Oct. 14 UPDATE:
THR Amends Article With Problematic Correction
In response to repeated communication with CAMERA, THR has amended the article to acknowledge the fact that the subjects of documentary are not political prisoners, and were "accused of extremist crimes." But the amended text still contains a problematic and unsubstantiated assertion about alleged political prisoners. See below for a detailed update.
In an article about the Emmy Award-winning documentary "Advocate," The Hollywood Reporter whitewashes Palestinians convicted of violent acts of terror, including attempted murder, as "political prisoners." Trilby Beresford's Sept. 29 article, "Israeli Film 'Advocate' Wins Best Documentary Emmy," reports that the documentary "Advocate" "follows the work of human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel as she represents political prisoners." (Emphasis added.)
Western nations do not regard convicted, incarcerated terrorists as political prisoners, as the European Council definition makes clear. Palestinians who carry out terror attacks against Israeli citizens are not protesting their own (Palestinian) government with non-violent activity.
Does The Hollywood Reporter consider those who carried out attempted murder and ignite explosives "political prisoners"?
A High Court ruling on the Manasrah case, in which victims 13-year-old Naor Shalev Ben-Ezra and 25-year-old Yosef Haim Tuito were gravely injured, stated [translation from Hebrew by CAMERA]:
The two [Manasrah cousins] discussed their desire to become “martyrs” and be killed in war for the cause of religion, by carrying out a stabbing attack against Jews in order to kill them. The appellant [Ahmad Manasrah] and H. [Hassan] each went into their homes and took knifes. The appellant took a decorative knife with a 15-centimeter blade, and H. took a big kitchen knife with a 20-centimeter blade.
Indeed, the court’s finding later notes (page 22) that “The defendant and his cousin sought to die together as martyrs [Arabic: Shaheed] and to carry out ‘jihad.’ To that end, the appellant equipped himself with a large knife intended, as he put it, to ‘slaughter sheep’ or as a ‘solution to the conflicts.'”
The High Court justices go on to describe how Hassan stabbed Ben-Ezra and then the two Manasras fled together, chased by two bystanders who witnessed the attack. According to the justices:
Bypassers who saw what happened hurried to help the boy [Ben-Ezra] and the two began to flee up an ascent on HaShisha-‘Asar Street. Some of the bystanders, including Shimon Mizrachi and Yehuda Chernokov (herein Shimon and Yehuda, respectively) ran after them. Close to the intersection of HaShisha-‘Asar Street and Moshe Dayan Boulevard, Shimon ran after H. and the appellant, who was running on the left side of the street, ran after Shimon with a knife in his hand. Yehuda yelled towards Shimon to be careful of the appellant. Shimon turned towards the defendant and attempted to neutralize him with a broomstick that he held in his hand, but the defendant dodged him and continued running on Moshe Dayan Boulevard in the direction of the city center, against the flow of traffic, until he was hit by a car.
About the attack on Tuito, Israel’s High Court determined that Ahmad’s felony was attempted murder and that his guilt was proven beyond all reasonable doubt. The justices wrote:
We adjudicate that the mens rea for the offense of attempted murder was crystallized, and that the appellant is guilty of this offense as a joint accomplice is proven beyond all reasonable doubt. This determination is based on the indisputable fact that the appellant raised his knife against the plaintiff [Tuito]; from the testimonies and evidence it was apparent that the appellant continued to chase after the plaintiff with a knife drawn after he was wounded, as it is also possible to see in the clip from the security camera from the nearby convenience store (the 5th clip […]); from various circumstantial evidence and the shape and characteristics of the knife that the appellant held in his hand and from the way that the plaintiff was stabbed. Moreover, there are also the testimonies of eye-witnesses that were found to be reliable and are all consistent with each other.
CAMERA has contacted The Hollywood Reporter to request that editors issue a correction making clear that "Advocate" follows Leah Tsemel's work defending Palestinians convicted of violent terror acts as opposed to "political prisoners."