Persecution in the Spirit of the Times


Jonathan Pollak after being released from detention in Tel Aviv, February 20, 2020.

Haaretz Editorial Feb 23, 2020:

Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri ordered a criminal investigation on Thursday against left-wing activist Jonathan Pollak for an article he published in Haaretz’s Hebrew online edition, which was headlined: “Why I refuse to cooperate with the court.”

The reason cited for the investigation was suspicion of inciting to violence and terror. The decision to open a criminal investigation after the article’s publication, while not aimed at the newspaper, is extreme in its severity and constitutes a tough blow to freedom of expression

The article written by Pollak, employed as a graphic designer for Haaretz, dealt with a legal decision which led to his being kept behind bars for a month and a half until his release last week. He had been jailed for his refusal to cooperate with a criminal complaint filed against him by the right-wing Ad Kan organization, which claimed harm was done to IDF soldiers. During the editing of the article a decision was made to delete a sentence that Pollak wrote: “We must cross the lines and break the law… we must join the children of the stones and firebombs.”

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