Another Anti-Federman Police Plot Foiled

Yet another police attempt to make life difficult for Hevron activist Noam Federman has failed. His alternative Daf Yomi class is thriving.

Hillel Fendel,

The latest attempt by the police to make life difficult for activist Noam Federman of Hevron has ended, as have others, in failure. The police sued him and his wife for 1,100 shekels, and were forced to pay them 750 shekels instead.

The police first wished to charge the Federmans' young son for throwing rocks at and damaging a police jeep. However, the police filed the suit in the Small Claims Court - and Noam Federman proved that the State Prosecution is not permitted to use the services of the Small Claims Court.

The claim was then filed in a regular court, but it had to be withdrawn once again in light of the fact that the defendant was under 12 years old at the time of the alleged infraction. Clause 9 of the Damages Law states that claims shall not be filed against a person for actions he perpetrated before he was 12 years old.

The police did not give up, and decided to charge the boy's parents, Noam and Elisheva Federman, for "indirect responsibility for damages." Asking for a precedent-setting ruling, the police said the parents must be held "responsible for their child's actions, as they did not supervise him and did not prevent him from doing what he did."

The Federmans, who have much experience in being charged by the police, denied all. They explained that at the time of the alleged incident, in which they deny their son's involvement, Noam was under house arrest by special order of the IDF Central Commander, while his wife Elisheva was shopping and taking care of other household matters. They said that they had often warned their children not to "get involved" with the police, but that they cannot control their children's actions in an absolute manner.

In addition, Mr. Federman - who led his family's defense, though he has been denied the right to become a lawyer - asked the testifying policeman about his filming of the incident. "The policeman looked startled," Federman later recounted to Arutz-7, "as did the prosecutor. The prosecutor then said that they wish not to comment on this matter, and were upset to learn that a CD of the video had been submitted for evidence. They asked for a short recess, and later said that they wanted to withdraw the disk. The judge agreed - but then I said that I also had a copy of the disk, and I wished to present it! The prosecution then asked for a few days' recess in order to consult. After the few days, they asked to withdraw their complaint altogether."

In the end, however, the judge ordered the police to pay the Federmans 750 shekels in court costs. He wrote that had the police demanded more in damages, he would have ordered them to pay more, and hinted that the filmed version of the event apparently did not support the police version of the events.

"If it would have been a dispute between neighbors," Federman says, "it might be understood. But for the police to invest such tremendous efforts for 1,100 shekels - and to make so many mistakes to boot - is just simply incomprehensible."

Just two months ago, the police were forced to pay Noam Federman an even higher sum after they arrested and detained him - two days in a row - using a warrant that had been revoked. The Jerusalem District Court ruled that the police had to pay the long-time activist 20,000 shekels in damages for false arrest. The police have since appealed the decision, however, and it is still in limbo.

Federman, a veteran of almost two years under administrative detention in prison and house arrest in the Avraham Avinu quarter of Hevron, was arrested in May 2002 in connection with what was known as the Bat Ayin Jewish terror plot. The evidence against him was said to be too secret to publicize, but as the case against him began to gradually collapse, he was placed under house arrest in June 2002, where he remained for most of the next 15 months. In September 2003, he was actually imprisoned under administrative detention, once again without learning the nature of the charges against him. This period lasted for nine months, until June 2004, after which he was again placed under house arrest for six months. Federman later sued for wrongful arrest and administrative detention, and was awarded 100,000 shekels in damages.

Currently engaged in farming, Federman has also initiated a Daf Yomi [Daily Talmud Page] program for the Jerusalem Talmud via the internet. The Hebrew-language class - which today completed Tractate Megillah - is given by Rabbi Ido Elba in the Machpelah Cave, and can be viewed via the internet. The project is supported by the U.S.-based Jewish Task Force.



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