Sunday, November 27, 2011

Israel's Attorney General: Nothing wrong with Bibi in SS uniform

Everyone knows that one of the key events of incitement that led to Prime Minister Rabin's assassination was the infamous poster of Rabin in an "SS" Nazi uniform. I was even present at the demonstration in Zion Square when they were being handed out -- and the orchestrator of the hand-out was Shabak agent provocateur, Avishai Raviv.

Granted, that was many years ago, and since then, we've all been educated that words and posters kill. We're reminded annually that had the national-religious camp demonstrated their dislike of the government's politics in a more civil way, everything would be different today.

Reminding us that there's nothing wrong for a center-right wing Prime Minister of Israel to be photo-montaged into a similar SS Nazi uniform, a left wing blogger created such a display this past summer.
MK Ophir Akunis (Likud) filed a police complaint Tuesday morning against a blog that published photomontages depicting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a Nazi SS uniform. The Likud's Legal Adviser, Attorney Avi HaLevi, accompanied Akunis to the police station and also signed the complaint.

The blog is named HaOtzer HaEzrachi ("The Civilian Curfew"). It went offline Monday after the press discovered the photos, and news of their existence began to circulate.

The blog featured a demand that Netanyahu and members of his government be put on trial. It showed a caption that read "The Main Suspect: Binyamin Netanyahu," and beneath it three photomontage pictures that show Netanyahu in Nazi uniform. At least one of the pictures also has Netanyahu giving a Nazi salute.

Akunis and HaLevi noted that the bloggers identify themselves as citizens of Israel who represent "the heart of the Israeli protest against the policies of the capitalist-piggish Netanyahu government" and refuse to talk to Netanyahu.

The bloggers compare the Prime Minister to a drunk who has cruelly murdered a loved one. In such a case, they ask their readers, "would you try to create a 'solution' or would you consider continuing to live with the same vile murderer?"

Netanyahu is labeled "the main suspect" and the bloggers demand that he and his ministers be brought to a "field trial" and call on the public to take action in this direction. (INN)
Today, MK Ofir Akunis shared on his Facebook page that he was informed that a photo montage of Netanyahu in an SS uniform is not "criminal incitement" and his complaint will be shelved. He announced that Shai Niztan has ordered the police to close their investigation into the blog which created the photo montage of Netanyahu in an SS uniform. (also reported in Hebrew, here)

Interestingly enough, I found the following in Haaretz's archives from 2005.
The Jerusalem Police have foiled plans by right-wing extremists to distribute posters with pictures of Yitzhak Rabin in an SS uniform to coincide with the 10th anniversary of his assassination, the police said yesterday.

One suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of planning to distribute the posters, which police say violate the laws against incitement and slander.

The posters bear the slogan "rejoice in the downfall of the wicked" and say they are being distributed in honor of the anniversary of the death of "a hater of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, may his name be erased."

Yesterday, the boy was remanded for two days by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, and police are searching for a second minor whom they also suspect of involvement in the affair. (Haaretz)
Note that 2 minors were remanded for two days due to posters with Rabin in an SS uniform...due to "incitement"...(against a person who was already dead).

Please do NOT go and look at the Haaretz link above, which contains the infamous photo-montage of Rabin in an SS uniform (for information purposes only). If you do, I'm afraid that Shai Niztan would have me and this blog investigated for incitement and we would be shut down for good. Therefore, please do NOT go there, please do NOT even think of Rabin in an SS uniform, since that is incitement.

PM Netanyahu in an SS uniform is freedom of speech and is the epitome of our democracy.

Bonus question: What do you think would happen had the photo montage been of someone else instead of PM Attorney General Shai Niztan, for example?

Legal Disclaimer: The posting the above photo of PM Netanyahu is for informative purposes only, and I do not condone the photo montage. The "bonus question" above is not meant as a suggestion for anyone to actually go ahead and try it, because that would obviously be incitement. Please do not create any photo montages of anyone. Thank you.

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NormanF said...

Shai Nitzan is a leftist... and of course to him, a rabbi denouncing Arabs living alongside Jews is racist but Netanyahu in an SS uniform is protected free speech. I'm not surprised given Nitzan's ideological biases. As Israel's free speech cop, he has the right to decide who is guilty of incitement - and the person to be found suspect will never be a leftist extremist or Arab Islamist.

yoni r. said...

An excellent test case would be if someone posted the same picture with Shai Nitzan's face in place of Bibi's.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yoni R. You are 100% correct. However, I'm not willing to risk it! (nor do I advise anyone to risk it...)

yoni r, said...


For the record, all I said (and I was very careful about what I said) was that it would be an excellent test case.

Anonymous said...

Yoni R: Too late, we're telling!


NormanF said...

Jameel is correct... theoretically, he does have the freedom to put up such a poster of Nitzan as a goose-stepping Nazi - which by the way would be quite accurate!

But since he is not a leftist, he does not enjoy free speech rights. I'd bet even money he would indicted and thrown in the slammer for having the temerity to express an opinion of which Nitzan does not approve.

And leftists are not known for their sense of humor.

In Israel, the double standard on freedom of speech is alive and well!

Price Tagger said...

This comment has been deleted by the State Prosecutor's Office

Anonymous said...

Any possibility that the Law distinguishes between pictures that are printed and passed around on physical paper and pictures found on websites?

Anonymous said...

Please note everyone that a law is in the stages of passing that ISPs have to give the details of people who comment on internet pages if so requested. (it says talkbacks, I am not sure if it counts blogs too)

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, Nitzan is the deputy state prosecutor (under Lador) unless something changed. So we don't need to fear him too much... yet

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