Thursday, March 6, 2008

Judge Keeps Young Girl in Jail Another Month Without Charges


This is not about what Tzvia did, this is not about who Tzvia is, and this is not about what Tzvia says. This is about what Tzvia represents. She is quickly becoming a rallying point, a political voice, a grave challenge to the legitimacy of of the Israeli [in]justice system. Background

She is one who shows the naked truth about bias in the judiciary against anyone who believes in Torah and the presence of Jewish people on Jewish lands.

The judge could care less whether she said something to an elderly arab. They want to keep her locked up as long as possible to try to break her spirit. They think that if they can break her spirit, they can break the spirits of the other "hilltop youth."

They are very very very wrong. The longer she stays in jail, the more people hear about her and know that justice does not exist for the Torah observant Jews who chose to claim their inheritance--the Land of Israel. The strength of the people of Israel does not come from following the arbitrary laws of a nation that has forgotten who they are, it comes from following the Word of G-d. This is a wellspring that cannot be exhausted, and the spirit of those who keep the Laws of Torah cannot be broken. Greater men than this judge have tried and failed (Thank G-d! Otherwise there would be no Jews left!).

We already know this is a political lynching of an innocent young girl. We already know that, through their own actions, the Israeli justice system have already proven Tzvia's accusations correct.

Let her go, NOW.

And be advised that there are THOUSANDS of Tzvias all over the nation. Israel needs to establish an agreement for alternative sentencing with the new Sanhedrin now. Ignoring this fact and torturing a young girl won't make it go away.


Kfar Saba -- An Israeli judge, who refused to issue her ruling publicly, sent a Jewish protester for a fourth month to jail, without formal charges. Judge Nava Bechor sent Tzvia Sariel, 18, back to jail after a hearing in which two key witnesses testified that she was not the alleged assailant of Arabs brought into the West Bank Jewish community of Elon Moreh in December 2007. Instead, Ms. Sariel was kept in jail because according to authorities she refused to cooperate.

"She could be released but she refuses to recognize the authority of the court," Shmuel Meidad, head of the Honeinu Legal Aid Organization said. "This is to teach her to cooperate with the justice system and the authorities."

The police charge sheet stated that on Dec. 4, 2007, Tzvia Sariel and two friends trespassed, assaulted and threatened a group of Arab men who were brought by Israeli authorities into the West Bank Jewish community of Elon Moreh to pick olives. The girls allegedly pushed the Arabs, villagers from neighboring Dir Al Khatab, attempted to grab their walking canes and threatened to throw stones at them if they didn't leave Elon Moreh, where the girls live.

Tzvia refused to cooperate with the police. She refused to identify herself or to be fingerprinted or photographed but she was later forcibly fingerprinted. She also refused a defense attorney. The court then ordered her held in the Neve Tirza prison indefinitely, where she was denied full visitation and telephone privileges and spent time in solitary confinement in an unheated cell in winter.

Two prosecution witnesses, Abdel Karim Hussein, 36, and Abdel Baki Shahada Amar, 81, testified on March 5 at the Kfar Saba Magistrates Court that Tziva was not the girl who allegedly assaulted them in Elon Moreh. "I'm surprised that the girl who made all the problems is not here," Hussein said. "It was the other girl."

Hussein said that Tzvia had yelled at him to leave but she had not pushed him. Hussein also said Tziva had opened the car door as he was leaving but had not tried to grab Amar's cane, who sat next to him.

Hussein, Amar and and five others, aged between 60 to 70, said they were brought to Elon Moreh by the Civil Administration and the army on Dec. 4, 2007 after authorities had told them that they must come to claim their land or the Jewish settlers would take it. Hussein refuted the police charge sheet that they had come to pick olives.

"We had not visited our land for 20 years," Hussein said. "They're all old. They just wanted to see the land."

Amar confirmed that the Civil Adminstration had accompanied the group to the area.

"Without accompaniment, we wouldn't go there," Amar said. "The girls came towards us and they told us to leave saying that the land belongs to Elon Moreh."

Aram, who addressed the court through a translator, then testified that Tzvia had cursed him but when pressed, he retracted the accusation. He said that she only spoke Hebrew and that he did not understand Hebrew and that she had not cursed him. Amar reiterated that she had just said that the land belonged to Elon Moreh and he should leave but he denied that Tzvia had either pushed him or threatened him.

The judge, noticeably annoyed with prosecutor Shir Laufer, said that the entire testimony was chaotic and asked if the witness was confused or had a hearing problem.

Amar said he heard perfectly well and that he was over 80 years old and he refused to lie under oath.

Both Bechor and Laufer questioned Aram about the signed statement he had given to police admiting that Tzvia had tried to grab his cane and threatened to throw stones at him if he didn't leave.

Laufer read the statement to him in Arabic but Amar denied writing the statement. He testified that he barely knew how to write Arabic and that the police officer just told him to sign.

"When the police wrote, I don't know what they wrote," Amar said. "I just signed. They told me to bring my identity card and to sign. The person who wrote my statement in Arabic spoke in Hebrew. I read Arabic but only a little.

Bechor then asked Aram if he had been threatened to change his testimony. Amar said that Civil Administration officials had telephoned him every day to pressure him to testify.

"What am I? a child?" Aram asked. "Am I a lying witness? Civil Administration officials called every hour pressing me to testify. I was scared that they would punish me if I didn't come to testify."

At this point, the judge declared that Aram's testimony was invalid. "I am declaring the witness a hostile witness," Bechor said, "after his testimony essentially differs from his statement."

Bechor took long breaks during the hearing and heard other cases in between although all the remaining prosecution witnesses waited the entire day to testify. Several seconds after hearing a different case, the judge fled from the courtroom without announcing her decision. She whispered to the court stenographer that the next hearing in the case was called for April 3.

"This case has gone on long enough," Laufer complained to a colleague. "The judge should either acquit or convict her [Tzvia]."

Prior to the hearing, Laufer told Ruth Sariel that the proceedings would not be completed that day and advised that she sign a release form for her daughter.

"The judge and the prosecution had already agreed before the hearing not to release Tzvia," Ruth Sariel, who was evicted from the courtroom, said. During the hearing, Tzvia continued to refuse to be represented by an attorney.

"I already said in the previous hearing that everything that goes on here is a crime," Tzvia told Bechor. "I don't even want to enter into discussion with you."

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