Court upholds Israeli Jew’s prison sentence for inciting against Arabs
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Court upholds Israeli Jew’s prison sentence for inciting against Arabs

Judges reject Eliyahu Muallem’s request to commute term to community service, say ‘showing leniency toward such offenses undermines deterrence’

Illustrative image of a man in front of a computer with the Facebook logo, February 26, 2014 (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Illustrative image of a man in front of a computer with the Facebook logo, February 26, 2014 (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A court has upheld the prison sentence of a Jewish Israeli man convicted of inciting against Arabs on social media.

Eliyahu Muallem, a resident of Modiin, was convicted in November for incitement to violence as well as racist incitement over a series of Facebook posts he wrote over a six-week period in 2014. He received a six-month prison sentence as part of a plea deal.

Muallem later appealed the sentence, arguing it was an unreasonable punishment and requesting it be commuted to community service.

The Ramle Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday rejected the appeal, saying the sentence was lighter than in similar cases.

“The offense of incitement is extremely serious and can lead to severe acts of violence. Showing leniency toward such offenses undermines deterrence,” the judges wrote.

As part of his plea deal, Muallem had admitted to publishing posts on his personal Facebook page that included calls to attack or murder Arab Israelis and Palestinians, praise for such violent acts, and encouraging discrimination against them.

Muallem also extolled the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, brutally beaten and burned to death in 2014 by a group of Jewish men.

In his online posts, Muallem also called for the “deaths of leftists,” and said people who hold such views “have no place here.”

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