Opinion  Ray Hanania
A political prisoner in Israel’s Gulag
Ray Hanania
Published: 28.07.06, 13:27
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GAB   (07.28.06)
Of course the guy was just taking tourist pictures and her mom was ill at the same moment that we are being attack by his fellas in three fronts? Hard to believe! Now I will do the same thing! I will go to any given place where your people reign and with my jewish nose I will begin to tak same tourist pictures! Do you think that the benefit of a prision will be given to me? or I will be shot dead in the name of allah? Don't bother to answer, it was a retoricall question!
2. Another enlightening Hanania article
Zionist ,   Israel   (07.28.06)
Ray Hanania has no information on Mr. Falah, as he stated himself that Israel is not letting any information out. Therefore, how can he pass judgment that this Falah is just an innocent Arab? Ray has no idea what the real story was when Falah was taking pictures at the beach, strangely only a few days before the Hizballah attack. The only information Ray is going by is an article written in a local Ohio newspaper. This follows classic Hanania-style writing with fiery bold statements backed by insubstantial and sometimes false information. In a nutshell, Ray is just another propagandist. And in reference to Ray's absurd claim that Israeli soldiers captured by Hizballah are POW's, one might ask himself how much Hanania really knows about the whole conflict in the Middle East. This is because Hizballah is a terrorist organization that has monopolized the use of force within a sovereign state. Hizballah's disregard for its government effectively disqualifies it from government status (according to international law) and therefore does not afford it the legitimacy of capturing POW's. In short, anybody captured by a rogue organization is a hostage, not a POW. Hanania also speaks about the Geneva accords, but it's not even worth the time arguing with him when he doesn't even mention the blatant Palestinian and Hizballah violation of the Accords by launching missiles indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. I have been reading Hanania's comments for a while now on Ynet and would like to ask of him one thing... Ray, can you please for once write a column that does not constitute libelous propaganda? If so, I would love to read it.
3. Truth will out
Pat ,   Atlanta, GA   (07.28.06)
Well, I think Hanania can officially drop the "moderate" label from his CV. He is so obviously hateful of anything Israeli, that he is now part of the problem, not the solution.
4. More info needed
Ben ,   New Jersey   (07.28.06)
Ray - Thank you for bringing the case of Mr. Falah to our attention. If everything you say is true, then there is indeed something seriously wrong with the Israeli judicial and security system. Unfortunately this piece appears to be more of a rant and diatribe and less of an actual thought through analysis. What if anything might the Israelis be thinking here. Could they be mistaken, but understandably so? Is there more to the story here? Is this another al-Arian case? No doubt you'll have plenty of posters inanely calling you a terrorist supporter and an enemy of Israel, etc. etc. etc.. While we know that is not true, the quality of this piece is fairly low and invites such comments. I hope the readers focus on getting more of the facts around this case and lay off the personal attacks. If Mr. Falah truly is being held unjustly then that is not only bad for him, it is bad for all Israelis. But lets hear some more context before we bring Stalin in the picture.
5. Ray
David ,   Tel Aviv   (07.28.06)
you jerk, the reason is due to the fact that a vast majority of arabs support the murder of Israeli Jews. And if you tell me im racist, im not im realistic, show me the arabs who are pro Israel and are rallying in support of the state that gives them everything. Show it to me, im tired of them, let them go move to any of their cousins countrys, oh wait, the arab countries do not want them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. Falah and Hanania
David Latner ,   Toronto Canada   (07.28.06)
While I suppose it is your business as to whether you let a Palestinian propagandist write for your paper, it might be useful to publish some facts beside the rant. As reported in Canada, Mr. Falah, was not arrested for walking along a beach taking photos of the sunset. He was arrested for taking photos of a military transmission tower in Nahariya where he just happened to be taking a stroll - during the most intense bombardment of the north Israel has ever experienced, and when most of its residents have evacuated south or are living in bunkers.
7. "Israel's Gulag"
Julie Singer ,   Rocky Hill, CT, USA   (07.28.06)
I'm sure when Mr. Hanania wrote this column expressing outrage about Israel's treatment of Mr. Falah, he was unaware that Mr. Falah had appeared before an Israeli magistrate at leaste 10 days ago and that Mr. Falah's son had been assured that the father was safe in a Haifa jail. (See Akron Beacon-Journal article at this link: www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/15063076.htm) Would that the families of Israelis kidnapped by Hezbollah and Hamas could have such assurances.
