A curious story (via the Israeli blog Desert Peace) that questions the kinds of Jews Israel would like to accept:
Jared Malsin, the editor of the English edition of Maan News Agency, has been detained by Israeli authorities. Malsin, a Jewish-American who lives and works in the West Bank, was picked up on Tuesday at Ben Gurion International Airport, as he and his partner returned from vacation in the Czech Republic. After being subjected to eight hours of interrogation, Malsin was deemed a security threat and was slated to be deported to Prague Thursday morning.
Maan states: Hebrew-language interrogation transcripts obtained by Ma’an reveal that Malsin was deemed a security risk on the apparent basis of his political beliefs. Interrogators gathered online research into the journalist’s writing history, which the transcripts indicate included news stories “criticizing the State of Israel,” among other allegations that he “authored articles inside the territories.”
Although Bethlehem-based Maan is identified as a Palestinian news service, it is widely known as an independent media outlet–free of political agendas and noted for its unbiased reporting. As such, it is attracting a steadily growing readership, receiving over 3 million visitors a month.
Malsin appealed the deportation order and was scheduled to stand before a judge in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning. But according to Maan’s lawyer, Castro Daoud, the hearing has been delayed until Sunday for unknown reasons.
In the meantime, Daoud says, Malsin remains in the custody of Israeli authorities.
Since his detainment, which Israeli officials initially denied, Malsin has had little contact with the outside world. Daoud has had only one brief meeting with his client and Malsin has made a short phone call to Maan staff writer and sub-editor, George Hale.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Hale reports that Malsin was shocked by the detainment. Malsin was also surprised that Israeli security officials were questioning him about the International Solidarity Movement, an activist group that Malsin has no affiliation with.
“He [Malsin] is the last person who would be involved with the ISM. He is a journalist,” Hale says, “and his reporting is impartial.”
Hale adds: “I think that there are a lot of assumptions about Maan and the people who work here–that we’re here to demonize Israel. We’re not.”