Amira Hass reports: The Shin Bet security service includes among its activities something it calls “delegitimization.” At least that’s what one can infer from a Shin Bet operative’s statements to a left-wing activist, Dr. Kobi Snitz, who was summoned for interrogation on Wednesday. The Shin Bet didn’t respond to Haaretz’s request to define “delegitimization” or to state how activities against it come under its purview, or under which section of which law.
Snitz, 41, is a mathematician employed by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. He was summoned for questioning by the Shin Bet for the first time two years ago. This time, “at the Rehovot police station there was the same Rona from last year,” Snitz said, referring to a Shin Bet investigator who has questioned and/or warned several left-wing activists.
Snitz has been taking part in demonstrations by Palestinian villagers against the West Bank separation fence for more than 13 years. He is also an active member of the Israeli organization Boycott From Within, which supports the Palestinian call for a boycott on Israel, divestment and sanctions.
“There was someone with Rona called, if I’m not mistaken, Mati, and he said he was a director or head of a department. He didn’t say which department, but I assume it was the Jewish department. He said he was currently working on the extreme left and delegitimization.
“Their behavior, in my experience and that of other activists who have told me about their interrogations, is fairly standard. The only new twist I noticed was the inclusion of ‘delegitimization.’ I didn’t ask what that meant, because I said in advance I wouldn’t talk or enter into any kind of discussion with them. Mati didn’t mention Boycott From Within but spoke generally about demonstrations that require a permit.
“He said soldiers had been injured and that I allegedly take part in violent demonstrations. He threatened me, more or less, saying he has been hearing my name too often and that if I don’t stop they’ll use far less pleasant means – he didn’t specify the means – and that they would put me on trial.”
Unlike Mati, Rona read from a printed sheet, “as though she were reading from the Torah,” said Snitz. “She handwrote on a page and read it to me: ‘We at the Shin Bet are following your activities; this is a democracy, but if one breaks the law … we will not let you break the law.'” [Continue reading…]