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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
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No Equal Justice Under The Law


Stern-051112

We received a response to the congressional letter on April 5 from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, beginning with “The Department of Justice shares your commitment to pursuing those who have murdered or injured Americans in terrorist attacks, whether committed in the United State or overseas, and bringing them to justice.”

What followed, however, was a litany of excuses as to why this is very difficult. We know this is difficult in some cases. But in others – the prime example being Ahlam Tamimi – it is extraordinarily easy.

The weak response by our government just compounds the enormous grief families of terror victims are already suffering.

This is, of course, a tremendously compelling issue strictly on humanitarian grounds. But it is equally significant as a foreign policy issue. Why is our nation not pursuing the monsters who delight in the murder of children? What sort of message are we sending would-be terrorists around the globe?

As the mother of Matthew Eisenfeld – a Yale graduate who was studying in Israel when, in February 1996, he boarded the number 18 bus in Jerusalem shortly before it was blown up – said to me, “It makes me feel that my son’s blood is less American.”

Etched on the edifice of the Supreme Court are the words “Equal Justice Under Law.” Why is there no equal justice under the law for these Americans whose lives were lost or who were maimed by Palestinian terrorists?

Sarah Stern is the founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a Washington-based think tank and policy center.

About the Author: Sarah Stern is the founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a Washington-based think tank and policy center.


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2 Responses to “No Equal Justice Under The Law”

  1. Recia Ray says:

    This needs no explanation… its message speaks volumes….

  2. Recia Ray says:

    This needs no explanation… its message speaks volumes….

Comments are closed.

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Stern-051112

The Koby Mandell Act created the Office of Justice of Victims for Overseas Terrorism in the Department of Justice, to ensure that all American citizens, irrespective of where they were killed or maimed, would get the justice under American law they deserve. I naively thought that the 54 American citizens who had been killed by Palestinian terrorists and the 83 who had been wounded would finally get a crack at the American justice they so richly deserved.

At 5:30 in the morning on a recent Wednesday, my husband was awakened by a phone call from our son, Noam, in Beer Sheba.

“Don’t worry, dad, we’re in our safe rooms at home and we’re OK.”

With renewed urgency, the Obama administration seeks to resolve the states of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and neighboring Muslim states on one hand, and America and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the other.

I feel as though my people are asleep at the wheel of history. After 2,000 years of yearning for a return to Jerusalem, we have had a mere 40 years – a tiny nanosecond in historical terms – of renewed sovereignty over our ancient, sacred city, and it is now once again on the negotiating table.

In my former life as a school psychologist, I spent a great deal of time doing intelligence testing. Occasionally, I had the agonizing task of breaking the dreadful news to parents that a child was severely developmentally disabled. Whether or not I packaged the term in soft euphemisms like “cognitively depressed” or “mentally deficient,” most parents eventually caught on that I was just searching for other words to mollify that unbearable label.

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