Latest update: December 30th, 2013
Nawaf Athamneh, the 52 year old resident of Kafr Qara, NIF-funded public relations hack, and editor of the far left anti-Israel former Machsom (Checkpoint) website and other outlets was recently convicted of raping a 15 year old Israeli girl.
There are so many bad guys in this story you have to keep score; all deserve your ire.
Before Athamneh committed the actual crimes, he stalked his young victim through the personals section of a newspaper. He called himself “Amir,” pretending to be an Israeli, gained her confidence, claimed to obtain an incriminating photograph of her. With that, he had virtually complete control over the terrified girl as he threatened to show her family and community the photos. He then hounded her, blackmailing her into meeting him and then forcing her to commit various sexual acts. Then he claimed he videotaped those humiliations and promised her still more sexual and other degradations.
The girl finally confided in her sister, the sister told her mother, the mother went to the police, a trap was set and Athamneh was apprehended, tried and convicted.
But there’s more to the story.
Athamneh’s past has not yet been connected to his current crime. Yes, it is known he was an anti-Israel Arab Israeli, but the particular hypocrisy which has heretofore escaped the media’s notice is that Athamneh himself self-righteously charged others with violent sexual offenses: Israelis.
Athamneh was the media coordinator of an event entitled, “My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall.”
In the language describing the event, Athamneh and his colleagues discuss the brutal sexual control and violence of Israelis towards Arab Palestinians.
In a particularly chilling foreshadowing of the Athamneh’s own deviant behavior, he and his colleagues describe their event as one addressing how “sexuality and bodily rights are an integral part of human rights.”
An example Athamneh and his like-minded “gender studies” activists cited as undermining reproductive and sexual rights, “is the ‘nationality’ law in Israel, affecting people’s right to choose their partners.”
They describe Israel itself, as a whole, as causing “young girls and women” to suffer “serious violations of their bodily, sexuality and reproductive rights.”
2009 NIF SPONSORED CONFERENCE ACCUSING ISRAEL OF SEXUAL CRIMES AGAINST ARABS
The conference itself raised hackles at the time, in particular because of the provocative posters. There were a series of them, one which revealed the body and arm of a male Israeli soldier reaching towards the chest area of an Arab women, the other revealed the body and arm of a female Israeli soldier reaching towards the area of the sensitive body part of a male Arab.
The headline of the poster read: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her. The occupation penetrates her life everyday.”
The irony continues. Athmaneh and colleagues completed the description of their conference’s campaign by claiming it “highlights the need to intensify efforts aiming at protecting Palestinian men and women and to struggle against all forms of physical, sexual, psychological, political and social prejudice, oppression, discrimination and violence.”
So when they write they want to struggle against “all forms of physical, sexual, psychological, political and social prejudice, discrimination and violence,” did they also mean against Israeli Jewish girls?
The Jewish Press attempted to speak with Nawaf Athamneh before this story went to print, but his number has been disconnected.
The Jewish Press also attempted to speak with leadership at the New Israel Fund, which funded Athmaneh’s 2009 “My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality” conference as well as his organization, and which defended the organizations’ posters for the conference. There was no immediate response.
HAIFA DISTRICT CT JUDGE RON SHAPIRA SENTENCES ARAB RAPIST PEDOPHILE TO PERFORM MITZVOT
But there is a further ugly piece of this puzzle.
The 15 year old victim who finally was induced to overcome her mortification, who participated in the pursuit, trial and conviction of her torturer, and who implored, in a letter to sentencing judge Ron Shapira that a harsh sentence be imposed so as to deter others from engaging in similar brutalizing behavior.
But instead Haifa District Court Judge Ron Shapira decided to insult the young victim again.
Although Shapira said he agreed with the prosecution that the normal three to six year sentence for such crimes was appropriate, in this case he decided to depart from the appropriate sentence, in favor of attempting to rehabilitate the criminal.
So instead of sending Athamneh to a cold dark cell, Judge Ron Shapira chose to sentence the stalker pedophile to serve six months of community service volunteering at the Hadera Chevra Kadisha. That’s right. Athamneh is given a mitzvah to perform!
For those who do not know, a chevra kadisha is a community group who perform established rituals of purifiying, dressing and watching over the bodies of deceased Jews, so that they can be returned to the earth cleansed of all impurities. It is one of the greatest honors and commandments to provide this final service to deceased Jews.
Judge Ron Shapira imposed one condition on his revocation of jail time for Athamneh. He ordered that the community service penalty would be revoked and a prison term would be imposed if the rapist pedophile commits any further sex offenses over the course of the next three years. Whew.
The prosecutors in this case appealed the outrageous sentence to the Israeli Supreme Court, which allowed the sentence to stand.
Bad guys: Nawaf Athamneh, New Israel Fund, Haifa District Court Judge Ron Shapira, the Israeli Supreme Court. Good guys: sister and mother of the victim.
The jury is still out for the rest of us.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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