Middle East: The Strange case of Tali Fahima
The Strange case of Tali Fahima
The case of Tali Fahima has by now made it to both the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. To refresh everyone’s memory “Tali Fahima served her time in the Israeli army, voted for Ariel Sharon as prime minister and took it as given that her country was struggling for survival against terrorism.” She has been in administrative detention – a treatment normally reserved for Palestinians and not Israeli Jews – for several months now.
Now she has finally been charged with a crime.
There are some strange aspects to the case which have not been covered by the Australian media. The main allegation against her is detailed in Haaretz:
“Fahima allegedly hampered an Israel Defense Forces operation in the area, the aim of which was to arrest suspected militants.
“During the operation the IDF lost extremely sensitive material, which eventually found its way to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. Fahima is accused of translating the documents for the wanted militants, allowing them to hide and evade capture at a later stage of the IDF operation.”
Not mentioned in the English edition was the following sentence from the Hebrew edition which is credited to the Israeli news agency Itim:
“According to Fahima’s defence counsel, advocate Smadar Ben-Natan, no one in Jenin needed Tali Fahima to translate documents as everyone there knows Hebrew.”
The ridiculous nature of the allegation was slammed by Yossi Dahan in the Israeli web site Haokets [the sting http://www.haokets.org/]:
“The security forces and the legal system are working under the assumption is that the Hebrew language is a secret code language that the Territories’ residents haven’t been able to crack for decades. Tali Fahima, one of the few people with access to this secret code, crossed the lines, reached all the way to Jenin in order to give the cipher to the enemy.”
Other writers followed along the same track. Who are the authorities kidding? How can they prove that, with so many people familiar with Hebrew, it was her rather than anyone else who picked out the names in the document?
To top it all, it has now been revealed that a poet who called for her released was called in for an interview with the Israeli Secret Service.
Israeli left activist Yael Berda suggested that this calls for a creative response:
“Write a poem about Tali Fahima and send it to the prime ministers office to fax 972 - 2 5669245 or for those that can write Hebrew go to http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMO/Public+Applications/PublicApplications/ perhaps the poems should be addressed to Avi Dichter, Head of the GSS. (Ironically I’m told that Dichter means poet in German. As Haifa University Avraham Oz wrote it also provides a new meaning to the term poetic justice!) – Sol Salbe]
[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]
Israeli woman Tali Fahima charged with assisting enemy
By Haaretz Service and Itim
Protest poet Shmuel Yerushalmi was investigated Sunday evening by the Shin-Bet security service following the publication of his poem "They shall not break Tali down," in support of pro-Palestinian activist Tali Fahima, charged earlier during the day with several security offenses.
Fahima was charged Sunday in the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court with offenses including assisting the enemy during wartime, passing on information to the enemy and weapons possession.
According to the indictment, Fahima, an Israeli Jewish woman, entered the West Bank city of Jenin roughly seven months ago and joined company with Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade activists.
Fahima allegedly hampered an Israel Defense Forces operation in the area, the aim of which was to arrest suspected militants.
During the operation the IDF lost extremely sensitive material, which eventually found its way to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. Fahima is accused of translating the documents for the wanted militants, allowing them to hide and evade capture at a later stage of the IDF operation.
The maximum possible sentence that Fahima may receive if she is convicted is life imprisonment.
Fahima has been in custody for the past four and a half months, during which time the Shin Bet internal security service has been investigating her ties to Zacharia Zubeideh, the head of Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in Jenin.