Israeli spokesman Mark Regev grilled on CNN International over Khader Adnan

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, Occupation

{ 38 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Oscar says:

    This is a report you will never see on CNN’s U.S. telecast. Hala Gorani is a courageous reporter, swatting away Regev’s vile brand of hasbara and demanding an answer to her query. This #habarafail was especially egregious, considering a man’s life is on the line and Regev quips, “He’s no boy scout.”

    Charge him or release him.

  2. Cliff says:

    It seems like a setup of an interview.

    She didn’t really challenge him on the main points – is he the ‘leader’ of IJ. Is here a terrorist? What evidence? Etc.

    She accepted that he is a terrorist, a member of IJ, even the leader of IJ.

    She then focused on saying that IJ is not on trial, but this individual is on trial.

    Yet, if she does not challenge the claim that he is a card-carrying member, then it makes the Israelis look concerned/paranoid but understandable.

    I mean, if he is indeed a card-carrying member and there is some credible evidence available to the public that he is involved in terrorism – I’d understand (but disagree w/ on a legal basis) his detention.

    This interview was a setup.

    • But he isn’t on trial–he’s being detained without trial.

      • Cliff says:

        I know, but you have to think of how someone is going to view this interview.

        Not a Palestinian solidarity activist. Certainly not a pro-Israel advocate.

        Think of people unfamiliar to the issue.

        I believe they will be on the fence because the CNN interviewer did not use to her advantage the opportunity to question the legitimacy of the claims made against Adnan.

    • LeaNder says:

      I don’t agree Cliff,

      her time is obviously limited. If she would start to ask all the questions you would like her to ask, she wouldn’t get her basic points over.

      She clearly challenges his account whether Adnan is handcuffed or not. If he indeed isn’t then others much be liars, and she gives us their names.

      I also appreciated that she doesn’t allow him to lead her up the garden path when he shifts his arguments towards terrorism and Iran towards the end. He obviously thinks his argument can be strengthened by a little a Iran the terrorism sponsor rhetoric, a point were Syria also comes in handy.

    • Chu says:

      I was left with the question of who Adnan was after Regev said he was kept in detention by the PA. But he was a baker who was a member of a militant group. I’m not sure I trust Regev’s point of view- in the government of Israel, everyone is a terrorist.

      It seems like a win because they have set him free and now the world has focused on Israel’s administrative detention orders against Palestinians. If he was guilty they would have let him rot. It shows they cant handle anymore negative press.

      • Shmuel says:

        It seems like a win because they have set him free and now the world has focused on Israel’s administrative detention orders against Palestinians. If he was guilty they would have let him rot. It shows they cant handle anymore negative press.

        No, they haven’t set him free, although it looks like he will have some time knocked off and, for what it’s worth, has been promised that the detention order will not be extended (part of the reason he was striking – against the indefinite nature of administrative detention). The Israelis did not enjoy the attention, and didn’t want the case to go to the High Court, although the court almost certainly would have upheld the Shin Bet’s position.

        Bottom line:
        - Adnan attracted attention to the issue of administrative detention, and got the Israelis to set an end for his open-ended detention.

        - The Israelis avoided his death and the further unwanted publicity a High Court case would have involved, possibly putting pressure on them to stop the use (or at least abuse) of administrative detention. As far as the Israelis are concerned it’s still business as usual.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          What stops Israel from just breaking their promise? That was semi-rhetorical, considering.

        • LeaNder says:

          They don’t even break their promise, Chaos. They simply need “new” classified evidence against him. That shouldn’t be difficult considering the context. It could be simply a winning time scenario.

          What I do not understand. If he is really dangerous and a leader of Islamic “Jihad”–not it’s self-improvement sense–leader, why wasn’t he simply executed? What are the precise rules for Israel’s secret services and military executive that allows the killing of a leader versus the rules for arresting him over and over again?

        • Chu says:

          LeaNdr,
          In order to have precise rules wouldn’t they require a constitution?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          That would constitute breaking the promise — we all know they’d just be making shit up.

          The fact is, LeaNder, he’s NOT that dangerous. Israelis routinely make shit up about Palestinians they find politically inconvenient. That’s Israeli culture — that’s how racist they are. ALL Palestinians are guilty and the bullshit they stick to the wall is just window dressing to them. Justice matters less than simply caging Palestinians.

  3. Thanks a lot Adam for posting this. The problem in the States is that we get to hear from the smooth-as-silk Mark Regev’s and Michael Oren’s but without the balance of excellent communicators such as Susan Abulhawa or Ali Abunimah who might provide a real contrasting perspective. The cable news hosts here in the States, but obviously not on CNN International, are worried about their jobs and careers should they offer any target for the likes of CAMERA and the neocon echo chamber to sink their teeth into.

