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Middle East Issues





Haaretz: Incitement to Kidnap Soldiers is "Political Activism"


Translated from the original Hebrew, which can be read on Presspectiva, website of CAMERA's Hebrew language division.

Who is Khalida Jarrar? And what were her crimes, if any? That depends on whom you ask.

If you ask the editorialists at Haaretz, Khalida Jarrar is a "political prisoner" who was punished for her political activism and that alone. (Previously, following her indictment, Ha'aretz characterized her as a "feminist activist in a left-wing Palestinian party.")

According to a Haaretz editorial, her indictment is "based at least in part on dubious evidence, including vague hearsay, evidence and testimony obtained under pressure."

Haaretz's conclusion regarding the verdict, therefore, comes as no surprise:

Jarrar's trial once again proved the intolerable contradiction between the rule of law and the principles of justice, on one hand, and the military justice system on the other. The latter has no relationship to the former.

If, on the other hand, you ask the Israeli military justice system (as Haaretz articles had previously done), it turns out that Jarrar was initially brought to trial on 12 counts of security offenses, of which she was ultimately convicted in the framework of a plea bargain where she admitted to  two of the counts: a) belonging to the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and b) having incited Palestinians  to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

It is noteworthy that the PFLP is an active, murderous terrorist organization whose members were responsible for hijackings, a massacre at the Lod airport (22 dead), the murder of an Israeli cabinet minister, and many other terrorist attacks that have been carried out from its inception in the 1960's until now. Last summer, the organization fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli population centers (here is an example). About a year ago, the organization officially and clearly proclaimed its objectives and plan of action — "The resistance will continue so long as a Zionist soldier remains on Palestinian land" — and a few months ago, it provided a demonstration of this when it claimed responsibility for a shooting attack in which four Israelis were wounded.

So on the one hand, there is the Palestinian claim, promoted by the Haaretz editorial, that Jarrar is not guilty of incitement and that the indictment is skewed, based only on hearsay and "vague" evidence. According to this argument, Israel's military justice system lacks credibility, and Jarrar was forced to admit to the crime of incitement to abduct Israeli soldiers.

On the other hand, according to the military prosecutor, Jarrar egregiously incited, thus the insistence on including this serious and central charge in the indictment.  And the proof of her guilt is that no one forced Jarrar to confess to the crime of incitement, and yet she freely chose to do so.

The question that remains unanswered is who to believe? The Palestinians and Haaretz editorialists, which claim Jarrar did not incite, or Jarrar and the Israeli military court which found Jarrar guilty based on her confession?

The dilemma might be solved by asking Jarrar herself to weigh in on the matter – is she a dangerous terrorist or a feminist political activist? However that is impossible – Jarrar refuses to speak to Zionists.


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