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February 26, 2012 2:02 pm
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Administrative Detention: U.S., Australia and Israel

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Demonstrator holds up paper showing Kahder Adnan's face. Photo: wiki commons.

Surrounded by violent enemies, one may think that the only democracy in the Middle East – a Western facing, liberal nation could be a media darling – or at the very least treated fairly. Surrounded by tyrants, Israel constantly gets bashed by the media… and yet again this week the terrorists won in the worldwide Public Relations battle as Israel lost.

Khader Adnan a worldwide spokesman for Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad launched a 66 day hunger strike. After worldwide media pressure, Israel announced that they would grant him an early release – and Adnan agreed to end his hunger strike.  The “non-violent” nature of this terrorist’s protest won him worldwide support. Amazingly, Adnan’s hunger strike saw him repeatedly referred to as a “hero” in major worldwide media outlets- by the same media which refer to his organization as “militants” rather than terrorists. Naturally, no mainstream outlets showed pictures of the innocent people in Israel that his organization blew up on buses, shopping malls or restaurants when detailing this particular “non-violent” protest. Nor did they detail how at a 2007 rally he said: “Who among you will carry the next explosive belt?” “Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”

What journalists did do, is condemn Israel’s legal system – administrative detention – a system which is practiced by America, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia and many others. Administrative detention means ‘the holding of a person by the state without a trial,’ and is explicitly legal under strict conditions, according to international law. While Israel’s action was legal, I have yet to learn the name of a single prisoner held by any of the great bastions of democracy in Israel’s neighborhood such as Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia or any of the other countries bordering Israel.

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Adnan was able to portray himself as an unfortunate human rights champion. The government of Israel, or a Public Relation Agency could have been enlisted to speak out against this dangerous terrorist being held, just as prisoners are held in other countries. Israel could have said that as soon as America, Canada, Britain, Ireland and Australia free their prisoners that are help in administrative detention so too can Israel consider it. It is continued media bias at the least – and Anti-Semitism at its worst.

Of course in the continued wacky world of Israel publicity, this week saw Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appoint a new communications director after the resignation of the previous director due to his handling of a sexual harassment scandal. Other members of the Prime Minister’s office are also expected to step down over the affair. While PR staffers are dealing with sexual harassment, the nation of Israel continues to be beat up in the media.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, and author of best selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.”

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