'Keffiyeh isn't an insult.' The poster
MK Ben Ari
Photo: Hagai Aharon

MK to be held in contempt for 'defamatory' posters?

Courts administration seeks investigation against MK Ben Ari for distributing posters depicting judges wearing keffiyehs. MK Ben Ari: 'Keffiyeh isn't an insult'

An adviser to the courts administration urged Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday to launch an investigation against Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union), who was responsible for the distribution of posters that allegedly disparaged the High Court of Justice.


In a letter obtained by Ynet, Attorney Barak Lazer claimed that the posters, which were hung across Jerusalem, depicted High Court justices wearing keffiyehs and featured the slogan "If there is no loyalty, there is no justice."


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Lazer posited that the ads were made in protest against the court's decision to deny the State's petition to postpone the eviction of the residents of Ulpana, a neighborhood built on contested land in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

הכרזה. שופטי בג"ץ עם כאפיות

'No loyalty, no justice.' The poster


Lazer wrote that the posters appear to incite mutiny, and could warrant a contempt of court charge.


"The leveling of such defamatory statements and incitement against the Supreme Court – the institution and the judges – is outrageous and intolerable," he wrote. "(…) An attempt to delegitimize the courts system and its judges, and to ascribe inappropriate intentions while slandering judges due to a decision that was made at their professional discretion, must be viewed gravely – all the more so when it is done by a public official."


'Courts are racist'

MK Ben Ari dismissed the accusations.


"I don’t understand what's wrong with putting a Keffiyeh on a judge," he said. " The thought that a keffiyeh is some kind of an insult indicates that the spirit of racism has reached the courts administration.


"I wish the police would open the investigation; it would allow me the opportunity to teach the courts administration a lesson in democracy," he added. "It's funny that the same court officials who fight for the freedom of expression are seeking silence when it comes to legitimate criticism of judges."


Itamar Fleishman contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 05.09.12, 19:41
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