18 Leading Former Soviet Refuseniks to PM Olmert: Release Israeli Dissident Teenager
One source says release may occur tomorrow
Eighteen leading former Soviet-Jewish refuseniks wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and to his Justice and Police ministers earlier this week, demanding the release of an 18 year old Israeli dissident, Tzvia Sariel. Once source claims that their joint petition may have been successful.
Sariel, due to her refusal to recognize Israel's legal system, had been in prison for 3 months. She had been accused of pushing an Arab man in the course of a spat between Israelis and Palestinians over land rights. However, Sariel insisted that the liberal Israeli justice system routinely discriminates against Jews living in her region, Judea and Samaria, and refused to cooperate with her trial. Responsively, Israeli authorities had refused to release her from custody for more than 3 months. However, one source http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125608 claimed that in a surprise hearing held this morning (Tuesday) at the Kfar Saba Magistrates Court, the State seemed resigned to releasing Sariel "in time for the Purim holiday" which begins Thursday night.
Criticism of overly liberal tendencies of the Israeli justice system have become more common of recent years, particularly since a dramatic appeal of the 9000 Jews of Gush Katif to the Israeli High Court of Justice was turned down in 2005, paving the way for forceable deportation of the 9000 Gush Katif Jews by the State a few months later. In an unrelated event at about the same time, Israel's High Court of Justice was said to have refused the Israel Defense Forces permission to take specific anti-terror measures along Kisufim Route in Israel's south on the grounds that the requested measures consituted a human rights violation. This High Court of Justice decision was fingerpointed by Israel's Chief of Staff, Bougie Yaalon, when a young, 9-month pregnant Israeli and her four toddler and school-age daughters were shot to death at Kisufim soon afterward.
Among the former Soviet-Jewish refusenik signatories are Ida Nudel, Josef Begun, Yosef Mendelevich and Sylva Zalmanson, all of who won international acclaim in the 1970s (see e.g. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DEFDE1431F935A25753C1A961948260) when their pro-Zionist activities earned them long years in Soviet prison and Siberian exile.
*Photo of dissident Tzvia Sariel: attached
*Interviews with signatories: Yosef Mendelevich 972-508720586, David Chernoglas 972-9-7941470, Aryeh Vodka 972-9-7941470
*Contact S. Dym email@example.com (97289471273) for a translation of the refuseniks' letter into English, for particulars of the Sariel case and for inquiries in English not satisfied by the above contacts.