In Pursuit of Justice; Photo credit: Honenu
See here for a complete listing of podcasts and links to summaries in English. Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 20:59 Honenu recently launched a weekly Hebrew-language podcast, HaMerdaf Aharei HaTzedek (In Pursuit of Justice), the first episodes of which delve deep into the Kfar Duma arson case (the arson attack occurred in 2015 on the night between Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31). In the second episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosts Attorney Yoram Sheftel, who represented Amiram Ben Uliel in the early stage of his trial. Sheftel explains why he left the case and describes the distortions of justice that he found in the handling of the case by the court throughout the trial. For example (all translation by Honenu): “… [T]he judicial system did not succeed in differentiating between terrorists of Fatah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad and what one could at most categorize ‘a hate crime’.”
Demonstration of torture methods; Photo credit: Otzma Yehudit
Sheftel explains that it was clear to him from the start that the court would not exonerate Ben Uliel: “The court refused to order the Prison Service to allow us [Ben Uliel’s defense team] to meet with the defendant as every attorney meets with every client for the purpose of preparation prior to the trial and during the trial. The justification was that in terror cases there is no direct discussion, only that by telephone and through a glass partition. By the fact that the court from the start made a direct connection between a Jewish defendant standing before them and Hamas and Fatah murderers, it was obvious to me that there was no possibility that a court such as this [the Central District Court in Lod] would exonerate Ben Uliel, despite the fact that his confession was extracted by means of barbaric torture of which the court was aware even before the trial began.” In order to explain the extent of the distortions of justice, Sheftel compares the Duma trial to another famous trial in which he took an active part: the Demjanjuk trial. “Demjanjuk was charged with the murder of 900,000 Jews… and despite that, nobody prevented me from meeting with him without a partition or exchanging documents with him, without anyone hearing the conversation between us, throughout the entire trial. That means that a Ukrainian charged with murdering 900,000 Jews received better treatment from the court than Amiram did.” In light of this, Sheftel and Honenu Attorney Yitzhak Bam, who was also representing Ben Uliel, decided to leave the case. Sheftel explains the reasoning behind his decision: “My participation in this case, which has been toxic from the start, gives kosher certification to the proceedings, and therefore I did not agree, under any circumstances, to continue representing him [Ben Uliel].” Sheftel also comments on the claim by the GSS that the arson in Kfar Duma led to Arab terror attacks. In his opinion, the claim was designed to justify the barbaric torture of interogees. “Like how the extreme left accused Sharon of [causing] the Oslo War. As if the Arabs need an excuse to murder Jews,” says Sheftel. “Not long ago I came across a bill of indictment of a man who threw a Molotov cocktail into a house that was known to be inhabited, and the charge was not attempted murder.” A new episode of the podcast will be aired every week. In the coming weeks, the podcast will focus on the Kfar Duma arson case in light of the appeal filed with the Supreme Court. The varied interviewees, who are well acquainted with the case from different angles, will shed light on the interesting and diverse aspects of the case: legal, social, and communal. Below are links to the second episode of the In Pursuit of Justice podcast – Hebrew only – on YouTube and Spotify. YouTube, Episode 2 Spotify, Episode 2 Anchor, Episode 2 In the first episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosts HaAretz journalist Chaim Levinson, and they discuss the investigation of the arson and the torture – under the protection of the law – to which the interrogated detainees were subjected by the GSS. A summary of the first podcast, in English, is here. Links to the first episode – Hebrew only: YouTube, Episode 1 Spotify, Episode 1 Anchor, Episode 1 Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabshe family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of defendants and GSS interrogees, see here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – see here – various articles and short videos on the subject.