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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Free Daniel Pinner and Help Fight Terror - Israeli jailed for self defense faces sentencing Thursday -one million protest emails needed

Free Daniel Pinner and Help Fight Terror - Israeli jailed for self defense faces sentencing Thursday -one million protest emails needed

Herut party members pay solidarity visit to candidate Pinner in jail call him "Symbol of Jews to defend themselves"
March 20, 2006

Free Daniel and Fight Arab Terror

 The Committee for the Freedom of Daniel Pinner has launched a
chain-email campaign in the hope of reaching one million Jewish and
Israeli emails, in a grassroots effort to demand Daniel's release.

Daniel Pinner an English immigrant to Israel will be sentenced in
Beer Sheba's District Court THIS THURSDAY AT 1:00 PM by The Honorable
Justice Rachel Barkai. Daniel, has been languishing in jail for the
past 9 months after being convicted of shooting at an Arab. Daniel,
went to Gush Katif before the expulsion as a volunteer electrician.
Shortly after he arrived, a group of Arab marauders attacked Jews on
the shore, near the hotel. Daniel claims that he only shot in the air
to disperse the Arab attackers. The judge favored the testimonies
given by several Arabs, despite countless contradictions in their
testimonies.

Daniel's friends insist that the battle to free Daniel Pinner is not
just a battle for justice and freedom for Daniel, it is part of the
greater war against Arab terrorism. We should not ask after the next
Arab terrorist attack "succeeds", "Why did armed Jews hesitate using
their weapons to kill the terrorist?" A harsh sentence against Daniel
Pinner will further chop away at Israel's already damaged deterrent
image. A harsh sentence against Daniel means more Jews will hesitate
to use their arms to fight against Arab attackers and that more Arabs
will continue with their evil plot to kill Jews.

In several recent terrorist attacks armed Jews on the scene explained
that they did not shoot to prevent the attack because they were
frightened to be brought on trial if they could not prove that a
clear and indisputable danger existed. We all know the fatal results
of the Netanya attack in December and in the more recent attack in
Petach Tiqwa.

In view of the facts, freedom for Daniel is not only a question of
justice but also a deterrent to Arab terror.

It is for this reason that the Committee for Daniel's Freedom has
sent out thousands of emails in a last-minute desperate effort, in
the remaining hours and days before Justice Rachel Barkai makes her
final decision imploring everyone and anyone to send the Hon. Judge
Rachel Barkai a letter or fax urging her to release Daniel and to
suffice with the time he has already served. Sentencing is THIS
Thursday. He has already been languishing in an Israeli jail for 9
months.

The fax number of the Beer Sheba Court House is: 086470339 from
abroad you would need to dial 0119728 6470339 (Attention Hon. Judge
Rachel Barkai). If you can't send the fax, send us the email and we
will print it out and fax it for you. Emails can be sent to
MishalLYisrael@yahoo.com

Daniel's friends and family are urging the pro-Israel public to come
out in force for the sentencing, this Thursday March 23, at 13.00 PM
in Beer Sheba District Court and to PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL and
information TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE WHO COULD SEND A LETTER AND IN
TURN FORWARD IT OUT!

