Sunday, September 08, 2013
Another Judicial Victory for the Israeli Fascist Left
Another Judicial Victory for the Israeli Fascist Left
For years we have been relaying reports about the assault against freedom of speech by Israel's anti-democratic Left. We have also been reporting on the many incidents in which the Israeli judicial system operates out of political bias to suppress freedom of speech. In Israel a dual justice system is allowed to operate - one for leftists and the other for everyone else. But I doubt that any of those previous reports could have prepared anyone for the perfidious ruling by Judge Raphael Yaakobi in Jerusalem court this past week. Not only did Yaakobi defend the naked defamation of a Zionist student group by far-leftist anti-democratic radicals. The judge went beyond that and for all intents and purposes proclaimed Zionism a form of fascism.
The case in question involves a libel suit filed by the IM TIRTZU Zionist student organization in Israel against a gaggle of far-leftists who set up a facebook page, in which the leftists wrote that Im Tirtzu is a fascist and Nazi-like organization. When the case came to court, the leftists claimed that what they had written was factually correct and dragged in to court as their star witness the hardcore anti-Israel communist professor Zeev Sternhell. Sternhell is a leftwing fascist who opposes freedom of speech (see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/HebrewU%20-%20Zeev%20Sternhell%20-%20defends%20Leftist%20McCarthyists.htm ). He also has a long history of calling for the suppression of Israeli sovereignty (see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/HebrewU%20-%20Zeev%20Sternhell%20-%20Calls%20to%20Suppress%20Israeli%20Sovereignty.htm). Sternhell is so anti-Israel that he was granted the Israel prize (see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Shaul%20Sadka%20-%20Sternhell%20Israel%20Prize.htm). He is best known for proclaiming that the children of Jewish settlers are Hitler Youth. In court Sternhell claimed that yes of course Im Tirtzu really IS a fascist and Nazi-like organization.
The judge tossed out the libel claim by Im Tirtzu. But he did NOT toss it out while posturing as some sort of free-speech absolutist, one who thinks the courts should NEVER issue judgments against libel. Rather, the politicized judge tossed out the suit because he says that yes Im Tirtzu is a fascist organization. His evidence? Leftwing fascist anti-democratic communist fanatic Zeev Sternhell said so in court! So did a few other far leftist "witnesses."
Now lest anyone mistakenly believe that Israeli courts believe in free speech, let us remind everyone of the court judgment against moi for claiming that the illegal infiltration of Ramallah by Neve Gordon, where he served as human shield for murderers and interfered illegally with Israeli military anti-terror operations while publicly embracing Arafat, made Gordon a judenrat-wannabe. The court, including the Supreme Court, ruled that one cannot use Holocaust era rhetoric in political discourse in Israel, as opposed to all democracies on the planet, and found against me. But when leftwing radicals call Im Tirtzu fascist, a term also from the Holocaust era, this is suddenly protected speech. So is Sternhell's calling settler children Hitler Youth.
In reality, Im Tirtzu is simply a non-partisan Zionist organization, and its activities include things like holding campus protests against pro-Hamas Arab student rallies or picketing the New Israel Fund and its leaders. Since it is simply a Zionist organization, this judge's proclamation that it is a "fascist" group is equivalent to a proclamation that this judge regards Zionism as a form a fascism.
The full story about the court case is here in English (I paste it below): http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.545657
And so one more nail is hammered into what is left of the coffin of freedom of speech in Israel. And once again it is the work of an anti-democratic judge with a selective sense of which freedom of speech deserves protection (that of leftists only!).
This was not the first outrageous court ruling by Judge Raphael Yaakobi. In a previous verdict he ruled that the state of Israel was legally responsible for the death and injury of Arabs involved in firefights with Jews, arguing that Israel inadequately protected the Arabs. See this: http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/terrorism-and-democracy/issue-no-2/damages-for-failure-to-protect-civilians-in-occupied-territories-from-vigilante-reprisals . Earlier this year he let an accused terrorist go scot free after he and his accomplice were arrested on arson and terror charges and his accomplice pled guilty. See http://megafon-news.co.il/asys/archives/133549. Last year after a street brawl involving some Jewish and Arab youths in Jerusalem's Zion Square, the judge sent a Jewish teenager girl to house arrest before trial. See http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/243238 . The girl claimed she had earlier been raped by one of the Arabs. When two Arabs attempted to lynch a religious Jew, the judge refused to watch the security tape of the event and set one of the lynchers free. See http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/212172.
Do not hold your breath for the judge to be impeached. The Netanyahu-chosen Minister of Law these days is Tzipi Livni and she no doubt approves of the verdict. Oh, and since anti-democratic judges in Israel are calling for the criminalization of criticism of court decisions, if you do not hear from me for a few years after this posting, please bake me a cake with a file inside.
Here is the full Haaretz story
Rejecting bulk of libel suit, court rules Im Tirtzu movement can be likened to Fascism
Extra-parliamentary Zionist movement sued a number of left-wing activists who described it a fascist movement in a Facebook page, demanding compensation of NIS 2.6 million.
By Nir Hasson | Sep. 7, 2013 | 9:58 PM | 3
A Jerusalem district court judge rejected the majority of the claims made by the extra-parliamentary Zionist movement Im Tirtzu, voiding null the bulk of charges it filed against five left-wing activists who described it a fascist movement in a Facebook page.
While clearing four of the five defendants (one of whom works at Haaretz) of all charges, the judge ruled one of the Facebook posts in question did constitue slander. Full responsibility for the post, which implied Im Tirtzu concurs with Nazi race theory, was claimed by one of the defendants.
The ruling stated one cannot interpret the phrase 'Im Tirtzu is a Fascist movement' – (a paraphrase of the activists' Facebook page title) as meaning a full correlation exists between the plaintiff and the Fascist movement in its entirety, but, rather, implies certain equivalents exist, and no more.
During the trial, various expert witnesses were called upon by the defense. These included Prof. Zeev Sternhell, who claimed several similarities exist between Im Tirtzu and the Fascist movement in its infancy, Hebrew language expert Rubik Rosenthal, who spoke about the usage of the term 'Fascist' in current-day Israeli discourse, and religions scholar Tomer Persico, who testified about a public talk in which he participated, where Im Tirtzu's founder Ronen Shoval admitted to drawing inspiration and ideas from thinkers such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the German romanticism ideologue regarded as among the precursors of European fascism.
In his final statement, Judge Raphael Yaakobi criticized Im Tirtzu's choice to file charges, opining that in order to ensure a healthy exchange of ideas, it is preferable to allow discourse between embittered political rivals to proceed with the ''least possible restrictions or sanctions''.
Im Tirtzu filed charges against the five some three years ago, demanding compensation of NIS 2.6 million. The movement styles itself as an "extra-parliamentary movement that works to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel."
Saying it means to appeal in Israel's supreme court, Im Tirtzu issued a response to the court's decision through lawyer Nadav Haetzni:
"Firstly, one must note that one of the defendants was convicted of defamation due to serious incitement that accuses Im Tirtzu of Nazism. That said, this verdict is essentially flawed, and very odd, since it entirely fails to address a substantial part of the legal issues brought before it and presented with great detail during the trial. Choosing to ignore major, central legal aspects, the court got to a point that presents great danger to Israeli democracy; if the high court will not amend this decision, Israel will find itself a place that allows an extreme freedom to defame, a freedom that will allow incitement and delegitimization of public from both sides of the political spectrum. And worse, it will allow every Zionist to be labeled a Fascist. These reasons are why Im Tirtzu means to appeal this verdict in the supreme court."