Why is the Prison Service holding administrative detainee Meir Ettinger in a wing with dangerous Arab terrorists who are threatening to kill him?
On Tuesday, 14 Cheshvan, Honenu attorney Sima Kochav sent an urgent letter to the Prison Service demanding that Ettinger be transferred to the cell in which the other Jewish administrative detainees are being held in the Eshel Prison.
Terrorists imprisoned in cells adjacent to Ettinger’s cell have threatened several times to kill him and announced that they would murder him as Arabs had murdered his grandfather, Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D and his uncle, Rabbi Binyamin Kahane, HY”D, who was murdered with his wife, Talya, HY”D.
Ettinger was detained in early August 2015 and had been held in a wing for religious prisoners in the Ayalon Prison. On 24 Tishrei he was transferred to the Eshel Prison without any justification given. Approximately one week after the transfer Kochav wrote a letter in which she expressed concern about Ettinger being held in close proximity to terrorists, concern which is increasing and being validated. In response to the current threats Kochav wrote another letter:
“In all of the cells adjacent and close to [Ettinger’s cell] minorities are imprisoned, including security prisoners. And Mr. Ettinger has been threatened for several days by these prisoners,” wrote Kochav. “Among the threats and messages conveyed to the detainee [Ettinger] were, ‘We killed two Kahanes. We will kill you also’, ‘Kahane is a pig’, ‘We won’t let you live’, ‘We’ll split your head open’, and there were many more.
“Additionally, when the prisoners exit into the yard they bang on the doors to Ettinger’s cell, speak through the small window into his cell, and threaten to kill him. Also when the prisoners are in the yard for their walk they curse and insult him and more seriously threaten to kill him.
“Likewise, the prisoner in the cell next to Mr. Ettinger bangs on the walls all night long and yells with the intent of disturbing his rest.”
Honenu attorney Sima Kochav stresses that fights between prisoners, even in wings in which prisoners have very little contact with each other, are not rare, but rather frequent, including fights which end with very serious consequences, particularly when terrorists serving life sentences for whom Jewish lives are not important are concerned.
Kochav added that the Prison Service is responsible for Ettinger’s wellbeing. “The matter at hand is an administrative detainee who is under the care and responsibility of the Prison Service. He must be tightly guarded and be under a close watch. Care must be taken that the food served to him is the same food served to the prison staff and that must be according to a directive. This is of the utmost importance in light of the threats he has received and the stated intent of prisoners to injure him.”
Due to the threats Kochav demanded that Ettinger be transferred to the cell in the Eshel Prison in which the other Jewish administrative detainees are being held.
“As we have warned in the past, the threats and harassment have not been long in coming,” said Kochav on the evening of Tuesday, 14 Cheshvan. “The detainee was placed ‘in the lions’ den’, in the separate wing in which, among others, there are security prisoners and some of the most dangerous terrorists in the State of Israel. The ring of security prisoners around him is tightening and they pass his cell on a daily basis. The detainee [Ettinger] is under the watch of the Prison Service, on which the responsibility for his life and safety rest. The writing is already on the wall. There is a concern that later will be too late, therefore our urgent demand is that [Ettinger] be immediately transferred.”
Ettinger’s friends said that, “Again the attempts to humiliate and break Meir continue. It is not a surprise. There is no doubt that there are those who find it difficult to hear the truth that he says. Therefore they endeavor to silence him by any means. We have only to quote from what he said in court: ‘The administrative detention order was not meant to silence me, but rather primarily to silence yourselves, your internal Jewish voice and the Jewish heart within you. … It is obvious that this behavior will achieve the opposite result and will increase your confusion and your own embarrassment with yourselves, until it will lead you quickly to complete repentance.’ Amen.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)