Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Detention of Ghazi Walid Falah

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.

 

 

More articles by:
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
Brian Saady
How the “Cocaine Mitch” Saga Deflected the Spotlight on Corruption
David Swanson
Tim Kaine’s War Scam Hits a Speed Bump
Norah Vawter
Pipeline Outrage is a Human Issue, Not a Political Issue
Mel Gurtov
Who’s to Blame If the US-North Korea Summit Isn’t Held?
Patrick Bobilin
When Outrage is Capital
Jessicah Pierre
The Moral Revolution America Needs
Binoy Kampmark
Big Dead Place: Remembering Antarctica
John Carroll Md
What Does It Mean to be a Physician Advocate in Haiti?
George Ochenski
Saving Sage Grouse: Another Collaborative Failure
Sam Husseini
To the US Government, Israel is, Again, Totally Off The Hook
Brian Wakamo
Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!
Colin Todhunter
Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again
George Capaccio
Bloody Monday, Every Day of the Week
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Swing Status, Be Gone
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail