Sunday, 17 July 2011

12th July - and yes, still in prison

We are let out of our cells and into the hallway. The Consul is here. A voice calls out and as I pass down the hall, I find Gabrielle locked in a cell on her own. It seems that all the Frenchwomen have gone, but she is left behind. This is no reflection on the others, for I know about the lies over everything from the status of my passport, to the offer of coffee, to the making of my statutory phone call. Lies lies lies. They probably said she was right behind. Gabrielle, a lovely looking woman of 71 years is distraught and vulnerable. I promise her on the spot that I will not leave her alone. What else can one human being do for another in such a situation?

We are led in the usual ponderous way through sets of clanking locked gates to see the consul. Suprise suprise, the Ambassador himself is here. I extend my hand and greet him as 'Ambassador', Gary introduces him as Matthew. I have experience of the formality usually required when meeting Ambassadors and was confused. Why just Matthew?

The Ambassador is young, I thought of Craig Murray, the youngest British Ambassador of his time, framed, banished and defamed for highlighting to Jack extraordinary rendition Straw that the British Government was implicit in torture in Uzbekistan, Except this was no Craig Murray I could see. This was a man of obvious Jewish extraction who had turned up in Givon and was clearly thinking we were a thorn in his otherwise quiet life and was probably there to announce that due to his great efforts, we were going.

But things had changed. My petition against the police who had attacked me had not been heard. We were holding out for an explanation as to why we were being held, Angelica was expecting to go before a judge, and there was Gabrielle. Although we did not like prison life, we were not in the mood to leave with so much undone.

Later we see our lawyer. We ask what we should do next as everything is taking a long time. He said 'First of all, do you believe there is justice in Israeli courts?'

For a moment I was foolishly thinking that courts in a democracy could be trusted to deliver justice, then I remembered where we were. Israel may purport to be a democracy, but it is not.

Our lawyer informed me that our position was that we were in transit, we had never set foot in Israel. He said that even my Israeli entry visa would be tampered with to show that I had not entered. We were about 30km from the airport and had been staying in Givon jail for 5 days and 5 nights, yet we were never even there.

Once again I was reminded of the position of my own family who I went back to trace in the area around Florence, Italy some years ago. I was informed by council officials, as they brought me the great heavy book of registered births and deaths of the time, that if my family had been Jewish, they would have been written out of history. The books, in fine copperplate writing that they were, were all forgeries. My family had never even existed. The ultimate insult.

And so history repeats itself. My visit to Givon jail has been written out of history. I was never there, I had never set foot in Israel. This is not normal, this is not right and the British Government is standing right there, shoulder to shoulder, deep in collusion.

SW Argus

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