Detained as Security Risks: 2 Cases. Compare. by the Forward

Detained as Security Risks: 2 Cases. Compare.

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Two weirdly similar articles showed up in my email this morning. Both are by political activists who don’t particularly regard themselves as political activists but as voices of reason. Both ran into intrusive law enforcement, in the name of national security, that violated the freedoms each one values—freedom of inquiry in one case, freedom of worship in the other, freedom of movement for both.

The thing is, I’m sure that both the writers would hate to be compared to the other. But the narratives are so similar that the comparison seems to me inescapable. I leave it to you to decide whether the situations are comparable.

One of them is Glenn Greenwald, the expat American lawyer-journalist who broke the Edward Snowden leaks in his column in the British Guardian. His Brazilian life-partner David Miranda was detained incommunicado for nine hours today at Heathrow Airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.” There seems little doubt that the detention was part of the Obama administration’s embarrassing effort to get at Snowden. As Greenwald writes in the Guardian, he was outraged.

The other is David Wilder, a longtime spokesman for the Jewish settler community in Hebron. He was detained by Israeli Border Police this morning after trying to bypass the security guards who maintain separation between Jews and Muslims in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, sacred to both religions. He was trying to usher in a group of Jewish tourists from America, but he was made to wait for a Muslim ritual to be completed. As he wrote in his weekly email blast, he was outraged:

Wilder’s post doesn’t seem to appear on the Web, so I’ll paste it in full after the jump.

The Cave, actually an elaborate complex built over ancient tombs, is the reputed burial site of the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and three of their four wives. It’s sacred to both religions. Jews call it the Cave of Machpelah, Muslims call it the Ibrahimi Mosque. The two communities have been strictly separated by Israeli security forces, with separate spaces and worship times, ever since the massacre there of 29 Muslim worshipers by Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein in 1994. It’s been particularly tense over the past few days.

Here’s Wilder’s full report (bold emphases in original):

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.


J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg is editor emeritus of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

Detained as Security Risks: 2 Cases. Compare.

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Detained as Security Risks: 2 Cases. Compare.

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