------------------------

Important: see sample letter at bottom of this email! The Committee for the Freedom of Daniel Pinner has launched a
> chain-email campaign in the hope of reaching one million Jewish and
> Israeli emails, in a grassroots effort to demand Daniel's release.
>
> Daniel Pinner an English immigrant to Israel will be sentenced in
> Beer Sheba's District Court THIS THURSDAY AT 1:00 PM by The Honorable
> Justice Rachel Barkai. Daniel, has been languishing in jail for the
> past 9 months after being convicted of shooting at an Arab. Daniel,
> went to Gush Katif before the expulsion as a volunteer electrician.
> Shortly after he arrived, a group of Arab marauders attacked Jews on
> the shore, near the hotel. Daniel claims that he only shot in the air
> to disperse the Arab attackers. The judge favored the testimonies
> given by several Arabs, despite countless contradictions in their
> testimonies.
>
> Daniel's friends insist that the battle to free Daniel Pinner is not
> just a battle for justice and freedom for Daniel, it is part of the
> greater war against Arab terrorism. We should not ask after the next
> Arab terrorist attack "succeeds", "Why did armed Jews hesitate using
> their weapons to kill the terrorist?" A harsh sentence against Daniel means more Jews will hesitate to use their arms to fight against Arab attackers and that more Arabs
> will continue with their evil plot to kill Jews.
> It is for this reason that the Committee for Daniel's Freedom has
> sent out thousands of emails in a last-minute desperate effort, in
> the remaining hours and days before Justice Rachel Barkai makes her
> final decision imploring everyone and anyone to send the Hon. Judge
> Rachel Barkai a letter or fax urging her to release Daniel and to
> suffice with the time he has already served. Sentencing is THIS
> Thursday. He has already been languishing in an Israeli jail for 9
> months.
>
> The fax number of the Beer Sheba Court House is: 086470339 from
> abroad you would need to dial 0119728 6470339 (Attention Hon. Judge
> Rachel Barkai). If you can't send the fax, send us the email and we
> will print it out and fax it for you. Emails can be sent to
> MishalLYisrael@yahoo.com
>
> Daniel's friends and family are urging the pro-Israel public to come
> out in force for the sentencing, this Thursday March 23, at 13.00 PM
> in Beer Sheba District Court and to PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL and
> information TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE WHO COULD SEND A LETTER AND IN
> TURN FORWARD IT OUT!
Sample Letter Attention Hon. Judge Rachel Barkai, As a law-abiding citizen of Israel and a proud member of Mishmar Ezrachi, I am writing to urge you to consider the ramifications of a harsh judgement against Daniel Pinner. Recent articles in the newspaper detail a growing number of police and citizen patrol volunteers who hesitate to fire their weapons even into the air (as Daniel reportedly did, according to eye-witness testimony and conflicting Arab reports) to save civilian lives in the event of terror attacks. The fear of criminal charges being filed against security forces and responsible armed citizens has already resulted in decreased deterrence as terrorists feel less threatened to go about the business of murdering innocent Israeli men, women and children. Please send a message of strength and not weakness to terrorists ploting their next assault on human life. Let them know that wherever they attempt murder, they will contend with fearless, responsible armed Israelis willing to defend the innocent. Please release Daniel and let the time he has already served be sufficient. Otherwise, the next terror attack will be met with passive, defenseless onlookers afraid to stop the carnage. Sincerely,

http://www.herut.org.il/english/news.html

2006-03-14

Herut Delegation in Solidarity Visit With Party Candidate Daniel Pinner in Ma'asiyahu Prison

A group of immigrant olim comprising Herut's list for Knesset will pay a solidarity visit with Daniel Pinner in Ma'asiyahu prison.

Candidates Yisrael Cohen (#5), Yana Chudriker-Knafo (#4), and Ilya Vaslayev (#11) will lead the Herut delegation on Friday morning, March 17.

Pinner, a 38-year-old immigrant from England, was arrested on June 22 for allegedly firing at and injuring an Arab on the Gush Katif beach. Pinner has maintained that he shot in the air in self-defense when a mob of some 50 Arabs threw rocks at him. Arab witnesses and participants admitted in court that they were throwing rocks.

Pinner, an unmarried teacher and licensed electrician, is a resident of Kfar Tapuach. He was in Gush Katif at the time to volunteer his services in the refurbishing of the Palm Beach Hotel for new families. Four days after the incident, he was arrested at home, with the police first claiming that he had shot an Arab in the chest, and then later in the leg. "We see in Daniel a symbol of the right of Jews to defend themselves," said the Herut Party, in a statement. "Pinner, in essence, is the ultimate sacrificial lamb, paying the price for the ongoing political discrimination against the settlers of Israel."

