Israel re-opens probe of Oakland activist’s injury

Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the Israel Defense Forces to reopen an investigation into the grievous head injury suffered by an Oakland activist during a West Bank protest in March 2009, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

Tristan AndersonTristan Anderson, then 39, was at a protest of Israel’s security fence in the West Bank city of Na’alin when a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier struck him in the head, causing severe brain damage.

The Israel Defense Force investigated whether the Border Police were at fault following the incident, but a petition to the court – filed by attorneys for Anderson’s family and by Yesh Din, an Israeli human-rights group – claimed the probe was inadequate. The petition said the army did not visit Na’alin and questioned only a few soldiers who were on the scene; it’s not clear whether the army questioned the soldier who fired the canister. No criminal charges have been brought against any police or military personnel involved in the case.

“It is the obligation of the State of Israel to investigate suspicions of unwarranted injury of protesters, which occur time after time,” Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard said in a news release issued by Anderson’s supporters Wednesday. “It is a shame that it took three-and-a-half years for the High Court to intervene in order to force the investigators to implement basic investigative procedures.”

Anderson’s mother, Nancy Anderson, said in the release that her son “will live the rest of his life with serious mental and physical limitations and chronic pain. This has devastated his life and profoundly affected our family forever.” The family’s civil lawsuit against the Israeli military and government is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Gabrielle Silverman of Oakland – Anderson’s girlfriend, who was with him when he was injured – said Wednesday that Anderson was released from an Israeli hospital in June 2010 and now lives with his parents in Grass Valley. He remains hemiplegic – paralyzed on his left side – and suffers permanent cognitive and emotional impairments from his injury; he requires around-the-clock care, Silverman said.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood
  • JohnW

    If that’s what the Reverend JJ proposed, and it’s not taken out of context, then it’s not one of his brighter moments.

    I’m keeping an open mind. I’ll wait to see it reported by AP, Reuters and other mainstream news sources. National Review is reporting it. They are conservative but usually credible. But they’re quoting CNS, which has a knack for taking things out of context and distorting them.

  • Elwood

    Some things, John, you’ll never see on the MSM.

    They don’t want to be guilty of pointing out that the Rev. Jackson (where the hell is his church, any way?) is a demagogic fool.

  • Elwood


    And here is CNS total input to the NR story:

    ” (CNS.com notes that the Human Rights Commission was actually replaced by the Human Rights Council in 2006.)”

  • JohnW

    #3 Some things…you’ll never see on the MSM.

    Bull. If this story is accurate, it will be picked up by “MSM.”

  • JohnW

    Forget about MSM. Wouldn’t you at least expect Fox News to do something with this? They love stuff like this. Maybe they have. But I looked and couldn’t find anything.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    The corrupt mainstream media, loves to incite riots, then they can report on the riots they incite. While this blog has been boring people with fundraising, Patrick Buchanan predicted “Not Guilty”, 3 days in advance of the verdict on poor George. P. J. B. gave all of the reasons for “Not Guilty” The MSM avoided the truth. They prefer to show screaming & crying.

  • Elwood

    Jesse Jackson calls Zimmerman a “known murderer”:

    “Now, you have the case here of a known murderer who profiled, racially profiled Trayvon and pursued him over the objections of the dispatchers, didn’t want to let another little punk get away, then he murdered him and walked away from the dead body and gave his gun to the police department where he found sanctuary for 44 days. It is amazing the similarities of pattern. But yet again, this undercurrent of retrogression. We see progress in so many areas. We will not let even this break our spirit.”


  • JohnW


    Pat Buchanan was hardly alone in predicting the verdict. Everybody from MSNBC to CNN to Fox News featured a variety of legal analyst predictions, including well-reasoned predictions of not guilty. Prosecution over-charged and didn’t connect the dots in its presentation. If they had gone for Manslaughter instead of Murder2, they could have won a conviction on a lesser included charge of involuntary manslaughter. I’m pretty sure that jury, rightly or wrongly, would have found him guilty of that.

