Russian Compound, Jerusalem
translated by Charles K.
Hagit and Muhammad were called as witnesses in the trial of the woman referred to below, who is accused of attacking Hagit and the late Tamar Golan during their shift in August, 2009. Despite the fact that she’s a “wild bull,” this is the first time that she’s been accused of behavior involving us. So we drove to Jerusalem [I accompanied them, to “hold their hands”]
The magistrates’ court is located in an old, fairly neglected building. Long corridors, small rooms, much confusion. That’s how the state of Israel treats its citizens, upholds the law and does justice. The “courtroom” can’t be larger than 30 square meters [if that], so the players and judge are in almost intimate contact with each other, as well as with any spectators who manage to get in.
There’s room for about 15 people, including those on trial, their defenders and other interested persons. The stenographer tries to understand, hear and write what’s being said; sometimes the judge simply dictates to her.
The case before ours has ended. Those involved had to receive a printed transcript and then our case was to begin. The printer broke down; the stenographer tries to fix it. A paper jam, the judge tries to help, he seems to have succeeded, but – no, another paper jam, another attempt to clear it. They call a technician, he tries, doesn’t succeed – there’s no alternative but to call a recess.
Our trial begins after a delay of almost two hours. In the interim everyone had been replaced, including the stenographer, but later she returns. They begin hearing testimony. Anat’s attorney says she told him there was someone from Machsom Watch [me] among the spectators, and perhaps she shouldn’t be there. The judge explains the rules of democracy to him; I’m permitted to remain on condition I say nothing to the witnesses waiting outside – that is, to Hagit and Muhammad. OK – so I listen to the testimony of the police investigator and the commander of the Cave of the Patriarchs police station, and obey instructions.