By Aviad Glickman, YNet News – 1 Nov 2009
Prosecution closes case against movement suspected of inciting youth to evade military service, cites lack of culpability, admissible evidence
The Prosecution is closing its case against the New Profile movement, suspected of encouraging youths to shirk military service. Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan closed the case due to lack of culpability in the case of some of the suspects, and due to lack of evidence in the case of the others.
Police opened a criminal investigation against the movement following various publications on its website suspected of being fraudulent and inciting. Several months ago the police handed their investigation material over to the Tel Aviv District Prosecution.
Nitzan said in his ruling that while some of the publications, which led to the investigation being launched, do raise suspicion of criminal offences, sufficient admissible evidence to attribute incitement and fraudulent publications to the suspects could not be found.
He added that in the meantime, the suspicious content had been removed from the movement’s website.
It should be noted that the deputy state prosecutor last year made very harsh comments against New Profile’s publications. He said the severity of the incitement expressed on this website can be seen particularly in light of the fact that it tries to persuade youth to attain exemptions from military service by deceiving the system, as well as offering detailed explanations as to how to go about this.
He said this calls for a deviation from the law enforcement’s generally limited policy on opening legal proceedings in cases of incitement to army evasion.
Michal Michlin-Friedlander, a senior deputy state prosecutor, notified the High Court of Justice of the decision to close the case last week.
The Prosecution was responding to the High Court of Justice following a petition filed by the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden to have the New Profile movement dismantled following the content published on its website.
Ruti Divon, a New Profile activist summed up the police investigation on Sunday as “a ridiculous, but also stressful experience. We already know that there is no real democracy here. A people that settles on another people cannot act democratically, but this whole ordeal shows that even democracy for Jews here isn’t guaranteed.”
However, she added that the organization has no intention of keeping a low profile. “Our ambush will continue, but we say that the fact that young men and women are voting with their feet says something about the deep objection of people that want something else.
“People are allowed to think and we plan to keep on helping them. People are in trouble, they don’t even know that there is conscience committee, they don’t know what a mental health officer is.”