Lucas Koerner (if his surname is German then it is pronounced Kerner) (born 1992 give or take a year) is a Jewish political activist from the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, USA. In June 2011, he was 19-years-old and a a sophomore at Tufts University in Boston, studying Spanish and International Relations.
He is famous for when in June 2011, he spoke on camera in support of Palestine in Jerusalem and then five Israeli police beat up and arrested him on video. He said, "The video has reached such a wide audience primarily because of my privileged position as an American Jew." He then mentioned Palestinians who regularly make videos on the same subject "and their videos are only seen by a few hundred people. It’s the fact that I’m an American Jew that [the video] has seen such a wide audience.
The full June 2011 incident
June 2011, he went to Israel in support of Palestinians. This was during the Jerusalem Day parade when thousands of Israeli Jews provocatively marched through Palestinian East Jerusalem to celebrate.
He and others put traditional Palestinian keffiyehs, basically a turban combined with a scarf. His comrades were Haneen, Amanda, Peter, Lydia, Tammy and Tiffany. They then went to the Hebron Keffiyeh factory and purchased 3 by 5 inch Palestinian flags. The Israeli Jews then spit upon them, threw aluminum cans at them, and yelled hateful things at them. Within moments, police swarmed them and demanded they put away their tiny Palestinian flags.
So they then went to their hotel, the Holy Land Hotel. The group decided they would return to the parade but without their Palestinian flags. They continued wearing their keffiyehs though, while Lucas combined a keffiyeh with a kippah (jewish hat). The group waved and made peace sign gestures to the Israeli Jew paraders, who were on the other side of the street, separated by a high gate. The paraders, especially the young, reacted in shock and disbelief, especially to the fact that Lucas wore both a keffiyeh and a kippah.
Eventually, twenty to thirty Palestinians joined their group. They all then happily clapped and danced to the Palestinians singing, chanting, and whistling. The Israeli paraders did not like that Lucas's group was doing this. The Palestinians themselves were fascinated that a Jew was supporting them and exclaimed, "I love you."
After a while of walking down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the paraders, they reached a large open area for Palestinians to freely gather in their own streets and protest, peacefully demanding their basic rights. That was when the infamous video happened. Lucas went on camera and spoke against the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Then Israeli police swarmed him. One cop ran up, seized Lucas, and dragged him to the other side of the street with four other cops. The cop then punched Lucas, put him in a choke hold. The five cops present slammed him to the ground. They eventually handcuffed him and threw him in a police vehicle. Throughout the whole affair, the only thing the police were saying were constant streams of curses words, "motherfucker", "piece of shit", etc.
In jail, the Israeli police constantly threatened to tase him and knock him unconscious with various experimental weapons they had. It was four hours until he could see a lawyer, which only happened after him continually demanding it. Whenever he demanded it, the Israeli police threatened him further. Lucas was held in jail for two days.
Afterward, he was taken from jail to prison. In prison, he spent a night in the emergency room, which the Israeli police had denied him for two days after causing him bodily injury. The prison doctor was the one who insisted he go to the ER.
The following day, the Israeli court put him in house arrest. The prosecution then appealed that so he had to stay the night in the Russian Compound, the Israeli jail. (The "Russian Compound" name is probably a reference to how many of the Jewish Bolshevik mass murderers were secret police in the former USSR. These Jewish Bolsheviks then later all came to Israel, likely being police there. The Israeli government gave them sanctuary from prosecution for their previous crimes against humanity.)
The Israeli police placed Lucas in a Jewish cell even though he asked to be put in a Palestinian cell. He later saw what the Palestinian jail cells look like. The Jewish cells had furniture, beds of some sort, and had a clean bathroom. The Palestinian cells had only a bench and a squat toilet.
While held in custody, the US consulate gave him no support. His friends and family contacted the US consulate "and, from what I heard, they basically said that this happens a lot and there’s nothing [they] can do. They didn't even come to my trials."
The Israeli judicial system is very anti-freedom. Defendants in criminal trials are not allowed a lawyer when questioned. Israel has no laws that prevent you from being detained forever without a trial. This applies to both Jews and gentiles, however typically they hold Jews without charges for weeks while gentiles they hold for years without trial, particularly Palestinian activists who face what's called "administrative detention". Lucas was never even formally charged during his imprisonment. The reason Lucas left Palestine after only 11 days was because the Israeli police wanted to hold him for at least one week without charges and by leaving the country, he avoided further incarceration.
In Israel, all court procedures are done in the Hebrew language and they do not provide interpreters even to Jews. For translation, you have to have a friend who is there waiting around to support you through the trial.
When he was in high school in Philadelphia, he was involved with American Jews for Just Peace - Philadelphia. He then started a Palestinian solidarity-type group or anti-war group. It was a small group that showed films and did other activism. He was also in touch with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
As of September 2016, his Twitter and Facebook said he lives in Caracas, Venezuela and works for Venezuelanalysis.com. (This was during the time that Venezuela's economy collapsed and people were starving.) He had previously worked (or currently works) as a teacher in Santiago, Chile but he didn't live there and it appears to have been online classes. He is fluent in Spanish.
Mount Airy is in northwest Philadelphia so
In west Philadelphia born and raised
Protesting the illegal occupation of Palestine was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all hanging with some Palestinians in Israel
When a couple of cops who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
- Natali Cohen Vaxberg (an Israeli citizen who was given house arrest for an anti-Zionist protest)
- http://archive.is/2016.09.23-232310/http://strongerthanslavery.tumblr.com/post/6356587509/the-arrest mirror -- his firsthand account of the incident