8. Nice free press in the gulag, isn't it Ray ?
Ezra ,   Canada   (07.28.06)
9. Are the Israeli soldiers POW's?
Nick ,   Israel   (07.28.06)
I don't know if the allegations against Falah are true. If his only 'sin' (as you say) was taking photos of the beach, then this is something terrible that must be taken care of ASAP. If he is being pursued for his political views, then it is even worse in my opinion. And of course we all know Israel is doing some terrible things right now. I pray it will end soon. But I also think that views like yours are exactly what is feuling this war. This one-sidedness, always blaming Israel, and never seeing its point of view. As always you are trying to eat your cake and have it. If Israel is in an active state of war that justifies the other side capturing its soldiers from within its own borders, then why should it not fight back??? If this state of war allows hizzballa to bomb Israeli civilians blindly (as proven by the fact that several of its victims are from Arab villages), then why do you think Israel is immoral for bombing its tagets causing civilian deaths? Talk about double standards. If we are at war, as per your point of view, then of course we are going to fight it! Furthermore, what do the Geneva conventions have to say about 'poor innocent' Lebanese like Sameer Kuntar. Thats right, such a miserable wretch that is sitting in Israeli jails, and now the Hizballa has captured the so called "POW's" to ensure his release. The man crossed into Israel, entered a civilian home, captured a father and his daughter (where they also POW's?) and eventually killed the father and then the four year old girl (or shoud I say POW) with a blow of his gun to her head, before being caught. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samir_Kuntar This war is horrible, but seeing just one side will do no good to anyone.
10. Sad story but the truth is....
Edan ,   Beer Sheva   (07.28.06)
There are things apparently that you don't know about the guy. By the way I have been on numerous flights to and from Israel (with El-Al and other companies as well) and never once have I seen anybody asked to not photograph Israel from the air...so that is strange. And more importantly you have yet to explain to me how this has been an ongoing war since 2000 with the Hezbollah. We pulled out ...they kept bombing us . What did we do? Nothing. This was a single unprovoked act and I just don't understand how you can claim that it is part of an ongoing conflict...?? What , because we have some of their "soldiers" in our prisons....?? The only thing that has been ongoing was their preparations for this war. You claim Israel planned this response very carefully - I claim that the Hezbullah have been waiting for this for 6 years and we were caught completey off guard with NO concrete plan of action. This is evidenced by the fact that we crossed over to the border initially and then came right back when we realized that they were ready for us. After 6 years of no aggression they couldn't have tried diplomacy...? Of course not -they are a puppet for Iran. And yet again you don't acknowledge the Iranian connection. Tehran obviously is using Lebanon to hurt Israel. But no they are POW's right....? Wow that makes us feel a lot better. The palestinians in our prisons are threats to the security of Israeli citizens JUST THE SAME as American prisoners who are threats to american citizens. The racist argument is getting old. And the fact that Israel is held to a different standard - that is true. A higher standard. We can't allow ourselves to fight the way they do otherwise we are no better than them. .
11. War
obekanobe ,   Israel   (07.28.06)
1. If Israel and Lebanon are at war as you suggest then there can be no complaint about IDF operations in Lebanon. 2. The land Israel occupies rightly belongs to those who now call themselves Palestinians. Can they promise
12. Ray, I Agree with you 200% !
Ramzi Sfeir ,   Bethlehem, Palestine   (07.28.06)
The problem is not the Israeli People, it's the israeli government! With such people in power, nobody will ever reach peace! And its a sure bet for them to stay in power, they reign with fear and when they feel that someone might open the eyes of the common israeli and tell him " After all, Palestinians are not that dangerous" They shut him up forever! Look at what is happening to Al Jazeera! They are threatning and arresting Al Jazeera journalists every now and then, who too are Arab Israelis.....when egypt does this , we say " Mubarak is a Dictator" but when israel does it, we say " Its national Secruity" ...as long as nobody stops this, it will never stop! The world is safer than they want the people to think!
