Israeli Police Detain American Journalists on Spurious Grounds of « Incitement ». Democracy in Israel is Pure Fantasy
Par Stephen Lendman, 17 février 2016

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So-called “incitement” is a phony Israeli catch-all pretext for detaining, brutalizing or murdering anyone considered resisting its occupation – illegal under international law.

On Tuesday, Washington Post Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth and reporter Sufian Taha (a city resident) [both pictured left] were detained on spurious grounds of “incitement.”

They were questioned about an alleged plot supposedly involving Arab youths confronting Israeli police, despite no evidence suggesting it.

Both journalists were interviewing Old City residents when detained. WaPo reporter Ruth Eglash witnessed what happened, saying Booth and Taha were ordered not to speak to each other when  taken in for questioning.

Separately, she twittered

#Israeli border policemen arrest  #journalists at the Damascus Gate, accusing them of incitement!!”

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said both journalists were interrogated about an “unspecified” incident, then released after cleared of involvement in what never happened.

Jerusalem police concocted a phony scenario about an unidentified

“passerby (a likely security force plant) complain(ing) he was witness to the intention on the part of a number of people to stage a provocation…and disturbance (instigated) by young Arabs directed at police (for) propaganda purposes.”

No evidence was presented proving it. None exists, the episode one of multiple daily assaults on fundamental Palestinian rights, including extrajudicial assassinations, journalists frequently targeted, WaPo reporters briefly victimized.

Longtime WaPo editorial policy supports Israel.  Nonetheless, a statement issued by its foreign editor, Douglas Jehl, called what happened “extremely troubling.”

An Israeli government press office apology rang hollow, claiming “(f)reedom of the press is a supreme value of Israeli democracy.”

“Democracy” is pure fantasy, press freedom increasingly jeopardized, Palestinian and Israeli Arab journalists frequently arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for exposing regime crimes.

Jewish bloggers and social media users must now submit their material to a military censor, posting only what’s approved, subject to arrest and prosecution otherwise.

The Foreign Press Association blasted the arrest of WaPo journalists, saying it was based on an “absurd accusation.”

“We do not think it is coincidental that a baseless accusation of ‘incitement’ was made at a time when blanket accusations of bias are being leveled against the foreign press by Israeli officials and commentators,” – as well as Jewish and Arab journalists.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled « Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III. »

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