Wow, this is ugly, and these two videos help explain why.
Israel imprisoned a dual citizen (Australian/Israeli) who went by various names, including Ben Zygier, Ben Allen, and Ben Alon, and was a suspected member of the Mossad. He was held on security grounds (mind you, never charged of a crime) and supposedly committed suicide in what Aljazeera described as a “virtual isolation of a state-of-the-art surveillance cell designed to prevent suicide.”
This took place in 2010. There has been a news blackout on the story. As Shir Hever, an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, tells the Real News Network:
Netanyahu actually tried to convene an emergency conference of all the major editors of the major media channels in Israel to convince them to suppress the story. At the same time, the Israeli court issued a gag order making it illegal not only to say that there is a prisoner kept anonymously in the Israeli prisons, or that there was and he committed suicide; but even to report that there is a gag order, even that was illegal. And also, the military censor, which is usually in Israel a passive kind of institution that only accepts for review articles before they are published, has actually taken an active position and demanded that certain articles would be removed or would not be published in advance.
Aljazeera indicates that the embargo was nevertheless broken (“The information just started appearing all over the internet,” per Rob Peled, former head of Movement for Freedom of Info in Israel) that both the Israeli and Australian governments are making bare minimum disclosures.
It’s important to recognize the seriousness of what happened. Israel “disappeared” someone (at least for two years until the coverup failed), and even worse, someone who was a foreign citizen. This is the sort of thing that took place in Chile under Pinochet. What did Zygier know and why was Israel so desperate to keep him from revealing it?
Video from Aljazeera. You can read the related story here.
The Real News Network account gives more analysis. You can read the transcript here.