And some call this country a democracy?
- From: Mo <morrisseybreen@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 02:41:56 -0800 (PST)
Israeli leftist jailed three months for protesting Gaza blockade
By Ofra Edelman, Ha'aretz 28.12.10
Leftist activist Jonathan Pollak was sentenced to a three month jail
term on Monday and ordered to pay NIS 1,500 for taking part in a mass
protest against the blockade of the Gaza Strip, involving cyclists in
Tel Aviv, in January 2008.
Pollak, 28 refused the offer of Tel Aviv Magistrate's Judge Itzhak
Yitzhak of a sentence of community service, arguing that he does not
accept the claim that he did anything wrong and therefore he refuses
to cooperate by doing civil service.
During deliberations on Pollak's sentence, the state argued that even
though freedom of expression is a basic right, the right should be
used in line with the law. Defense attorney Gabi Lasky retorted that
in a country where rabbis are not called in for questioning when they
are suspected of incitement against Arabs, on the basis of freedom of
expression, it is inappropriate for the state to demand that Pollak be
jailed for participating in a demonstration.
Lasky said that when motorcyclists blocked the Ayalon Freeway to
protest the rise in insurance costs, or firemen blocked Route 1 to
protest their low wages, no one arrested them and no charges were
brought against them. Lasky argued Pollack was singled out because of
his political activism.
Pollak refused to express regret for his actions except to say that he
was sorry he did not play a bigger role in the protest against the
"Your honor said during the trial that a trial is not a political
affair but matter of the law," Pollak told Yitzhak. "I have to say
that in this trial there is nothing but politics."
Yitzhak noted in his sentencing that Pollak's political views did not
play a role, but said Pollak had committed similar violations in the
past and therefore sentenced him to three months imprisonment.
A 15-day hold on the sentence was put in place, following the defense
attorney's request, to enable Pollak to consider appealing to the
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