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Palestinian astrophysicist arrested and jailed for second time in 15 months

on 15 Comments

The news from al Araby:

A renowned Palestinian professor and astrophysicist, Imad al-Barghouti, was arrested by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Sunday evening.

The 53-year-old professor of space physics at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem was arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint, near the village of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank.

He had been returning home to a nearby village.

Barghouthi was previously arrested in 2014 while passing though the Israeli-controlled border with Jordan on his way to a conference in the United Arab Emirates.

The leading scientist was interrogated about material he had posted on Facebook. Protests from scientists worldwide led to his release from prison a month later.

Barghouti is a leading researcher, publishing frequently in academic astrophysics journals, and has previously worked for NASA.

Imad Barghouti, from Facebook

Imad Barghouti, from Facebook

From Barghouti’s last arrest and release a year ago, he posted a letter thanking AURDIP, the French association of academics in support of Palestinians’ rights, for pressuring for his release after a month and a half in jail:

I was arrested on December 6, 2014, at the Karama border crossing, as I was travelling to Jordan on my way to the United Arab Emirates to attend a conference organized by the Arab Association of Astronomy and Space Sciences of which I am a founding member. The Israeli military order to detain me extended until March 5, 2015 and would have likely been renewed had such international pressure by people of conscience not been exerted on the Israeli government. Now that I have been released, I am still subject to detention at any moment without charge or trial because of my political views and political affiliations.

Many other Palestinians have not been as lucky as I am. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, the wave of mass arrests conducted by Israeli military courts against Palestinians in the first two weeks of December of last year included 54 Palestinians besides myself. Another Palestinian academic, Dr. Ghassan Thuqan of the Faculty of Education at An-Najah University, is languishing in ill health at the Naqab (Negev) desert prison without charge or trial since July 9th…

These waves of mass arrests and detention without charge or trial continue to be a means that the Israeli authorities use in order to repress freedom of expression by criminalizing it through Israeli Military Order 101, used by the IDF to restrict Palestinians’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Carlos Latuff

Carlos Latuff is a political cartoonist from Brazil.

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15 Responses

  1. pabelmont on April 27, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Well, if there’s a military order, all these arrests must be OK, nu? Or am I missing something (or are they)?

    • Talkback on April 28, 2016, 8:02 am

      Not at all. Allthough keeping him in detention without charge or trial is violating humanitarian law it doesn’t violate laws of a Jewish state. Humanitarian law is an antisemitic invention anyway.

      • El Cazador on April 29, 2016, 8:28 pm

        …and an antizionist invention as well, anyway…

  2. eljay on April 27, 2016, 12:35 pm

    It’s a good thing he didn’t throw lecture notes or a textbook – or, gawd forbid, lecture notes and a textbook! – at anyone or he might have been executed on the spot.

  3. amigo on April 27, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Israel says it is intended on defeating BDS . They sure go a strange way about it.This will simply ensure that any international academics straddling the fence on BDS will come down on the Palestinian side .

    Israel has a propensity for shooting itself in the foot.No wonder they no longer have a leg to stand on.

    • johneill on April 27, 2016, 11:12 pm

      +1 amigo

      their only strategy to ‘defeating’ bds seems to be misinformation & doubling-down on the oppressive actions, dehumanizing rhetoric – a la trump.

      • El Cazador on April 29, 2016, 8:48 pm

        I’m not sure Trump deserves such an association of bad notions. Comparison for comparison, most heads of the Israeli State since 1948 have made declarations that have Trump look much better than them.

        Some examples here:

        One of my favorites, from the link above:
        “I would have joined a terrorist organization.”
        — Ehud Barak’s response to Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, when Barak was asked what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian.

        Some intellectuals’ and famous people’s quotes about zionism and Israel:

    • Talkback on April 28, 2016, 8:04 am

      BDS is antisemitic because it calls for equality for Nonjews.

  4. lonely rico on April 28, 2016, 1:13 am

    > amigo

    Israel has a propensity for shooting itself in the foot

    has an even greater propensity for shooting Palestinians

    in the head, in the chest, in the gut …

    Adults, children, the elderly.

    Murdering and maiming
    over and over and over.

  5. freedom235 on April 28, 2016, 1:17 pm

    I was hoping that Donald Trump wouldn’t have “drank the Kool-Aid” with respect to the U.S. corrupted political stance that the Palestinians are the aggressors and Israel can do-no-wrong, but with his foreign policy speech yesterday it seems clear that he no longer is interested in maintaining a just and balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It further signals to me that a portion of the money that he is going have to raise to take on the Clinton machine after he becomes the Republican nominee will be coming from AIPAC and other foreign sources.

    If he wins the National election, how then will he be able to put “American interests first”???

    • bryan on April 28, 2016, 3:27 pm

      Freedom365: “but with his foreign policy speech yesterday it seems clear that he no longer is interested in maintaining a just and balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”

      If that was ever your assessment of that man then I would suggest you stop focusing on individual threads in his discourse, and started to assess the overall message: this is not a man focussed on “just and balanced approach” to anything.

  6. freedom235 on April 28, 2016, 6:17 pm

    Bryan, when looking at the overall dilemma and utter disaster that the country has been put through with our so-called “representatives”, you must assess several facts when looking at the lessor evils of the group of candidates: With respect to Bernie Sanders who would NOT be able to follow through with all that he promises – except possibly a balance to middle-eastern policy (I have donated to his campaign multiple times), as well as an egotistical, perhaps over-confident guy – Donald Trump, who can perhaps get the US out of crushing debt, but whom most every other dynamic of foreign and domestic quandary could be uncertain. Everyone else is a complete disaster – I don’t see Hillary nor Cruz, nor Kasich, nor Rubio, nor any other Washington insider come even close to standing up to AIPAC or its operating wings – Democrat or Republican

    Donald Trump may be an unpredictable loose-cannon at times, vulgar, egocentric, brash, etc, but he’s no insider and may actually be good for the Nation on several fronts; and Bernie may be uplifting in a lot of ways, but he can’t win now. My point is that this country needs to change not only its political mindset with respect to our “shared values” with our so-called “democratic friend in the Middle-East” (which are laughable to me), but a complete change of leadership all together.

    • El Cazador on April 29, 2016, 8:57 pm

      One thing is pretty sure: Trump doesn’t intend to push Putin into the ropes… Quite the contrary since he plans making business in Russia if he becomes prez…

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