  4. frankier says:

    The only thing I could hear from Regev was that all “modern democracies” now hold people indefinitely to protect themselves from terrorism. That option was available in the criminal codes of most continental democracies up to the mid 80s. After that, most laws changed that approach and re-recognized due process and moved away from a prosecutorial and secretive approach. Thanks to Israel and the US, that approach has now become acceptable and almost desirable.

    On Iran…. If it weren’t such a serious matter, one would just laugh for days on end. Hearing that “Iran has a consistent track record of breaking the rules [...] They break all the rules. This regime that has no respect for the international convention, normal behavior, [...]” is just too cacophonous in the light of Israel regards and consideration of the international law and the treaties it adheres to… just surreal.

    • piotr says:

      Iran apparently behaves as the leaders believed that they are The Chosen Nation and thus no outside rules apply to them. At least this seems to be the claim.

      An alternative theory is that Israeli are very familiar with clerics wielding influence over public affairs. Given that experience, the vision of a country actually run by clerics must be terrifying.

    • Chas Freeman on Israeli attitudes [read, contempt] toward international norms and law:

      Examples of criminal conduct include mass murder, extra-judicial killing, torture, detention without charge, the denial of medical care, the annexation and colonization of occupied territory, the illegal expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing and the collective punishment of civilians, including the demolition of their homes, the systematic reduction of their infrastructure and the de-development and impoverishment of entire regions. These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

      As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

      “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

      A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

      “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

      These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche.

      • American says:

        Bless Freeman.
        THESE are the points we should be talking about.
        International law as it applies to Israel and how gradually international law has also been ignored by the US.
        I do think the myth of Israeli knowledege about “terrorism” has been incorporated or at least influenced certain US tactics because of the placement of many Israel first zionist individuals in various positions in government and as ‘advisors”.

        In addition to the US going rouge in international law with the Bush-Cheney-Abrams and zio cabal at the pentagon, the US Military which is also bound to a code of conduct by international warfare laws as well as former US tradition has been forced or led into criminal outlawism with the use of drones and less and less concern for avioding collateral damage of civilians.

        Alltogether it’s a sickening turn for America.

      • American says:

        teta, excellent link and quotes to bring up.

        More Freeman. And why I keep saying the real battle for I/P has to be aimed at our own politicians. It is they who allow and enable it. The days of US politicians working for foreign agents, interest and governments must end.

        “The inability of the United States to build on the obvious shared interests of Palestinians and Israelis is, at best, damning testimony to the incompetence of those Americans who have made a career of processing peace without ever delivering it. At worst, it is compelling evidence of the extent to which they have functioned as “Israel’s lawyers,” rather than as mediators sincerely attempting to produce a mutually respectful and therefore durable modus vivendi between Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs. As such, it is a reflection of the inordinate influence of right-wing Israelis on American policies and the people chosen to implement them. I have had personal experience of this on more than one occasion.

        In late November 1988, shortly after the election of George H. W. Bush as [United States] president, I was invited to lunch by a senior Israeli official with whom, in pursuance of U.S. policy, I had worked closely to expand Israel’s diplomatic and military presence in Africa. I had come to like and respect this official. He wished to thank me, he said, for what I had done for his country. I was pleased. Over lunch, however, he asked me what I planned to do in the new administration, adding, “Tell me what job you want. We can get it for you.” The casual arrogance with which this representative of a foreign power claimed to be able to manipulate the staffing of national security positions in the U.S. government was a stunning belittlement of American patriotism. Twenty years later, I was to be reminded that agents of foreign influence who can make appointments to national security positions in the United States can also unmake them. “

  5. Shorter Mark Regev: “He’s been labeled a terrorist, therefore the rule of law is unnecessary.”

    Sadly, the recently passed DAA has imported this philosophy to the United States.

    • Shorter Mark Regev: “He’s been labeled a terrorist, therefore the rule of law is unnecessary.”

      But this IS “the rule of law”, as you imply – well, sort of :

      Three pieces of legislation enable Israel to hold Palestinians in administrative detention:

      1) The Administrative Detention Order, which is part of the military legislation in the West Bank. Most administrative detainees are held under individual detention orders issued pursuant to this order. A similar order regarding the Gaza Strip was repealed upon implementation of the “disengagement” plan, in September 2005.
      2)The Emergency Powers (Detentions) Law, which applies in Israel and replaced the administrative-detention arrangement established in the Emergency Regulations of the Mandate period. It is rare for residents of the Occupied Territories to be administratively detained under this law.
      3) The Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law, which came into force in 2002. Originally, the law was intended to enable the holding of Lebanese citizens who were being held in Israel at the time as “bargaining chips” for the return of captives and bodies. Now, Israel uses the law to detain Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip without trial.

