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Op Ed: Israel Torturing Jewish Youth, and We Must Not Remain Silent

by Yosef Hershkop

I would like to bring to the attention of the frum community here in the United States an on-going outrage that’s being committed by the Israeli government. The Israeli Shabak (general security services) arrested for interrogation three frum yeshiva students, all under the age of seventeen years old. They are entering their fourth day behind bars with zero face time with their attorneys or family members, and their families don’t even know where they are being held. Based on similar arrests in the past I worry that these children are being tortured, since unfortunately there’s a lot of documentation of that happening in previous arrests of a similar nature. In fact, just yesterday a different case was thrown out because of the illegal methods the Israeli police used to pressure a different underage Jewish arrestee. In that case they placed undercover officers in his cell with one of the policemen playing the role of a prisoner serving a murder sentence. Officers even planted fake drugs under his mattress. Other torture tactics documented in similar cases (with no rebuttal from the Israeli government) include: sleep deprivation, tying hands and feet for dozens of hours at a time, extreme temperature changes, and denying them basic religious rights. Some of the other methods are too shocking to write in Frum publications. As the biggest defenders of Israel we, the Orthodox Jewish community, are protesting strongly this despicable behavior. These three underage suspects must be given their basic human and religious rights immediately. We won’t remain silent until that happens. We must ask ourselves, what would we do if it was our own children who were being tortured by a supposedly democratic state? Please say Tehillim for Moshe Ben Pazit (age 15) Tzvi Niriya ben Ayala (Age 15) and Avraham Ben Aliza (age 16). To take further action please call the Israeli consulate closest to your home to voice your protest at this horrific travesty. If you have social media you can use that as well.

 

List of Israeli Consulates

New York: 1-212-499-5000.

Boston: 1-617-535-0200.

Chicago: 1-312-380-8800.

Southeastern USA: 1-404-487-6500.

Los Angeles: 1-323-852-5500.

Israel Embassy to USA: 1-202-364-5500

Israel Embassy to U.N: 1-212-499-5000

 

Yosef Hershkop is a resident of Crown Heights Brooklyn. He is a healthcare executive and he’s been an organizer of many pro Israel rallies and is involved in several Jewish organizations. He can be reached at yosef.hershkop@gmail.com or follow him on twitter at @yossy770

12 Comments

  • 1. Chaim hecht wrote:

    I just called the embassy and let them know that the American jewish community hold bibi Netanyahu and ayelet shaked personally accountable for the welfare of these jewish kids and that we will not remain silent

    Reply
  • 2. What's the pretext? wrote:

    What is the alleged reasoning behind what looks like a specific Shabak program in place here?

    Not that such punishment is warranted, OF COURSE, but are the boys truant? If not, what is the supposed pretext for doing this? Is it now a crime in Eretz Yisrael to walk down the street underage while being frum? Or what?

    Reply
  • 3. No wrote:

    The three kids were arrested due to connection with Jewish terrorist activity. They shouldn’t be tortured due to their age, but their actions were unforgivable and it was correct to arrest them.

    Reply
    • 4. Not guilty unless proven guilty wrote:

      You cant judge them guilty without hearing the whole story.

      The duma episode was similar in that frum jews with underage boys were accused of a terrible crime and forced to confess under torture.
      The judge threw out the forced confessions in the duma.
      It looks like arabs not jews were the guilty parties in the duma case.
      I suspect this crime was also done by arabs.
      No one especially a minor should be jailed without access to a lawyer and tortured.
      These are jewish children not terrorists

    • 5. dave wrote:

      do you believe EVERYTHING the government tells you? clearly the government has an agenda.

    • 6. Ahavasyisroel wrote:

      What do you mean by ‘jewish terrorism’ you mean like they tried to bomb the King David hotel?

  • 8. Yosef H wrote:

    To #3. I don’t think they were even legally arrested yet, at this point they are just being ‘interrogated’ my article in no way was pushing the legal system to not punish criminals just because they happen to be Jewish. My point is exactly what you wrote that torture is a big no no and that the Israeli Government should either explain themselves or expect criticism.

    Reply
  • 10. Is this a Junior Neturei Karta thing? wrote:

    Still trying to make sense out of the slightly more clear (from the posts after the article) bits and pieces of info. here….

    Reply
  • 11. Chaim wrote:

    I haven’t heard of Yossi before, but wow, what a well written article. I’ll have to follow his work.

    Reply
  • 12. Menachem cohen wrote:

    About 2 months ago a rock was thrown at an arab women driving in the shomron causing here to crash and die this happened in a location where arabs frequently throw stones at Israel cars passing by in all likelyhood a case of mistaken identity The 3 boys are students in a yishiva in that general area ever since that insadent the shabak has been going on a violent fishing expedition to try to prove that Jewish terror exists and justify the jewish departments exsistance

    Reply

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