Palestinian Who Posted 'Death to Jews' Is Released

Defense attorney says many Jews, Arabs using verbal violence, but not jailed.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
A Palestinian man walks by burning tires during clashes with Israeli soldiers near Jenin. July 25, 2014.
A Palestinian man walks by burning tires during clashes with Israeli soldiers near Jenin. July 25, 2014.Credit: AP
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ordered the release of a 24-year-old West Bank Palestinian who was arrested last week because of anti-Israel remarks on Facebook.

The police arrested Ashraf Salman, from the village of Akraba, on suspicion of illegal residence in Israel and incitement to racism. According to the minutes of the proceedings, Salman wrote “death to the Jews” on Facebook, with the picture of a scorched Israeli army tank.

Judge Itai Hermelin wrote in his decision that Salman should be released because his arrest for illegal residence seemingly stemmed from his Facebook comment, which was reported to the police. He was arrested at a wedding hall in the Bnei Brak area, although he told police he worked there.

His defense attorney argued, “There’s a difference between speaking as he did and claiming that this is a criminal offense. The remarks were made in the context of freedom of expression. I assume that during this difficult period, both Jews and Arabs are speaking in a manner that does not express their normal personality – but he is under arrest while the others are walking around free. Politicians and ministers are also speaking in harsh terms these days.”

Hermelin accepted the attorney’s argument and ordered that Salman be released on bail. “As the defense attorney said, this is a period of security and social tension that is inflaming passions and causing people to express themselves at times belligerently,” wrote the judge.

“Still, in a democratic country that sanctifies freedom of expression, we cannot arrest people for their words alone, as long as there is no advocacy to commit a crime or an outright call to harm another person,” Hermelin pointed out.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister

Lake Kinneret. The high water level created lagoons at the northern end of the lake.

Lake Kinneret as You’ve Never Experienced It Before