The Supreme Court, in a dramatic decision concerning the freedom of expression and the offense of insulting a civil servant in the State of Israel, on Thursday 13 Cheshvan, acquitted Rabbi Elitzur Segal. A panel of nine justices on Thursday morning decided to acquit Rabbi Elitzur Segal of the offense of insulting a civil servant who was convicted in the Magistrate’s Court.
However, the Supreme Court overturned the decision and ordered its acquittal in a ruling that is expected to change the map of freedom of expression in Israel, at least with respect to offenses of insulting a public servant.
This is a serious blow to the State Attorney’s Office and to the police prosecution system, which sought to make it tougher, and in general indictments are filed on offenses of insulting a public servant even in minor cases.
Segal’s case begins with an article published 13 years ago on the eve of the expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Shomron.
In the article, Rabbi Segal harshly criticized the then Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Rabbi Brigadier-General Yisrael Weiss for a number of offenses, including deportation of Jews, collaboration with the IDF at the expense of Shabbos, tznius and kashrus in the IDF, especially cooperation with the distorted code of morality of warfare and sending soldiers to their deaths instead of morally harming the enemy.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)