Israeli Jailed for Anti-Arab Incitement

But conviction of right-wing extremist raises questions of why leftists are often shown much greater leniency

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In the hectic local news cycle few in Israel took notice of Moshe Urbach (24) being convicted last week for his part in the arson attack on the Church of the Loaves and Fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

Urbach, a long time right-wing suspect, was arrested two years ago for his alleged involvement in spraying hateful graffiti on the gate of the Latrun Monastery. This time, however, he was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail for writing “The Kingdom of Malice,” an unpublished document written sometime before 2015.

The judges said about this document that it “is pungent and extreme criminal incitement and guidance for violence against Israeli Arabs … the document explaining how to carry out violent acts, including setting houses on fire, and how to avoid punishment.” 

The judges noted in their verdict that the murder of the Dawabsha family of Duma was perpetrated in a similar way as described in “The Kingdom of Malice.” Urbach, they wrote, “operated in several clandestine ways to establish a Jewish underground against the government of Israel.” 

For this reason, Urbach was convicted not only for incitement to violence, but also for sedition.

Usually, convictions of “Price Tag” and “Hilltop Youth” extremists are followed by a loud outcry by their lawyers, who typically insist that such outcomes are politically motivated. This time, however, no voice has yet to challenge Urbach’s conviction. 

Still, this does not diminish the arguments of many who ask why, in the face of so much left-wing incitement, only right-wing activists are put on trial.

Those who make such protests point to the example of left-wing Israeli activist Ezra Nawi, who was recently released only two weeks after being arrested following a Chanel 2 expose that showed him inciting the murder of Palestinians who sell land for Jews. 

They also wonder why, after the extreme left-wing organization Breaking the Silence was caught red-handed in some sort of spying activity, there is no attempt to bring any of its member before the courts.

PHOTO: The Church of the Loaves and Fishes was severely damaged by suspected Jewish arsonists nearly two years ago.


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