State to High Court: Shin Bet to tone down questioning political activists

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a petition in 2013 to fight what it viewed as attempts to oppress free speech and political action.

By
June 14, 2016 22:46
1 minute read.
ACRI Israel

Sharon Abraham-Weiss, executive director of ACRI, 2015. (photo credit: JOE MABEL/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Under pressure from a petition filed by an NGO, the state told the High Court of Justice on Tuesday that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) will be less aggressive in questioning political activists.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed the petition in 2013 to fight what it viewed as attempts to suppress free speech and political action. ACRI said it viewed the announcement as a mixed bag of success and defeat.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


On one hand, the Shin Bet has committed to telling political activists whom it considers subversive and potential troublemakers, that when it summons them for informal meetings, they do not need to appear.

This will be true whether the activists are summoned verbally or in writing.

On the other hand, an ACRI spokesman indicated that the Shin Bet refused to show them the text they would use for summoning activists.

At most, the state and the security agency agreed to allow a third party, such as a retired judge, to review the text sometime in September.

ACRI had hoped the court would declare such summons illegal if they did not involve a clear security or terror threat.



An ACRI spokesman said that it appeared that the court was accepting the idea that the Shin Bet had the authority to issue summonses to political activists whom it considered troublesome or destabilizing, even absent a clear security threat.

In the petition, ACRI had cited a 2012 summoning of an activist who was against plans by the government to resettle Beduins in the Negev from unauthorized villages to larger cities, as an example of a coercive measure that stifled freedom to organize around political causes.

Some of the developments in the petition were foreshadowed by a legal brief submitted by the state to the High Court on June 2, while others were reported by ACRI verbally since the court spokesman’s office refused to release a transcript of the proceedings on the grounds that it involved the Shin Bet.

Related Content

August 21, 2018
‘Foxtrot,’ ‘Longing’ get European Film Award nods

By AMY SPIRO