Right-Wing Activist to Be Released from Administrative Detention

“To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.” Isaiah 42:7 (The Israel Bible™)

By: Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Meir Ettinger, the right-wing activist held in administrative detention since August, will be released on June 1 after the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) declined to seek an extension during a hearing on Tuesday.

However, the Shin Bet will seek to impose unspecified restrictions on Ettinger even after his release.

“I am very happy that this lengthy period of Ettinger’s detention has come to an end,” said Ettinger’s lawyer Yuval Zemer. “Yet it is sad to find that the State of Israel in 2016 can detain a person for 10 months just on the basis of his political views. While I congratulate the correct decision to not further extend his sentence, it comes too late.”

Ettinger, grandson of the American-born extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane who was murdered by a Palestinian assassin in New York, was taken into administrative detention for suspected involvement in the 2015 arson attack that killed three members of the Dawabshe family in the Palestinian village of Duma, including the infant Ali.

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While left uncharged with a crime, Ettinger remained in detention by order of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for allegedly posing an active threat to public safety.

At age 24, Ettinger is at the top of the Shin Bet’s list of most dangerous right-wing Jewish extremists. According to the Shin Bet, Ettinger is leader of  “The Revolt” – a fringe religious group bent on creating war between Arabs and Jews and the ultimate destruction of the secular State of Israel.

According to a document that surfaced in early August, Ettinger wrote that “The State of Israel does not follow the Torah and prefers assimilation to inheritance of the land. We must understand that the closer we bring the conflict the better it will be for the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”

Ettinger received a four-month extension on his administrative detention in February, which stirred community protests and familial uproar.

On April 3, Ettinger was denied a temporary release to attend his son’s ritual circumcision.