The son of a former University of Toronto professor detained in Israel and accused of spying for Hezbollah said the Canadian government has done nothing to help his father, an academic known for his writings on the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state.
"I am very disappointed. ... because my father is not an American citizen, but American embassies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have made several attempts to contact him and they have contacted us personally," said Naail Falah, 23, in a phone interview from Ohio.
His father, Ghazi, who holds Israeli and Canadian citizenship, teaches geography at the University of Akron in Ohio. He was arrested July 8 in northern Israel but has not been charged with a crime. Ghazi Falah, who lived in Toronto between 1992 and 2001, taught geography at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
Naail Falah said he called the foreign affairs department's 24-hour emergency line immediately after his father's arrest. A department case worker called back the next day to say they were trying to contact his father.
"That was the last I heard from the Canadian government. I haven't heard from them in more than two weeks," he said.
Nancy Goldfarb, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Consulate General in Philadelphia said Ghazi was taking pictures "of Israeli installations along the northern border.
"He was arrested on suspicion that his pictures were taken for intelligence purposes. Currently, he is still under investigation and I don't know whether he will be indicted."
Ghazi Falah's lawyer in Israel, Husein abu-Husein, confirmed his client was taking photographs, but said they were for his academic research.
Husein said Israel is accusing Ghazi Falah of spying for Hezbollah and Iran, and his client denies it. One of the photographs he took included a military antenna, Husein said.
"As a specialist in geography, he was documenting and taking pictures in the north area in Israel, just as he had in the south of Lebanon when he went there last June."