Friday, December 29, 1995

Police State

Hebron-Past, Present and Forever
Police State
December 29, 1995

David Shirel, resident of Tel Rumeida in Hebron is serving a three month administrative restraint order, issued by the Israeli Defense Forces. The order forbids him to leave his home without written permission from the army. The last time he left his home for Jerusalem with permission, he was detained for over an hour when returning to Hebron, charged with defying the order in spite of the written approval allowing him to leave his home. The restraining order specifically allows him to leave his premises in order to visit a doctor. This week he requested a permit to leave Tel Rumeida to go to his doctor. He was refused. When asked why, he was told that he may not leave his home under any circumstances. When he asked the officer ‘what will happen if I die?’ (G-d forbid) he was told, ‘that’s your problem.’
Shmuel Cytrin has turned into a household name among thousands who are assisting him in his efforts to be released from administrative detention. He was jailed over three weeks ago for no apparent reason and placed in solitary confinement. He has not been indicted, nor has he ever been convicted of a crime. This week he began a hunger strike to protest his being denied glott kosher food, (in spite of the fact that such food is provided to other convicted prisoners). He is also being denied the right to pray with others in the jail. A military appeals court, which reduced the administrative order from three months to two months, ordered prison authorities to provide him with the kosher food and to allow him to pray with a minion (10 other Jews) but this order has been totally ignored.
Shmuel’s lawyer filed an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court. Next Sunday, December 31, a march from the American Consulate to the Presidents residence in Jerusalem, will protest Cytrin’s continued imprisonment. It is being organized and led by the Women in Green and former Soviet prisoners of Zion.
Rav Yitzhak Ginzberg, Torah-scholar consummate, was issued with a restraining order forbidding him from entering Yehuda and Shomron for six months. Rav Ginzberg is: the dean of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva at Kever Yosef in Schechem, the dean of the Menucha Rachel Kollel (Torah-study program) in Hebron, and the dean of a children’s Talmud Torah in Hebron. He gives classes to hundreds of people in communities throughout Judea and Samaria. An Israeli army order, signed by the infamous General Ilan Biran, now prevents him from teaching Torah to his students. Two thousand years ago the Romans forbade Torah studies in Israel. Now, the Israeli government, under the guise of ‘secret security-related issues’, is effectively prohibiting a Rav to teach his students.
Rav Yizhak Shapira, the teacher at Yeshivat Yosef Chai in Shechem may not enter Shechem, because of an administrative restraining order. Rav Dudi Dudokevitz, the Rav of Yitzhar and dean of the Kever Yosef Yeshiva is under house arrest, as are nine of his students. The administrative director of the Yeshiva, Eli Rosenfeld may not enter Shechem.
Uri Amsalem, a Kiryat Arba resident, may not leave his home. He supposedly had some connection with the revelation that Avishai Raviv is a Security Agent. Noam Federman from Hebron is sitting in jail for having defied a restraining order. He is being remanded until after his trial. The judge who remanded him was having an affair with his typist, who is known to have close connections to the Israeli far left. According to newspaper reports, she was extremely influential concerning punishments meted out by her judge-friend. When Federman appealed, the president of the Jerusalem Court accused Federman of ‘bothering the court.’ The judge claimed that Federman is "dangerous to the society’ and must remain in jail until after his trial.
Rav Moshe Levinger and his wife Miriam have been sentenced for supposed crimes committed four and five years ago. Baruch Marzel was sentenced to imprisonment for ‘attempting to disturb the peace.’
Itamar ben Gvir from Mevaseret Tzion, outside of Jerusalem, may not leave his home for six months. Itamar is 19 years old and has never been convicted of a crime.
The Department of the Interior has issued orders refusing entrance to Israel to at least seven Jews, including Shelly Benvenisti from Miami Beach, Rabbi Avraham Hecht from New York, Hal and Mark Blenstein from Philadelphia, Benjamin Cohen from Los Angeles, Howard Friedman from Philadelphia, and George Mastenger from New York.

