Judge Moshe Drori of the Jerusalem District Court castigated the State and police in unusually harsh terms for requesting that Noam Federman be banned from his home.  He also criticized the authorities for their destruction of Federman’s home and farm last month, and ruled that the closure of the farm does not apply to Federman and his family.

The police had requested, based on criminal charges leveled against Federman of attacking policemen, to have him banned from all of Judea and Samaria. 

In his ruling, handed down on Wednesday morning, Judge Drori rejected the request out of hand, saying it was totally unjustified and was in violation of international conventions:

“The State’s request to forbid [Federman] from being in Judea and Samaria is marked by grave discrimination,” Drori wrote, “as there is not even one example anywhere in Israeli law indicating a ban on a person living in an entire area of the country merely because of an incident of violence towards policemen in which he was involved.”

Not to mention, Drori added, that “the one who came out of the violence totally bruised on his entire body because of that ‘violence’ was actually [Federman] and not the police.”

Barak Doesn't Give Up - and Neither Does Federman

Surprisingly, Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided not to take the criticism to heart – and ordered the State Prosecution to file an appeal of the ruling in the Supreme Court. This, despite the fact that previously, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court also rejected the request to have Federman banned from his home.

Federman, for his part, says that in light of the ruling, he plans to turn to the International War Crimes court and sue all those who were involved in the “pogrom.” He said, “We will continue to rebuild the farm until it flowers once again.”

Judge Cites Sodom and Gomorra

Judge Drori cited the evil of Sodom and Gomorra in his ruling: “I would like to note that the State’s representative apparently did not take notice of the Weekly Torah Portion that was read aloud around the time he made his claims. It is written there that G-d decided to overturn Sodom and Gomorra because of their heavy sins. Yet even there, where the sins were 77 times worse than we could imagine, the Creator enabled the Patriarch Abraham to plead for them before He delivered any punishment.”

Referring to the actual destruction of the Federman farm last month, Judge Drori wrote: “The charges against [Federman] refer to a specific incident in which a man is told, at 1:30 in the morning, to leave his home. Even if there was violence against the policemen – and I am not determining anything regarding this matter, for I did not see the tapes or hear the witnesses – the circumstances surrounding the eviction and the entirety of events of that night do not render him dangerous…"

'How Would You Act?'

“Let every person decide for himself how he would act if a police officer turns to him at 1:30 in the night and wants to give him papers ordering him out of his house, with his wife and nine young children sleeping in their beds, and their father sees himself responsible for their welfare and safety… The State did not bother to explain why it needed a force of 100 policemen to remove a person from a military zone that had been closed for ten months, with no prior warning or attempt at dialogue… The eviction was not balanced, not reasonable, not right and not appropriate.”

MKs Respond

Some Knesset Members responded with great satisfaction. MK Uri Ariel said it is a “warning sign to the Defense Minister and the police not to repeat similar acts in the future… This is sharp criticism against the Jewish Department of the Shabak [General Security Service], which was behind the brutal and illegal destruction… It once again turns out that the true lawbreaker is the police, whose political considerations lead it astray.”

MK Aryeh Eldad said, “Justice has come to light. The defense establishment caused a terrible injustice when the Defense Minister hitched up IDF soldiers to his crumbling political wagon. Woe unto the country if its Defense Minister also pulls a similar trick in the disputed house in Hevron.”

Judge Drori - a graduate of Netiv Meir yeshiva high school in Jerusalem - also wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court during World War II was roundly criticized for sending 2nd and 3rd generation U.S. citizens of Japanese descent to concentration camps and banning them from living at home. “Would it not be appropriate for us, judges of Israel, to learn from [their mistakes]?” wrote Drori.

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