Israel’s “Shin Bet” (General Security Service) detained Reut Mor, a peace activist and spokeswoman for Hadash during the 2015 election campaign for the Knesset, at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this week upon her return from vacation in Greece. Mor’s detention was apparently an attempt to glean information about Israelis planning to join the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla set to leave Greece in this weekend.
Mor, a resident of Jaffa, served as spokeswoman for Hadash, one of the parties that merged to form the Joint List, during the election campaign for the Knesset earlier this year. In October 2012, she was on board the Finnish ship Estelle as it sought to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip. The ship was intercepted by the Israeli navy en route.
Earlier this month Mor flew to Greece on vacation and returned on Sunday, June 15. “When I got off the plane they detained me for over an hour,” she said. “Afterwards I was called to a side room where a Ben-Gurion security officer handed me a summons to appear at the Yarkon police station (in Tel Aviv), which didn’t say anything except to ask for Rona. I asked her what this was about and she said, ‘I’m sure you know.’”
“Rona” is the pseudonym of the Shin Bet coordinator responsible for gathering information from left-wing activists in Israel. Mor said that she went to the police station on Monday accompanied by her lawyer, and met with “Rona” and another unidentified woman.
“They started to ask me why I had gone to Greece and what I had done in Greece. I told them I’d been on vacation. They said, ‘It wasn’t connected to the flotilla? We know that you were on the Estelle.’ I told them that was no secret, it’s my cover photo on Facebook. “From there it transitioned into a wide range of questions about what I did in the army, about the Combatants for Peace movement for which I’d served as spokesperson eight years ago. I was asked if I was in touch with flotilla activists, if I knew about Israelis [involved]. I told them yes, that I’d heard on the news that [Joint List MK] Basel Ghattas was planning to join the flotilla.
“Most of the questions did not deal with the flotilla,” Mor added. “They asked me my views on Zionism, how I view IDF soldiers, what I thought of BDS. I was asked if I still work with the Joint List. I explained that I’m an independent media consultant, so Rona asked me who my clients are. I told her that was a political question; that flotillas don’t threaten Israeli security; that it’s an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the situation in Gaza which is why it’s conducted openly, to create as much publicity as possible. I told her about the violence I experienced from IDF soldiers on the Estelle, and that I hope this time they’ll be smart enough not to use violence.”