Court rejects left-wing petition against disengagement amnesty (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Chaim Levinson 02/24/12)
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The High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a claim by left-wing
activists that a law granting clemency to protesters resisting
Israel´s 2005 disengagement from Gaza unfairly favored right-wing
demonstrators and discriminated against leftists.
The nine-judge panel of justices denied the petition filed by left-
wing demonstrators by a vote of 8-1. The law in question provides a
stay of proceedings and pardons for demonstrators guilty of
relatively minor infractions in connection with the disengagement,
through which Israel uprooted about 8,000 residents of Jewish
settlements in Gaza and a small part of the West Bank.
In her majority opinion, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, who
is retiring from the bench next week, called the disengagement from
Gaza "a unique event in its force and scope."
Beinisch noted that Israelis moved to these settlements with the
backing of the government and were then forced to disrupt their lives
and move against their will. "There is no doubt that the backdrop of
the violations of the law involved extraordinary circumstances,"
Beinisch wrote, also citing the bitter controversy the disengagement
engendered among members of the Israeli public.
In reference to the division the issue created and what has been seen
by many as the slow pace of resettling the evacuees, Beinisch
wrote: "It´s possible that this stems, in part, from the sense of
frustration that the evacuees still have following their handling by
the state after the events of the disengagement."
In his lone dissent, Justice Salim Joubran said that despite the
division the issue created in the country, the law violated the
principle of equality in singling out demonstrators who violated the
law in connection with the disengagement and protesters who have
broken the law in other circumstances.
Joubran, who is Arab, also made reference to rioting in Israeli-Arab
communities in 2000 after the failure of an Arab-Israeli peace
summit: "There is no justification for preferring healing the
division created among the public as a result of the disengagement
plan by pardoning those committing offenses related to it, over
healing the division between the Jewish public and the Arab [public]
against the backdrop of the events of October 2000." (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 02/24/12)
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