A Sept. 8 op-ed titled “I’m a French-Palestinian detained in an Israeli jail – here’s what’s really happening“, by Salah Hammouri, lies throughout the piece.
First, he writes:
On 18 August, Israeli occupation forces raided and closed the offices of seven Palestinian civil society organisations (CSOs) in the West Bank, including the offices of Addameer, the prisoner’s rights organisation I used to serve as a lawyer.
The targeted CSOs include some of the most important human rights groups and popular organisations in Palestine, such as Al-Haq..and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
These developments are the latest stage of a long-term Israeli policy to sabotage the development of Palestinian democracy and civil society, in order to prevent resistance to their settler colonial policies.
Hammouri’s claim that Israel is ‘sabotaging’ Palestinian democracy, as opposed to the kleptocracy known as the Palestinian Authority, which hasn’t held an election in 16 years, and arrests, tortures, and sometimes even murders, dissidents, protesters, and journalists, represents the kind of unserious propaganda routinely peddled at sites like Electronic Intifada.
Naturally, he also fails to clarify that the “Palestinian civil society organisations” in question were closed becuase they were found to have been fronts for the Iranian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terror group which has carried out scores of deadly attacks on Israeli civilians over the years – including suicide bombings and the murder of an Israeli minister .
Then, Hammouri recounts his own experience:
My own life experience corroborates this trajectory. First, my involvement as a student activist was banned by the Israelis, and I was arrested numerous times and held in detention without trial.
After my release from prison in 2011 I retrained as a lawyer, focusing in my work on political prisoners to provide legal and moral support to them and their families, despite the fact that the Israeli colonial military court system has proven to lack any sort of due process and is racist when ruling over Palestinians.
Hammouri is lying. He wasn’t merely “held in detention”. In 2005, when he was a “student activist”, he was arrested, tried and ultimately convicted by an Israeli court on charges of plotting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas political party. He was also found guilty of membership in the PFLP.
Hamouri was released in December 2011 as part of a swap of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit.
We’ll be complaining to Indy editors over the omission of Hamouri’s terrorist background.