The AP has picked up the story on the ongoing Israeli campaign against nonviolent protest against the occupation. Ben Hubbard connects the dots between the arrests of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, Jamal Juma’, Mohammed Othman and the recent tougher response to the protests in Bil’in, Naalin and Sheikh Jarrah. The article opens, "Israel is arresting a growing number of prominent opponents to its policies toward the Palestinians, say critics who are accusing the government of trying to crush legitimate dissent."
Is it just me or does this whole article just reek of panic from the Israeli government? It seems that Israel has been caught flatfooted as activists have changed tactics. Hubbard writes:
The arrests come at a time of shifting tactics in the protests against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and annexation of east Jerusalem, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. Israel captured both from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war.
The violence of the second Palestinian uprising, with mass marches and violent attacks, has given way to carefully calibrated protests and legal action in which Israeli and Palestinian activists now often work together.
And of course Israel has responded in the only way they ever do – force.
The article also includes an interesting tidbit on Mohammad Othman’s case and the type of interrogation he faced during his detention:
Othman, who was arrested upon his return from an advocacy trip to Norway, said he was interrogated almost daily. "The questions focused on the boycott movement, ‘How do you work on this and who are your contacts?’" said Othman, 33.
Interrogators searched his computer, his cell phone and e-mail accounts, he said. He had to pay a $2,700 bond.
Sure seems someone has noticed the BDS movement, don’t you think?