Ofer - Popular Struggle
Translation: Marganit W.
“We have here a person driven by relentless ideology which puts in question his ability to ever change his ways and rehabilitate himself.”(From the protocol)
Judge: Major Meir Vigiser
Prosecutor: Captain Rahel Aviv
Defense: Atty. Gaby Lasky
Abdallah Mahmoud Muhammad Abu Rahma, ID 997446703 - Case 4512/12
Abdallah Abu Rahma served a year and a half in prison for incitement and for organizing demonstrations in his village Bil’in.
[See earlier reports]
The court was filled with activists who came to show solidarity with Abu Rahma. There were also European diplomats: The EU declared him a defender of human rights, and if he is put in jail again, he will be recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty.
There were Israeli human rights activists and photographers.
Abu Rahma was wearing a T-shirt with political logos and a Keffiya.
The prosecutor stated that the prosecution is seeking jail time, steep suspended sentence and a large monetary fine (I could not help but think of the old saying that you have to hit the Jews in their pocket….N.A.) The prosecutor is of the opinion that the court should issue a clear message that demonstrators must follow security forces guidelines. An appeal case was cited in which the president of the Appellate Court stated that the status of a defendant as a leader sets him apart from other demonstrators. The prosecutor further cited: “The court stated in that sentence that we are dealing here with “ a person driven by relentless ideology, which puts in question his ability to ever change his ways and rehabilitate himself.”
It seems to me that there is a logical fallacy here: if he is driven by uncompromising ideology, how can you expect him to change his ways? Obviously, in the eyes of the prosecutor, he is a flawed man, since she expects him to mend and rehabilitate. She also claims that Abu Rahma shows contempt for basic norms.
The defense explained that the charge was one of disturbing a policeman: during a demonstration the defendant, together with others, tried to stop a tractor. The judge himself stated that no violence was used and no damage was inflicted. All the other participants were dispersed. The defense reminded the court that Abu Rahma lives in Bil’in, the very village that the Supreme Court ruled was a victim of illegal land seizure (the agricultural land was confiscated to allow expansion of a nearby settlement). We all know, said the defense, that there is an occupation, but even people under occupation have the right to express their views. The defendant does not use violent means to convey his protest. All democratic countries allow people to use their abilities to express their opinions. But there is no democracy in the occupied territories.
The sentence will be pronounced on 23.2.15.