Bumper-sticker racism?

Motorist convicted over "No Arabs, No Terror attacks" bumper sticker.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
February 25, 2009 23:54
1 minute read.
Bumper-sticker racism?

No arabs no terror sticker 248.88 . (photo credit: )

 
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A Jerusalem court has convicted an Israeli right-wing activist for incitement to racism for driving a car through the West Bank with a bumper sticker that read "No Arabs - no terror attacks," court documents released Wednesday show. The slogan, which was coined by right-wing activists at the start of the latest round of Palestinian violence, was deemed racist by former attorney-general Elyakim Rubinstein in 2002. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court found Neria Ofan, 37, of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, guilty of incitement to racism for driving through the West Bank with the bumper sticker on his car in 2004. "The call 'No Arabs - no terror' is tainted with racism because it connects the entire Arab population, without any differentiation among its members, and the execution of heinous terror acts," Judge Shulamit Dotan wrote in her February 18 ruling. "It thus shows hostility and enmity toward an entire populace, only because of its national-ethnic origin." "The slogan also suggests a solution to the 'problem' in the form of collective punishment of the Arab population by making it disappear, either by expulsion of by other means, which the reader need only imagine, as long as the country remains 'clean' of Arabs." Ofen said Wednesday that the ruling was both "a bit illogical" and "a selective enforcement of the law." Israeli far-right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir accused the police and the courts of a double standard when it came to freedom of speech. "We see that when the Arabs chant 'Death to the Jews' as they did recently in Umm el-Fahm, neither the police nor the State Attorney's Office do anything," he said. Ben-Gvir opined that the slogan in question did not constitute a direct call to violence. Hebrew University law Professor Barak Medina said Wednesday that there was no uniform approach in such cases, which, he said, were often influenced by both the public mood and the sensitivity of the period in question. Medina added that more sensitivity is also shown by Israeli law enforcement officials when the remarks are directed against a minority. Ofan is the second person to be convicted for using the slogan. Fellow right-wing activist David Ha'ivri, of the West Bank settlement of Kfar Tapuach, was previously sentenced to six months of community service for distributing T-shirts with the same slogan on them. The sentencing in the latest case will be handed down at a later date.

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