The Jerusalem District Court has rejected a request
filed by Arab leaders who sought a temporary injunction to block Israeli web access to an anti-Islam film
that sparked riots worldwide.
In their petition, Knesset Member MK Talab El-Sana and several Muslim clerics demanded Google to bar Israeli web surfers from seeing the film, whether on YouTube or otherwise. A temporary injunction would stop Internet users from watching the movie while the court mulled a permanent ban.
Judge Miriam Mizrahi decided against provisionally blocking access to the film, deciding instead that the court would await a response from Google before issuing a final ruling on the matter.
"The freedom of speech is our guiding principle, and such things take time," she said.
The petitioners attempted during the hearing to press the judge on the matter, but to no avail, with the judge suggesting that "for the time being, anyone who finds the film offensive should avoid watching it."
"Anyone who doesn't search for the film, won't find it," she added.
The Arab leaders said in the petition that the movie, which ridicules the Prophet Mohammed, is racist and disrespectful of Muslim beliefs, and therefore is in violation of Israeli laws.
Google Inc., which owns YouTube, has already blocked access to the film in Libya, India and Indonesia after deadly protests in several countries, but it has rejected a request by the White House to pull it from the site altogether.