Sent Home for Hating

Thirty-three-year-old Gal Vanunu who was drunk and shouted racial remarks during a fight at a local library has pleaded guilty to a hate crime and now faces deportation to Israel for being in the United States illegally. Vanunu pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment as a hate crime and was sentenced to time served of 12 days in the county jail last week. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said, “We wanted to send a loud message that if you commit a hate crime we intend to prosecute the matter to the fullest.” Vanunu is an Israeli national who has been residing in the U.S. illegally beyond his visa for 10 years, and has now been taken into custody for a deportation hearing by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On March 24, Vanunu became drunk and walked into Finkelstein Memorial Library, just a few blocks away from where the Seattle resident was staying with friends. There at the library, Vanunu got into a confrontation with a mother and then into a fight with security guard Vincent Abrahams, who was escorting his from the building. Spring Valley police responded to the fight. Both the police officer and the security guard were black, while Vanunu is white. He yelled curses and racial remarks at them. He was charged with misdemeanor counts of third-degree attempted assault, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree harassment, and disorderly conduct.