Israel: Charges against New Profile dropped
The investigation against WRI's Israeli affiliate New Profile for "inciting youth to evade military service" has been closed, according to media reports. In April 2009, the police raided the homes of several New Profile activists, confiscated computers, and interrogated several activists as part of an investigation that had been opened in September 2008 (see CO-Update No 47, May 2009). Now, Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan closed the case due to lack of culpability in the case of some of the suspects, and due to lack of evidence in the case of the others, Ynetnews.com reports.
Nitzan said in his ruling that while some of the publications, which led to the investigation being launched, do raise suspicion of criminal offences, sufficient admissible evidence to attribute incitement and fraudulent publications to the suspects could not be found.
He added that in the meantime, the suspicious content had been removed from the movement's website.
However, last year the deputy state prosecutor made very harsh comments against New Profile's publications. He said the severity of the incitement expressed on this website can be seen particularly in light of the fact that it tries to persuade youth to attain exemptions from military service by deceiving the system, as well as offering detailed explanations as to how to go about this.
He then said this calls for a deviation from the law enforcement's generally limited policy on opening legal proceedings in cases of incitement to army evasion.
Now, several months after the raids, the case finally has been closed. Ruti Divon, a New Profile activist summed up the police investigation on Sunday as "a ridiculous, but also stressful experience. We already know that there is no real democracy here. A people that settles on another people cannot act democratically, but this whole ordeal shows that even democracy for Jews here isn't guaranteed."
However, she added that the organization has no intention of keeping a low profile. "Our ambush will continue, but we say that the fact that young men and women are voting with their feet says something about the deep objection of people that want something else."
"People are allowed to think and we plan to keep on helping them. People are in trouble, they don't even know that there is conscience committee, they don't know what a mental health officer is."
So far War Resisters' International has not received any information about the outcome of a similar investigation against Yesh Gvul (see CO-Update No 49, July-August 2009)
Sources: Ynetnews.com: Case against 'New Profile' closed, 1 November 2009