Daily Israel Report

Filling the Jails With Protestors

Some 250 people demonstrated outside the new "Disengagement Wing" of the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle last night. Their rallying cry: "We, too, are prepared to be arrested."
First Publish: 4/25/2005, 4:41 PM / Last Update: 4/25/2005, 1:29 PM

Currently incarcerated in the new wing, which was established specifically for those accused of anti-disengagement protests, are three youths who were arrested over two weeks ago for blocking the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.

The three have refused to sign orders agreeing to house arrest, and the courts are showing no signs of planning to release them. Neither are the three showing signs of planning to give in.

"My son feels that the only way to fight this battle," the father of one of them told Arutz-7, "is to show them that we're not afraid to get arrested in the course of our fight for the Land of Israel, and to fill the jails. They won't know how to handle this. And it's working; last week, there were about 30 people who came to rally, and last night there were 250 -and after the police arrested about 30 of them, only two of them were left in jail by this morning, and everyone else was released."

All three of the imprisoned youths - Chaim Aryeh, Ariel, and Uriel - are named for young soldiers who were killed in the Peace for Galilee War of 1982.

Speakers at last night's rally said, "This is a clear message to all those sitting in the 'disengagement wing' in Maasiyahu. We will follow your example! Prison won't scare us, and we say to the authorities: We too are ready to be arrested!"

Rabbi Moshe Levinger of Hevron explained the ideology to Arutz-7 today:
"It's clear that there must be a protest now - but if people are detained and then quickly released from jail, then what kind of protest is that? It's merely dust in the wind, something not serious. The authorities want very much to release them, in order to show that the protests are really not serious; I even know that the head of the Shabak (General Security Service) tried to convince the three youths to sign the papers, so that they could be released...

"Even if there were to be a road-blocking every day, with people getting arrested and then immediately released, it would just be like a game... I'm not in favor of the youths filing appeals in order to be released; let the authorities feel the pressure, not us."