13. More lies, more propaganda!
The Raccoon   (07.28.06)
Please, oh please, spill more lies and propaganda on us! Please, continue to ignore the uncomfortable reality, mixing and matching facts, twisting the truth! This is what media is supposed to do, is it not? Throw baseless accusations at various parties and defend the very people that would destroy that which enable the media to exist? It is unthinkable, of course, that an Israel-hating Arab would be taking pictures of potential terror targets. And naturally, the fact that virtually all the Arab/Islamist states (and you'll get a candy if you can name one Arab. non-Islamist-dominated state) are trying to pull an Auschwitz on Israel is the fault of the Evil Zionists (tm). And please, ignore the uncomfortable fact that the PA is not "Occupied" under international law - this law only applies when it serves the Arab/Islamist goal of destroying Israel. How can anyone even dare to think otherwise? And Israel doesn't want assorted potential enemies of the state to take photographs of sensetive installations because the Evil Zionists (tm) are trying to hide their Evil Zionist Crimes (tm)! This is a natural assumption - the pool, benevolent Arabs/Islamists only want to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews, of course. And if Isra... errr, sorry, the Evil Zionst Entity (tm), is trying to prevent them from getting hot leads on where to send the next suicide bomber, it is only to obscure the foul deeds of the Evil Zionists (tm). It is a natural assumption - we all know that Zionists are by definition Evil (would they make Matza with the blood of Palestinian babies otherwise?!) and hence must perform Heinous Crimes. It's in their nature - hey, the Koran says so, it must be true! Down with the Evil Zionst Entity (tm)! [insert string of vile anti-semitic spittle-flecked expletives here, ending with too many exclamation marks trailing into 1s. Pepper liberally with calls for a genocide of Jews, the destruction of Israel and USA, end with obscenities mixed with whining] voila, you have a new opinion column ready right here in this reply, Ynet!
14. Who's lying , mr. Hanania ?
Observer ,   Israel   (07.28.06)
"...The police and Shin Bet say that Falah photographed a military antenna near Rosh Hanikra and visited Tehran and Beirut. Falah confirms these facts, but says that his trips were for academic purposes. His attorney, Hussein Abu Hussein, said that his client was unaware that the antenna - which is about 100 meters tall and visible to all - was a military facility. .." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/743966.html
15. Tourism in Israel
Sam ,   Washington, DC   (07.28.06)
Yes, tourists please come to Israel and when you take a photograph, we will arrest you and torture you. It would appear that Israel has become a fascist state, worse than it's Arab neighbours.
16. hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!
Not even one thing in this journalistic masterpiece is true! I think Ynet needs to expand their budget.
17. An interesting disputed Fact
Ray Hanania ,   Chicago, IL USA   (07.28.06)
Haaretz Newspaper continues to report that Falah was arrested by Shin Bet on July 12 ... which would imply a heightened alert of wrongdoing since that is the day the conflict with Lebanon and Hezbollah began. But, every other news source, including the family and their lawyer, say Ghazi Falah was arrested on Saturday July 8, almost 5 days before the conflict started. I guess I can understand grabbing a guy taking pictures on July 12 of a mysterious tower that anyone can see that is in plain sight on that day ... but they should still release him when they determine he's an ISRAELI CITIZEN and besides the mysterious ANTENNA that everyone can see at the Nahariya Beach, did he have any other military photographs. Would they keep a Jewish citizen of Israel in jail 3 weeks without allowing him to consult a lawyer until only a few days ago when the issue became news? I know there are two kinds of Israelis, those who support their country AND support justice and Democrayc and Freedom, which is the Israel that I defend. But there are a few who insist on defending Israel and excusing its wrongdoings. The fact is folks, governments li,e government leaders steal, government leaders exploit public passions. It is my job to report the bad news so that we can make our governments more honest. I do the same with the Arabs, and I notice many of the Islamic fanatics that attack me are no different than many of the Jewish fanatics who attack me here. Sorry if the truth hurts. But don't attack the messenger. I trust YnetNews to get the facts straight and to allow a full discussion of ALL issues as they do. Thanks Ray Hanania www.hanania.com
18. Hanania perspective no longer unique
Pat ,   Atlanta   (07.28.06)
There is a thin line between an advocate for a cause (with which I have no problem) and a propagandist. Hanania's recent articles, among other "perpectives", include: Arafat is a great revolutionary; Barghuti is the Solzhenitsyn of the Palestinians. These are not the musings of a moderate commentator; rather they approach the ravings of a lunatic. Time for a reality check, Ray.
