Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today defended his country’s security agencies against public outcry over the death of a Jewish Israeli, himself a security agent in the Mossad spy agency, who hanged himself in 2010 in a maximum security prison where he was being held in secret. It is not considered unusual for Palestinian prisoners to die under such circumstances, but there is great concern when it happens to a Jewish Israeli.
RIGHT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeals for understanding for his country’s security forces. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Israelis were especially upset because the story was suppressed for more than two years, until the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported it. Although most Israelis would rather not know what is done to Palestinians by Israeli security forces, they are very concerned when they are denied information about violation of the rights of a Jew and especially a non-leftist Jew. The scandal was even greater when it was discovered that the victim was Ben Zygier, a white Australian Ashkenazi (western) Jew like Mark Regev, the famous spokesperson for the Prime Minister.
“I would like to say that I completely trust the security forces of the State of Israel,” said Mr. Netanyahu, “and so should everyone else. If our security agents come to your door, please volunteer to cooperate without talking to anyone else. If they take you to prison, please remember that regardless of what they do to you, it is for your safety and security. This applies especially (but not exclusively) to Palestinians that are our temporary guests in the lands that we have not yet confiscated from them.” Mr. Netanyahu nevertheless acknowledged that the consequences are not so great when Palestinians die, as in the case of Samer Issawi and other Palestinian prisoners, dying of starvation in protest of being held indefinitely without charge. “It’s not as if people care what happens to Palestinians,” he conceded.
“Allow the security forces to work quietly so we can continue to live securely and safely. We are not like all other countries. “We are more threatened,” he added. “We must give our security forces complete freedom of action so that we can live without fear.”
Other countries objected to characterization of Israel as exceptional. “We are at least as threatened,” responded U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. “When did Israel ever have an event like the attack on the World Trade Center, which is why we need the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in order to give more powers to our security forces, as well?” The UK, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, India, Syria, Pakistan and Lebanon cited similar incidents in their own countries and the need to remove rights in order to preserve freedom.
North Korea held itself up as a beacon of the effectiveness of such a policy. “The people’s security forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have total freedom of action in our people’s society, which is why the people’s democracy and freedom are totally secure. Our people have also made great strides in securing the people’s country against external threat and in fact the people can even make some modest external threats of our own thanks to the people’s nuclear weapons. The people totally endorse and applaud the policies of the Mr. Netanyahu,” said Gen. Ri Myong-su, Minister of People’s Security.