|Nationalist Camp Loyalists Arrested, Detained, and More|
|By Hillel Fendel|
Ehud Olmert spoke often of the need for post-Disengagement "internal reconciliation" with the pro-Land of Israel public. His gov't is now busy arresting many of that public's most active members.
In July of 2005, it was Ehud Olmert - then a Likud minister and front-man for Ariel Sharon - who kicked off the campaign himself. He declared that immediately after the Disengagement, the country must concentrate entirely on two issues: internal reconciliation and solving social problems.
More recently - this past May, when he presented his new government - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “I am convinced, with all my heart, that it [partition of the land] is necessary and that we must do it with dialogue, internal reconciliation and broad consensus.”
Yet recent measures taken by the authorities show that he and his government are not taking that approach.
Arrests for Expulsion Refusals
Over the past two weeks, close to 20 reserve soldiers living in Judea and Samaria have been arrested - for refusing, a year ago, to take part in the expulsion of Jews.
Some of them were given suspended sentences, but at least two - from Tekoa and Yitzhar - have been incarcerated for 25-28 days each.
House Arrest and Deportation
Another resident of Yitzhar, Ariel Gruner - married with one child, eight months old - was placed in administrative detention earlier this summer. He is now under house arrest, and faces deportation this week to a non-religious community in the Jordan Valley. His crime: resistance to the evacuation and destruction of the hilltop community on which he lives. He says that it appears that the government is set to proceed with the destruction of several outposts in Judea and Samaria, despite the security situation.
Another nine people have received orders to leave Yitzhar as well. One of them, Boaz Albert, has a wife and five children, from whom he is to be separated for a full year. Three other citizens have been ordered to leave their homes in Maon and Brachah, for various durations of time of several months each.
In a small community outside Shilo, the hilltop of Achiyah, Hanoch Albert was briefly arrested today for violating his terms of house arrest. He, too, is scheduled to be deported this week to a non-religious community near Jericho - not the same one as Gruner.
Also today, Rabbi Yossi Paley, a teacher and rabbi in the yeshiva in Yitzhar, was arrested for an article he wrote five years ago. The police claimed he was arrested on charges of "inciting his students to attack Arabs." The article in question, however, was written "for study and not for practice," as are many scholarly Jewish articles of this type, on the issue of Maimonides' approach to various relevant issues. Paley was released several hours afterwards.
Similarly, three months ago, the head of the Yitzhar yeshiva, Rabbi Itzik Shapira, was arrested and released the same day because of what he had written.
Teenaged Girl Remains in Jail
Elsewhere in Israel, a 15-year-old girl who has been in jail for two months was nearly released today - but in the end, was merely transferred to the N'vei Tirtzah prison for women. Originally arrested on charges of interfering with Arab olive growers - whose groves are often used to camouflage attacks on Jews - she refuses to recognize or cooperate with the court system, and certainly not to show up for court hearings. She is now being held for refusing to agree to show up to future court sessions.
Though others in this situation have ultimately been released after a number of weeks, there is no sign of Judge Ori Ben-Dor relenting in this case. The girl's grandmother nearly signed for her today, but in the end, she was persuaded not to by the girl's older sister. The older sister faced a similar situation herself in the past, but had her stubbornness pay off in the form of an unconditional release. She told her grandmother that if she signed, the younger girl would be required to show up for future court hearings and lose a monetary deposit - thus that her two months in prison would have been for naught. The grandmother backed down.
The girl's next hearing has been scheduled for two months from now. A person close to the case told Arutz-7 that even the prosecutor is aware of the lack of justice in keeping a teenaged girl in prison for so long: "The prosecutor reminded the judge that even if he believes it is her own fault for remaining in prison, he must still schedule court hearings as frequently as possible in order to end the case once and for all - but he doesn't seem to care."
Released to House Arrest - Again
In one positive development, Shimshon Cytryn - the 19-year-old yeshiva student charged with attempted murder of an Arab rock-thrower in Gush Katif last summer - was released to house arrest yesterday. He had already been out on house arrest, but was re-arrested several weeks ago while in the course of delivering supplies to the war-battered north.
Shimshon's family issued a special announcement to thank the Honenu civil rights organization for its help. Honenu has similarly helped many of those mentioned in this article. Cytryn was arrested in the alleged “lynching” attempt during a rock-fight between Arabs and Jews. Though many, including then-OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, said nothing even resembling a lynching had occurred, while others feel that the case is trumped-up, Cytryn now awaits trial on charges that could land him in prison for 20 years. For more information, click here and here.
Mother of Six
In yet another case, mother-of-six (and daughter of a long-time Soviet refusenik from Moscow) Miriam Adler was in court today, after having been violently arrested several weeks ago. Her story:
"We lived last year in Sa-Nur, one of the four Shomron communities destroyed in the Disengagement. My husband and I were both placed in jail, in administrative detention, for the two critical weeks of the expulsion, so that our children had to go through it without us.
"When they arrested me, it was very violent; the police charged me with violence, and I charged them with the same. My complaint was of course ignored, but their charges that I had attacked a policeman were taken very seriously. They called me in several times and I didn't show up. Finally, three weeks ago, instead of conducting the hearings without me, as they often do in these cases, the judge decided to order my arrest.
"The police came with a very large force to our home in Tal Menashe, and it took them five hours to get past all the protestors and finally arrest me. I was in jail overnight, and then in the morning they threatened me that I would sit in prison until the end of the proceedings against me. I admitted defeat - I have children at home, and I couldn't allow myself to remain in prison; I was even afraid that they would take my baby away from me - and so I agreed to their conditions. I will show up at future hearings, but I will not participate, and I will not actively defend myself. I refuse to recognize this justice system.
"True, this State was to be the beginning of our Redemption, but I'm not so sure anymore. In any event, I care about it and about our People too much to merely go along with them, as if this were some foreign country. This country is mine, and I feel a responsibility to the People of Israel, and I hope that my gestures will be a step along the right path."
Ariel Gruner, under house arrest and awaiting possible deportation, sums up:
"The situation won't improve until we have a leadership that truly wants Redemption, and until we once again remember our national destiny."