I hope everyone has seen this. Israel has once again shown that its conscience is not effected by pure, just non-violent action or Ghandi comparisons. Adeeb Abu Rahmah was arrested in 2008 for participating in non-violent demonstrations in Bil’in against the illegal appropriation of Palestinian land. Abu Rahmah was sentenced to one year in prison last July for participating in and organizing unauthorized non-violent protests (see: civil disobedience); however the military prosecution appealed the decision – because apparently it was too soft – leading to another sentence of 18 months in jail.
[tweetmeme] As Joseph Dana describes, the judge’s ruling in the military appeals court completely ignored many precedents set by the Israeli supreme court in an effort to make an example of Abu Rahmah:
This precedent-setting decision is the first time in recorded history of the Israeli Military Court of Appeals in which a Palestinian is convicted with a charge of incitement. Even the original one year sentence dramatically exceeds precedents set by the Israeli Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals’ even harsher sentence highlights the lack of equality before the law between Israelis and Palestinians, who are tried before two different legal systems. For instance, in a case of a Jewish settler convicted of incitement to murder, the court only imposed an eight months suspended sentence.
Attorney Gaby Lasky (Defense): “Today the court of appeals has shown that it is serving as one more instance of political repression not as an actual court where justice is served. The court admitted what we all knew – that the entire system is trying to make an example of Adeeb in order to silence the entire Popular Struggle movement against Israel’s occupation.”
Having served his original one-year prison term in full, Adeeb Abu Rahmah should have been released immediately after hearing the sentence. The military prosecution, which hoped for an even harsher sentence as part of its ongoing efforts to use legal persecution to suppress the Palestinian popular struggle, petitioned the Military Court of Appeals, asking that Abu Rahmah remains incarcerated despite having served his sentence.
In a clearly politically motivated decision, Judge Lieutenant Colonel Benisho of the Military Court of Appeals decided to remand Abu Rahmah until a decision in the appeal, saying that “This is an appeal filed to set the proper punishment in a unique case regarding which a general punishment level has not yet been set.” The judge chose to completely ignore the punishment level set forth by the supreme court in similar and even harsher cases. Benisho also ignored a supreme court precedent instructing the courts to only extend the remand of convicts past the time they were sentenced to in very extreme situations.
Watch the video. Rahmah certainly seems like a threat to the IDF military machine (although I am surprised that the IDF soldiers allowed Rahmah to berate them for such an extended period of time.)