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Friday, May 23, 2014

Hope for free expression in Israel?

In an earlier post, I reported that police were attempting to place two Jewish teenagers under arrest for putting up posters protesting the upcoming visit of Pope Francis I. Early this afternoon, a Jerusalem judge threw out the arrests.
Jerusalem Magistrates' Court Judge Shmuel Herbst rejected early Friday afternoon a request by police to place two youths under house arrest for seven days, distance them from Jerusalem and slap them with a security deposit after they were caught putting up posters hostile to Pope Francis.
The posters said, among other things, that Christianity is an “accursed” religion that is complicit in the murder of millions of Jews, and that its leaders dream of “annihilating the Jewish state.” It called on the “impure” pope to “get out of our holy land” and “return the stolen vessels of the Temple.”
Police claimed this was incitement to racism but the judge rejected this, determining that “theological arguments and disputes between religions have existed from time immemorial and these arguments do not constitute a danger to the public.”
The judge added that there is a “very weak” case to be made against the sentence that says Christians dream of annihilating the Jewish state, but that it does not constitute racism in any case.
He ruled that the youths are allowed to protest against the pope, but determined that they may not come within 150 meters of him.
Meanwhile, the police continue to announce administrative detention orders against known activists whom they'd like to keep out of sight while the Pope is here.
Police on Friday announced ten more nationalist activists would have restraining orders issued against them, bringing the total to 15 ahead of Pope Francis's visit next Sunday and Monday.
"Yesterday the head of the Jerusalem district mentioned that there would be a further 10," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP without giving details.
The detentions began Wednesday, when several Jewish youths were put under house arrest in a move justified by concerns they might carry out "provocative acts" during the pope's visit.
This is the Middle East's only 'democracy.' Obama could take lessons from us. 

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At 8:08 PM, Blogger great Unknown said...

"Obama could take lessons from us." He doesn't need to. His background is the same - communist totalitarianism, and his justification is the same - national security.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger 2senseplain said...

Now here's a human rights abuse that Amnesty International and other human rights groups can actually protest. Where are you?


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