressured, tortured and held incommunicado for more than 50 days. He made no confession because he had done nothing wrong, a fact that leading investigators and auditors paid by the Australian government and World Vision have demonstrated without question.

While the absurdity of this case and the indictment may expose the Israeli system, a little side story has eluded scrutiny, but it is a perfect example of how the Israeli security system is being pressured to lie and cheat just to protect the politicians and agree. woo an image of independence.

According to lawyer Maher Hanna, after Halabi’s arrest, Israeli interrogators went through his list of telephone contacts and discovered a person named Wahid Borsh, an employee of UNDP, a UN agency that helps Palestinians in Gaza. Court records show that, when questioned, Halabi told a “source” that Borsh was not a Hamas person. But to please the Israelis (the court later charged that he often gave them incorrect information), the source reversed the answer, telling Shin Bet intelligence service that Halabi confirmed that Borsh was indeed a Hamas agent.

On the basis of this false accusation, Israel arrested Borsh, led to him being confronted by Halabi, who again repeated that Borsh was not a member of Hamas.

But after continuous questioning and the realization that he will be in prison for a long time, Borsh accepted a plea deal in which he would be released from jail if he admitted that his workers could have helped the terrorist group. Borsh oversees the dumping of rubble from bombed buildings and the accusation was that Hamas may have noticed the dumping of stones and other materials and collected them for whatever use they wanted.

Of course, the interrogators desperately wanted this to be the way to get Halabi to confess or accept a plea deal, but the stubborn Halabi insisted that he is innocent and that nothing in the world will make him admit to a single crime, no matter. how mundane, who did not commit.

The lesson of both the Halabi and UNDP Borsh cases is that the Israeli legal system has been so corrupted by the occupation and the Israeli politicians’ desire for power that guilt and innocence are exchanged in the same way that cards are exchanged. of baseball.

Israel knows, as most Palestinians do, that 97% of all cases involving Israeli military arrests of Palestinians end in a plea deal to avoid the courts having to decide. But if you do not agree with the statement, as Mohammad El Halabi has done for more than five years, you rot in jail.

Now let’s see what happens to these six Palestinian human rights organizations. Will Israel start arresting its personnel and do to them what they did to Halabi?

Will the Palestinian staff of these organizations resist and refuse to admit to a crime they did not commit, or will they be forced into the trap that Israel has developed so well that some innocent people have fallen, or will they have the courage? dealing with Israeli interrogators and their military legal system in the way that Halabi has done, which has had a huge impact on him and his family.

The article was written by Daoud Kuttab and reprinted with permission from The media line.

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