“Selective law enforcement regarding incitement”

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 15:33 On Tuesday, October 12 Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski participated in a discussion held by the Knesset Committee for Internal Security at the request of MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Religious Zionist), who also participated, on the investigation of former MK Michael Ben Ari, particularly his Twitter account. Poleski stated that the State Attorney’s office and the police selectively enforce the law with regard to suspected incitement and pile up difficulties in cases with right-wing defendants.

Knesset Committee for Internal Security meeting; Video courtesy of the Knesset Channel

Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski: “I am familiar with Ben Ari’s case, and I also handle many incitement cases. The State Attorney’s office genuinely prefers to keep all of the information to themselves and not to release any. And then they say that they are unbiased and fair. Factually, that is incorrect.

“In legal proceedings which Attorney Ben Gvir had already begun with investigative material, and in legal proceedings which were already in progress and had passed judicial review, we received investigative material from three years, 2016 to 2018, with dozens, hundreds of incitement cases that were opened and closed by the same Special Tasks Department.”

Poleski based his claims on work he had done on the “Wedding of Hate” case, in which Jerusalem Juvenile Court Judge Shimon Leibo exonerated five defendants. In the framework of the legal proceedings, Poleski presented to the court approximately one hundred similar cases involving incitement by left-wing activists. All of the cases were closed, and many of the suspects did not stand trial, even those suspected of serious and clear-cut incidents of incitement. (See here for more details.)

“[In the ‘Wedding of Hate’ case] we submitted in arguments and in summations at least one hundred cases, out of hundreds. We see that a judicial decision has already been made, and it pertains to all of the proceedings, starting with investigations and detentions. The police take drastic law enforcement measures in a biased and selective manner against right-wing activists. … An intensive investigation is opened and they try to gather all of the evidence – when the defendant is right-wing – until indictments are filed and defendants brought to trial. When someone left-wing is involved, there is a policy of closing cases wholesale, even in serious cases of incitement.”

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.

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