Azmi Bishara’s J’Accuse
The gag order imposed on media reporting of the Shin Bet treason case against Azmi Bishara has been lifted. Unfortunately, we don't know much more now than we did before. But at least it has freed Bishara from enough constraints … Read More
The gag order imposed on media reporting of the Shin Bet treason case against Azmi Bishara has been lifted. Unfortunately, we don't know much more now than we did before. But at least it has freed Bishara from enough constraints that he has published a sharp rebuttal to the charges (as much as they are known) in the L.A. Times. Haaretz has reported the case based on anonymous security sources giving their view of the charges. A dubious proposition journalistically, but that seems to be how Israeli media operates giving (too) wide latitude toward government sources. It also would be nice to see a whole lot more "alleges" in this dispatch since otherwise we're to assume we should accept the Shin Bet's allegations as truth. Here is what those sources report:
The police and Shin Bet have sufficient evidence to indict former MK Azmi Bishara for crimes such as contact with the enemy, say sources who have seen the evidence in recent weeks. The sources say it will be very difficult for Bishara to refute the evidence, even if he appears in person to participate in police interviews. …Most of the allegations involve contact with Hezbollah intelligence agencies, which the police and the Shin Bet say were responsible for collecting intelligence on Israel during the Second Lebanon War. The bulk of the evidence is based on wire taps of Bishara's telephone conversations with Hezbollah agents. These recordings were authorized by the Supreme Court. The evidence also suggests that Bishara assisted Hezbollah in broadening the impact of its attacks on Israel by helping direct its rocket barrages and offering recommendations on how to carry out psychological warfare against Israelis. Bishara is also suspected of transferring to Hezbollah military information, but the military censor has imposed a gag order on that information. In addition to the evidence suggesting that Bishara's activities were tantamount to treason, investigators are working on an angle involving financial violations. The investigators are trying to connect evidence to suspicions that Bishara violated the law forbidding the funding of terrorism. The evidence is based on the testimony of a family of Jerusalem-based money changers who say they have delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to Bishara's home in Beit Hanina. The funds have also not been declared to the tax authorities as required by law. The investigators have so far been unable to trace the money and are not sure whether Bishara kept the funds or distributed them to other organizations. The police are considering initiating an investigation in a number of countries where the funds are known to have originated or passed through.