Israel arrests Palestinian journalist for writing on Facebook: ‘occupied Jerusalem’

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments
Nir Barkat

Nir Barkat

We published this story yesterday in Kate’s list, but it is important to break it out and hope that Americans read it. A Palestinian photojournalist is arrested for describing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, above, as mayor of occupied Jerusalem on his facebook page after Barkat appeared in occupied East Jerusalem. (“The only democracy in the Middle East,” notes Max Blumenthal, whose book documents the routine nature of this sort of repression in Israel and Palestine.)

Interrogators described the statement as a form of “incitement.” But countries all around the world refuse to recognize Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, which was supposed to be internationalized under UN plans.

From the international news site NSNBC. And reported by Saed Bannoura at International Middle East Media Center:

Police in the Israeli occupied part of Jerusalem arrested the Palestinian photojournalist Abed Rabbo, for publishing a photo of the Israeli head of the Jerusalem City Council, Nir Barkat, describing Barkat as “Mayor of Occupied Jerusalem”.

The designation of Nir Barakat as “Mayor of Occupied Jerusalem” came in response to Barkat’s participation in an opening ceremony for a public center in occupied East Jerusalem.

The International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC, reports that Israeli police arrested Rabbo in the evening of Tuesday 18 February, after Rabbo had published the photo of the head of the Jerusalem City Council and the designation as “Mayor of Occupied Jerusalem” on his Facebook page.

The Palestinian photojournalist was moved to the al-Maskobiyya interrogation facility, west of Jerusalem, where he was interrogated for more than one hour, reports IMEMC., adding that the interrogators told Rabbo that they wanted to question him about the publication of the photo of Nir Barakat and the statement that he was the “Mayor Of Occupied Jerusalem”.

IMEMC quotes Rabbo as saying that the interrogators described his Facebook post as “incitement”. The photo and designation were published within the context of comments about the Jerusalem City Council head’s visit to the Palestinian town Sur Baher during the opening ceremony for a public center. The town is located in the outskirts of the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem.

After being released Rabbo stated that his arrest and interrogation are part of Israel’s ongoing violations against Palestinian journalists as well as Palestinian media in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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15 Responses

  1. Shuki
    February 20, 2014, 11:05 am

    Rabbo is a high ranking member in the PLO… Not some independent photojournalist as you would have your readers believe. He also has a checkered history of making wildly false allegations including a claim that Israel created mass graves in Jenin which was discredited by such pro Israel groups as the United Nations. Why would we believe a word he has to say about why he was detained or what happened during his interrogation?

    • talknic
      February 20, 2014, 1:26 pm

      @ Shuki “Rabbo is a high ranking member in the PLO… “

      So what?

      “Not some independent photojournalist as you would have your readers believe:”

      Source ???????

      He also has a checkered history of making wildly false allegations including a claim that Israel created mass graves in Jenin..”

      Source …

      “Why would we believe a word he has to say about why he was detained or what happened during his interrogation?”

      Why would anyone believe a supporter of Israel’s illegal activities in occupied non-Israeli territories?

    • Pamela Olson
      February 20, 2014, 2:09 pm

      The article never said it was Yasser Abed Rabbo. There’s more than one person with the surname “Abed Rabbo” in Palestine. Do you actually have any idea who this particular Mr. Abed Rabbo is?

      I don’t, but I’m not the one making categorial statements about him.

    • thankgodimatheist
      February 22, 2014, 5:12 am

      “Rabbo is a high ranking member in the PLO”
      Always so quick to spread nonsense, troll? Here, so that you know your “Abd Rabbo”s.. You’re talking about Yasser Abd Rabbo. The journalist/photographer is called Ammar Abd Rabbo.
      link to images.alarabiya.net

  2. seafoid
    February 20, 2014, 11:06 am

    Christ. Like they can deny reality.

    I remember being on a bus to Ramallah from East Jerusalem when they were building the wall. And I didn’t have my camera. And the big wall slabs, all Jewish power and concrete, were lying flat on the ground, so imposing, the way Zionism projects itself. And some local had spray painted “Al Quds lina”- in Arabic – THE Palestinian slogan – Jerusalem is ours – on the base of one of the slabs. And it was going to be facing the ground when the wall went up. But it meant way more than that. They could build the wall but their authority would never be accepted. Bil marrah.

    Heek, ya’ni.

    That is why I love the Palestinians. They understand history and fate better than the bots do.

