Friday, January 02, 2009

imagine facing a jail sentence for insulting the dignity of a public official

There are a great many of what I would call really asinine laws on the books in Israel. The real injustice is that these laws are dusted off from time to time to prosecute all those who don’t fall easily into line with the thinking of any given Israeli Administration. One of these laws is called ‘insulting the dignity of a public official’. When I first heard of this law, I immediately thought it referred to a bribe which was too small, and hence, it insulted the public official. Alas, it refers to a type of name calling – not libelous or slanderous name calling per say but insinuations which said public official finds offensive.

Currently, Nadia Matar, leader of Women in Green, is on trial in Israel for writing a protest letter to a public official against the Gaza Engagement. The offending paragraphs (courtesy of Arutz Sheva):

"The truth is that you are a modern version of the Judenrat - actually, a much worse version, because then, during the Holocaust, this was forced upon those Jewish leaders by the Nazis, and it is extremely difficult for us, today, to judge them. Today, no one stands with a gun to your head and forces you to collaborate in the crime, without any conscience pangs."

In her letter, Matar went on to warn of "the bloody price that we will have to pay for our retreat. If the criminal Oslo accords cost us more than 1,000 victims, Sharon's deportation plan will give such a push to the Nazi Arab terror (for the Arabs will see that Israel's folding is proof that terror pays) that I fear to think how many Jews will pay with their lives for Sharon's 'disengagement'." In comments defending the content and tone of her letter at the time, the Women In Green head said that it was justified by the situation, because the Disengagement will lead to "Katyushas and rockets fired from Gaza."

Matar’s trial has been post-poned - Arutz Sheva:
As it turned out, the call-up of the State's attorney due to the war in Gaza provided an even more ironic twist to Sheftel's response to the court. He said:
"Let it be written in the protocol that Attorney [Erez] Padan has been called up for the reserves as a direct result of the fact that his place of work, the Supreme Court, described the expulsion from Gush Katif, against which my client was protesting and for which she now stands trial, as something positive that will improve the security situation of Israel when today we know that it is that expulsion that brought upon us Katyushas in Be'er Sheva, Ashdod and Yavne. That is why Attorney Padan has been called up for reserves and my client is sitting on the bench of the accused."

Well. Well. If that irony doesn't rot ones socks, what will?

1 comment:

shlemazl said...

Personally I find the comparison she was making disgusting and idiotic. Still I don't believe it should be a matter for the courts.