19. Ray Hanania
cindy ,   USA   (07.28.06)
what is the point of giving this idiot a platform? The arab arrested is always doing something noble; visiting a sickparent, going to the mosque for prayers, going to a wedding, helping some child. Ray Hanania is a fraud..he was a fraud when he sued Jackie Mason, and he is a cynical opportunistc fraud now. feh
20. Lies Lies Lies
david ,   sf, usa   (07.28.06)
21. Prefer to be wrong than dead!
Dan ,   Haifa, Israel   (07.28.06)
Sorry Ray, in a country where the Prime Minister's daughter can take part in a demonstration outside her father's house, where peace activists monitor the army roadblocks in and out of the occupied territories and report any irregularities, where photos of Israelis demonstrating alongside the wall/fence appear in national and international newspapers, and where thousands of Israeli Arabs enjoy rights denied to their brethren in neighbouring countries - your portrayal of Israel as a Gulag sounds ridiculous! Yes, we are at war - and that is why we behave in a way that all countries at war behave. We are overly suspicious of Arabs, we sometimes wrongly arrest and interrogate people acting suspicously and we "over-react" when provocated by Hezbollah and Hamas. Yes, Israel sometimes makes mistakes. Yes, there is discrimination. Yes, we occupy land that we would gladly give back - if and when we can trust those on the receiving end not to use it as a base for furthering their aganda to wipe Israel off the map. These are not a few militant extremists that we are afraid of - these are the legitimately elected Palestinian Government and its official charter, the Hezbollah movenment and it's often publicized program for the Middle East, the Syrian and Iranian Governments, whose public declarations speak for themselves! Would you act any other way given that the above 2 organizations, along with a "few" other organizations, countries and individuals have sworn to anhilate your country and publicly state that you are better off dead? Can you blame Israel (with it's history and the history of it's people) for being paranoid? Would you take the chance? You say we are at war - would any other country at war behave differently? What would you suggest we do when the alternative is to risk having to scrape the bodies of innocent people off the pavement, when all they were doing was shopping, having a beer at a restaurant or going to work? It all boils down to one question: Should we risk being wrong or should we risk being dead?
22. Propaganda by Islamic American
Alex ,   LA, USA   (07.28.06)
Typical Islamo-Nazi propaganda. I assume that this guy is an Arab and Islamo-Nazi. The rest is not important. He probably sends money that he gets for this propagabda to Hizbullah.
23. Gulag
Viktor Kanevsky   (07.28.06)
First, does Hanania know that almost none of regular prisoners in the Gulag could survive more the 3 month? How it could be compared to Israeli prison system?
24. out of uniform...no convention
john ,   raleigh-usa   (07.28.06)
Let's not forget that these people do not wear a military uniform identifying them as combatants, and, as such, have no rights under the Geneva convention.....they fire their weapons and then blend in with the women and children that are being called "civilian casualties".....congratulations on hijacking a religion and tarnishing it beyond recognition...those that allow these peole to blend in with them should not be held up as some atrocity commited without regard to human life...hats off to the Isreali's for refusing to be held back by these monsters that hate the Jews more than they love their own children. until that is no longer true, there will be no peace...either let Israel exist and acknowledge it's existence or fight it out.
25. as charged...
Alex ,   Canada   (07.28.06)
B"H Aside from the usual idiotic rants about Israeli "Gulag" (do you even have the slightest idea what Gulag means, my dear cousin?) -- you just about nailed it. Your friend there *IS* guilty of just being an Arab - just as much as Germans were guilty of being Germans during WWII. Arabs made the entire Human Race and particularly my People their official *enemy* and started a war of total annihilation against *us all*. Surely not all Arabs are on active combat duty in this war: some carry guns, bomb belts, operate katyushas, or simply cut people’s throats, others do intelligence (taking pix of WTC or Israeli beaches). Yet others are dutifully writing propaganda pieces for the gullible western press – just like you, the esteemed author here. There are some Arabs I’m sure who just mind their own business. Nevertheless, the reality that *YOU FORCED ON US* is that *ALL OF YOU* are today guilty of being the *enemy* in this war. Make no mistake though, with G-d’s help, we will win this war. This is just the plain fact. Good overcomes evil – this is how G-d set-up His World. At times it’s a hard battle and it takes time but good will prevail. And anyone who is not a complete idiot or working for the enemy knows that *we* with our bombs, “targeted assassinations”, with our Army, with our Mossad and with our “Gulags” are the good – and you, my dearest cousins, are evil. Regards
