Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan has informed the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel that he has decided to turn down their demand to open an investigation against Professor Judd Ne'eman, an Israel Prize laureate in cinema studies due to Ne'eman's call for a civil war in a radio interview.
Nitzan explained his decision. "I believe that Professor Ne'eman's statements do not suffice to consolidate grounds for opening a criminal investigation against him on the crime of incitement to violence as per your demand, because it is highly doubtful if the fundamentals of the article in the criminal code obtain."
Nitzan added he had also taken into consideration a subsequent interview with Neeman where Neeman explained that he did not seek a civil war but was merely pointing out the danger that a civil war could erupt.
This ran counter to the original interview on Galei Israel radio where Ne'eman stated flat-out "what is desirable here is that the matter should be decided by war… a civil war should take place between the right and the left…" I think that a civil war is a way of solving the problem that we are confronting; there is no other way we've tried all the other ways and it's just not working."
Advocate Hila Cohen representing the Forum expressed her disappointment and found Nitzan's decision problematic. "We are definitely dealing with a clear cut call for civil war that can topple social order in the state and create anarchy.… One cannot dismiss his words so cavalierly, it is clear that despite the importance of freedom of speech and expression in a democratic regime, it cannot be a refuge and a pretext for those calling for violence and I find it regrettable that Mr. Nitzan chose to extend protection and concealment to statements by those who encourage violence.
Nitzan has summoned rabbis for questioning on the charge of incitement to violence even when in the case of Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba we were dealing with written approval of a book that dealt with hypothetical situations.