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Jew Who Firebombed Arab Vehicle Was Freed in Error, Court Rules

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday overturned a Beersheba court’s decision to release a Jew with a criminal record who hurled a gasoline bomb at an Arab vehicle.

Justice Menahem Elon, deputy president of the High Court, ordered the accused, Michael Maman, returned to custody, saying he was a public menace.

At the same time, however, Elon defended the Beersheba district judge who had freed him.

The district court judge was widely criticized for saying that “there was a difference between an Arab throwing a Molotov cocktail and a Jew doing the same thing.”

Elon maintained the judge was not proclaiming a double standard of justice, but was drawing a distinction between motives.

“One should distinguish between a premeditated attack with a political motive, which is part of the uprising, and an attack at a moment of anguish,” the High Court justice said.

The incident occurred near Ashdod last month, after the funeral of Sgt. Avi Sasportas, a paratrooper from that town who apparently was kidnapped and murdered by Arabs.