The Palestinian Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights has revealed that nine Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli jails have the “longest sentences” of any imprisoned human being worldwide.
Ahrar Center director Fouad al-Khuffash told Ma’an that “there is no other country on Earth that gives open-ended life sentences except the State of Israel, whose laws do not limit the number and length of life sentences given to Palestinian prisoners.”
This is more than a little strange, following the recent release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of them with Jewish blood on their hands, in exchange for the kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and the 4-phase prisoner release coming up this year, as the negotiations between the PA and the Netanyahu government continue. But the center’s claim is founded not on actual time served, but on language.
It appears Israeli military judges are in the habit of awarding Arab murderers convicted in their court rooms a strange sentencing package: they somehow manage to give them multiple lifetimes, only to tell them they’ll be spending all of them in jail.
So, for instance, Abdullah Ghaleb al-Barghouthi, avery popular PA official who was the mastermind of countless murders of Israeli men, women and children, is currently holding the world’s longest sentence ever: 67 life sentences in prison.
In other words, should any of the expected messiah figures reveal themselves, followed by the resurrection of the dead, Barghouthy will still have to go another 66 times behind bars. Makes Morris the Cat put both paws over his ginger face in shame…
In January, 2003, Morton Robert Berger, a former high school teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced to 200 years in prison (without the possibility of probation, parole or pardon) for the possession of 20 images of child pornography. The sentence—10 years per picture—was the minimum available in Arizona law. It was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court in 2006. In 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Berger’s appeal.
Harsh, yes, but you’ll have to admit, after one lifetime, Berger goes home, whereas Barghouthy keeps going back to jail throughout his reincarnations.
Israeli judges have taken to imposing those multiple lifetime sentences for two reasons: first, Israel does not apply the death penalty as a matter of course – the last and possibly only one to be executed here was Nazi monster Adolf Eichmann. Maybe, if Israel hanged more terrorists, the judges could go back to a more rational model of sentencing. Second – the same judges want to make sure that no future parole board could reduce the sentences of these decrepit serial killers, so they make it impossible for the system to even entertain their early release in this lifetime.
The result, as Khuffash points out, is grotesque. Here’s the list of the rest of the time champions currently—and possibly forever—behind bars (unless a “peace” deal lets them out – I’ll pay to watch that fight):
Ibrahim Jamil Hamid, detained on May 23, 2006, sentenced to 57 life sentences.
Hussain Abdul Rahman Salama, detained May 17, 1996, got 48 life sentences and 20 years.
Mohammad Attiya Abu Warda, detained Nov. 4, 2002, 48 life sentences.
Mohammad Hassan Arman, detained Aug. 18, 2002, 36 life sentences.
Abbas Mohammad Al-Sayyed, detained May 8, 2002, sentenced to 35 life sentences in prison and an additional 150 years.
Wael Mahmoud Qassem, detained Aug. 18, 2002, sentenced to 35 life sentences and 50 years.
Anas Ghaleb Jaradan, detained May 11, 2003, 35 life sentences plus 35 years.
Saed Hussam al-Tubasi, detained on Nov. 1, 2002, 31 life sentences and 50 years.
Khuffash suggested that the primary reason for the long sentences given to Palestinian prisoners was psychological, as the indeterminate length of the sentences were intended to undermine the will of Palestinian prisoners.
I don’t think so. I honestly feel this was the judges’ way of throwing away the key.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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