------------------------

MIM: For more on Pinner's candidacy for Knesset see:

"Israeli jailed for self defense in Gaza running for Knesset from prison"

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1705

------------------------------

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=97501

How to Be a Menace to Society

by Daniel Pinner
January 23, 2006

Very well, I confess: when about 50 Arabs attacked me with rocks, I fired a few warning shots in the air, in order to cover my retreat. I saw my life was in clear and present danger, and in pure instinctive self-defense, I fired those shots.

Many people (in particular, judges and other assorted intellectuals whose lives center around the genteel suburbs of north Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon and Tzahala) will argue that rocks are not dangerous to life.

Other people who have seen rock-throwing Arabs, can testify that rocks are dangerous to life. Unfortunately, those who know this fact can no longer testify.

Come to that, the court itself recognizes that rocks are dangerous to life. As I write these lines, my friend Shimshon Cytryn is under house arrest, and faces a charge of attempted murder -- for allegedly throwing a rock at an Arab.

Apparently, a rock thrown by an Arab is harmless, while a rock thrown by a Jew is lethal.

In my case, I was accused of shooting an Arab named Nasser Wafi, who alleged that he was hit in the thigh by my bullet. In addition to the testimony of Nasser Wafi, several Arab "eye-witnesses" disposed of almost everything alleged by the government: how many people were holding firearms; how many shots were fired; what the alleged shooter looked like; what time Nasser Wafi was shot; the range at which he was shot; which leg he was wounded in.

However, the only thing these witnesses all agreed upon was that before any shots were fired, they (the Arabs) were throwing rocks at Jews.

But I digress.

The Court decreed, months ago, that I would be held in jail until the end of proceedings (to date, 6 1/2 months). When I appealed this decision, Her Honour Sarah Dovrat decided:

"The actions of the respondent [Daniel Pinner] are dangerous, regardless of the political background [i.e. the Disengagement]. A person who carries a weapon and uses it, testifies to the menace inherent in him, and is not a result of political tension.... Under these circumstances, the end of the Disengagement does not neutralize the respondent's menace." (Decision of the Be'er Sheva District Court, Case # B.Sh. 021515/03, given on 24th Tishrei 5766 - 27th October 2005)

If Her Honour happens to read this essay, I want her to know that I never imagined that by defending my life, and carefully not endangering the life of anyone else (not even the Arabs who would have happily taken my life), I thereby became a menace to society. I have legally held a firearm for about five years, and have used it precisely once -- when I judged my life to be in danger. Even the prosecution did not claim that I am a serial shooter, or that I would be likely to shoot for no reason. Through my lawyer, Baruch Ben-Yosef, I appealed the 24th Tishrei decision to the Supreme Court. We lost. Then, as the case for the prosecution grew steadily weaker, we made another attempt to get house arrest. The same court, the same judge, a different date; the same decision: "The circumstances have not changed in any way, nor has any new fact been shown me, which can neutralize the respondent's menace." (Decision of the Be'er Sheva District Court, Case # B.Sh. 021515/03, given on 7th Kislev 5766 - 8th December 2005)

I have a couple of questions for Her Honour, Sarah Dovrat:

If the Court eventually acquits me, then should I nevertheless be held in jail indefinitely as a "menace to society"?

And if the Court convicts me, then should I be held in jail for the rest of my life, on the grounds that even after serving time, I might still be a "menace to society"?

On Monday, 4th Kislev (5th December 2005), a suicide terrorist detonated himself in a shopping mall in Netanya. Five Israelis were murdered, dozens injured. In a radio interview, a security guard stated that even though he recognized the suicide terrorist for what he was, he chose not to shoot for fear of what would happen to him if he did. Countless other security guards have made identical comments; they know that if they shoot terrorists, then they -- the security guards -- are likely to be arrested and held for months in jail, even if they are eventually acquitted. It is simply less hassle to shout a warning, let the terrorist detonate and hope that as few Jews as possible will be killed.

