Against the Current, No. 24, January/February 1990
MICHEL WARSHAWSKY was convicted by an Israeli Court in November. Warshawsky, the director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem and a leading anti-war and anti-occupation activist, was first charged when the Center was raided three years ago.
After widespread outrage in Israel, the harsh sentence imposed by the court was suspended pending appeal of the conviction.
An Alternative Information Center statement, dated Nov. 10, 1989 reads:
“The harsh sentence announced in the trial of Michel (Mikado) Warshawsky and the AIC which he presides has shocked the whole Israeli peace camp. He was punished with a non-parole jail term of 20 months and 10 months suspended. The Center was fined 10,000 NIS (US-$5,000).
“Michel Warshawsky and the AIC were accused of providing typesetting services to illegal organizations and for holding printed material which belongs to ‘illegal organizations,’ both charges under Section 85 of the Emergency Regulations of 1945, and for support of a ‘terrorist organization’ under the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance of 1948.
“He was found guilty only for providing typesetting services and for holding a booklet including guidelines of how to resist interrogation and torture by the secret service to Palestinian activists, while he, following the court’s definition, closed his eyes to the possibility that this booklet was aimed towards activists of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
“According to the judges, Michel Warshshawsky’s refusal to furbish the names of the people who forwarded the booklet demonstrates that he closed his eyes intentionally.
“We have no doubt that this harsh punishment, which stands in no proportion to the actual accusations, goes against Michel Warshawsky’s way of life and the character of his political activities dedicated to Israeli Palestinian cooperation and to the struggle against occupation.
“The AIC continues to be a target of the authorities’ persecution: one of our members, Ali Jiddah, who has suffered from a sequence of town arrests during the last years, will face trial on December 18 for ‘attacking the police,’ while actually he was attacked and harassed by them. We are afraid that he too is threatened by imprisonment as part of the authorities’ policy of paralyzing our work.
“Some days ago another member of the Center, an Israeli Palestinian woman, was arrested by policemen in civilian clothes who had been waiting for her in front of the Center, to take her for an 8-hour interrogation under severe conditions. She was slapped in the face and refused water and food because the police claimed that a leaflet she was about to type calling for a protest picket on the subject of Beit Sahour was ‘inciting material.’
“We are not giving in to the authorities’ plan of frightening us, and we will keep up our struggle fora free flow of information and for Israeli Palestinian cooperation.
“Therefore we call on all our friends and on all supporters of our common struggle against occupation to express your solidarity with Michel (Mikado) Warshawsky and the AIC in the ways suggested below:
“Sending financial donations to the AIC made payable to: Alternative Information Center, P.O. Box 24278, Jerusalem, Israel.
“Sending protest telegrams and petitions to the Israeli embassies in your respective home countries (send copies of telegrams and petitions to the AIC).”
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