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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rightist indicted over Nazi slur

Israel's police have been very busy lately. Between beating unarmed teenage protesters and ambassador's wives, they've barely had time to investigate much of the political corruption we have in Israel today. But one thing the police always make time to investigate is right wing 'activists' insulting public officials. Right-wing 'activist' and head of the "Women in Green" movement Nadia Matar was indicted Wednesday on charges of insulting a public official, after comparing Disengagement Authority Chief Yonatan Bassi to Jewish collaborators with the Nazis.

In a letter to Bassi, first published by Ynet, Matar wrote: "The truth is you're a modern-day version of the Judenrat. In fact, a much more terrible version, because during the Holocaust this was forced upon Jewish leaders by the Nazis and it's very difficult for us to judge them today."

According to the indictment, a day after the letter's publication on Ynet, Matar submitted to an interview with Army Radio and repeated the same charges made in the letter. The rightist activist later repeated the remarks in an interview with Channel 10.

After learning of the State Prosecutor's Office's intention to file an indictment over the affair, Matar said she was glad the government of Israel made a terrible mistake that it would be sure to regret. Matar said the trial will allow her to hold a public trial against the Gaza and northern West Bank withdrawal and those who executed it, headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"I will prove in the courtroom that Yonatan Bassi, as well as the architects and executors of the disengagement crime, ranging form the prime minister to the lowliest official, sold their souls to the devil and became the successors of the Nazis, the Arab terrorists, and PLO, Hamas, and Jihad activists."

Ironically, just yesterday, the same day as the indictment, Jews who were expelled from their Gaza homes last summer sent a 'surprising' letter to Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, asking that Bassi be reappointed to his position when his term expires in May, to finish what he started.

So that there are no misunderstandings: I don't think that Matar should have sent the letter - some things are best not said even by those who hold them to be true. But I think that police spending their time and the public's money on investigating 'insults' to public officials is a waste. Being insulted goes with the territory.


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