Oregon man settles over Israel protest incident in Congress

By Faith News Note,

A case has been settled between an Oregon Israel supporter and a Californian Palestinian supporter who got into a protest struggle in the gallery of U.S. Congress during an address by the visiting Prime Minister of Israel last year.

Stanley Shulster of Ashland, was in the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2011, listening to a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rachel Abileah from California, happened to be sitting in front of him. Ms. Abileah stood up partway through the speech and yelled, “No more occupation, stop Israeli war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians!” and waved a banner reading “Occupying Land is Indefensible!”

This was more than Shulster, a former medic in the Israeli Defense Forces, could take. He grabbed her wrist, put his hand over her mouth, sought to pull the banner away from her and in so doing pulled her to the ground. Though the incident was over a year ago, Ms. Abileah claims to suffer pains and headaches resulting from it to this day. She promptly filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and requested half a million in consequential damages and another half million in punitive damages.

The case was settled out of court on July 10 of this year for an undisclosed amount, although Ms. Abileah said that it was more than she expected to receive and that she would donate at least $1,000 of it to Palestinian activists in the Middle East. Mr. Shulster was also forced to issue a public apology.

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