Anti-leftist Sentiments Must Not Be Allowed to Affect Israel's Justice System

Deplorable as their acts may be, the selective arrest of Ezra Nawi and other left-wing activists looks suspicious in light of the draconian conditions imposed, including a gag order and an order barring them from meeting with a lawyer.

Haaretz Editorial
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Ezra Nawi, center, near a Jerusalem court this week.
Ezra Nawi, center, near a Jerusalem court this week.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Haaretz Editorial

The continued denial of bail to Ezra Nawi, along with the arrest of two other left-wing activists in connection with an incident reported by the investigative television program “Uvda,” constitutes another link in a chain of persecution of left-wing activists by government agencies. Even though a magistrate’s court said Nawi should be released to house arrest, a district court yesterday ordered him held in jail for another three days.

Nawi’s statements, as reported by “Uvda,” should be harshly condemned, and giving information to any agency — in this case, the Palestinian Authority — that could endanger another person and lead to infringement of his liberty or his human rights should be opposed. Nevertheless, the selective arrest of Nawi and the other activists looks suspicious in light of the draconian conditions imposed, including a gag order and an order barring them from meeting with a lawyer.

Right-wing activists from the Ad Kan organization, who ostensibly exposed Nawi’s actions and recorded him saying he intended to give the PA information about a Palestinian who wanted to sell land to Jews, knew, by their own testimony, about his intention and the risk it posed. If they gave that information to the police, why weren’t Nawi and the other two suspects arrested at the time? Was it only when the TV program aired that the police remembered to act? And so far, it’s not clear that anyone was actually arrested or tortured, much less killed, because of Nawi’s actions.

The hypocrisy of the matter is even more evident in light of the state’s view — which it expressed to the High Court of Justice just recently and which the court accepted — that the lives of Palestinians suspected of selling land to Jews are not at risk. In the case in question, the state refused to grant protection to a Palestinian who requested it because he sold land to Jews. It also refused to protect other Palestinians who appealed to the government committee in charge of this issue, even when their lives were in danger in the Palestinian Authority.

Selective persecution is not a solution. Nawi, like the other two people arrested in the case, must be treated as the case merits, not used as scapegoats. The ill wind blowing against left-wing organizations must not be allowed to affect the justice system as well.

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