The U.S. State Department is routinely failing to represent the interests of Arab-Americans when they are detained by Israeli security services, according to an investigation by the TV newsmagazine "CNN & Time."
The report, to air Sunday in the United States and on Monday in Europe, details how Israel's security services detained an American of Arab origin for forty days in 1998. After his release, he claimed both that he was tortured and that the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, charged with the protection of American citizens in other countries, did nothing to prevent it. The American, Anwar Mohammed of Orlando, Fla., accuses American consular officials of ignoring the physical evidence of his mistreatment and of not attending the Israeli military court that authorized the security services to hold him for further questioning.
"CNN & Time" investigated Mohammed's allegations. It found a pattern of official indifference to the treatment of U.S. citizens of Arab origin in Israel. Mohammed told "CNN & Time" he was advised on his release to remain quiet. However, he and two other Arab-Americans have presented signed affidavits to the State Department alleging serious mistreatment by Israeli interrogators.
In addition, the Washington-based charity Partners for Peace has documented the cases of ten Arab-Americans, all United States citizens, who were detained by Israeli security services between 1997 and 1999. The State Department, despite repeated requests from "CNN & Time," would not provide a response to the men's affidavits or allow diplomats to speak on camera about the allegations.
Note: This report is airing on Sunday, September 10, at 9 P.M. EST (and on Monday, September 11, at 4 P.M. GMT in Europe). Charles Glass, who was a hostage in Lebanon in 1987, is "CNN & Time"'s international correspondent.