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Daily Israel Report

Arab Rock Thrower Won't Do Time 'Due to Racism'

Judge refused to convict Arab youth caught throwing rocks at a police car because 'Jews are punished less severely for the same crimes.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/11/2009, 5:51 PM / Last Update: 11/11/2009, 6:14 PM

Flash 90

Judge Yuval Shadmi of the Nazareth Magistrates Court refused to convict an Arab youth who was caught red-handed hurling rocks at a police squad car. The judge explained that his reason for not convicting the youth was that Jewish youths who carry out similar offenses do not stand trial.

The Arab youth was caught while he was throwing rocks at a squad car near Tzipori, in the first days of last year's counter-terror Operation Cast Lead, as part of Arab sector rioting in the course of the fighting in Gaza.  The judge did rule that the youth must deposit securities and carry out 200 hours of community service.


Judge Yuval Shadmi / Israel news photo: court.gov.il

The youth's lawyer said that the state enforces the law selectively, and does not institute criminal proceedings against Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria and hareidi-religious Jews when they throw rocks at security forces. The Prosecution countered by saying that the matter of nationality is irrelevant to the case at hand, and that considerations for punishment vary from case to case.

The judge accepted the defense's claim and said that if the state does not want to fully prosecute youths who commit this type of crime, it should cease prosecuting all sectors equally. Were it not for the fact that the defense's argument was accepted, he said, he would have sent the youth to many months in prison.

Yesha Rights: The Opposite is True
The Organization for Human Rights in Yesha (Judea and Samaria) responded to the verdict by reminding the judge that according to the Report on Law Enforcement in Judea and Samaria, which is based upon official police statistics and analysis by a professor of criminology, the opposite is true: "The Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are the ones who are discriminated against with regard to police investigations, filing of charges and criminal processes.”