26. Ray do you know what a Gulag is?
Ellie ,   usa   (07.28.06)
Your fippant use of the word Gulag, shows your ignorance, to what it really is. It is a workcamp designed to kill people, and the arabs in Israeli jails, aren't dying from malnutrition and overwork. It would be more likely to find a true Gulag in N. Korea . So, before you use the term Gulag, you should understand what it is, unless you're trying to deceive people, and create an illusion that Israel is running death camps. Far from it, they lock people up to save lives. So they won't kill anymore.
27. Hanania Award joke of Journalist
Rafi ,   LA   (07.28.06)
Bad Journalist. Your article is as bad as they come. No substance, full or prejudice and not worthy of further comment!
28. I'm not sure
TM (Jewlicious.com)   (07.28.06)
I feel that we don't have enough information yet about this matter and where it stands ethically. I do want to point to the Gulag comment, Ray, because in the past weeks there have been prominent and not-so-prominent Israeli Arabs who have spoken harshly against Israel and in favor of its enemies. Nothing has happened to them. They are free to do it again and again. Even the Knesset has been trying to figure out how to stop its own members - the Israeli Arab ones who have spoken harshly against the state in this war - to stop doing so. They haven't figured it out and the matter has dropped from public attention for now. In a Gulag state, the above would not be happening. However, in a security-obsessed state with no small number of enemies and at least 3 recent convictions of Israeli Arabs spying on Israel on behalf of others, the situation with Falah may have been an over-reaction, but it may also be a prudent act of self-defense. Let's wait and see before using words like Gulag - among those 10,000 prisoners there is no shortage of true criminals.
29. Nicely put Dan (#21), and Ray...
Edan ,   Beer Sheva   (07.28.06)
Unless you start acknowledging the Iranian connection, I'm sorry to say but your opinions don't hold much weight. This is more of a war against Iran only sadly the casualties are Lebanese not Iranian (and Israeli of course). You said yourself that you are more interested in the cause of hatred towards Israel, so you should go ahead and look into that. If you think it comes from the 20 year occupation of southern Lebanon.... well thats kind of funny considering we were not governing them nor taking anything from them. In fact there was relative stability there for them (though not for us). And then there's Siniora (whatever his name is), the Lebanese president. Whose cowardice has cost his country dearly. Why didn't he even ATTEMPT to disarm the Hezbullah? - because he feared for his life. Oh so thats OK right.... understandable? No. Did Lincoln not fear for his life when he commited the union to fight the Civil War? He could have been a great leader, instead he has proved to be a great coward. And yes Israel overreacts sometimes and maybe just maybe this guy is innocent... neither of us will know for sure. You were right when you said that it is a stumbling bloc when Israelis don't accept and admit their wrongdoings. Israelis have been acknowledging their wrongdoings for quite some time (obviously not all) . That is what made Gaza possible and that is what led Arik Sharon to change his ways. But the palestinians and the Hezbullah need to acknowledge theirs too - but with no "but"s.....
30. YNET is just as guilty as Hanania
Jenny   (07.28.06)
for publishing this tripe. This article will probably wind up on the front page of the NY Slimes or Washington Post. Do we ever see Ray complaining about the revolving door jails in the PA/Hamas/PLO authority? Nope. Just Israel as usual. If Israeli jails are gulags, then I'd rather be there than a PA torture/murrder center anyday. And so would Ray. That's what he leaves out. Always criticizing Israel (especially during war) but never Hizbollah, Hamas. Yes, the mask it coming off of these so-called "moderates" every day. Even the most "moderate" Palestinian wants to flood Israel with 4 million "refugees." Just remember there are no moderates on the other side any more. Any moderates have left decades ago not wanting to live in the cesspool of terror that has become the WB and Gaza.
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