Conviction of Man Who Called Soldiers 'Nazis' Overturned

The conviction of an Israeli man who called IDF soldiers “Nazis” was overturned on Thursday, sparing him from a prison sentence.

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David Lev,

IDF checkpoint (file)
IDF checkpoint (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The conviction of an Israeli man who called IDF soldiers “Nazis” was overturned on Thursday. A panel of three judges said that the individual had not acted from an ideological or political viewpoint, and that his actions, insulting and hurtful as they were, could be seen as a one-time incident.

The cases involved a man who got into a run-in with soldiers four years ago at an IDF checkpoint. The man, who owns several companies that have service contracts with the IDF, told two soldiers at the checkpoint that “you are Nazis, they never treated Jews like this in the Holocaust.” The man also took a photo of the license plate of a military vehicle the soldiers were riding in, despite their demand that he not do so.

The court said that while, on the surface, the offense was serious – and that under normal circumstances it would have netted the man six months in prison – there were mitigating circumstances in the case. “The likelihood that the defendant will repeat his behavior is low, and this is his first offense. The damage was limited to two soldiers whom he addressed and did not go beyond this, to other soldiers or the IDF in general. In addition, the defendant has apologized.

“We see this as a one-time offense,” the court continued. “Four years have passed since the offense. The defendant contributes a great deal to the community and society, and convicting him will negatively affect workers in his companies.” Instead of prison, the defendant was sentenced to perform 60 hours of community service.