Within a western democracy a person’s home is considered his castle. The sanctity of ones personal space is universally respected as a sanctuary from the outside world. Therefore, if a leadership banishes a citizen from their home and community, the order must be based upon an inherently judicious interpretation.
Previous Chief Justice Aharon Barak underscored the above belief in the Ajuri case, July 15, 2002 -”Our point of departure is that in principle removing a person from his dwelling place and forcibly moving him someplace else causes serious harm to his self respect, his freedom, and his possessions”. Justice Barak ‘gets it’, but ominously his legal opinion was rendered towards the protection of the civil and human rights of terrorists! The case was adjudicated in their favor by the Supreme Court.
Administrative Detention orders, originating from the British Mandate era, empowers military commanders in Judea and Samaria to detain a person for a maximum of six months, under a “reasonable basis for believing that the security of the region or public security necessitates.” It may be extended for an additional six months, but does not specify a maximum cumulative period. There is no evidence, no trial and no judicial process.
Most significantly, according to Louis Rene Beres, renowned Professor of International Law, “The point of these orders, of course, has been to quash anti-government dissent in various West Bank (Judea/Samaria) Jewish communities. Designated recipients are not informed as to the precise reason for the orders, nor have they any formal right of appeal.”
Administrative detention/expulsion orders aim to achieve political results under the guise of national security interests. Right wing nationalists are opposed to the leadership’s policy of “land for peace.” Living in Judea and Samaria, they literally stand guard over Israel’s heartland. Their presence is an obstacle to creating a Palestinian controlled (terror) state. Detention/expulsion orders are used to intimidate, frustrate and hamper Jewish patriots. The orders are specifically referred to as Harchakah Minhalit (administrative removal).
For the first two weeks of August 2011, Honenu, Israel’s legal defense organization sent its lawyers to work around the clock not only due to an uptick in Administrative Detention cases (a total of twelve) but because of a policy of false arrests and harrassment of Yesha residents including arresting those who came home after midnight!
The deleterious and human costs of banishment cannot be underestimated. Many families lose their sole support. Struggling financially and emotionally for many months, the families have no recourse. The orders are designed to break their internal fortitude.
Tragically, twenty six year old Akiva HaCohen, and his wife Ayelet, cannot escape this nightmare. A father of 4, he and his wife are expecting another child. Targeted since his mid teens for the ‘crime’ of placing nationalist posters within Judea and Samaria, Akiva entered their radar and has been harassed ever since. Akiva is an outspoken advocate of new settlement in Judea and Samaria.
Akiva has been given these type of administrative orders three times before. In 2008, he was banished from his home for four months and in 2010 for six months followed by another order for three months. Intrinsically, he has never been brought before a court of law and given a specific reason for his expulsion, nor charged with any crime. Regardless, the security services continue their pursuit. Most recently, they came to his home in Yitzhar at 4:30 AM to advise him, via an official notice, of another expulsion order, this time for twelve months! Akiva must move within the ‘green line’, incurring thousands of shekels a month more in costs. In addition to paying the mortgage on his newly built home, he must now pay a manager to tend his wheat farm and vineyard, compounding his onerous burden.
Supreme Court Judge Ayala Procaccia, a vociferous advocate for government crackdown on nationalist dissenters, coined the term ‘ideological motivated criminal’, a (non-democratic) sentiment pervasive among the justice system. Until the harassment and persecution for ‘thought crimes’ itself becomes illegal, nationalist Jews will be unable to live freely as Jews in our homeland. Thus, Honenu is called upon to extricate them from the Shin Bet’s harsh interrogations. The case of Chaim Perlman stands out.
Perlman, age 30, was formally arrested on July 14, 2010. He charged that the Shin Bet officially known in English as Israel Security Agency (ISA), beat him and kept him handcuffed for 18 hours a day during most of his 31 day interrogation. After 31 days of abuse and humiliation they were forced to release him to house arrest. Judge Nachum Sternlicht stated, “I haven’t seen any evidence that could serve to convict Perlman”. Undeterred, Shin Bet agents brought Perlman to an identification line up, however, his Honenu appointed lawyer was not allowed to be present for the identification. Coincidentally, 12 years after the alleged crime, an Arab suddenly materialized to pick Perlman out of the line up. The Shin Bet eventually lost their case in court. In gratitude to Honenu, Chaim created a sign and held it up before a thousand supporters in Hevron. It read -”In the merit of Honenu I was released”.
These are just a tiny sampling of the trials and tribulations suffered by countless Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria because of their vocal efforts to save the Jewish heartland. One cannot help but wonder what would their fate be without the immediate capable assistance and intervention of Honenu’s legal defense association. For further information about Honenu go to its website, www.honenu.org.
Adina Kutnicki, a life-long Zionist, made aliyah in the summer of 2008. Her articles can be found at www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Author.aspx/451