FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Detention of Ghazi Walid Falah

by DAVID NALLY

On the 9 July, 2006 Professor Ghazi Walid Falah–a professional geographer who holds dual Arab-Israeli and Canadian citizenship and is a University Lecturer at the University of Akron in Ohio–was arrested by the Israeli authorities near Haifa in northern Israel.

Some time before his arrest Professor Falah had travelled to Israel to visit his mother before she underwent critical brain surgery. On July 9th Professor Falah packed his camera and headed for a popular tourist resort near Nahariya, close to the border with Lebanon.

While taking photographs he was approached by members of the Israeli police force. He was subsequently detained and escorted back to his brother’s house in a nearby town where he had been staying. There he was ordered to collect all of his personal belongings and was ushered away by the police. To date no charges have been publicly brought against Professor Falah and his attorney is under a restraining order not to discuss the case with the media or public.

A recent website organised by Dr. Colin Flint of Penn State University aiming to publicise Falah’s situation, relates the following:

On the 15th July Falah was brought before an Israeli judge, who ruled that he was to remain in police custody. His attorney, Hussein Abu Hussein, was not permitted to enter the courtroom, to speak with Professor Falah, or to learn the charges against him. On Saturday July 22nd Professor Falah again appeared before a judge who extended his confinement for four additional days.

Throughout this ordeal a gag order has been imposed on Falah’s attorney, and his family, who live in Wadsworth, Ohio, have been denied communication and access rights.

Although no charges have been publicly brought against Professor Falah, the insinuation seems to be that his photographs were being taken for espionage. Here a few points are worth bearing in mind. First, like very many social scientists, Professor Falah is an avid photographer: he often took pictures for use in his classes at the University of Akron, Ohio, and for his publications on the Middle East. Indeed, many of his photographs end up on the cover of the Arab World Geographer, of which he is the Chief Editor.

Professor Falah holds impeccable academic credentials. He has published widely in Political Geography, the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Third World Quarterly. However, he has also written very critically on Israeli geopolitics, and has worked with noted Israeli peace researchers such as David Newman. As one Irish geographer expressed it: ‘Although not substantiated, there is genuine fear that Ghazi’s research may play against him in his continued detainment.’

Thirdly, the fact that no charges have been publicly brought against Professor Falah means that his case is closed to legal dispute. The fact that his family and lawyer have been refused access is a denial of very basic human rights.

According to those involved in publicising these events, there has been a ‘swelling chorus of international support for Professor Falah,’ including concerned activists ‘in Israel as well as others in the USA, Canada and Europe, and representations have been made to the Canadian and Israeli authorities by professional organizations and individuals.’ Those appalled by these developments have been urging authorities to meet basic standards of due-process and to respect Professor Falah’s human rights.

To learn more about Professor Falah and what you can do to help please visit: http://www.muehlenhaus.com/ghazi
DAVID NALLY completed his Ph.D in Geography at the University of British Columbia. He was recently appointed as a University Lecturer in Human Geography at Cambridge.

 

 

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail