Sunday, July 31, 2005

My friend's 14 year old girl is in jail for being Sharon's political opponent

Got this email from my friend Yochi. She asked that it be made as public as possible, so I'm doing my bit. She also sent a link to an online petition.

Dear friends,

I am writing you in connection with my 14 year old daughter Chaya who has spent the past 4 weeks of her summer vacation in jail. No,no, she hasn't murdered anyone. Nor did she steal anything, assault anyone or sell drugs. All she did was go to a demonstration in " the only democracy in the middle east". Here is how it happened.

On 22 Sivan 5765 {29.06.05} Chaya decided to lend moral support to her friends who went to protest Ariel Sharon's plan to expel Jews. What follows is a direct quote from the official indictment filed against Chaya. She is accused of standing on a sidewalk while her friends proceeded to block traffic. After her friends were arrested a policewoman asked Chaya to leave the area. Chaya refused, saying that she wasn't doing anything illegal, that she had every right to stand on "every inch of the Land of Israel". The policewoman, unimpressed, warned Chaya that if she didn't leave immediately she will be arrested. To which Chaya replied:" So, shut up and arrest me then". That's it. This is the case that the State of Israel has against Chaya. And, because Chaya participated in a similar demonstration once before, the State prosecutor asked the juvenile court to remand Chaya into police custody UNTIL THE END OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST HER - a process that can last for MONTHS!! What is truly unbelievable is than this unprecedented request was granted. Judge Dalya Korn wrote a 10 page dissertation about the danger to society inherent in Chaya's disregard towards the law passed in the Knesset (Sharon's expulsion law). That, combined with the fact that Chaya participated in a similar "unlawful" demonstration before, has made her into a REAL PUBLIC DANGER, thus justifying her imprisonment until the end of the legal process.

To understand the severity of the above decision one must know that, as a rule, an average ADULT criminal - be he a thief, rapist, or a drug dealer - is never kept in jail until the end of proceedings. Even if he is a repeat offender, and even if he repeats the same crime while he's awaiting his trial!! The worst they usually get slapped with is a house arrest. And juvenile offenders are treated even more leniently.

The above holds true for all criminals, except for those whose crimes are "IDEOLOGICALLY BASED". And, according to the State prosecutor's words, herein lies Chaya's true danger to the society. you heard it right. What is even more outrageous is that the judge agreed!!

Shocked and outraged at this clearly political ruling we appealed the decision. Our appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court of Israel. Judge Procaccia, who heard the case, upheld the decision. The only leniency and compassion that comrade Procaccia agreed to show Chaya was that she could be released from jail to a house arrest - BUT NOT TO HER PARENTS' HOME. Ignoring the fact that neither of the parents has any family in Israel ( we are both immigrants ), comrade Procaccia declared that Chaya must be sent "far away from this area of volatile emotions if she wants to get out of jail".

The most outrageous part of her decision was her agreement with the prosecution that Chaya represents a "danger to the society because of her ideological motivation". This is coming from a judge who had absolutely no problems releasing not only common criminals, but even terrorists with blood on their hands!! Over the past few months alone Israeli government released hundreds of these beasts, and even though appeals for filed against this release, Procaccia and co. upheld the decision of the government. She never made the removal of these beasts from the " area of volatile emotions" a condition for their release. They were allowed to go back home. Comrade Procaccia is sure THEY won't be dangerous to our society anymore.

Just in case you think that this may have been some kind of a judicial freak mishap - don't. What is happening in Israel right now is a FULL COOPERATION between the justice system and the ruling clique aimed at breaking any minimal resistance to the proposed expulsion of Jews. There is no other way to explain comrade Procaccia's decision to keep Chaya in jail, because the maximum punishment that Chaya faces on these charges, if convicted, would be some monetary fine. And to await this punishment she must stay in jail!!

What is it like for a 14 year old to be in jail? Well, for the first week - including Shabbat - Chaya was kept in solitary confinement. She was not allowed to shower or call home. We could not send her clean clothes. The food she was given was not on the level of kashrut she could eat. For the first two weeks she was not allowed to have a fan in her cell - that's in the stifling, muggy Ramle summer, with temperatures reaching the high 90's. She is bored to tears and immobilized by the heat. Once a week she has to go through the degrading procedure of her cell being searched, with male jailers rummaging through all her personal belongings. She is not allowed out of her cell in the evenings, which means she has to eat her Friday night meal in the darkness of her cell. As of now we are not allowed to bring her any food from the outside, which means she gets almost no fruits or vegetables. We are only permitted to visit her for a half hour every week.This is how this young girl is being forced to spend her summer vacation - and I could go on and on.

If the above shocks you and you want to help Chaya - here's what you can do.

Since the Supreme court issued its ruling, there isn't much that can be done in terms of an appeal. The way to help Chaya now is by raising a public outcry over this political persecution. This process has two parts: 1. political/informational and 2. financial.

1. a.You, or anyone else you know can forward this information to any news media, especially newspapers, in your area. Try to get them interested enough to interview me via telephone or e-mail.
b. Turn to your politicians and demand they publicly condemn this outrage. Let me know if they do, and I will publicize it here in Israel.
c. If you frequent a synagogue, ask the Rabbi to explain the case to the congregants, hold a prayer vigil, ask the Rabbi to write a letter of condemnation over this blatant political abuse.
d. Organize a protest at the Israeli embassy closest to you.
e. Forward this message to as many friends as you can.

2. There are a number of ways to keep the Chaya's plight in public eye here in Israel.
a. Poster pastings all over Israel with Chaya'a picture, demanding her immediate release. It costs about $400 to print 1,000 large color posters and another $150 to paste them up. Initially, I'd like to paste up the areas around Maasiyahu prison where Chaya is held, and around the courthouses where her case is likely to be heard. Every time she is driven to a hearing, she'll see the posters and know there are people who care about her. Depending on the available budget we will paste up along major highways, shopping malls, etc., asking people to write Knesset members and Supreme Court judges to demand Chaya's release.
b. Newspaper ads. I'd like to have ads running in major newspapers, counting days that Chaya is in prison, and asking people to do the actions described above.

I have estimated that I'll need approximately $8,000 to start this campaign and keep it going for the first month. If you, or anyone you know can help to defer a part of this cost please send your donations to:
Moshe Belogorodsky
House # 310
Shilo, Israel 44830

My telephone numbers in Israel are:
home 972-2-994-7673
cell 972-52-444-3929
My e-mail address is ydf@013.net.il
If you want to make your donation tax deductible please send it to:
Am Yisrael Chai Foundation ( please write "freedom for Chaya" in the memo section of the check )
6 Hazel Place
Woodmere N.Y. 11598

Thru the self sacrifice of Chaya and her friends may we merit a speedy Redemption of our People.

In knitting news:
Gotta get them 6Sox done by midnight. Looked at the blog for all my August Stitch Marker Swap people--they're all easy! Yay--love you all!

2 comments:

kmckiernan said...

I signed the petition, hope it helps.

zibibbo said...

good grief. will post and hopefully help spread the word. I see why you've vacationing on that side of the pond this summer.