Will the ‘Wedding of Hate’ defendants be exonerated?
Request filed with the court, first page
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 15:10 Will the lack of an investigation into the conduct of Knesset Member Hiba Yazbek result in the exoneration of the defendants in the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case? Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski has asserted that not investigating Knesset Member Hiba Yazbek, who has publicly supported terrorists on her Facebook page, constitutes selective enforcement of the law, in light of the possible indictment of defendants in the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case. Poleski is representing two of the defendants, both of them minors. At a December 2015 wedding, participants were seen waving weapons and photographs of the infant who died in the July 2015 arson incident in Kfar Duma. The wedding became known as the ‘Wedding of Hate’. See here and here for two instances of central evidence lost by the police in the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case, and here for a false detention in the case, for which the detainee received compensation. In his letter requesting the investigative material in the case of Knesset Member Yazbek, Poleski stated that serious statements have been attributed to Yazbek and from them it can be determined that she expressed support for armed struggle by an enemy state or by a terror organization against Israel. In his opinion, Yazbek should be investigated over incitement to violence. The request for the material was filed with the Jerusalem Juvenile Court and the material is likely to reveal whether or not the defendants in the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case have been subjected to selective enforcement of the law. Among the specifics, Poleski requested the opinion of the Attorney General in the case and details about the status of the case. Poleski presented several examples from Yazbek’s Facebook page, among them a post which includes a photograph of the terrorist Samir Kuntar with the caption, “Samir Kuntar, Shahid Mujahad” and “I did not return from Palestine other than to return to Palestine.” Samir Kuntar was convicted of murdering four Israelis in a 1979 terror attack in Nahariya. Another post that Yazbek shared has a photograph of Dalal Mugrabi, who led a terror cell that carried out the 1978 coastal road attack in which 35 Israelis were murdered, among them 12 children. Alongside the photograph, Mugrabi’s misdeeds were described and she was portrayed as a heroine. Yazbek added her own statement: “Dalal Mugrabi lived 20 years and accomplished everything. Blessed be the women of the resistance.” Yazbek also shared a video clip quoting Bassel al-Araj in praise of the resistance, including this statement: “Is there a voice more exulted than the voice of a shahid.” Yazbek shared the post a short time after he was shot to death during a shoot-out with Israeli security forces attempting to arrest him. In an interview with Channel 13 (Israeli) she appears to support injuring IDF soldiers as part of the struggle against the occupation. Poleski is of the opinion that these examples constitute incitement to violence, in addition to grounds for disqualification from running for a seat in the Knesset, and said, “It does not appear that the above-mentioned (Yazbek) has been investigated under warning for her viewpoints, and it does not appear that the Attorney General has ordered her brought to trial.” The difference in the treatment of Yazbek’s posts, with regard to both the content and the amount, in comparison to the ‘Wedding of Hate’, after which indictments were filed against thirteen defendants, five of them minors, is discrimination, in Poleski’s opinion. The charges in the indictments are incitement to violence or terror, sympathy with or encouragement of violence or terror, support of or identification with publicization by the inciter, and other similar charges. At the wedding, rifles, pistols, photographs of Ali Dawabsheh, the infant who died in the July 2015 arson incident in Kfar Duma, and signs reading “Revenge” were waved. None of those acts, which occurred at a private wedding, approach the severity of the posts on Yazbek’s public Facebook page. In light of all this and in order to verify the possibility that there is selective enforcement of the law, Poleski asked the court for the investigative material in Yazbek’s case.
Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski; Photo credit: Honenu
Poleski leveled criticism at the Attorney General: “Following the disqualification by the Knesset Central Elections Committee of Knesset Member Hiba Yazbek to run for an additional Knesset term, the Supreme Court of Israel overturned the decision and allowed her candidacy, even though she clearly expressed support many times for contemptible murderers who had murdered Israeli citizens. To the baseless standpoint of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General added his scandalous opinion, according to which the candidacy of Yazbek should not be disqualified.” Poleski further stated: “This is the same Attorney General who ordered the filing of indictments against a large number of individuals involved with the occurrence, at a private wedding, of the waving of photographs of the members of the family who met their deaths in the arson incident in Kfar Duma, which the Attorney General’s office claims was carried out by Jews. The discrimination cries out. A Knesset Member with a public status who deliberately identified with and praised murderers and the mothers of martyrs has not even been investigated, whereas youths were brought to trial for an act far less serious. “We will demand a thorough examination of the process by which decisions are reached in the Attorney General’s office. We have asked the court for all of the investigative material held by the Attorney General, for the purpose of basing a claim of abuse of process. The time has come for the court to pass judicial review on the Attorney General’s office.”