    I saw some similarities between this case and the trial of the BART police officer in the Oscar Grant shooting. When the judge decided to add in the lesser included charge of involuntary manslaughter in the BART shooting, it was almost an open invitation for the jury to “compromise” and convict the officer of something.

    Like the BART officer, Zimmerman didn’t plan to shoot anybody. But a big difference between the two cases is that, despite advice from the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman willingly chose to get out of the car and follow. And my guess is that he never would have decided to do that if he hadn’t been armed.

    In contrast, the BART officer had no choice about being in the situation he was in. It was his job. He got screwed. Zimmerman should, at the very least, lose in a wrongful death suit. However, due to NRA/FL law, he may have immunity from even that.

  • Elwood

    ” Zimmerman should, at the very least, lose in a wrongful death suit”

    So what’s he got to lose? He’s a broke*** unemployed (and probably unemployable) dork with tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

    You think he’d write a book just to turn the proceeds over to some slimeball lawyers?

  • JohnW


    You make some excellent points there, Elwood. He is judgement proof and wouldn’t bother writing a book. Now, that last point is one darn good reason to sue.

    Another reason to sue is that he would have to take the witness stand and clear up some inconsistencies. The prosecutors blew it by convincing the judge to allow the tapes of his police station interviews to be played in court. The defense team cleverly let the prosecution win their argument for including the tape. It backfired on the prosecutors, because all that accomplished was that the jury got to hear Zimmerman’s version of what happened in his own voice, with no cross examination.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    If George was a paid cop, absolutely nothing would have happened. Except a paid vacation. The BART cop shot O. Grant in the back, with witnesses. George shot Rave On from the front, no witnesses. Big difference.
    Today’s Patrick J. Buchanan story, explains why there just might be racial profiling.
    People will sent George money.

  • JohnW

    Your distinction between the two cases based on (1) shooting in the back versus the front; and (2) presence or absence of witnesses is not much of a distinction to differentiate the cases.

    Yes, the BART cop shot Grant in the back, on account of Grant was face down. And, yes, there were witnesses. Neither of those facts answers the question of intent. As Zimmerman claims he was assaulted and need to defend himself, the BART cop claimed he intended to taser Grant. He also claimed at one point that he thought Grant was reaching for his waistband for a gun, a concern that would justify the tasering even if it turned out Grant didn’t actually have a gun. Either way, by Florida Zimmerman case standards, the BART cop would get off based on “reasonable doubt.”

    The jury in the Oscar Grant shooting never would have overcome the “burden of proof,” “reasonable doubt” hurdles had the judge not given them the opportunity to convict on “lesser included charges.” That was decisive. It was tantamount to encouraging the jury to do a compromise verdict rather than acquittal.

    In my opinion, the fact that there were civilians (eyewitnesses) all over the place during the BART shooting is cause for “reasonable doubt.” Why on earth would any cop in his right mind want to shoot somebody in the back under those circumstances?

    BART cop got railroaded — by the judge and his “lesser included charges.”

  • Elwood

    You got that right, John!

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    The only thing remotely similar with the two shootings, was the fact that a black male wound up dead, with lots of media hype. If the BART cop got off without being “railroaded”, Oakland would have been burned to the ground, not just a few windows smashed.
    For you history buffs: I was once a friend of the cop Hughey Newton shot. He was John Favreau at the time. He never should have become a cop.

  • Elwood

    Dr. Huey P. Newton (PhD, Santa Cruz, black studies) died with his brains spattered on a sidewalk in west Oakland.

    A fitting end.

  • JohnW


    “Oakland would have burned to the ground.”

    You’re probably right about that. Maybe Lamorinda too!

    So, what’s the story on your cop friend’s name? John Favreau? John Frey?

    I see more similarities between the two shootings than you do. One big difference though. Zimmerman chose to put himself in the situation that led to the shooting. The BART officer didn’t.

