Thursday, April 27, 2017

27-Apr-17: Satellite TV and other basic rights of terrorist life behind Israeli bars

Palestinian Arab prisoners and their television [Image Source]
Over at Elder of Ziyon, there's a sharp and timely take-down [""Basic rights" demanded by Palestinian prisoners include satellite TV, university education, their own kitchens"] of the pompous demands being trumpeted by Al Jazeera on behalf of Palestinian Arab prisoners behind Israeli bars.

A group of those prisoners is in the midst of a hunger strike:
What are these "basic rights" that the prisoners are demanding? They include:
Adding satellite channels "tailored to the needs of prisoners" [Elder of Ziyon]
and a list of others claimed to be "basic rights". Here's another:
"Allowing prisoners to take photographs with their families every three months". 
Undoubtedly a core human rights value, no?

It's easy to overlook (because it gets consistently ignored in media coverage) the pro-terror culture that permeates Palestinian Arab society in general and especially its prisoner sub-class. A person needs, we think, to bear in mind that the claims made by them on behalf of the prisoners are about killers, about attempted killers and about accessories to murder. From the tone of the demands, you might get the impression that Palestinian Arab society sees them as unfairly-incriminated jaywalkers.

As it happens, we know something about the television access these convicts have under Israel Prison Service rules. We know because a year ago we asked the people in charge there. We wanted to get a better handle on how many different ways terrorists behind bars can watch the weekly television program created by our daughter's murderer, a woman called Ahlam Tamimi

We have mentioned Tamimi's pro-terror, prisoner-focused talk-show on this blog several times. It's called “نسيم الأحرار” [transliteration: “Nassem al-Ahrar”] meaning “Breezes of the Free”. She started presenting it in February 2012 via Alquds TV, one of two Hamas global satellite channels. She was its presenter until September 2016, but dropped out mysteriously and has not returned. We know now that her disappearance, for a time, was connected with efforts by the United States to have her arrested and extradicted to the US to face murder charges there. 

(We were instrumental in encouraging the US authorities to bring those charges, a process that began in 2012.)

The Tamimi show, now hosted by others, gets beamed by numerous satellite networks to every Arabic-speaking market in the world. It has a large viewing public around the globe, and it has helped to build the celebrity status this convicted murderer and fugitive from the FBI now enjoys.

But what people may not realize is that, in addition to being seen on television, the program is live-streamed and streamed-on-demand by literally hundreds of web sites (here are some). So as a prisoner, you wouldn't need to have the television in your recreation room tuned to Al Quds - which can be seen from practically anywhere in the world. (Tamimi's program is produced by Al Quds.) It's enough to catch it on one of those many websites/ And for that, you only need a smart cellphone. 

A Member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, was caught smuggling a bundle of such phones into a security prison last year. Basel Ghattas from the Arab Joint List was caught red-handed and charged with smuggling phones into prison, smuggling documents and breach of trust for the benefit of convicted Palestinian terrorist prisoners. In March 2017, he resigned from the Knesset as part of a plea bargain which includes his serving two years in prison. Times of Israel reported at the time that the deal lets Ghattas avoid the significantly more serious charges of aiding the enemy and being an accomplice to terror and much longer time in prison. We were surprised that coverage of the charges against Ghattas made so little mention of the strategic value that smartphones have to prisoners wanting to access the Web in ways that the prison network might not enable.

Does the Israel Prison Service stop prisoners from getting and using smartphones behind bars? Yes and no. From a conversation with the official spokesperson of the IPS, it emerged that the prison authorities see a ban on smartphones as desirable but impossible to achieve. They know that smartphones are present among the prisoners and obviously in use, but could not estimate the size of the installed base. The result is that prisoners have access to far more TV programming than the official attempts to limit them would suggest.

So back now to the demands of those liberty-deprived "detainees". To what TV morsels do the cruel taskmasters of the prison service purport to limit them? Here's the list we were given (we added the interspersed comments and hyperlinks):
A tough life, right?

Our daughter's happy and proud killer demonstrates
prison-friendly cooking recipes for her world-wide audience
in a 2015 edition of her weekly Hamas TV show
The hunger-striking prisoners and their many media megaphones and helpers present their situation to the world in a manner so remote from reality that it is crucial Israel sets the record straight.

Sadly, that doesn't happen enough. Instead, as history has shown, the authorities for their own mysterious reasons time and again pander to the terrorists while they are behind bars and then - unjustifiably in our views - release even the most evil murderers among them in unbearably expensive 'deals' brokered with the enemy.

The terrorists are acutely aware of Israel's track record in such matters. They know what awaits them on arrest and conviction. Conditions for so-called security prisoners in Israeli incarceration - far more comfortable than most realize - have been criticized in surprising places (this article on the Al-Monitor site for instance).

There is an interview that takes place in a movie about which we wrote nearly a decade ago ["28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women"] called "Hot House". In it, the mastermind of our daughter's murder, speaking (astoundingly, with the permission of the prison authorities) from behind Israeli bars declared:
"I will be free from prison."
In view of the multiple terms of life-imprisonment to which a shocked bench of judges sentenced her, viewers may have thought her delusional. But it's evident, years later, that she understood the mindset of our leaders better than most of us did.

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