So, my final question to Her Honour Sarah Dovrat is: Which one of us (you or me) is the real menace to society?

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=97501

-----------------------------

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=5812

Keystone Cops in the Twilight Zone by Daniel Pinner
November 29, 2005

First, a brief introduction. On 4 Cheshvan (6 November), the prosecutor was supposed to bring their star witness, Dr. Abed Halim El-Fara. Dr. El-Fara is the Arab doctor in the Khan Yunis hospital who treated the alleged victim of my alleged shooting, Nasser Wafi. Dr. El-Fara's testimony was deemed to be crucial: he is both an eye-witness to the gunshot injury, and also an expert witness.

But there were two problems with this witness. The first was that he failed to arrive. The prosecutor explained that even though he had all the necessary documents to come to the Erez Crossing from Gaza into the State of Israel, the police - for some unexplained reason - did not manage to bring him.

No matter, said Her Honour, Judge Rachel Barka'i. Bring him in three days' time, 7 Cheshvan (9 November). But that, she warned the prosecuting attorney, is the last chance she is giving. If he fails to show up, then the prosecution will have to forgo their witness.

An extra three days in jail isn't all that long - at least, not after almost five months. But on the 9th of November (incidentally, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the UN resolution of 1975 that "Zionism is Racism", and of the destruction of Havat Ma'on in 2000, when Ehud Barak was prime minister), Dr. El-Fara again failed to appear.

No matter, said Her Honour. Bring him to the next hearing, which we will set for 19 Cheshvan (21 November). But that, she warned the prosecuting attorney, is absolutely the last chance she is giving. If he fails to show up then, then the prosecutor will really have to forgo their witness.

An extra ten days in jail isn't all that long - at least, not after five months. And sure enough on 19 Cheshvan (21 November; two days ago, as I am writing this), the good doctor finally showed up. However, the accused - that is, me - failed to appear. And thereby hangs a tale.

I am currently held in Ma'asiyahu Prison, on the outskirts of Ramle (about three miles from Ben-Gurion Airport); my trial is being held in the Be'er Sheva District Court. The distance by road from Ramle to Be'er Sheva is approximately 60 miles, and in an ordinary car, takes about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. You might think, then, that leaving Ma'asiyahu Prison in time to arrive at the courthouse in Be'er Sheva by 9:30 in the morning is fairly simple.

But in the Israeli Prison Service, nothing is ever that simple. The total journey time is typically about seven hours. Why, you ask? Well, I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that what with being searched three times before boarding the vehicle, having the vehicle searched before leaving, again before entering two other jails on the way, again inside each jail, again after leaving each jail, the driver and armed guards needing a meal break in the middle - it would be quicker to do the journey on the back of a camel. Actually, I am relatively lucky: prisoners who are transported over longer distances are routinely held in the vehicle for twenty hours, twenty-five hours, with hand-cuffs and leg-shackles, with no opportunity to eat, drink or relieve themselves. But I digress.

Since the hearing was set for a Monday, the Prison Service should have transported me to Be'er Sheva the day before, on Sunday, so that I would be in court on time. But, with the efficiency of the Keystone Cops, and almost as much professionalism, they forgot. I called the guards' attention to this oversight on Sunday morning, giving the Prison Service over 20 hours' notice to transport me 60 miles. (I could have walked it on foot.)

I was told to be ready to leave at 5:30 Monday morning. Sure enough, I left at 5:30 in the morning, and arrived at the Be'er Sheva District Court eight hours later, at 1:30 in the afternoon - four hours after the hearing was scheduled to begin.

Her Honour was slightly put out; but no matter, the proceedings began.