    Had Zimmerman been convicted of either murder or manslaughter,he also would have been convicted on the “gun enhancement.” and received a very long sentence. Florida may be big on letting everybody walk around with a gun. But, if you get convicted of any crime and used a gun, you’re in for a long sentence, even if you didn’t shoot anybody. So, the lesson in Florida is, if you shoot, make sure you kill the other guy; so that you can claim self-defense without the other guy being around to contradict your story

    In the BART shooting, the jury convicted on the least of the charges, and the judge threw out the “gun enhancement” conviction. So, at least the cop didn’t have to do much time beyond time already served.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @17. My High School Yearbook, Clayton Valley, class of 1961, has a picture of John Favreau & his sister Patricia Favreau. (misspelled Faureau). John had short blond hair & Patricia was a brunette. Their faces looked the same. They also had a cute brunette younger sister. John found a steady girlfriend, who my female friends disliked. John’s personality went downhill from the time he was my friend in his freshman year. He was in a clique of four. He was not an academic. The last time I saw John alive, he was a police cadet, on the streets of Concord. He did not like my “Oh no, you’re a cop”, comment. Many years after his gunfight with Huey Newton, I saw his picture in the newspaper. Named John Frey. I was not into “news” or TV, for entertainment, until my old age.

  • JohnW

    Assuming the murdered cop, Favreau, and Frey are all one in the same, that makes me curious. What’s up with the name change? And, if he was going “downhill,” how did he get into and through the police academy?

    One of my college roommates was a criminal justice major — smart, fun and well-liked but on the wild side and always popping meds. People questioned whether he should be a cop, but he retired a few years ago after 40 years on the Detroit Police Department.

    Now, his pension is at risk due to the Detroit bankruptcy. The pensions there are nothing like what we hear about in the Bay Area. A DPD officer starts out at about $33k and tops out at about $53k after 8 years. By comparison, the starting pay for a police academy cadet in Oakland is about $60k.

    So, a Detroit police pension after 30 years is in the $30k range. — about one third of the deal they get in the Bay Area. Fortunately for my roomie, he was able to parlay his career as a crime scene investigator into a photography/videography business.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @19. John Favreau & John Frey were the same person. Pictures don’t lie. The last friends I know he had, were Barry Abono & Carole Teller, of Concord. Ask them why he changed his name. Maybe his name was to hard for people to say correctly. Or his Favreau family disowned him.
    My opinion of downhill is probably different than your opinion of downhill. John Favreau was hanging out with jerks and you know what they say about birds of a feather. Hanging out with jerks, is downhill in my opinion. Did John Favreau/John Frey become a jerk? That is a question I can’t answer.
    John was a hard enough worker to get into & through the police academy. That does not require to much intelligence.

  • JohnW

    Well, whatever the name, he certainly didn’t deserve to be murdered. I’m a lifelong death penalty opponent. But, if we did away with the death penalty for other crimes and kept it for cop killers, with a drastically streamlined appeals process, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @21. Most cop killers get shot full of holes by other police. Huey Newton survived. Cops shoot people who don’t deserve to be shot. Like the little Asian woman who would not drop her potato peeler. Nothing happens to them, except the paid vacation.
    Maybe John Favreau changed his name to protect his family? Police, prosecutors, judges & some politicians don’t want anyone to know their home address. Fear, I guess.

  • Elwood

    @ 21 JohnW

    Tell it to Kamala Harris.

    Only in CA could she be AG. But she’s perfect for CA. Brain dead liberal, black and female.

  • JohnW

    In my opinion, Kamala Harris has a principled stance on the death penalty. When she ran for DA, she made her position abundantly clear and said that she would not seek the death penalty. When running for AG, she repeated her opposition to the death penalty. However, the AG does not prosecute capital crimes and is not in a position to seek or not seek the death penalty.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Richard Alan Davis has been in prison for 20 years. He was found unconscious in his cell from opiates. Why don’t the politicians give him enough pain killing opiates to kill himself? Hand him the needle, let him mix his own. He is the poster dude for the death penalty.