      B’Tselem’s position is that the government of Israel must release all administrative detainees or prosecute them, in accordance with due process, for the offenses they allegedly committed. As long as Israel continues to use administrative detention, it must do so in a way that comports with international law – only in the most exceptional cases, when there is no other alternative, and in a proportionate manner.

      link to btselem.org

      Of course, the jailers can always fall back on classic authoritarian principles to defend their policy. One can always claim, as the US does in the “war on terror”, and the Israelis are now, that :
      1) This is an “exceptional case” (like “enemy combatant”)
      2) He’s a really bad buy, we have secret information you don’t have access to, and if you knew what we know, you’d understand why we are holding him, trust us
      3) Make sh*t up as you go along

      “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    • Ronen Bergman said the very same thing to justify assassinations: “Israel’s leaders have said Iran is Hitler, I don’t agree. . .but if the leaders identify your archenemy with Hitler, than by any means you defend your people . . .” On NBC Feb 9 2012.

  6. FreddyV says:

    So if Islamic Jihad is illegal and Adnan is a member, then charge him and let the man eat!

    But this isn’t about that. It’s about administrative detention and the convenient tool it is. Why charge a man with a crime he may get off, when you can hold him indefinitely until you can find one that will stick.

  7. pabelmont says:

    She makes a good case in a loud voice. Is CNN trying, here, to object to detention w/o trial? Has CNN, like some of us here, had “enough”? Has she?

    BTW, how many people have hsi alleged terror group killed in Israel recently? Or is accusation of membership in that group merely like blaming Americans of being member of, hmm, the Wobblies?

    Would she object to the USA’s withholding of “secret” or “national security” evidence in a trial? Hope so, but doubt it.

  8. tombishop says:

    Khader Adnan coverage on Democracy Now

  9. Chu says:

    “And Israel, like the United States, like Great Britian”… yeah, yeah yeah.

    How odd that the apartheid state uses their Australian Jewish spokesman to
    defend the facist principle of detaining people without charge. When is the right of return b/s argument going to be exposed for the bogus colonial plan it imposes on Palestinians?

    Hopefully Hophmi can explain it for us better.

    • GalenSword says:

      The record of the UK in dealing with the Irish resistance was abominable and is one of the main reasons that UK detention powers are far less extensive than those of the State of Israel and of the United States of America.

  10. I thought it was a good interview and basically ended with the CNN Reporter stating if he died while under Israeli care, Israel was responsible. The CNN reporter spoke of people being appalled by this man being detained without charges being filed against him and near death.

    I ran across a song written for Khader Adnan, on a blog. The blog writer states this was written by an American singer and songwriter known for his political and social activism. I think it is quite good.

    link to incredulitiesofworld.wordpress.com

  11. rensanceman says:

    Why is there no content showing under the headline? Hasbara censor?

  12. Walid says:

    CNN’s credibility? Gorani did her best against snake oil salesman Regev; one has to think back to the 2010 CNN firing of its 20-year service senior editor, Octavia Nasr, for having tweeted her condolences at the death of a 75-year old Lebanese humanitarian Shia Imam with minor spiritual ties to Hizbullah.

    I stay tuned to CNN to see its reporters, Damon and Watson, on the current Syrian conflict trying to outdo each other on how dour and distressed they appear when the camera starts rolling since their reporting is restricted to the pro-US/Israel side of the conflict. Their biased reporting on Syria is not important but the ominous look on their faces from a Beirut roof garden since several months was pure drama. This week they are inside Syria with the Syrian opposition forces reporting on how many babies are being killed by government forces. TV journalists probably wish they were actors; things are serious enough in Syria with dozens of people getting killed daily so the showbiz effects being put on by CNN are redundant. Whether Syrian state TV showing only the state’s slanted message or CNN peddling the US State Dept one, TV stations and networks are propaganda tools. It’s like the pro-NATO coverage of Libya or the anti-Mubarak one of Egypt. One has to be leery of coverage when it’s campaigning for only one side of a conflict, no mater which side.

    Regev’s job is to come on TV to sweep ugly stuff under the rug and regrettably, the guy’s good at it.

    • Shingo says:

      Regev’s job is to come on TV to sweep ugly stuff under the rug and regrettably, the guy’s good at it.

      I beg to differ Walid. Regev is held in contempt by reporters outside the US. In fact, he’s becoem something of an object of ridiucle.

      • mikeo says:

        Yeah. He ain’t that good:

        • Walid says:

          Shingo and mikeo, I didn’t say I liked the guy and it’s obvious that his false messages are not believed by people like us or by informed reporters. Still, for the average guy that’s not too informed about the conflict and that buys into the little sliver of land surrounded by bloodthirsty Arabs BS, Regev’s message is well received. As such, he’s efficient.

