Pini Cohen, who made headlines by throwing a shoe at Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish, was handed a sentence of three years behind bars Wednesday. Judge Shimon Feinberg at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court ruled that "the accused challenged the entire justice system and this act is unprecedented."
"The incident is very grave, throwing a shoe at the Supreme Court President, in the Supreme Court, during a trial," Feinberg wrote in his ruling. "Cohen did not choose to hurt the president randomly, but wanted, by doing this, to harm the entire justice system."
The judge noted this was contempt of court of the highest order.
Feinberg also noted that Cohen had expressed no remorse. Towards the end of the ruling, he wrote that the case is more serious that cases of threats against judges because it harmed the court's president.
"Such an incident or similar incident must not be allowed to happen again and the punishment is to make an example of him," he said.
Defense Attorney David Ventura expressed his displeasure at the sentence, saying it was a selective decision. He said the harsh punishment was due to the fact that the case involved the Supreme Court president, and that if it had been anyone else, his client would have received just a few months – which does not reflect well on the court, he added.
Cohen gave testimony just a week ago. He told the court his life story and claimed that anyone wanting to hurt would not have thrown a shoe.
"It was a cry for help," he said. It is not clear whether his words convinced the judges – just a few days earlier he had been restrained by the guards for trying to assault a judge while cursing and swearing.
Just a month before the shoe-throwing case, Cohen had stood before Beinish in another hearing, and shouted at her, "There's no way you'll throw me like a Yid to the street, I'm a citizen, not a Yid."
Just four weeks later he made the headlines again, though he claimed he had not intended to harm Beinish. The shoe he hurled broke the judge's glasses and injured her slightly.