05 May 2007

So, Azmi, are you coming back for trial?

The case was built using wiretappings conducted by the Shin Bet during the Second Lebanon War.

In one of the conversations Bishara was asked an unusually direct question by his Hizbullah contact who wanted to know how Israel would respond if it were hit by long range missiles which would reach beyond the city of Haifa. Bishara mumbled and admonished his contact, hinting that the conversation may be monitored, but after a short while his aspirations got the best of him and he told the Hizbullah man that such an action would serve Hizbullah's goals. Several days later rockets began hitting targets south of Haifa.

Bishara also provided his contacts with detailed explanations of optimal targets for their rockets and which towns should be avoided. Hizbullah put a great deal of trust in Bishara's situation assessments and apparently operated according to a lot of the information he provided. In addition to the monetary compensation for this information Hizbullah apparently spared no efforts at making Bishara feel important in an attempt to boost his motivation to help them.
This is not a hearsay or some secondhand information provided by witnesses. Even if what the article tells is only partly true, no lawyer will be able to claim bias or concocted evidence. And there is a lot more in the article.

I have no doubts whatsoever that, being a well-known motormouth, Mr Bishara will find an answer to every charge laid at his feet. I also have no doubts that not a single one of his answers will have any connection to the charge. The rabble-rouser will try to do his best to ignite the Israeli - Arab street by claims of innocence and by appeals to nationalistic feelings.

But the main question now is whether Bishara will show us all that he is a real man and come back to Israel to stand trial.

Any bets?

It will be also interesting and educating to see the line of defense chosen by the ilk of Neve Gordon.

And of course, there are some people who wouldn't mind Bishara doing some time in the nick:
Hamas called on former MK Azmi Bishara to return to Israel and share the burden of supporting the Palestinian homeland alongside his compatriots - even if he is imprisoned for it, Israel Radio reported on Friday.
Sure, so that Hamas (and Never Gordon) could claim that Israel oppresses Christians as well...

Update: It looks that the Bishara's campaign has already started:
I AM A PALESTINIAN from Nazareth, a citizen of Israel and was, until last month, a member of the Israeli parliament. But now, in an ironic twist reminiscent of France's Dreyfus affair — in which a French Jew was accused of disloyalty to the state — the government of Israel is accusing me of aiding the enemy during Israel's failed war against Lebanon in July. Israeli police apparently suspect me of passing information to a foreign agent and of receiving money in return. Under Israeli law, anyone — a journalist or a personal friend — can be defined as a "foreign agent" by the Israeli security apparatus. Such charges can lead to life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
Dreyfus and the death penalty, no more and no less. Dreck and a few years in the nick, I say. But it wouldn't happen, would it, Azmi?

To David A.