Extreme leftist activist Yonatan Pollack arrives at Hermon prison
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Far Left activist Yonatan Pollack behind bars

Pollack begins prison sentence after conviction for illegal gathering. 'It seems like a bad joke' says activist's father, actor Yossi Pollack

Accompanied by his parents, girlfriend and two close friends, extreme leftist activist Yonatan Pollack arrived Tuesday at the Hermon Prison in the lower Galilee where he will serve his three month prison sentence.


Pollack was convicted of illegal gathering during a Tel Aviv protest against Operation Cast Lead two years ago and riding his bicycle very slowly along the streets of Tel Aviv, causing traffic jams.


Upon entering the prison the activist said: "The prison sentence is part of a trend of restricting and putting obstacles in the path of protestors in Israeli society.


"I think that what's happening here today was a forgone conclusion," Pollack said. "The restriction of protest is expressed through Palestinians sentenced to longer prison terms than mine, with no evidence and no trial.


"The atmosphere prevents any opposition to the Israeli occupation. I'm being sent to prison while the establishment calls for inquiry committees and with rabbis' letters in the background. You can't separate the things that are happening on the street from those happening in the Knesset and the courts," Pollack added.


The sentence imposed on Pollak at the Tel Aviv Magistrates' Court last month is the realization of a probation sentence handed out in the past for illegal gathering, sedition and property damage. This sentence was given after Pollak refused to convert it to community service during the plea stage.


As he entered the prison Pollack explained that community service was never an option for him "because I don't think that what I did was wrong and I have no intention of cooperating in my penalization. If I need to go to prison, I'll go and on the day I'm released I'll continue to do the same thing. "


'He won't be stopped'

Pollack's father, actor Yossi Pollack accompanied his son. "I admit that I've gotten used to this," he said after the prison doors closed.


"This isn't the first time he's gone to prison; though it is the longest period of time he's been sentenced to. It seems like a bad joke, but with everything that is going on around us it seems that things could not have turned out differently."


The father claimed that in spite attempts to deny it, the trial against his son was in fact a political one. "In my opinion this isn't the last time, he won't be stopped in his struggle. We are in a process I call deterioration.


"Any attempt to do something that isn't identified with the establishment meets with major difficulties. Everything begins and ends with the word 'occupation' and my son, who believes in his path, is another one of those who are paying the price."


Pollack's friends and comrades promised to keep in touch and support his family while he is behind bars, and will wait for him outside the prison walls when he completes his sentence.





פרסום ראשון: 01.11.11, 11:58
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