What else can I say? Israel is turning into a police state.
region. We gathered today to pay respect to Nahum Hoss and Yehuda Partush who
were killed on the 18th of Adar - three days after Purim - last year.
I have visited the ancient Jewish cemetery in Hebron dozens of times, usually
showing tourists the different plots, some of which are over 500 years old. I
always stop near the graves of these five men and briefly tell their individual
stories. But today, and not just today, but anytime we gather in the cemetery
for a memorial service, the feeling, the sense of loss, is different.
And as I stood, looking at the graves of my friends, asking myself what they
had died for, why did we have to be standing here, ....... suddenly by beeper
started vibrating. I pulled it out, and read the message:
"A few minutes ago Rav Yitzhak Ginsburgh received an administrative detention
order, arresting him for 60 days in the Sharon prison. The order was signed by
the minister of defense Shimon Peres. Rav Ginsburgh, dean of students at the Od
Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Shechem, and of the Menucha Rachel Kollel in Hebron, has
been under administrative order forbidding him from entering Yehuda and
Shomron for six months."
And I ask myself, after such horrific events as those that have plagued us for
the last few weeks, doesn't anyone pay any attention? In Judaism we are
required to perform a 'heshbon nefesh' - that is, an in-depth introspective contemplation, searching for ways to improve ourselves, looking back at what we did - how could it have been different - how could we have improved our actions, our deeds. We do a ‘heshbon nefesh’ especially during times of crisis, both personal and national. How, in the name of the L-rd, can a national leader, following the deaths of so many people by Arab terrorists, after having released so many convicted terrorists from Israeli prisons, possibly arrest a Torah scholar of the caliber of Rav Yitzhak Ginsburgh on an administrative detention order?

Won’t they ever learn?

This morning an appeals court in Tel-Aviv ordered that Rav Ido Elba, be immediately released from prison. Rav Elba, convicted for having supposedly authored a theoretic halachic (Jewish legal) treatise concerning the killing of non-Jewish enemies, was denied parole after serving two-thirds of his two year sentence. The Israeli intelligence services opposed his release on the grounds that he is ‘spiritually dangerous.’ Last week, Rav Elba’s father passed away after a long bout with cancer. Rav Elba had originally been allowed to visit his ailing father once every two weeks for two hours. The ruling authorities loosen their grip after being approached by several notable public servants, and allowed him to visit his father once every ten days. After his father’s death, we wasn’t granted a ‘vacation’ as are most prisoners under similar circumstances, rather he was accompanied by prison guards, in handcuffs, to the cemetery. Only after an hour and a half delay, during which time a second permit had to be obtained, was he allowed to attend the service at the funeral home in Jerusalem. The next day, following pressure from over 20 MK’s, was he allowed to go to his parent’s home to sit shiva. This morning the appeals court ordered his immediate release from prison. The State attorneys immediately announced that they were appealing the decision.
One of those mourning the murder of Nahum Hoss was Rav Moshe Levinger, serving a seven month prison sentence for ‘pushing a soldier’ five years ago on Yom Kippur, when Arabs almost started a riot during prayers. Rav Levinger, after intervention by various officials, was allowed to attend today’s memorial service at the cemetery. Nahum Hoss was his right-hand man. They worked together for years. Today Nahum Hoss lies dead in Hebron’s cemetery - Rav Levinger is in jail.

Can their be any greater absurdity? Shimon Peres, Prime Minister of Israel, is involved in releasing hundreds of Arab terrorists from jail, giving the Arabs Eretz Yisrael, arresting Rabbis, and preparing ‘major international conferences on combating terrorism.’ And we stand in front of the graves of the ‘sacrifices for piece.’ And I keep asking myself , what do we have to do to make these people understand. And the truth is, I don’t have an answer.
"...I remember very well our last telephone conversation. You called home and told me that you were going to Jerusalem to buy a door knob for our front door. As was your wont, you asked me,
‘Avigail, is their anything else you need from Jerusalem?’ And you added, ‘Don’t worry, by eight I’ll be home.’
Yes Nahum, you arrived to your true home, your reached the eternal home, and perhaps with the door-handle, you opened the door to the Garden of Eden here in Hebron, in the place where you said, "they’ll never get me out of Hebron, only in a casket!’ And you were right Nahum, no one will ever take you from here, here, under the layers of dust, under the sacred earth of Hebron, you are buried, side-by-side with the others holy ones, and with those murdered in 1929.
You left us in shock, mute, in pain, and the heart refuses to believe, to be comforted, for the enormous loss, for I miss you so, we all do...
During your life you sanctified the name of G-d, and with your death you made the supreme sacrifice to sanctify the name of G-d, in the place you so loved ...."
Writing with tears in my eyes,
Your wife, Avigail
(From ‘Nachamu Ami - Nahum Hoss Hy"d, Ish Hevron’
Edited by Rav Mordechai Artzi
Available [in Hebrew] for $25. from:
The Jewish Community of Hebron
POB 105 Kiryat Arba, Israel 90010)

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