Avigdor Feldman

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Avigdor Feldman (Hebrew: אביגדור פלדמן‎, born 7 July 1948), is an influential civil and human rights lawyer in Israel.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Feldman was born in Tel Aviv in 1948 to parents who were Holocaust survivors. His brother, Hanan Peled, is a screenwriter and playwright. In his youth, he studied at a religious school, but eventually turned his back on religion. He did not complete high school, but late completed an external matriculation certificate. He then studied law at Tel Aviv University, and after completing his studies, worked for the lawyer Amnon Zichroni. He was certified as a lawyer in 1974. He then studied at American University and received a master's degree in civil rights in 1985.

Feldman is respected by some people for his work as leading advocate for justice.[2] He has appeared before the bench in many of the significant petitions presented to the Israeli High Court of Justice (Bagatz) regarding the settlements. He has also represented Mordechai Vanunu and the family of Tom Hurndall.[2]

Feldman is the founder of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) as well as a founding member of B'Tselem.

Career[edit]

Among his other cases, he acted as the advocate in a joint petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice by Director Mohammed Bakri and Indymedia Israel over the censorship of Bakri's film "Jenin, Jenin".[1][3]

Cases[edit]

The Mordechai Vanunu case is the case of a former Israeli nuclear technical assistant who revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently lured to Italy and kidnapped by Israeli intelligence operatives. He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted of treason and espionage. According to a Norwegian lawyers' support group, Vanunu was a political prisoner, denied democratic freedom of speech. Vanunu was released from prison in 2004 after spending 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement.

The Tom Hurndall family case is the case of a 23-year-old British photography student, a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and an activist against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Hurndall was shot in the head on April 11, 2003 by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sniper, Taysir Hayb, while they were both in the Gaza Strip. Hurndall was left in a coma and died nine months later. On June 27, 2005, Hayb was convicted of manslaughter, obstruction of justice, giving false testimony and was sentenced to 11 and a half years.

Award[edit]

In 1991 Feldman received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.[4] An annual award given to an individual whose courageous activism is at the heart of the human rights movement and in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy's vision and legacy.

Quotes[edit]

  • "The fighting in Gaza was too reminiscent of Bosnia. People there were tried for shooting at civilians, schools and UN facilities after that, so the concerns are justified."[5]
  • "Every Israeli involved in the Gaza campaign is subject to prosecution anywhere in the world. There is no immunity in cases of war crimes."[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]