|Explanatory notes by Jack E. Friedman, member of Israel Academia Monitor:
Tel Aviv University
Dr. Anat Matar (senior lecturer, philosophy) asks email viewers to identify soldier as "murderer" of demonstrator at Bilin fence protest. Later, expresses qualified regret
At the weekly Friday protest on April 17 by Palestinian and radical Israeli leftists against the security fence in Bilin, one of the demonstrators, Bassam Abu Rachma, was killed by a gas-dispersal grenade aimed at him by a soldier, against orders.
Dr. Matar issued a widely-distributed email of the incident with a photograph of a soldier, alleging that that soldier had been responsible for Abu Rachma's death. "Maybe somebody can identify him," she asked her viewers.
Following outraged denunciations of the unsubstantiated allegation by Knesset member Ayoob Kara and others, Dr. Matar offered a qualified retraction. "I regret sending that mailing, since I am not sure the specific soldier was the murderer." However, she had "no regret having accused the IDF...."
Explaining her rush to judgment in condemning an innocent individual, Dr. Matar stated, "I knew the victim and his family, and sent the mailing while feeling sadness and pain."
Dr. Matar has distinguished herself by expressing solidarity with convicted nuclear spy Mordecai Vanunu, petitioning the EU to boycott Israel, and identification with movements against military service and the "Israeli Committee for the Palestinian Prisoners." One wonders is she has ever expressed "sadness and pain" for her countrymen who have been the victims of anti-Israel violence.
Translated from Hebrew by Jack E. Friedman
Mynet, Yediot Aharonot
TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY LECTURER ACCUSED A SOLDIER OF KILLING A PALESTINIAN AND PUBLISHED HIS PICTURE
Dr. Anat Matar, senior lecturer, philosophy, publicized a soldier's picture, claiming he killed Bassam Abu Rachma in Bilin, and asked viewers to identify him. Matar: "I regret having sent the mail since I'm not sure the specific soldier was the killer".
Dr. Matar, a senior lecturer in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, subsequently decided that her impression was like the determination of a judge at the end of a trial.
Matar publicized mailings containing a large picture of an IDF soldier - whose face is exposed - called him a murderer, and asked the viewers to provide details about him.
Last month, in a demonstration in Bilin, one of the demonstrators was killed by a gas grenade that was aimed at him by a soldier, against orders.
Matar, who knew Abu Rachma, received a picture of a soldier with a projectile, and she decided to act on it. She enclosed the picture in her widespread mailings, claiming: "The soldier pictured killed Bassam Abu Rachma with a direct gas projectile in Bilin on Friday, the 17th of April. The army enables him to avoid responsibility".
[Note: caption under photo] THE PICTURE PUBLICIZED BY MATAR (in the original the soldier's face is not blurred)
Matar urges the viewers to examine the picture. "Maybe somebody can identify him? Does he have a name? And most important, do his superiors have a name and address?"
The Deputy Minister for the development of the Galil, Knesset member Ayoob Kara, responded sharply to Matar's action:
He told "Yediot Tel Aviv": "There are people who have sold their souls to Satan, who are trying to continue to damage the State of Israel and its security, involving our soldiers in a political controversy between the Right and Left. The Attorney General ought to take drastic actions against those blaming a soldier for murder. I ask the Minister of Education to act against this false accuser, since she sadly plays a central role in Israeli Academe"
Tel Aviv University "Im Tirtzu" organizer student Ofer Shemer, said this week that Matar's decision to support the violent protestors indicates the moral distortion of her actions, under the pretext of free speech, liberalism and enlightenment.
"We call upon the IDF and Attorney General Mani Mazuz, who have a responsibility in this matter, to charge Matar with libel, and to charge Matar, who has appointed herself as a supreme judge, while acting in a Bolshevik manner, for accusing an IDF soldier of being a murderer" said Shemer.
Matar has responded, " I regret sending that mailing, since I am not sure the specific soldier was the murderer. I do not regret having accused the IDF that permits the killing, and acts violently in Bilin".
When asked what made her decide to act as she did, she said, "I knew the victim and his family, and sent the mailing while feeling sadness and pain."
Tel Aviv University has responded that they are not familiar with the details of the case, and they are checking it out. "If the Attorney General has been contacted, we have to wait for his response, and the University will only respond after the Attorney General has responded."