How they handle security risks in Israel

There is a story making the rounds about a second secret prisoner being held by security services in Israel.  In an earlier case a Mosad agent, accused of betraying the state and referred to only as Prisoner X, was secretly held for some ten months in a “suicide proof” cell before he mysteriously committed suicide, at least according to a government investigation.  When Knesset Member (MK) Zehava Gal-On asked about Prsoner X, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich told her that “there are no anonymous prisoners in Israel.”

The new prisoner, also assumed to be a member of the Mosad, revealed by the former attorney for Prisoner X, is being referred to as prisoner X2 and the accusations against him are supposedly far more sensational.

“The revelation that there is another secret prisoner is serious and worrying,” Gal-On wrote on Facebook. “In a democracy, there cannot be secret prisoners, with no outside supervision of where and under what conditions they are held.”

“Even worse,” she added, “in a democracy, ministers do not lie to the Knesset and the public.”

She sounds a little naive.  And, if there are two secret prisoners, the question arises as to whether there are even more.

“The thought that additional soldiers are being held in such conditions is frightening and disturbing. Only the State Comptroller has the tools to investigate,” [MK Nachman Shai] stated.

According to MK Issawi Frej (Meretz), “we are on the fast track to becoming a dark police state.”

This story caught my attention because of the obvious parallel’s with the U.S.- operated black sites.  Welcome to the new style of Western Democracy as practiced by the U.S. and their buddy, Israel, where due process is an annoyance to be avoided at all costs and where secrecy permits the routine abuse of power.

Richard Silverstein, an American blogger who writes on Israeli security and political issues, provides more coverage of the secret Israeli prisons on his blog.