At Least Four Detained Jewish Terror Suspects Have Dual Citizenship

Suspected members of extremist group 'The Revolt' being held without trial are American and Australian nationals.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Administrative detainee Eviatar Slonim in district court, August 11, 2015.
Administrative detainee Eviatar Slonim in district court, August 11, 2015.Credit: Gil Eliahu

The plight of an Australian-Israeli dual citizen who is being held in detention without trial in Israel was featured in Friday's issue of The Sydney Morning Herald, one of Australia's leading newspapers.

The detainee, Evyatar Slonim, 23, is being held "in a small cell in a high-security wing of Eshel Prison in the Israeli city of Beersheba," according to the newspaper.

Slonim, whose parents moved from Melbourne to Israel in 1989, is one of three Jews detained without trial – the first Jews to have been subjected to the measure known as "administrative detention" in the aftermath of the horrific firebombing of a Palestinian home last July.

Three of the four members of the Dawabshe family died as a result of the fire-bombing in the West Bank village of Duma.

Although they are apparently not suspected of direct involvement in the arson attack, the three administrative detainees – Slonim, Mordechai Meyer, 18, and Meir Ettinger, 24 – are believed to be founding members of a group called The Revolt, which seeks to overthrow the Israeli government by fomenting widespread unrest, according to the Shin Bet security service.

Significantly, all three hold passports from English-speaking countries. Slonim has dual Australian-Israeli citizenship, Meyer has dual American-Israeli citizenship and Ettinger is the grandson of American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane. His mother, Tova, immigrated to Israel from the United States.

Three other Israeli Jews – and perhaps more – are also in administrative detention, suspected of direct involvement in the Duma killings. Their names can't be published in Israeli due to a court-issued gag order.

At least one of the three has dual American-Israeli citizenship, according to foreign press reports, with Israeli media reporting that his parents had spoken with the U.S. State Department and urged them to get involved. The U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem reportedly promised to look into the ban on detainees meeting with their lawyers.

The detainees finally met with their attorneys on Wednesday night.

In a Facebook post last week, the father of one of the suspects called President Reuven Rivlin "fuhrer" and said he "hate[s] your president just as I hate all the institutions of the most anti-Semitic country in the world,”

Some 60,000 American Jews live in West Bank settlements, where they account for 15 percent of the settler population, according to figures revealed in August by an Oxford University scholar."

“This constituency is strikingly over-represented, both within the settler population itself and within the total population of Jewish American immigrants in Israel,” said Sara Yael Hirschhorn, author of the upcoming book “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967,” scheduled for release by Harvard University Press in 2016.

The number of American immigrants living in Israel, including their children, has been estimated at about 170,000.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: