The Israeli army briefly disappeared a US citizen last week, detaining him illegally and holding him captive in inhuman conditions for 48 hours.
International Solidarity Movement activist Eric Levine was taken into custody on July 1 as he tried to enter Nablus to bring essential medical services and serve as human rights observers. He was traveling with an American paramedic, a British medical worker, and two Palestinians; the Israelis detained all five. Their families and friends had no idea where they were.
Throughout their detention, the Israeli army denied the five activists access to a telephone, refused to explain why they were being detained, and kept them in an outdoor cage under armed guard. Soldiers threatened to shoot them on several occasions if they attempted to leave the area.
The US and British consulates in Israel has said that it will lodge a formal complaint to the Israeli government for its mistreatment of Eric Levine. It will be the first time in its history that the US consulate has issued a complaint against the Israeli military.
Democracy Now! asked the US consulate to join us on the program this morning, but they said they could not. The US Consulate in Jerusalem has filed a diplomatic note of protest with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, and they say they have been in touch with the Israeli government about the case. This morning, an American Citizens Affairs officer at the US Consulate told Eric Levine that his situation was "tantamount to kidnapping."
He joins us in our studio.
- Eric Levine, International Solidarity Movement activist who just returned from Israel. The US consulate is filing a complaint about his detention, and the detention of another US activist and a British activist, by Israeli soldiers
- Rae Levine, International Solidarity Movement activist who just returned from Israel. She is a consultant for nonprofit organizations and foundations in Seattle