Civil Service Commission interrogator threatens right-wing activist

Ayelet Lash; Screenshot of her Facebook page

Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 14:20. On Sunday (April 7), right-wing activist Ayelet Lash reported to the Civil Servants’ Disciplinary Court in Jerusalem for a hearing to which she had been summoned by the Civil Service Commission over tweets she had posted on her Twitter account denouncing Arab terror. The Commission claimed that Lash, who works as a teacher, posted racial slurs and statements inciting against Arabs and former Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) in three separate tweets in 2021. At the hearing, the judge expressed confusion as to why Lash’s posts were considered incitement. Officials from the Commission responded by requesting a postponement of the hearing for several months “so they could get organized”. Note that the police have already interrogated Lash over the same tweets and not charged her with any offense.

After the hearing, Lash was summoned to the Commission’s offices for interrogation. To her surprise, although the State Attorney’s Office has closed the cases against her, the interrogator presented her with a compilation of dozens of tweets that she had posted over the years and shouted at her that they contained criticism of the government, and included racist content. At the conclusion of the interrogation, the interrogator threatened Lash that if she publicized that she had been interrogated, she would be liable to regret it. In light of the interrogation, Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing Lash, wrote a letter to the Civil Service Commissioner, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, and demanded that the interrogator be immediately removed from Lash’s case.

Ayelet Lash stated, “This is ugly political persecution and an idiotic attempt to silence me because of my legitimate political opinions. I am a dedicated teacher, and I have never brought politics into my classroom. We live in an era in which everyone – teachers, school principals, nurses, and doctors – opens their mouths and smears government ministers and the Prime Minister. Tens of thousands of protesters, including civil servants, go out every day to participate in illegal disturbances, even setting fires to block roads, and the Civil Service Commission attempts to persecute me. Have they already interrogated all of the teachers in East Jerusalem, Kafr Qasem, and Lod, who speak against the State of Israel and in favor of the [October 7] massacre in their classrooms? What kind of content are Hamas-supporting hospital nurses uploading to social media? I am a law-abiding citizen. I love my country. My husband has been serving continuously in the army reserves since the massacre, in an elite unit. We are giving our all for Israel, the nation and the state, and I am interrogated over tweets protesting the insane security situation in the country. I speak for hundreds if not thousands of people. We are all being stabbed in the back. I will not be silenced. Freedom of expression is for everybody.”

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar added, “The ink on the court’s decision at the hearing has not yet dried, and she has already received a surprising summons to another interrogation. This indicates blatant and outrageous harassment on the part of the Commission. It appears that the Commission’s investigators think that the laws of interrogation are not binding on them. The discrimination against Ayelet cries out. We will not cooperate with the hearing until the interrogator’s conduct is examined, and then we will consider whether or not Ayelet will report for further interrogation.”

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