JERUSALEM, Dec. 30 (JTA) — An Israeli woman was tearful — but not regretful — after she was convicted this week of racism for plastering posters across a West Bank town depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed as a pig. Tatyana Suskin, a 26-year-old Russian immigrant, was found guilty Tuesday of putting the posters up on storefronts June 27 in Hebron. The verdict came as Muslims prepared to begin the holy month of Ramadan, and the same week as two Jewish extremists were arrested for allegedly plotting to throw a pig on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Suskin’s posters, which used an animal considered unclean in Islam to depict the founder of Islam, stirred angry reactions throughout the Muslim world and hampered already-stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinians, despite condemnations from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Ezer Weizman. In announcing the verdict, the judge ruled that freedom of speech did not absolve Suskin, a supporter of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane’s outlawed Kach movement. When asked about the verdict, Suskin said she had no regrets and was quoted as saying, “I don’t agree with what he decided.” She added, “It’s a shame to see all the heavies” accused of criminal offenses get off, but “small people like me don’t.” Suskin faces a maximum sentence of 26 years for her act. She also faces possible jail time for throwing rocks at a car driven by a Palestinian a day after putting up the posters.
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