Jewish activist Yekutiel Ben-Yakov of Kfar Tapuach faces sentencing on Tuesday morning for creating a referendum prior to the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005. Ben-Yakov was convicted of inciting to racism, and now faces a sentence of up to five years in prison. He believes he was charged with incitement because his referendum upset the government by showing to what extent the “Disengagement” plan went against the will of the majority.
Ben-Yakov’s referendum asked whether those questioned supported then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to expel Jews from Gaza and Samaria more than an alternative plan to expel hostile Arabs from the same areas. More than 100,000 participated in the referendum, which can be seen at www.mishal.org/eng/, and over 90 percent said they would rather expel hostile Arabs than Jews. “It’s outrageous that a country that calls itself a democracy can put someone on trial for making a referendum... a referendum is the purest form of democracy,” Ben-Yakov said Monday.
Supporters plan to rally in front of the Jerusalem Magistrates Court in the Russian Compound at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Those who cannot attend the rally are invited to send faxes to Justice Rivka Friedman-Feldman at 02-625-4189 to express their interest in the case.