  3. Talkback
    February 20, 2014, 12:12 pm

    To Israel international law is an incitement an illegal annexation and colonialization of occupied territories a virtue. What did it actually learn from the Nuremberg trials?

  4. amigo
    February 20, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Gee, if I claim that Northern Ireland is occupied will I be arrested.

    Will I be arrested for saying Zionism is racism.

    Or how about Israel is the third least liked or trusted nation on Earth.

    Tell the truth, go to Jail.

    The Zionist way.

    • Walid
      February 22, 2014, 12:24 am

      Amigo, going back to the the 60s, you would be arrested in Kuwait and other Gulf countries for publicly referring to the Gulf as the Persian Gulf rather than the Arab Gulf. Today, the naming controversy still rages with even the US advising its military personnel to use the term “Arab Gulf” to avoid the displeasure of Arab states. The movement to force everyone to call the place the “Arab Gulf” stems from the 1930s revival of Arab nationalism, which only got stronger with the emergence of Arab gulf states in the 1960s. So the Arabs too have their little quirks and twists about what’s in a name.

      Nonetheless, Jerusalem as with most of Palestine is definitely occupied and arresting the Palistinian for referring to it as such, is absurd. All Arab journalists, including al-Jazeera that’s very much at home there, reporting from Israel and the West Bank refer to their reporting as coming from from Occupied Palestine. Only one of Lebanon’s TV stations that has a reporter in Israel filing reports on an almost daily basis about what’s happening in Israel simply says that she’s reporting from “Haifa” but doesn’t specify the name of the country or for whom she’s doing the reporting. 3 weeks ago, the reporter was allowed into an Israeli air base to interview pilots that wanted to send back to Lebanon a threatening message to spook Hizbullah. Understandably, it wasn’t well received in Lebanon to have their no 1 station reporting from inside an Israeli military base.

  5. justicewillprevail
    February 20, 2014, 12:16 pm

    So free speech is ‘incitement’ if it doesn’t conform to the zionists myths and fantasies, and their explicitly false versions of history. Thought crimes will be henceforth punished, and newspeak will replace public discourse. All citizens will be monitored.

  6. Sumud
    February 20, 2014, 1:04 pm

    But countries all around the world refuse to recognize Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, which was supposed to be internationalized under UN plans.

    Let’s be more precise: no country has ever recognised Israel’s unilateral annexation of EastbJerusalem. Not a single country.

    Reality is incitement to these nutjobs – there are dangerous days ahead.

  7. Sumud
    February 20, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Barkat is a congenital liar of course:

    I wonder how long before they throw foreign correspondents out of Palestine permanently. That’s what happened during the bloodbath in Gaza 2008/2009.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    February 20, 2014, 3:46 pm

    RE: “A Palestinian photojournalist is arrested for describing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, above, as mayor of occupied Jerusalem on his facebook page after Barkat appeared in occupied East Jerusalem.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: That’s life in ye olde “normative state”, Israeli-style! ! !*

    * SEE: “Our Sinister Dual State”, By Chris Hedges, CommonDreams.org, 2/17/14

    [EXCERPT] . . . We live in what the German political scientist Ernst Fraenkel called “the dual state.” Totalitarian states are always dual states. In the dual state civil liberties are abolished in the name of national security. The political sphere becomes a vacuum “as far as the law is concerned,” Fraenkel wrote. There is no legal check on power. Official bodies operate with impunity outside the law. In the dual state the government can convict citizens on secret evidence in secret courts. It can strip citizens of due process and detain, torture or assassinate them, serving as judge, jury and executioner. It rules according to its own arbitrary whims and prerogatives. The outward forms of democratic participation—voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation—are hollow, political stagecraft. Fraenkel called those who wield this unchecked power over the citizenry “the prerogative state.”

    The masses in a totalitarian structure live in what Fraenkel termed “the normative state.” The normative state, he said, is defenseless against the abuses of the prerogative state. Citizens are subjected to draconian laws and regulations, as well as arbitrary searches and arrests. The police and internal security are omnipotent. The internal workings of power are secret. Free expression and opposition political activity are pushed to the fringes of society or shut down. Those who challenge the abuses of power by the prerogative state, those who, like Snowden, expose the crimes carried out by government, are made into criminals. Totalitarian states always invert the moral order. It is the wicked who rule. It is the just who are damned. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to commondreams.org

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