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      Op-Ed: To My Husband, Detained by the ISA

      Published: Monday, February 03, 2014 10:23 PM
      Suspected of price-tag vandalism, Yehuda Landsberg and two friends have been held in isolation for 8 or 9 days without seeing a lawyer.


      To my husband detained by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA)

      You didn’t plan the Sbarro restaurant massacre or the explosion on route 11. You didn’t come on a Friday night and murder the Fogel family and you didn’t stab Eviatar Borovsky on his way to work. You’re a lover of Israel, every Jew is a brother in your eyes and you care about him. When you found a bag with $5000 cash in it, you made the effort to find its owner and return it to him.

      You’re not the enemy of the Prime Minister nor of your brothers who are left-wing. At times you may disagree with their actions and even get angry at them, but never would it enter your mind to hurt a fellow Jew.

      So what made you into a "terrorist" so quickly? The mere suspicion, which came out of nowhere, that you damaged an Arab vehicle suddenly made you a "terrorist"?

      Until today I thought that a stone, a rock which can kill -  is terror. We saw it happen to the Palmer family. A Molotov cocktail, designed to kill - that is terror. Incursions, murders, kidnappings, bombs, shootings and stabbings- these are terror.  It seems however, that these are not the main part of the Israeli Security Services’ criteria for determining terror.

      Our brothers in Israel face attacks like these day after day. Residents in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, Lod, Jaffa, Tzfat and many other cities all suffer this reality. It is impossible to find a city in Israel that has not been affected by terrorism.

      Terror that was not perpetrated by you - Yehuda Landsberg, Binyamin Richter and Yehuda Savir. Terror which we all struggle to survive with day in and day out.

      Not a drive goes by where the thought does not enter the mind of Jews in Israel: what will I do if they shoot at me? What will I do if there is a stone barricade in front of me? Which of the children will I manage to save? We live in fear and worry, while the ISA is more concerned for our Arab enemies' welfare and defines us - who haven’t murdered anyone or attempted to - terrorists.

      In my eyes the world is upside down. A Jew is a terrorist and an Arab is an oppressed minority - even when he butchers a soldier.

      My husband Yehuda, and Binyamin and Yehuda his friends, are working Jews, who care about their brothers in the nation of Israel and who care about our homeland, the Land of Israel.  They are men of Torah, soft-hearted and loving, who distance themselves from hatred and espouse love. Suddenly they are being placed in the same category as murderers who slaughter babies.

      They took you without thinking about anyone else. They keep you from your loving families, from children who need you and they deny you the right to see a lawyer or speak on the phone. They question you using any form of harassment that enters the mind of the interrogators - threats, intimidation, mental and even physical harm.

      In the state of Israel circa 2014 "there is no justice and there is no judge" as the Talmud says.

      While murderers are being released from jail or receiving academic degrees while still in prison, ordinary Jewish citizens are being abducted to the interrogation rooms of the ISA without leaving a trace.

      It serves as an eerie reminder of how Jews lived under the K.G.B. in the former Soviet Union. Even some of the interrogation methods have been taken from K.G.B. techniques. Every Jewish citizen of the State of Israel should be apprehensive, because If the ISA suspects you of something, your family could soon find that you’ve disappeared without a trace.

      What do they care if you are guilty or not, they have plenty of time to keep you and isolate you, intimidate and threaten you, harm and humiliate you until you’re ready to admit that you killed Yitzchak Rabin even though you weren’t even born at the time.

      No one knows if the ISA has managed to extort anything out of them during the nine days of secluded interrogation that my husband, Yehuda Landsberg has undergone or during the eight days of secluded interrogation for Richter and Savir. We will continue not to know for as long as they remain under arrest.

      It is so easy to intimidate someone who is under your control and who has no hope of contacting the outside world.

      For the ISA and the police it is apparently much more important to show that they’ve found price tag perpetrators than to actually protect the lives of Israeli citizens.

      Emuna Landsberg is the wife of Yehuda Landsberg, a resident of Havat Gilad, who has been held by the ISA over two weeks under suspicion of setting fire to an Arab vehicle in the Arab village of Parata. This article is a translation of an article posted on the news site Hakol Hayehudi.