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'Moral Victory' in Trial of Palmers' Killers

Judge allowed supporter of Palmer family to hold a photograph of Asher and Yonatan in court.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/20/2012, 6:24 PM

Asher and Yonatan Palmer Hy"d
Asher and Yonatan Palmer Hy"d
Provided by Michael Palmer

Lt. Col. Ronen Atzmon, the judge in the trial of the murderers of Asher and Yonatan Palmer Hy"d, allowed supporters of the family to silently hold photographs of the two victims during the court session Sunday. Michael Craig Palmer, father of Asher and grandfather of Yonatan, who took the photo on Purim of 2011, said the decision was "an important moral victory for Asher and Yonatan." In its decision, the court "allowed their presence to be the in courtroom in the form of a photograph," he said.

Activist and writer Yehudit Tayar was one of three people who held the A4 sized photographs in their laps. She described the event shortly after the session ended:

"In the last few sessions we have held a photograph of Asher and Yonatan before we went in, and during the court sessions in order to show the faces behind the names.  To humanize the situation for the court and prison officials to see what was lost by this murderous attack, and of course to show the murderers who they brutally took away from their loved ones simply because they were Jews.

"Seated quietly I held the photograph that Michael had printed out of Asher and Yonatan – a simple A4 black and white print of these two precious innocent souls who were murdered.

"The entire session today was regarding the photograph and the lawyer for the group of accused terrorists kept repeating his demand to force me to remove the photograph.

"The judge ruled that it was not a demonstration, and that I could be allowed to continue to hold the photo because these were the victims. The judge continued by stating that I was causing no disturbance to the court nor would the photo influence any more than if the photo was not there, since the entire proceedings were because of the murders of the two depicted in the photo.

"I am not ashamed to say that during the entire process we, who came for the Palmers, were very emotional.  It was surrealistic that this photograph of the victims was the entire topic of the court session. This photo did what we wished it would do.  This photo humanized the situation and brought the faces of the innocent victims in front of the court staff, and the accused murderers, and that is what the lawyer did not want.  He did not want faces.  The lawyer of the accused preferred to concentrate on time-wasting delays but now there was this photograph bringing reality into the court."

The next session in the trial will take place at the Ofer Court just north of Jerusalem on June 3 at 10:00 a.m.. It is important for the Palmer family that 10 supporters -- the maximum number allowed by the court -- be present at the session, which will revolve around the role of one of the suspected murderers in the terror attack. 

Those interested in supporting the Palmer family in court should email Michael Palmer by May 30 at mcpfiveone@gmail.com, so that he can submit the names to the army for security clearance.