Arab Israeli poet convicted of incitement to violence

Dareen Tatour also found guilty of supporting Islamic Jihad terror group; judge says free speech has limits

Palestinian poet Tatour (Screen capture: YouTube)

An Israeli court on Thursday convicted an Arab poet of incitement to violence for social media posts she made during a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Dareen Tatour’s case drew international attention after Israel put her under extended house arrest for her online poems. More than 150 literary figures, including authors Alice Walker and Naomi Klein, called for Tatour’s release. Critics said her arrest was a violation of freedom of expression.

In delivering its verdict, the court said Tatour’s poem incited violence, adding that free expression has limits. Tatour was also convicted of supporting a terror group. She has said her poem was not a call to violence.

The indictment against her cited one poem — “Resist My People, Resist” — which she posted on Facebook, and three other posts, one of which cited an Islamic Jihad call on Palestinians to rise up to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

A video accompanying a reading of the poem “Resist My People, Resist,” uploaded to YouTube by Tatour in October 2015 at the height of a wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis, shows masked Palestinians attacking Israeli soldiers with rocks and slingshots.

The poem includes such lines as, “I will not succumb to the ‘peaceful solution,’ Never lower my flags, Until I evict them from my land,” and “Resist the settler’s robbery, And follow the caravan of martyrs.”

Israel said that a two-year-long outburst of attacks that began in 2015 was fueled by Palestinian incitement spread on social media.

MK Ahmad Tibi of the Joint (Arab) List condemned the court’s verdict, saying Tatour was jailed solely because she was Arab.

“Dareen Tatour was found guilty solely because she is an Arab,” he tweeted. “Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, rabbis, and right-wing politicians continue to incite freely solely because they are Jewish.”

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