And then the second problem with the prosecution's witness, Dr. Abed Halim El-Fara, came to light. Under cross-examination from my lawyer, Baruch Ben-Yosef, Dr. El-Fara admitted that he did not, in fact, treat the shooting "victim", Nasser Wafi. In fact, he is not even a specialist in gunshot injuries; he is the general practitioner who worked in the reception area when Nasser Wafi was admitted. He insisted that he saw the injury, but did not ascertain - in fact, he did not even attempt to ascertain - if it was a gunshot injury or not.

So, I had sat in jail for more than two weeks just to give the prosecution the opportunity to bring a witness who was not a witness, who testified that he could not testify, and to hear an expert who was not an expert.

Then came my turn on the stand. My lawyer led me briefly through my version of what happened on that Shabbat five months ago; then, the lawyer for the prosecution began to cross-examine me.

She began, but didn't get very far. Her Honour, the judge, pointed out that the hour was late - already 4:00 in the afternoon. The hearing had started four hours late, so it was impossible to finish that day.

Now, to any reasonable person, this sounds utterly outrageous. The Prison Service had forgotten to get me to Be'er Sheva on the correct day; with twenty hours to go, they did not manage to transport me to 60 miles to Be'er Sheva; and the prosecuting attorney estimated that she needed no more than one hour to complete her cross-examination. But for Her Honour Rachel Barka'i, that one hour was non-negotiable; far more efficient to keep me in jail until the next hearing.

And the date of that next hearing? 14 Kislev (15 December).

Well, no matter. An extra three-and-a-half-weeks in jail isn't all that long - at least, not after almost six months.

Daniel Pinner Found Guilty
17:00 Jan 29, '06
By Hillel Fendel

Daniel Pinner, who shot in the air when attacked by a rock-throwing Arab mob, was found guilty by the Be'er Sheva District Court of causing willful and malicious injury. He faces a 3-year sentence.


Pinner, who made Aliyah from England and lives in Kfar Tapuach, has been in prison for over seven months. He was arrested on June 22 for allegedly firing at and injuring an Arab on the Gush Katif beach. Pinner has maintained that he shot in the air in self-defense when a mob of some 50 Arabs threw rocks at him; Arab witnesses and participants admitted in court that they were throwing rocks.

Pinner, 38, an unmarried teacher and licensed electrician, was in Gush Katif at the time to volunteer his services in the refurbishing of the Palm Beach Hotel for new families. Four days after the incident, he was arrested at home, with the police first claiming that he had shot an Arab in the chest, and then later in the leg. Even after months in jail, Pinner did not lose his sense of humor, describing his court hearings in the following manner:

"...It was Wednesday 28 September, and I was up for the second hearing of my trial... Justice was proceeding at its usual sedate, calm pace, undisturbed by such concepts as presumption of innocence, factual evidence, or the right to a speedy trial. The hearing itself was comparatively brief - about an hour or so, in which two police officers in charge of the interrogation testified that: ...
yes, they found a spent cartridge from my Uzi;
no, they had not bothered to check the range or angle of fire to see if that could possibly have been the bullet which allegedly hit Nasser Wafi;
no, they had not been able to run an identity parade to ask the Arab eye-witnesses if I was the shooter;
no, they could not explain why it was impossible to do an identity parade;
no, they could not explain why the police did not think of photographing me in order to run a photographic identity parade."

Atty. Baruch Ben-Yosef expressed disgust at the ruling, saying it "simply ignored all of our legal claims, such as the expert who said that it was impossible to ascertain whether the wound was even caused by a bullet... The judge believed the Arab witnesses, despite the discrepancies in their testimony."

The ruling was handed down Sunday morning by Justice Rachel Barkai of the Be'er Sheva District Court.

Ben-Yosef believes there are strong grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court, and Pinner is likely to do so. In the meanwhile, however, sentencing hearings are currently scheduled for March 8. A probation report must also be prepared for this purpose. He faces a possible three-year prison sentence.

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