In Pursuit of Justice; Photo credit: Honenu
See here for a complete listing of podcasts and links to summaries in English. Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 18:42 In June 2021, Honenu 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 fourth episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosted Attorney Moshe Poleski, an expert in criminal law and Honenu’s Trial and Indictments Department Manager, who spoke on numerous topics, including the Kfar Duma arson case, human rights, and administrative orders. Poleski has handled many cases involving right-wing activists, whom he stated suffer from blatant discrimination by the police: “Their fundamental human rights are violated in a way that doesn’t happen even with hardened criminals. The treatment of demonstrators at right-wing protests and of people protesting destruction of or distancing people from Yehuda and Shomron communities is ten times worse than compared to any other group protesting.” On the topic of the Duma case, and additional right-wing cases, Poleski leveled criticism at the deprivation of fundamental human rights from right-wing activists by the police. “Has the basic right to consult with an attorney ever been denied to someone involved with organized crime, as serious as it is, that causes great damage to the economy, to society and to human lives?” Concerning house arrest, including partial house arrest (at night), Poleski described how the police enforce the orders. “In the cases which we represent for Honenu, when youths are required to remain at home, the Israeli Police visit them every night, sometimes more than once a night, even when they have not been indicted, and even when the cases are over minor issues. Sometimes, under the orders of a GOC, stringent administrative orders are issued requiring youths to report to a police station every day. These youths have not been indicted.” (See here and here for examples of youths under house arrest and their families suffering police harassment.) Poleski spoke specifically about the Duma case and leveled criticism at the decisions by the judges, which he said stemmed from political pressures: “The verdict in the Duma case is embarrassing. We know that there was tremendous political pressure during the Duma trial. The outgoing [Israeli] president’s statement, ‘Members of my people have chosen terror’ will never be forgotten. The court functioned as a rubber stamp with regard to requests for remand [of suspects] and preventing meetings [of detainees] with attorneys.” Additionally, Poleski lambasted the use of the term “Jewish terror”, and stated that such a thing does not actually exist. Poleski cited a definition by Bogie Ya’alon from 2013, when he was Defense Minister, comparing price tag incidents to organized crime, and explained why the comparison is false. “This definition is devoid of meaning. … With price tag incidents, which are generally only graffiti, except for extremely rare instances in which there is property damage, there is no support system behind them, no hierarchy, no system that supplies equipment, no logistics. There’s nothing.” And by “nothing”, Poleski means the criteria necessary for crime to be organized crime. Poleski pointed out that incidents in which Jews motivated by nationalistic motives physically injure Arabs are almost nonexistent. As evidence, he detailed the incidents carried out over the past few years that were attributed by law enforcement authorities to Jews acting out of such motives. There were only isolated incidents, the number of which can be counted on one hand, and they did not have any organizational or ideological connection. “No incident was carried out with the use of a weapon and there is no support from the community for these acts.” Below are links to the fourth episode of the In Pursuit of Justice podcast – Hebrew only – on YouTube, Spotify, and Anchor. YouTube, Episode 4 Spotify, Episode 4 Anchor, Episode 4 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. In the first episode, Honenu’s Ori Kirshenbaum hosted HaAretz journalist Chaim Levinson, who covered events in Yehuda and Shomron at the time of the Kfar Duma arson and was one of the first journalists on the scene hours after the incident. In the second episode, Kirshenbaum hosted Attorney Yoram Sheftel, who represented Amiram Ben Uliel in the early stage of his trial, but left the case due to distortions of justice. In the third episode, Kirshenbaum hosted Professor Boaz Sangero, a leading authority in criminal law, who addressed Israeli criminal law and specifically Amiram Ben Uliel’s conviction, which horrified him. 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.