[GushShalom] Gush ad + No dispute with the General at Van Leer Institute

Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc) info at gush-shalom.org
Sat Dec 14 01:27:07 IST 2002

     Gush Shalom
                  Dec. 14

[1] Gush Shalom ad: No to endless punishment for those with a conscience 
[2] Banned Jenin, Jenin film to be shown to Gush Shalom audiences  

[3] No dispute with the General's view at Van Leer Institute
    The violent removal of Professor Ben Artzi from a Human Rights Meeting.


[1] Gush Shalom: No to endless punishment for those with a conscience 
[The Gush Shalom ad of this week (Dec. 13) is about the refusniks. There are at this 
very moment 15 of them in prison, conscripts and reservists, selective refusers and 
pacifists. The conscripts are the ones who are re-imprisoned all the time without end in 


Lately, the army command has decided on a new policy 
on soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied 

Until now, refusers were sent to prison for no more 
than 90 days. Now, they are sentenced again and 
again. After serving one sentence, they are sentenced 
to another one. In practice, this is an endless prison 

It is unwarranted cruelty.

The refusers deserve respect. Even those who oppose 
their principles must respect their courage and moral 
integrity. Every nation should be proud of such sons.

In a democratic society, no person should be 
compelled to act against his conscience. He should be 
offered the alternative of a civilian service.

Is the army command afraid of an impending wave of 

Gush Shalom

If you like to see such views in the paper, please 
help us with donations to publish ads.
P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033,
Phone 972-3-5221732.

[2] Banned Jenin, Jenin film to be shown to Gush Shalom audiences  

At the decision to ban the film Jenin, Jenin in which well-known actor Muhammad 
Bakri speaks with Jenin inabitants after the devastation of "Operation Defensive Wall" 
Gush Shalom decided to organize special showings for invited audiences. (The 
censorship can only forbid commercial showings.) More details will follow.

[3] No dispute with the General's view at Van Leer Institute
    The violent removal of Professor Ben Artzi from a Human Rights Meeting.

   [Based upon an eyewitness report.]

  The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Israeli Ministry of Justice sponsored 
"a public dialogue" entitled "SECURITY and HUMAN RIGHTS".
  It was held Thursday, December 12, 2002, at the prestigious Van Leer Institute, in 
the framework of the International Week of Human Rights. The featured invited 
speakers were:  1) Mr. Aharon Barak, President of the Israeli Supreme Court. 2) 
General Menahem Finkelstein, the Chief Military Prosecutor.  3) Prof. Assa Kasher, of 
Tel Aviv University. 4) Prof. Nahum Rakover of Moreshet Mishpat College (Tel Aviv). Dr. 
Michael Vigode, Director of the Department of Jewish Law at the Israeli Ministry of 
Justicewas to be the moderator. The public was explicitly invited, in newspapers ads, 
to participate. 
  Some 200 people showed up for the dialogue. Among them were Ofra and Matania 
Ben-Artzi, the parents of the 19-year old pacifist refuser Jonathan Ben-Artzi who is in 
military jail since August, with no end in sight. As the discussion was about to start, 
the Ben-Artzis  distributed a flyer to the participants [full text below)]. 
  The Director of the Van Leer Institute , Mr. Shimon Alon, seemed not to appreciate 
this form of "public participation" and demanded that they leave, but they insisted on 
their right to take part in an open, public event. 
  The Supreme Court President Mr. Barak excused himself at the last minute, thus the 
first speaker was Gen. Finkelstein. He repeated the IDF claim that it is holding the 
highest moral ground in what he described as "an armed conflict against terror". He 
claimed that civilian casualties on the Palestinian side (to which he constantly referred 
as the "other side") result from "legitimate acts of war by the IDF" and are therefore 
"non-prosecutable" even though they are investigated for "operational reasons".
When Gen. Finkelstein finished this totally unbalanced presentation, Prof. M. Ben-
Artzi stood up and demanded the right of speech. 
  The Van Leer Director, Mr. Alon, and his deputies didn't have to think long: with the 
aid of Security Guards, they jumped on Prof. Ben-Artzi, tore the papers from his hands 
and began dragging him forcefully off the stage. Ofra Ben-Artzi and Gideon Spiro, who 
approached the scene, were rudely shoved away. The whole event took place in front 
of the panelists and the audience, who remained (except for a handful of people) totally 
passive. Prof. Ben-Artzi's eyeglasses were broken as he was finally thrown out of the 
Lecture Hall.
  In a matter of minutes, there arrived a big police force - as well as some agents in 
civilian clothes who made no secret of being operatives of the Shabak (Secret Service). 
The Van Leer Director pressed charges of trespassing against Ben-Artzi, whereas the 
latter announced that he would file complaints of physical injury against the Van Leer 
Management. The Police ordered Prof. Ben-Artzi, at the request of Mr. Alon, to stay 
away from the Lecture Hall and, in fact, to leave the building.

Here is the full text of the flyer distributed by Ofra and Matania Ben-Artzi at the 

Aharon Barak and Menachem Finkelstein,
    You are celebrating here today the "International Week of Human Rights"--a 
hypocritical and sanctimonious festival.
   This same week: Millions of people are subjected to a cruel and brutal occupation.
    This same week: More than seven thousand people are locked up in detention 
camps, deprived of minimal humane conditions. They have never been brought to court.
    This same week: And since many years, the ewe-lamb of the poor is robbed by an 
evil, war seeking hand. Across the fields of Samaria, the dogs lick up the blood of 
   This same week: YOU threw in jail clear-eyed and pure-hearted boys. Their only sin 
was that they followed their conscience.
    YOU know that you will not silence their voice. YOU know they will win.
    The Chronicles of Mankind will tell you that.
    When the prophet Isaia said:
    "He eagerly looked for justice , but see, bloodshed! For righteousness, and lo, a cry 
of distress", HE WAS REFERRING TO YOU.
NOTHING"  (Edmund Burke).
   " The world stands on three pillars: The truth, the justice and the peace.. And these 
three are indeed one. When justice is served, truth is served, peace is served" (Rabbi 
Shimon Ben-Gamliel, Talmudic sage). 

Contact: Matania Ben-Artzi <mbartzi at math.huji.ac.il> 


To receive Billboard (forwarded reports and announcements which we receive + a 
selection of English-language articles)
send one blank mail to: TOI_Billboard-subscribe at topica.com
In the Dec. 13 Billboard (you can still ask for it) among other things:
--Sat.14: Rebuilding the Shawamreh family home
--Thurs. Dec.19, Yesh Gvul support evening refuseniks
--Jewish-Arab peace walk in the Shfaram area 19-21 Dec.

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