Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jonathan Pollack,

anarchist dissenter, was convicted by the Israeli government, so tells us Todd Gitlin, on TNR,

I left this comment:


"Previous to the formation of "Anarchists Against the Wall" Pollak lived for some time in a squatter community at Amsterdam and participated in sometimes wild demonstrations against globalization and against the Dutch Royal Family - which eventually resulted in his being arrested and deported from the Netherlands."

"Jonathan was arrested dozens of times and convicted together with 10 others for blocking a road in front of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv on the day the International Court of Justice in The Hague began its proceeding on the legality of the wall. He was also acquitted of a rioting charge together with another AAW activist, Kobi Snitz. They were both arrested at a demonstration against the wall in the village of Budrus.[2]"

"Pollak is son to acclaimed Israeli actor Yossi Pollak, and brother to TV actor Avshalom Pollak and film director Shai Carmely Pollak. Shai recently won the Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival for his Movie Bil'in Habibti.[3] The film depicts the story of the struggle against the wall in the village of Bil'in and briefly features Jonathan. Pollak was part of the Israeli hardcore punk scene as a teenager and remains straight edge.[4]

In 2005 Pollak toured the United States with Ayed Morrar, a Palestinian organizer from the West Bank village of Budrus, as part of a fundraising tour for the ISM.

In July 2009, Pollak gave evidence to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict headed by Justice Richard Goldstone. Pollak, together with Mohamed Srour, a Palestinian from the village of Ni'lin in the West Bank, spoke to the Mission about the killing that they witnessed of Arafat and Mohamed Khawaja, during a demonstration against the Israeli assault on Gaza by Palestinians and Israeli and international solidarity activists in Ni'lin on 28 December 2008.

On December 28, 2010, Pollak was sentenced[5] to three months imprisonment and a fine of 1,500 shekels for taking part in a Critical Mass bicycle demonstration against the blockade of Gaza in Tel Aviv in January, 2008."


Pollack was arrested dozens of times; once he was convicted for blocking a road in front of the Israeli Ministry of Defense; another time he was acquitted of a rioting charge. Now he was again convicted.

This does not draw an outline that would support Gitlin's presumption of human rights abuses. Gitlin talks about the "government of Israel" depriving Pollack of his rights. But it was not the government that convicted him. He was convicted in a court of law.

Is Gitlin making the accusation that Israel's courts are obedient to Government's wishes? Does he mean that in Israel, there is no separation of powers and that the executive and Judicial branches are in cahoots with each other to silence anarchist dissenters?

I also have to wonder whether Pollack's famous family connections had something to do with Gitlin's special interest in his case.


At 11:03 AM EST, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Jonathan Pollack is somewhat of a koook, as many who know him personally are testifying. On the other hand, there is some truth in saying that his offence (this time only, mind you) was not of a 3 months inside kind. On the other hand, he refused public service and preferred jail. So be it.


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