  • JohnW


    That approach worked for Hermann Goering after he was sentenced to hang during the Nuremburg trials. Some U.S. soldier apparently slipped him a cyanide capsule. I’d be all for that in the case of Richard Alan Davis. Except I doubt he would use it. He seems to enjoy his current status.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @26. Are you for or against the death penalty? You are confusing me. First you say if someone whacks a Ticket Writer, they should be executed quickly. Now you say high profile child killers need to die. Before that, you said you’re a lifelong opponent of the death penalty.
    I went to a propaganda event against the death penalty. One of their biggest concerns was: Someone has to kill the killer. Watch them die.
    More people on death row commit suicide, than executed.

  • JohnW

    As previously stated, I am a lifelong death penalty opponent, for a number of reasons. However, those reasons have never included sympathy for convicted killers about whose guilt there is zero doubt, reasonable or otherwise. I can be against the death penalty as a matter of principle and still express my total contempt for a cop killer or the likes of Richard Allen Davis.

    Clearly, I was not actually suggesting that a correctional officer be allowed to slip Davis a pill. But if somebody actually did that, I wouldn’t shed a tear. I can’t help it if I don’t get as emotionally worked up about the death penalty in some cases as much as in others. I’m human.

    My opposition to the death penalty dates back to the case of Caryl Chessman in 1960. I was only 13 at the time and was living in Kansas, not California. But that’s when I started paying attention to the issue and forming my views.

    I’m pro-choice as well as anti-death penalty. Some people see that as gross inconsistency. That’s their problem, not mine.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @28. Pro- choice + anti- death penalty is the consistent viewpoint of all die hard Democrats. Why not be pro- choice on gun ownership, suicide & stupid weed too?
    Prison guards bring heroin to prisoners, but never enough to kill them. That might arouse the boss. From the stories I’ve heard, people who are brought back to life from a heroin overdose, wished they were left alone. They were enjoying themselves.

  • JohnW


    I take those issues one at a time. Not a big believer in the notion that what you think on one issue somehow determines how you think on another issue.

    I’m more of a diehard non-Republican than a die-hard Democrat.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @30. A die hard non – Republican? Does this mean you are a Green? A.K.A. Pinko Commie, like my environmentalist friends? Then there is the Justice Party, with Rocky the former mayor of Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, the Lamestream Media, ignores or insults, anybody who isn’t Democrat or Republican.

  • JohnW


    Rocky Anderson is definitely an interesting character. I have Republican friends in Salt Lake who disagree with him on many things but still voted for him for mayor.

    Speaking of Pinko Commies, I enjoyed the following letter from a reader in Richmond, published in Friday’s CC Times — in response to Tom Barnidge’s recent criticisms of the BART unions:

    “As a disabled union carpenter, I deeply resent Tom Barnidge’s attacks on unionized BART workers.

    I subscribe to the Times for the local news, the TV guide and the sports page. As a class-conscious worker, I know better than to expect the truth from the bourgeois press in general, and from the Bay Area News Group in particular.

    Truth is class-based. What is “true” for the corrupt, war-mongering, capitalist ruling class is not “true” for the multiracial working class: the class with a future as the only social force that can liberate humanity from capitalism in its death agony and open the road to socialism and a class-less society free from all forms of exploitation and oppression.

    Victory to the BART and AC Transit workers. Those who labor must rule. Workers of the world unite!”

    Gotta love it. But he kind of lost me when he said he subscribes to the Times for the TV Guide.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @ 32. That is one bright red commie letter to the editor. He sounds like a Lonni Hancock Democrat. At least he is right about the local news in the CC. Times, even if it is obviously corrupt. My wife likes the obits & puzzles. I read the comics & the funny editorial page. You & El Woody make me laugh too. Except when you say you love drones, giving people the death sentence, without a trial.

  • JohnW


    A drone is coming to your neighborhood. FAA just approved a couple of civilian models. Pull down the shades. That little thing flying around your window may not be a hummingbird.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    @34. You’re funny. Lafayette has a code enforcement thug & a bored, lying police department watching me. Why would the government waste money on a drone? Except for the drone industry handing money to politicians. If I see a drone @ my window, I will moon it.