Left-wing activist probed over op-ed backing Palestinian violence

Jonathan Pollak investigated for inciting terror after calling on people to ‘join the children of stones and Molotov cocktails’

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, right, seen in the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem, January 15, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, right, seen in the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem, January 15, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A left-wing activist and Haaretz employee was questioned by police on suspicion of incitement to terrorism, after publishing an opinion piece in which he called on  people to join those who attack Israeli soldiers with rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Haaretz reported that Jonathan Pollak was being investigated after he said in a piece that appeared on the Haaretz website: “We must cross the lines and break the law. Despite the price, we must join the children of stones and Molotov cocktails. We must walk in their path.”

Haaretz noted that the piece was accidentally uploaded to the site without staff editing it. It said the sentences were removed from the piece shortly after it went online and did not appear in the paper’s print edition.

The paper itself is not being probed in the case.

Pollak is also currently being investigated over allegations for years that he participated in violent protests against security forces organized by an anarchist group.

Protesters throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces in the village of Shuweika in the West Bank, the home town of the terrorist who killed two Israelis at the Barkan industrial zone on October 7, 2018..( AFP PHOTO / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

Pollak is a longtime campaigner against Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, and is the founder of “Anarchists Against the Wall,” an anti-Zionist group opposed to the security barrier in the West Bank and to the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In January, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered security forces to issue restraining orders barring members of Anarchists Against the Wall, including Pollak, from the West Bank.

Bennett accused the group of initiating “violent provocations” each week in a number of Palestinian villages. He said that according to information he was shown, including by disabled IDF veterans, the alleged violence was aimed at hurting Israeli soldiers, damaging property, and causing “serious public relations damage” to Israel across the globe.

Pollak has participated for many years in weekly Palestinian protests near Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, and in 2011 served three months in jail for taking part in illegal gatherings. He supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

He serves as a graphic designer for Haaretz.

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