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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Greenhouse to face charges on pie-throwing

The [Rutgers] Daily Targum, 5/3/2004: Abe Greenhouse, a University College senior, was at the Middlesex County Court House Friday stemming from his involvement in last year's pie throwing incident of Natan Sharansky, Israeli Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs.

Greenhouse attended a Rutgers Hillel event on Sept. 18, 2003, where Natan Sharansky spoke to students at Scott Hall on the College Avenue campus. At the event, Greenhouse walked up to Sharansky, put a pie in his face and said, "Am Yisrael Pie" - a play on words with the political sentiment, "Am Yisrael Chi," meaning "The Nation of Israel Lives." Sharansky's security guards tackled Greenhouse and removed him from the building. Rutgers University police arrested him.

Greenhouse appeared at Friday's hearing seeking to dismiss the charge of disorderly conduct as de minimis, meaning his act does not amount to an offense, which was denied by Judge Mark Epstein.

Epstein said. "This court will neither accept nor countenance his triviality argument nor his warped understanding of peaceful political expression."

Epstein also said the Israel-Palestinian conflict "was among the most controversial issues on the Rutgers campus in the summer and fall of 2003. And until the defendant decided to escalate the level of political expression to physical confrontation, the campus had been violence-free."

The judge also recommended "if the defendant wants to be a political activist, perhaps he might study the life of Natan Anatoly Shransky, a man who was involved in the human rights movement in the former Soviet Union."

As a result of the hearing, the judge ruled Greenhouse will be tried in the Municipal Court.


Abe Greenhouse desecrating the Kotel in 2003