Thursday, May 27, 2004

 

If he did what he might have done, not that we know what that is or might be...

I love Haaretz because you always know that there is the possibility of finding the divinely bizarre within the folds of its pages (or in this case, in the intricacies of its html coding). Here we can follow the three step response to the Shin Bet's abduction and detention of British journalist Peter Hounam, as they "whisk[ed] him off into custody of a determinedly indeterminate nature."

First there's shock, personified by Donatella Rovera, researcher for Amnesty International:
"I was sitting in the garden when he was brought in by five plainclothes security men. As they were bringing him through the garden he broke away from them and came running to my table. He said 'I'm being arrested, tell the Sunday Times'," she said, adding that he was taken away immediately.
Whoah. Are you kidding me? Next, there's denial, played here by state-owned Israel Radio commentator Hanan Krystol:
"In the only democracy in the Middle East, one doesn't arrest journalists...In Cuba, for example, you would expect journalists to be arrested, not in Israel."
If only it were the case. Finally, there's the justification process:
"If the situation had been reversed, and an Israeli journalist had done in a Western country what this journalist has likely done," Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron said, "they would have taken much stronger action on this matter."
I mean, from now on, let's just talk about what people have likely done. Not to speculate or anything. After all, Yaron "said that he did not know how at what echelon the decision was made to arrest a journalist, nor did he know the suspicions leveled at him." But they had some reason to arrest him right? Well, better than that, we're pretty sure they had a real reason:
"This is irregular and so I assume they did not arrest him as a journalist but because they have real reasons," Danny Seaman, director of the Government Press Office told the media. "The Shin Bet is a serious organization that deals with serious issues."
Hey man, we all have issues, right?

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