Israeli security forces stand guard during a protest in east Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In recent days, we have been witnesses to a major assault on the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency), which includes slander on social networks, curses in the media and non-stop invective.
Part of the population has forgotten the great debt it owes the Shin Bet.
Several years ago, a large part of the population came out in protest against the government and disseminated the slogan “Let the IDF Win.” Now again, when I see the protests against the Shin Bet, I thought it would be worthwhile to take out the same stickers, but with a slight change: “Let the Shin Bet Win.”
But to my disappointment I encountered negative reactions, including that the IDF is fighting the enemy and the Shin Bet is torturing our children, who are suspected of having committed the Duma murders.
In the past few days I held many conversations with senior officials in the various security services relating to the interrogation of the detainees. I am convinced, in light of my knowledge of the system and its people, that the culture of investigations in the State of Israel since its establishment has undergone different cycles, changes, regulation and legislation. The reasons for such a process are many and varied and have to do with social developments, a changing reality, constitutional maturity, accumulated experience and the influence of international bodies. Based on my legal knowledge, it is clear to me that a confession or eyewitness account obtained illegally will be invalidated in court, and there have been quite a few such cases. So as in the case of Duma, an admission given as a result of illegal pressure on the suspect in the end will be revealed and won’t stand up in court.
I have no doubt that at the end of 2015, the investigations that the Shin Bet hold in its basements are carried out in the presence of a legal adviser, a physician and no doubt are recorded by camera from every possible angle. These investigations, contrary to the supporters of the detainees, cannot be carried out illegally and without the approval of the attorney general.
Nevertheless, and despite of this, some of our citizens are having a major crisis of confidence. They do not trust elected officials. They do not trust the judicial system. They do not trust the media, and sometimes not even the security forces.
In a democracy, there are legitimate ways to protest. Unfortunately, in recent years, demonstrations like those against the Shin Bet arose as a result of the manipulations of a small group, sometimes at the expense of the public.
For example, it became known that the Rothschild protest in the summer of 2011 was funded by vested interest groups, and was a springboard for a small number of people, and behind the scenes was carefully planned as a political protest.
I believe that in today’s reality, the truth will quickly come to light. It’s a matter of time, process and professionalism.
If anyone believes that the Shin Bet acted unlawfully, it will soon be clarified. I believe that in light of the fact that all the interrogations are filmed and documented, the heads of the security system will not ignore the fact if it turns out that there indeed were brutal interrogations that lead to forced confessions. But it is most important that we make it clear that the common interest is to find those responsible for the murders in Duma and bring them to justice.
If we desire to live, and before we are required to make crucial decisions concerning our enemies and neighbors, we must put our trust in our state bodies and give them the tools and authority to succeed.
In the past 67 years, we have established a magnificent country. From a nation of refugees, persecuted and murdered, we have established a legislature, courts, an educational system, security system, industry and a thriving economy.
In short, a state, a resplendent state.
Let us watch over it, all of us.The author the mayor of Efrat and an attorney.