Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski; Photo credit: Honenu
Sunday, July 19, 2020, 9:00 On Sunday, July 19, at 11:00, a deliberation is scheduled to take place at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on the indictment of three Jewish youths for reciting the “Shema Yisrael” prayer on the Temple Mount. According to the bill of indictment, the three youths prostrated themselves on the ground one after the other and recited the “Shema Yisrael” prayer during a tour of the Temple Mount on the eve of Yom Kippur in 2018. They are charged with conduct liable to disrupt the public peace and disturbing a policeman in the line of duty. The families of the defendants and additional activists are expected to demonstrate outside of the courthouse in protest of the unusual indictment. “A prayer shared by millions of Jews for generations is on criminal trial at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court,” wrote the activists in a rallying call to participate in the demonstration. Two of the youths are combat soldiers serving compulsory service, who are coming to the courthouse from the front line in the north of Israel. The three youths are being represented by Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski and Attorney Yitzhak Bam from the Public Defense Office. Poleski: “In 1938, two youths, Etzel members, were arrested for blowing a shofar at the Western Wall Plaza during prayer immediately after the conclusion of Yom Kippur. The British Mandate Government forbade blowing a shofar [at the site], claiming that it ‘antagonized’ the Arabs. It is unbelievable that after 72 years of ‘independence’, the State of Israel has put on trial her own citizens, who are serving in combat Nachal units, for reciting the ‘Shema Yisrael’ prayer on the Temple Mount. Beyond the absurdity of the matter and the immense feeling of injustice, the deliberation serves as a reminder that we are in the midst of the Three Weeks of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple. The case itself is a painful reminder that the exile is not yet over for either the government or its citizens.” For a selection of cases in which Honenu Attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount please see here.