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Handclaps for High Court President after Shoe Attack

A middle-aged man hurled his shoes at the High Court president, who was knocked to the ground but later retuned to a round of applause.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/27/2010, 1:41 PM / Last Update: 1/27/2010, 1:49 PM

Israel news photo

An unidentified 52-year-old man hurled his shoes at High Court President Dorit Beinisch Wednesday morning, knocking her to the ground and breaking her glasses. Guards quickly removed the man and the justices from the courtroom, and Justice Beinisch returned two hours later to a round of applause.

One eyewitness described the attacker as “weird.” His name was not disclosed. The judge was not seriously hurt by the shoes, one of which landed squarely between her eyes.

The incident occurred during a hearing concerning an organization's license to operate a medical marijuana greenhouse in the Golan Heights. The man hurled his sneakers at her, shouting, “You are corrupt.” He accused her of messing up his life, but his reason was not known.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres immediately phoned Justice Beinisch to assure her that violence against her was considered an attack against the entire Court and would not be tolerated.

After applause greeted her when she returned to the courtroom, she said she was more moved by the reception than she was by the shoes.  

Throwing shows as a form of protest gained international headlines last year when an Iraqi journalist hurled his footwear at then-U.S. President George W. Bush. The shoes in the photo at left were thrown at Bush posters in Montreal last year.