Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Defending Settlers from knee-jerk reactionaries

Last week, the Hevron "Peace House" evacuation was the news of the day. The only thing the media could write about was the "settler violence". Ehud Olmert called it a pogrom against the Palestinians, BTselem offered a video of a settler allegedly shooting a Palestinian for no apparent reason, except demonstrate that "settlers are racists", and the final straw was the call to demand swift action against the settler.

Since then, some cooler heads seem to have emerged (surprisingly).

Public Security Minister Dichter announced "We know what a pogrom is" and added that the Prime Minister's use of the word was totally unsuitable. "There was no pogrom of Jews on Arabs in Hebron, and anyone who uses the term 'pogrom' plans to degrade," he added. "Hevron is not on fire; there is no Jewish intifada." (source)

The settler from the video was "swiftly" arrested (after he turned himself in).
During the hearing Brauda's lawyer Ariel Atari said his client, who has never been involved in any violent incidents, had gone to the wadi to keep his son away from the disputed house, when he was surrounded by Arabs carrying large stones and feared for his life.
The judge decided to let Brauda free, and is only under "house arrest" despite the police's recommendation, State Prosecutor's direct involvement:
Before issuing her decision, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court's Judge Malka Aviv harshly criticized the police. "The police are being extremely lenient towards the behavior of the Palestinian residents in that incident… We cannot play a part in such outright double standards."

The judge pointed out that none of the other people involved in the serious incident were arrested by the police and no proceedings were opened against them, when it was clear that Brauda was being lynched. (source)
The judge made it amply clear that Brauda was clearly in a life-or-death situation, yet that didn't stop the media or Ehud Barak from immediately painting the settler as the devil's spawn.

I predict Brauda will be exonerated, and can gaurantee you that the State will appeal.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Tzipporah said...

Jameel, in the US, if the accused is declared innocent, the prosecutors HAVE no recourse. Only a plaintiff can appeal, I'm pretty sure.

Is it different in Israel?

Tzipporah said...

oops - I mistyped. I meant only a DEFENDANT can appeal.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Tzipporah: Its common in Israel for the State Prosecution to appeal decisions. I guess its different here than in USA (in many ways...)


Anonymous said...

Jameel, you sound like Joe Settler. Do we really need to hear more settler apologetic?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Do we really need to hear more settler apologetic?

Huh? Its always been important to me to help paint an accurate picture of whats going on here.

You don't find it the least bit interesting, that Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert called the specific action of a settler, "a pogrom", and yet the court has said "he was in danger of being lynched"?

If the person indeed went to "start up" with the arabs and shot them out of racism, I'll be the first to criticize him.

Yet look at what's going on around us:

"The police invest great resources into law enforcement in Judea and Samaria, that by far exceed what is common in the rest of districts, and are aimed solely at settlers," said a report by the Yesha Human Rights Organization published on Thursday.

According to the report, "The Judea and Samaria District Police receive orders from above to apply over-enforcement towards the settlers. To that purpose they are granted unprecedented resources, and dictated different classification rules than what is customary."


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