Open letter from Kochav HaShachar: “Red lines have been crossed.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 10:32 The official leadership of Kochav HaShachar and the rabbi of the community, HaRav Ohad Krakover, wrote an open letter in response to detentions in the Kfar Duma arson incident case and the gag order which restricts publicizing the case. The letter expresses astonishment at the GSS treatment of the Kfar Duma case (see here and here for general information) and protests the deplorable remand conditions of the detainees. The letter also refers specifically to a friend who was detained. The text of the open letter, in full, translation of the original Hebrew by Honenu: “Last week, sadly and with a deep feeling of frustration, we discovered that in the democratic State of Israel it is possible to carry out appalling acts against normative citizens, under the protection of the law enforcement authorities. The gag order placed on the case prevents us from detailing the acts, but we cannot be silent in the face of the injustice occurring in front of our eyes. “It became clear to us that in our state, a law-abiding citizen – a recipient of the President’s Award For Excellence [in the IDF], who serves in the reserves and contributes to society, a respected educational figure who works with youth and educates [his students in the] love of the state – is liable to find himself thrown into the dungeons of the GSS, deprived of minimal living conditions, through no fault of his own and without charges made against him. “In a conversation with the person in charge of the investigation our representatives were astonished to discover that our friend is being treated as a terrorist. That is how they [the investigators] are talking about him, with all of the implications. This is serious harassment, red lines have been crossed, in a state which professes to be democratic and to protect the rights of individuals without discrimination based on religion, gender, or personal opinion. Without reason, representatives of the law are abusing people whom they know are not connected to the act which they are investigating. Also they know that our friend does not believe in violence as a way to solve problems and certainly did not have a connection to anything of this sort, and as a means of applying pressure [on others who they suspect of crimes] they have extended his remand over and over again. “We were especially shocked to hear that our friend was deprived of his tefilin. This is the conduct of dark regimes. (At this time it is difficult not to recall the decrees of the evil kingdom of Ancient Greece which banned the observance of G-d’s commandments.) We feel a grave violation of the trust we wanted to place in the law enforcement and judicial authorities, and in the security system, which are supposed to safe-guard and protect us as citizens of our state. Every one of us is liable to one day be in a similar situation! This treatment cheapens our blood, and the humiliating remand conditions only emphasize that. As a community and as a loyal public we cannot accept that the law enforcement authorities systematically injure us. “The long-term damage is obvious. One must not allow this to happen!” HaRav Ohad Krakover and the official leadership of the community [Kochav HaShachar]

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