          Jon Snow really rattled the guy in your video, mikeo. It was fun seeing him squirm. Another great video is CNN’s Rosemarie Church in 2006 wiping the floor with the spokeswoman that was trying to sweep the second Canaa massacre under the rug.

    • Chu says:

      Regev, in the very outset links Israel to the US and Britain with the were all democracies folks. Although, he was getting rather sloppy at the end.

      Here’s a cynical article on Damon:
      link to willyloman.wordpress.com

      • Walid says:

        Good article on Damon, Chu, she always has a stunned look on her face as if she just saw a ghost. Her report today is from Homs (so she says and probably filmed it at a border camp in northern Lebanon close to the Syrian border) and you see a darkened apartment with about 4 families living there along with about 32 kids. The following video shows today’s report about impending starvation, her stunned look, dozens of kids and alternates between shots of dozens and dozens of bags of rice and flour being brought into a darkened basement with people on top of each other complaining about dying of starvation (with smiles on their faces) and the well lit upstairs with the insurgent fighter being interviewed:

  13. NickJOCW says:

    Objectivity is ever a problem since absolute objectivity is an abstract concept and can only really exist in the mind; the minute you bring it into real life it is inevitably distorted; can you imagine ‘objective’ coverage of the stoning of an Afghan adulteress? The only real solution is to throw the problem firmly into the viewer’s mind. In the case of Syria spend some time with Iranian link to presstv.ir and Russian link to rt.com English language TV. The former was carrying a detailed piece just now on the week long virtual absence of electricity in Gaza, due to the Egyptians cutting off fuel supplies through the tunnels, and it’s effect on life, schools, and hospitals. Also the progress of the draft Syrian constitution, all but ready for a referendum, with details of the clauses covering the most contentious issues. Little wonder the UK has taken Iran TV off the Sky satellite, and for the last week it has been jammed extensively throughout Europe. The Russian channel meanwhile provides extensive coverage of the riots in Bahrein which appear quite s bloody as anything in Syria.

  14. piotr says:

    “So if Islamic Jihad is illegal and Adnan is a member, then charge him and let the man eat!”

    This is a very simplistic approach. Perhaps Israel also has this idiotic* rule that you cannot be tried twice for the same offense. Khader was detained 6 times before. So in a narrow legalistic sense the prosecution would have to prove that Khader was a member of IJ after the last release.

    It is also worth noticing that Khader was named a “dangerous terrorists”. It seems that in Israeli nomenclature, “terrorist” is simply a person detested by “the people of Israel”. Examples include Mohammad Bakri who directed “Jenin, Jenin”, Haneen Zoabi and basically everybody aboard Mavi Marmara.

    So “dangerous terrorist” is one step up. Shin Beth could discover Khader’s connections to Islamic Jihad using Google (or some top secret search engine used by Israeli security forces, existence of which should not be disclosed to the public). He is on record of making some statements supportive of Islamic Jihad in 2006, and this gives him lifetime recognition as a “dangerous terrorist” and “a leader”.

    As a digression, on a single day IDF could arrest 70 Hamas leaders in few villages in Hebron area. On that day they arrested 250 Hamasniks, and released all in few days except for the leaders. So this data point suggests between 2 and 3 followers for each leader. [They were arrested because of a false determination that another organization was "behind" a deadly attack in Eilat area. Member of that other organization were assassinated.]

    The next category is “mastermind”, and it is more rare. IDF would announce a capture of assassination of one or at most several “masterminds” on a single day. It is rather safe to guess that Khader was never a “mastermind,” because he was in custody 6 times and never given a long sentence, and quite clearly he was not assassinated. But if he were not a “leader”, he would not spend months in detention after each capture.

    ——–
    * snark and the main point

    “Dangerous terrorist” and “terrorist leader” are categories determined for lifetime and such people can be arrested any number of times. Look how relatively recently Israel discovered that some Palestinian legislators living in Jerusalem belong to Hamas, and were arrested ONCE MORE for that.

  15. Pixel says:

    She’s FABULOUS!

    Were that ALL journalists had her professional integrity and would call people out on their evasive, propaganda-filled, non-answers.

    • Walid says:

      Which one are you talking about, Pixel, Hala Gorani or Arwa Damon, because one of them has the quality you described while the other doesn’t. The only thing they have in common other than working for CNN is their Syrian roots.

      Another great CNN straight shooter is Rosemary Church that took to task the Mark Regev clone, Miri Eisen. It was in 2006 after the second Israeli Qanaa massacre with the IDF spokeswoman making cocker spaniel eyes (à la Regev) while lying through her phony tears and concerns:

  16. justsayin says:

    why is there no mention of zionist in the bible? when did they become (make up) a Jewish trait. Why have us Jews allowed this?