You will recall that several weeks ago, PM Netanyahu announced that because Hamas has refused to release any information about Gilad Shalit for over two years–and has never permitted him to be seen by the International Red Cross–some priviliges accorded to Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails would be canceled.
Yesterday, Prison Services officials told the Knesset Interior Committee that Hamas prisoners are still visited by their families, watch cable TV, buy products in the prison store, read daily newspapers, and …..yes, still take exams in educational courses they are currently enrolled in. The only privilege taken away from them is that they may not register for new academic courses.
One of the committee members Tzipi Hotovely said it best: “Gilad Shalit is in Hamas captivity, where no one can visit him or know his condition, but we let [Hamas] prisoners stay in a five-star hotel.” To which the Prisons Service representatives pusillanimously replied that benefits were not canceled “in order to keep peace and quiet in the prisons.”
In order to keep peace and quiet in the prisons! In your humble servant’s opinion, these prisoners should be separated from the rest of the prison population and denied all privileges. Leave them there to rot–just as Gilad Shalit has been left to rot.
In an unrelated (but actually related) prison event yesterday, it was discovered during a random search that convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti had a cellphone in his cell. According to a YNET news report on the incident, Prison officials lamented: “It is still unclear what Barghouti was doing with the mobile phone, with whom he had been speaking to or how he was able to obtain the phone in the first place.” Unclear what he was doing? Unable to know who he was talking to? Unable to know how he obtained the phone?
If the words of its own spokespeople are any indication, the Israel Prison Service is a place where the inmates are running the asylum.
Addendum: As you may have noticed, this blog has been considerably added to in the last week. There are now ways for you to subscribe to the site, share the site, recommend the site, access the site, and bookmark the site. More additions will be coming in the coming weeks.
With the additional ways to reach the site, our readership has been steadily increasing–you can map some of this increase through our Visitor Maps feature–where you may see yourself (the city that you are accessing from). With the increase in readership, has come some growing pains; from time to time (usually when over 20 people are on the site at one time, our database becomes more difficult to connect to (we are working to solve this problem); also those of you using Internet Explorer are getting a meaningless “stack overflow message” when you come to the site (people using Mozilla Firefox and other browsers do not get this message).
In any case, thank you for your patience and many thanks for your readership! You can make a difference in the fight for Israel. Here’s a partial list of who has visited in the last three weeks (by the way, many people visit from some of these locations– for example, there are more than 10 different regular visitors from Brooklyn, NY alone):
Tel Aviv Israel, Netanya Israel, Wuhan China, Sacramento CA, Bucharest Romania, Houston TX, Richmond, VA, Brooklyn NY, Mumbai India, Sayreville NJ, Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Santa Rosa CA, Grass Valley CA, Philadelphia PA, London England, Lviv Ukraine, Folsom CA, Palmdale CA, Cincinnati OH, Sunnyvale CA, Dallas TX, Kanyakumari India, Oslo Norway, Berlin Germany; Beijing China, Daphne AL, Meriden CT, Palo Alto CA, Vitoria Brazil, Shenzhen China, Cairo Egypt, Davis CA, Bakersfield CA, Monclair NJ, Dallas TX, Haifa Israel, Guangzhou China, San Diego CA, Mather CA, Palau Palau, Orange CA, Chicago IL, Columbus OH, Kansas City MO, Mountain View CA Secaucus NJ, Basildon Great Britain, Nawala Sri Lanka, Maida Vale Great Britain, Watford Great Britain, Riga Latvia, Midlothian VA, Helsinki Finland, New York NY, Ramat Gan Israel, Wroclaw, Poland, Taipei Taiwan, Kaluga Russia, Lund Sweden, Tampa FL, Bangkok Thailand, Hendersonville NC, Chino Hills CA, Clarks Summit PA, Montebello, CA, Phoenixville, PA, Chisinau Moldava, Rishon Le Zion Israel, Burlington MA, Sandulesti Romania, Kennesaw GA, Miami Beach FL, Elblag Poland, Sajoszenpeter, Hungary, Wiener Neustadt Austria, Sycamore IL, Minneapolis MN, Des Moines IA, Coldwater MN, Seattle WA, Los Angeles, CA, and people (city not named) from Japan, The Netherlands, Lebanon, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia.