Israeli professor apologizes for saying judges should be hanged for Palestinian suffering

“I want to apologize for speaking in the terms that I did - of hanging - I of course do not wish for anyone to die."

By MAARIV ONLINE
February 22, 2016 19:57
3 minute read.
A Palestinian man hangs a Palestinian flag atop the ruins of a mosque

A Palestinian man hangs a Palestinian flag atop the ruins of a mosque, during a snow storm in West Bank village of Mufagara. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Anat Rimon Or, a left-wing academic who teaches at Beit Berl College near Kfar Saba, expressed her regret over her comments on Facebook accusing the Supreme Court of being complicit in causing Palestinian suffering.

“I want to apologize for speaking in the terms that I did – of hanging – I of course do not wish for anyone to die. Those things were said in the spirit of an angry rant and I really do want to offer my apologies,” Rimon Or told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

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Rimon Or, an activist and a lecturer who specializes in education, wrote a scathing post on Facebook denouncing the court for its decision to rule in favor of the state in keeping a hunger- striking Palestinian journalist in administrative detention.

Mohammad al-Qiq, whom Israeli authorities say is linked to Hamas, has not eaten in 90 days.

He is currently hospitalized in serious condition at Emek Medical Center in Afula.

Rimon Or wrote: “One day, the High Court justices will be put on trial for the worst kind of treason. My hope is that they will be hanged just like every single person convicted of crimes against humanity for all of the horrible things that they helped bring upon the Palestinians, the miscarriages of justice done to Israelis, and the whitewashing of crimes that helped those who are bilking the country’s natural resources.”

Last week, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition for Qiq to be freed from administrative detention.

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Citing that it had reviewed classified evidence showing he was “unmistakably an active Hamas agent involved in operational terrorism,” the High Court said it would not allow his release, even as Qiq was close to death’s door.

Rather, the court said that “at the end of the day, the petitioner holds the key to his health and well-being in his own hands, he and no other.”

In a phone conversation with the Post, Rimon Or explained that the Facebook post was meant to encourage a public debate about the role of the High Court in upholding human rights and democratic values.

“I read a quote from an article in Haaretz that said that the judges made their decision to leave him [Qiq] in custody for fear of harm to IDF soldiers should they need to recapture him in Ramallah.

Maybe I misunderstood this quote but if this is true this is a very serious problem,” she said.

“This is something that should not be. What role is the High Court playing here? I felt that there was something very strange and even illegal with how the legal system is operating,” she said.

Rimon Or said her words are meant “on behalf of everyone, not only on behalf of Palestinians.”

“The law should be upheld no matter what. It is based on righteous laws that are enacted to protect human rights and democracy. The judges are supposed to uphold these laws and uphold democracy,” she said. Of the High Court decision she said, “There are no grounds, this is a deep contempt in everything that is dear to democracy.”

The High Court decision last week however, follows numerous attempts to reach a compromise with Qiq to end his hunger strike against the administrative detention.

Rimon Or recently went on a hunger strike of her own in front of the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. She called on President Reuven Rivlin to intervene in Qiq’s case.

B’Tselem also criticized the High Court’s refusal to allow the detainee to be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah. The court accepted the state’s position that such a move would endanger the lives of soldiers in the event they wish to arrest Qiq in the future.

B’Tselem’s director-general, Hagai Elad, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he lobbied for Qiq’s immediate release.

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