Activists detained during Bush visit

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Police detained three Israeli activists distributing material to the press corps during President Bush’s visit.

On Jan. 9, Jeff Daube, the Zionist Organization of America’s director in Israel; Susie Dym, the head of the Cities of Israel organization; and Yehudit Dassberg, who lost a daughter and son-in-law in a Palestinian terrorist attack, were standing in front of Jerusalem’s Dan Panorama Hotel as part of an effort to have Israeli English speakers talk to the press.

Most of the press corps covering Bush’s visit was staying at the Dan Panorama.

The project was an initiative sponsored by the National Council of Young Israel in Israel and the Center for Near East Policy Research.

Police first asked the group to move to the street corner away from the hotel before detaining the three, who were taken to the Russian Compound police headquarters. Daube, who made aliyah two weeks ago and opened up the Israeli branch of ZOA, said their Israel identity cards were confiscated. They were released without charges an hour later with a warning not to return to the hotel.

A report the activists were distributing about what they called the tolerance and promotion of terrorism by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party was confiscated. Police called it “seditious and inciteful” after a cameraman for Fox News offered to take one to his producer, according to Daube.

The booklets, Israelbehindthenews.com/pdf/ModerateFatah.pdf, were not returned when the activists were released.

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Israel National News on Thursday that the three volunteers were released “after it became clear there was no security threat involved and there was no incitement with the materials they had.”

Rosenfeld said the booklets were confiscated in order to be “examined” but said he had to “look into” why they were not returned.

“We are requesting an apology to the Israelis, including Jeff Daube, Susie Dym, and Yehudit Dassberg, whose freedom of speech and assembly rights were violated and who were improperly detained, and to the ZOA from the Israeli Police Superintendent Chaim Moshe,” ZOA National President Morton Klein said in a statement.

 

 

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