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Israeli court convicts members of right-wing group of sedition

JERUSALEM, Sept. 2 (JTA) — Two members of the right-wing organization Zo Artzeinu, or This Is Our Land, were convicted this week in connection with a series of anti-government protests they led during the summer and fall of 1995. During that period, activists in the group blocked traffic along major roads across the country in a series of protests against the peace policies of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Moshe Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett were convicted Tuesday of sedition and distributing publications calling for sedition during those protests. But the Jerusalem Magistrates Court acquitted the two on seven separate charges of incitement. Sentencing of the two will take place at a later date. Commenting on the ruling, Sackett did not express regret for his actions, but he said he was surprised and disappointed by the verdict. “It just goes to show you how Israel is not the democracy we all thought it was. Based on the decision, Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been guilty of sedition as well,” he told Israel Radio. “We stood strong and tall. If, God forbid, people like Rabin or [Shimon] Peres take over, we’ll do it again,” he added. The court dropped charges against another Zo Artzeinu activist, Benny Alon, after he was elected to the Knesset as a member of the nationalist Moledet Party. Alon has stated that he was willing to give up his parliamentary immunity to stand trial.