Meir Ettinger
Meir Ettinger Basel Awidat/Flash 90

Nationalist activist Meir Ettinger had his administrative detention extended on Monday by an additional four months by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud). He has been held since last August 3rd without trial, charges or evidence against him.

Monday also marked the 14th day of Ettinger's hunger strike, during which he has already lost consciousness once while protesting his draconian detention. Ettinger is a grandson of former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was assassinated by an Arab terrorist in 1990, and who called to transfer Arab residents out of Israel.

Ettinger's wife Moriya spoke with Arutz Sheva on Monday, describing the difficult jail conditions her husband is being held in without even being told what he is being detained for.

Moriya Ettinger noted that while her husband lost consciousness several days ago, currently he "feels okay thank God. He faints now and then. He is weak, but he's okay relative to someone who is hunger striking for 14 days."

She reports that after he lost consciousness and then came to, he asked the prison guards for help and they just laughed at him, adding, "it really was funny for them. Apparently if it was an Arab it wouldn't have been so funny."

Ettinger emphasized that her husband is not being held on connection to the lethal arson in the Arab village of Duma, a point that has been acknowledged by officials after they initially made vague hints at a possible connection.

"He is hunger striking in protest of his jail conditions in the most heavily guarded prison wing in the country with the most dangerous people (prisoners) in the country, people who were convicted of the most severe crimes... people from crime and terror organizations. He is there in that wing with no trial. Now they want to extend his detention. We rely on God that he will be released, but we know that an effort must be made in order for him to be freed."

"Thought police"

Addressing her husband's opinions in favor of a state ruled by Torah law, view for which he was apparently was arrested, she said: "I know that my husband's ideas are unique ideas that not everyone can identify with 100%, but everyone for whom the land and the Torah are important to them, if they hear my husband's words without the distortion and demonization that they are doing to him - I'm certain they will identify with him.

"This is the thought police - putting a man in jail because of his opinions."

Describing his ideology, she said, "all of his ideas are from consultation with the opinion of the Torah, mostly with Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh who he nurtures his ideas from... To jail someone on their opinions is a scandal and it is not Jewish. They did a great injustice when they turned a gentle and caring person into an awful monster."

"I can quote from the papers, they spilled his blood. You have to protest this bloodshed, which enables the political arrest he is in," she said.

Further outlining how her husband is being portrayed, she said, "the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) itself, we know, has briefed people from the media as to how to present this detention and to invent things and define him as the most wanted man. That shows us that this is a political arrest and not a legal arrest. My husband is not guilty of anything that justifies sitting in jail."

"Complete isolation"

Ettinger explained that only due to her husband's previous hunger strike was he finally allowed to talk with his close family members over the phone. He was also allowed to have one half-hour visit every two weeks, in which he can talk with his visitor through glass via a telephone under the observation of guards.

"Most of the prisoners are in open branches with other prisoners in conditions that allow them to go out to the courtyard. My husband is in the 'national separation branch;' it's the most severe branch in the country, for prisoners convicted of the worst offenses - people who were found guilty on several counts of murder, people who organized numerous robberies and break-ins."

She described his conditions as "complete isolation. He's in a room alone. You can't be silent over something like that. We (Jews) are all brothers."

"It is clear to us that all is in God's hands. It is clear to us that all the security members and Shabak members are nothing and only God can determine what will be and all is in His hands, but at the same time, there is an obligation on every Jew to help Jews in distress and do all they can."

Ettinger concluded by speaking about her husband's spirit, which she is able to learn about from his lawyer, the only person he is allowed to freely talk with.

"I know that he maintains his happiness and faith and trust in God. We have moments when it is hard for us, but Meir is a happy man and a great hero, and isn't close to breaking or being sad."