Ezra Nawi and his 'partner' Fuad Moussa, 2003
Ezra Nawi and his 'partner' Fuad Moussa, 2003Flash 90

Famed leftist writer AB Yehoshua, who is a member of the public council of B'tselem, sees nothing wrong with the fact that senior activists in B'tselem and Taayoush have been informing on Arabs who tried to sell land to Jews and handing them over to the Palestinian Authority security mechanism, where they can expect to be tortured and sentenced to death.

Nationalist-conservative website Mida contacted several members of the organization's public council following the exposé broadcast last week on a Channel 2 in the hope of eliciting some kind of condemnation, following the revelations. However, none was forthcoming.

AB Yeshoshua, who has received the Israel Prize for Hebrew literature and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards, instead supported the organization for informing on the would-be land sellers.

"Selling of land needs to be clear and to be written down in the land registry," he said. "You cannot hide the sale of land by one person to another. The [Palestinian] Authority's mechanisms and the mechanisms of a formal body that we recognize and about whose existence we are glad. We want transparency. Everything that is done here – I want transparency. Including in the Palestinian Authority. Including land sales – everything must be transparent."

Mida asked him what he thinks about a situation in which the transparency causes people to be wronged.

"What their fate will be is a separate matter," he said. "The transparency needs to be clear. They shouldn't torture people who sell land. That must not be done, of course, we all oppose this. But transparency is one thing, the torture is another. Whom they torture and whom they do not torture, that is their problem already."

B'tselem's activists need not interfere in the "relations among the Palestinians," he said. "We see it as a foreign country. If the Authority's laws give them the right to do so, then that's it."

Another famed writer who sits on the public board, Amos Oz, told Mida that he has not viewed the TV report and has "no idea" what was in it. "I never speak publicly on a matter that I have not studied and have not listened to both sides," said Oz.

Other board members who said they had not seen the report included ex-diplomat Alon Liel, and Prof. Sammy Smooha. Liel himself was one of three ex-diplomats who "informed" to Brazil about the fact that would-be ambassador Dani Dayan was the former head of the Yesha Council in Judea and Samaria, thus effectively scuppering the appointment.