Monday, May 09, 2005

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News & Analysis: First Anti-Expulsion Activist Jailed Without Trial

Israel National News reports... (original article here)

The feared wave of pre-disengagement administrative (without formal charges) arrests of activists may have begun Sunday with the jailing of an anti-expulsion activist without trial.

The activist, who organized the renewal of traditional monthly prayer marches around the gates of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, is the first Jew to be jailed without due process ahead of this summer’s withdrawal of Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. He is a resident of the town of Yitzhar, south of Shechem in central Samaria.

The order to jail Neria Ofan was signed by Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz, and was handed to him as he pulled up to the Hizmeh checkpoint near the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev. Ofan was on his way, with his wife and children, to take part in the monthly encirclement of the gates of the Temple Mount, which he helps organize.

Ofan was told that he will spend the next six months, until after the implementation of the withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria, in an Ashkelon prison.

Security services sources have spread numerous leaks to the press, alleging that Ofan was suspected of illegal activity and violence, but both human rights groups and anti-expulsion activists are demanding the government either file charges or admit they are stepping over the boundaries of a democratic society. Ofan’s friends say his efforts to sign up thousands of soldiers to declare their intention to refuse to expel Jews from their homes is what made him a target.

Surprise, for those who didn't know, in Israel you can be arrested and imprisoned without trial, if those in power believe you are having a negative influence (negative being against the opinion of those in power).

To quote Livnor Livnat (Likud member and cabinet member), "they're taking over, they voted against us!".

From the practical standpoint, there's a power struggle going on in Israel between the secular and the religious. When the religious population was 5-10% and and no interest in government, they could be ignored. When they are now 25-30% and have significant interest in government policies, impact and power (and, of course, where to direct government resources), they are the baby elephant that is concerning everyone as it's growing up.

From the spiritual standpoint, there's a possibility that this is a conflict between the Erev Rav and the Shevatim (similar to the exodus from Egypt, the final return from exile will duplicate many of the previous events, and the conflict between the mixed multitude and the hebrew tribes is a step). Just as the Erev Rav initially were fooled by the evil inclination into creating the egal and leading the majority into doing so, today the power-class in Israel is fighting against yahadut (Judaism) and kedushat haaretz (the holiness of the land of Israel), now to the point of giving it away, for nothing.


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