10 אפריל, 2007

Miriam Adler's "show trial" - this Thursday

Miriam's Story -- The Story of Israeli Dissident Miriam Adler, Mother of Six

[Summary:  Miriam Adler, an attractive young mother of six, was deported from Sa-Nur, one of the decimated Jewish communities in the Northern Shomron, with her husband. In the following article Miriam describes her brave resistance to an Israeli court attempting to put down its political opponents with no regard for morality or justice. Responsively, Miriam Adler refused to receive legal aid and has not hesitated to stand up in court and explain why. Read on…]

We went to live in Sa-Nur four years ago, together with two other families, in order to renew Jewish settlement there. We found the settlement virtually abandoned. Naturally there was no grocery store or kindergarten there, nor any elementary services. Everything got done slowly and with great difficulty. Our first task was to open the roads for Jewish vehicles. This involved not a few arguments with the IDF which wanted us to travel in convoys accompanied by military vehicles. We insisted on driving alone, so after a few months the roads around Sa-Nur were opened for Jewish traffic. However, my husband, Yaron, encountered two shooting incidents when driving, and our children were miraculously saved from a car bomb carrying half a ton of explosives.

Apart from the "security" tasks we also had a lot of social work to do, since the community included young religious families on the one hand and middle-aged Russian-speaking artists on the other hand. We got involved in everything, from setting up a kindergarten and library to re-opening the art gallery and helping absorb new residents. We also became the major activists opposing the deportation plan in Northern Shomron. I was the Sa-Nur spokesperson. I tried to present forceful positions.

Two weeks before the deportation we were arrested in the middle of the night in my parents' home, where we were visiting: Six policemen burst into the house, without uniforms, identification tags, or police IDs. They shoved us and hit us and my father and my mother, who has a heart condition. They smashed my father's spectacles, pushed my mother with such force that she suffered from hemorrhages beneath the skin, and confiscated all weapons they found (though all were licensed).

My husband was taken right away. I was on the balcony on the upper floor of the house. A policeman who was not identified in any way approached me and demanded that I accompany him. I refused to do so. He called for backup and a real fight started. Three thugs fastened my hands together behind my back. I understood that this was my deportation, and I tried to stop them in every possible way, as though they were attacking me in my home in Sa-Nur, or as any woman would resist if attacked by three thugs whose identity was unknown to her. I was dragged and beaten down three flights of stairs, without shoes and without the head covering which is mandatory for Orthodox Jews. These thuggish policemen cursed me in a way that I don't wish to repeat.

Humiliation continued in the police station. No-one removed my hand-cuffs. I was not permitted to cover my head, and I was not examined by a doctor even though I complained of pains and demanded it. As I stood there I saw the thugs who had attacked me writing an arrest report, coordinating their testimony all the while.

In the police station we were issued an administrative order, signed by the General of the Central Command, Yair Naveh, who ordered us (the two heads of a household including six children) to remain in full house arrest in Kiryat Arba from August 8 until September 25. We refused to sign the administrative order and were consequently kept in custody. Judge Noam Solberg tried to release us but encountered a declaration by the GSS that if we were released we would be re-arrested. We also petitioned the Supreme Court - in vain. Our six children were deported without their parents, which further intensified their fears, and caused trauma with which we are still coping in our three eldest children.

I submitted a complaint to the department for investigation of policemen in the Ministry of Justice. The file was closed in record time - within 48 hours - because of "lack of public interest". The thugs who beat me were not even questioned. No-one bothered to reply to the appeal submitted by my lawyer.

I, on the other hand, was charged with attacking the three policemen, and my case, strangely enough, was deemed to be of considerable interest to the public, which caused me to conclude that this trial was the epitome of injustice: My family was cruelly thrown out of its home for no good reason; we were arrested, again for no good reason, my dignity was violated as  men dragged me through the street without a head covering; my six children were traumatized; my attackers were not even questioned and to top it all, there I was, on trial for attempting to defend myself against three anonymous thugs who burst into my parents' home in the middle of the night. I protested all this then and I continue to do so now - both as a Jew and as a woman.

I was charged with violation of the general's order, assault,  and making threats. In the first court session, I announced that I will not participate in this performance. I did not appear in the following sessions, mainly because the policemen who attacked me gave evidence and I was emotionally incapable of facing them again. So, the judge issued a warrant for my arrest without any release option. I was arrested, and the prosecutor insisted that I be kept in custody until the end of the proceedings. I was therefore forced to undertake to appear for the sessions. Since I have six children, I was not prepared to stay in jail and preferred to appear. But I have not cooperated, instead declaring at every opportunity that I was the victim, and that the system is now further harrassing me by bringing me to trial. I refused to testify or bring witnesses since I refused to recognize my status as the accused.

I was found guilty, as was expected, of attacking policemen in serious circumstances, and of making threats. Surprisingly I was found not guilty of violating the general's order. In other words, the policemen may have had no grounds for arresting me in the first place, thus legally entitling me  to resist arrest. Despite this, I was found guilty of "assaulting" the three of them. I may be sentenced to imprisonment.

The system continues to harass both my husband and myself.  My husband has been charged with obstructing a policeman and with making threats. This was a totally minor incident in which the policemen said that they had been insulted. He was arrested without being shown any document justifying the arrest, and was released only after informing the interrogators that he suffers from epilepsy and would sue them were anything to happen to him during his arrest. It is likely that he will be charged in the near future. Against me, a trial is being conducted in Kfar Saba. I stand accused of attacking a policeman and also "violating the obligation of a parent towards a minor", because I participated with my baby daughter in a demonstration in Sa-Nur against the Eviction Administration, and my daughter could have been injured. Why? Of course, because there were violent policemen there! In this trial as well I announced that I do not recognize the authority of this unjust Court  and I was only making an appearance there so as not to be further separated from my six little children by further unjust arrests.

This is more or less our current position. We feel that the legal system has targeted us personally because we dared to openly and forcefully oppose being deported from our home, and also because we refused to give into almost any of the legal system's demands. We refuse to recognize this horrible legal system, and have undertaken to pay the price for this, although it is of course very difficult for the two of us to struggle alone against such a strong system.  I regard the charges brought against us as deliberate harassment, at a time when my husband and I are trying to rebuild our lives and those of our six children.

Our trials are show trials conducted by a corrupt regime that is attempting to suppress its political opponents even at the price of abandoning morality, integrity, and justice. I consequently refuse to play a part in a despicable performance directed by an evil regime. I shall not play the part of the accused. And if the show must go on, then at least, exempt me from being present.


by Miriam Adler and Mattot Arim volunteers


AFTERWORD: "The show must go on", cried the judge, and set yet another court session for Miriam Adler this Thursday, 12 April, at 12:30, in the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, Russian Compound, in the courtroom of Judge Ron Alexander from Alon Shevut. PLEASE COME IF YOU CAN - THANK YOU SO MUCH. Use Bus Lines 6, 13, 18 or 20 to drive down Jaffa Road, stop as close as possible to Kikar Zion, cross the street and walk to Migrash haRussim.