Disengagement detainees reunite

Right-wing activists arrested during the struggle against the disengagement from the Gaza Strip this past summer will have a chance to exchange war stories on Thursday during a reunion at the Hakotel Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Old City. Expecting the participation of several hundred right-wing activists - some currently in the midst of their trials, while others are nervously waiting to see if they will be indicted - the event's organizers from the Jewish prisoner rights association Honenu have enlisted several popular right-wing activists to give lectures to the crowd. One of the lecturers, Kach activist Noam Federman, who has spent eight months in administrative detention and several months under house arrest, will share with the crowd tips on how to behave during a police or Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogation. "I will tell people what to do when they are arrested or indicted," Federman said. "No one is a bigger expert than me when it comes to these experiences." According to Shmuel Meidad, head of Honenu, seven right-wing activists were still in prison while hundreds of disengagement opponents have been charged since the summer pullout. The purpose of the event, he said, was to help the people awaiting trial by giving them practical legal advice and offering them solutions how to beat the prosecution. "There are people who have been indicted or are being questioned and are in distress," Meidad said. "We hope we can advise them and help them relax." Meidad also blasted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and blamed him for not closing the cases against the disengagement opponents. After the evacuation of the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, he claimed, then-prime minister Menahem Begin ordered the prosecution to close all the cases against the pullout opponents. "Today not only has that policy changed," he lamented. "But in most of the cases the charges against the people are also baseless, making this seem like a witch-hunt."