Israeli Court Rejects Police Appeal to Revoke Left-wing Activist’s License

Judge rejected Israel Police appeal to revoke the license of Guy Hirschfeld, an activist with Ta'ayush, but also rejected claims that the police acted with political motivation

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Guy Hirschfeld, December 4, 2018.
Guy Hirschfeld, December 4, 2018.Credit: Emil Salman

Nazareth District Court has rejected an appeal from the police, upholding a ruling against revoking the driver’s license of left-wing activist Guy Hirschfeld. The judge rejected claims that the attempt to revoke his license had any connection to Hirschfeld’s political views.  

The judge said “we are in agreement that the magistrate’s court decision regarding the considerations at the basis of the police’s actions. The police acted on substantive grounds and there is no justification for the claim that it had any extraneous illegitimate motives.”

Still, he decided that there were no grounds to intervene against the verdict and that “based on the existing evidence we cannot see that he (Hirschfeld) had been under the influence of any dangerous drugs.”

Hirschfeld has had several confrontations with police through his work with the Ta’ayush organization. Last month police detained him when he was driving in the Jordan valley and searched his vehicle where they found marijuana. Hirschfeld explained that he has permission to use medical marijuana and the police returned it to him.

Later, although it was not proven that the driver had been under the influence of marijuana, police charged him, confiscated his license for 30 days and seized his car. Hirschfeld challenged the license revocation and Judge Bassem Kandelfet found in his favor.

Kandelfet found that Hirschfeld’s license had been revoked “against the background of his activism for human rights and his political views, apparently in order to intimidate and deter him from such acts in the future.”

He said that “the impression was made that all the police actions taken against the appellant were due to his political views” citing how Hirschfeld was described in the police report as a “left-wing activist."