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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Policeman Who Brutally Attacked Amona Protester Gets Slap on the Wrist

Monday, July 20th, 2015

A Jerusalem court handed down a sentence of six months of community service, without a jail sentence, to a policeman convicted of a brutal beating of a protester during the expulsion of residents of Amona in 2006.

Even the judge, Moti Polik, criticized the prosecution for not demanding a harsher sentence for the policemen Moti Mahagar.

IT took nine years before Israel’s screwy judicial system finally handed down the sentence, a year after the conviction and nine years after the crime.

Mahagar would not have been indicted if it weren’t for a video that showed him relentlessly using a club to beat victims entrenched in buildings during the expulsion in Samaria.

Oh yes, Mahagar also was scalped with a fine, a grand total of $7819.53 (30,000 shekels), according to today’s official exchange rate.

Iran Bows to Pressure and May Remove Reyhaneh Jabbari from Death Row

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Iran’s so-called justice ministry has postponed for a month the hanging of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who allegedly stabbed to death a former intelligence office whom she said testified tried to rape her.

Jabbari used a small pen knife to fend off the attacker, who has been described as a burly man, in the shoulder, leaving open several questions concerning his supposed inability to get up and seek medical attention, as reported here.

No Iranian official ever can admit wrongdoing, and the “death” has being interpreted as a probable commutation of her death sentence. It is not known if she will serve more time in prison, assuming her life is spared.

The case attracted worldwide attention after she was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, the attacker who she stabbed as he tried to rape her.

The prosecution’s case against her has been highly questioned, and her lawyers said she was not given a fair trial, which is far from surprising. Human Rights Watch has been leading a drive to save Jabbari’s life, and the Iranian judiciary earlier this year agreed to review the death sentence.

Approximately 200,000 people have signed a petition in her behalf.

 

 

Abdel Rahman Zuabi (82)

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Abdel Rahman Zuabi, the first Israeli-Arab to be appointed as a Supreme Court Justice, died on Sunday at age 82.

Zuabi was born in Sulam, which is a village near Afula, on November 19, 1932.

Not only was Zuabi the first Israel-Arab supreme Court Judge, but he was also Tel Aviv University’s first Arab graduate from its School of Law of Economics. He was a classmate of Moshe Dayan.

From 1996-2002, Zuabi served as deputy chief of the Nazareth district court.

Zuabi always stressed that he was a proud citizen of the state of Israel.

A Very Bad Weekend

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

It looks from here like a really bad weekend in Israel. Some 40-odd rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel within 48 hours, as far as Beersheva. Arabs rioted throughout the country, throwing rocks and firebombs at any available Jewish target. They systematically destroyed the light rail tracks, stations and equipment in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, which were supposedly a symbol of coexistence in the capital.

The murderers of the three Jewish boys are still at large, and — oh yes — mak in the case of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the Arab boy who had gasoline poured over him, and was burned alive. The three suspects are Jews. No further details have been released as yet.

The cold-blooded depravity of this crime makes it stand out, even in the context of the Jewish-Arab conflict. I would happily put a noose on the necks of the killers myself (I would feel this way whether they were Jews or Arabs). The fact — assuming that it is determined that they are guilty — that Jews did this is shocking.

If they are convicted, they will rot in prison. There will be no prisoner exchanges, and they will not be considered heroes. Soccer fields will not be named after them, and the Israeli government won’t pay them and their families a ‘salary’ for their service to the state. The Jewish people will spit them out in shame.

There are many differences between the way we will respond to this terrorist crime and the way Arabs respond to acts of terrorism committed by Arabs. I am not in the mood to write about that now, just to express my sorrow to Abu Khdeir’s family.

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Egyptian Christians Rally to Protest US Policy and Media

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

A group of hundreds of Egyptian Christians from around the U.S. held a series of rallies in Washington, DC, on Thursday to protest U.S. policy in Egypt and Western media coverage.

The rallies were organized by an online campaign. One of the group’s organizers, Amro A. Gadd, wrote that the rallies are “intended also to expose the clear bias for the Obama administration and the American media in support of MB (Muslim Brotherhood) and its terrorism ideology,” according to a post on his Facebook page.

The rally began at the White House before marching to the office of the Washington Post, CNN and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an American Muslim group which the protesters accuse of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We are against the Muslim Brotherhood,” protester Ramez Mossed told the Washington Free Beacon. “He [Obama] supports the Muslim Brotherhood. He has a big hand in Egypt and the mess in Egypt. We’re trying to tell him, ‘Don’t support the terrorists. Please be fair.’”

Meanwhile, a petition started by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a Washington, DC-based public interest Christian law firm, calls on Obama to condition American aid to Egypt on the protection of Christians.

“It’s time to take sides—for religious freedom and against the Muslim Brotherhood. Comply with human rights requirements. American aid must be conditioned on the protection of Christians, and it must be used to oppose our jihadist enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood,” the petition reads.

As of Aug. 22, the petition had garnered roughly 41,000 signatures.

The Parameters Of Justice

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

In Deuteronomy 24, we encounter for the first time the explicit statement of a law of far-reaching significance:

“Parents shall not be put to death for children, nor children put to death for parents; a person shall be put to death only for his own crime” (verse 16).

We have strong historical evidence as to what this law was excluding, namely vicarious punishment, the idea that someone else may be punished for my crime.

For example, in the Middle Assyrian Laws, the rape of a non-betrothed virgin who lives in her father’s house is punished by the ravishing of the rapist’s wife, who also remains thereafter with the father of the victim. Hammurabi decrees that if a man struck a pregnant woman, thereby causing her to miscarry and die, it is the assailant’s daughter who is put to death. If a builder erected a house that collapsed, killing the owner’s son, then the builder’s son, not the builder, is put to death (Nahum Sarna, Exploring Exodus, p. 176).

We also have inner-biblical evidence of how the Mosaic Law was applied. Joash, one of the righteous kings of Judah, attempted to stamp out corruption among the priests, and was assassinated by two of his officials. He was succeeded by his son Amaziah, about whom we read the following:

“After the kingdom was firmly in his grasp, he [Amaziah] executed the officials who had murdered his father the king. Yet he did not put the sons of the assassins to death, in accordance with what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses where the Lord commanded: ‘Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins’ ” (2 Kings: 14:5-6).

The obvious question, however, is this: how is this principle compatible with the idea, enunciated four times in the Mosaic books, that children may suffer for the sins of their parents? “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7 – see also 20:5; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:8).

The short answer is simple: It is the difference between human justice and Divine justice. We are not God. We can neither look into the hearts of wrongdoers nor assess the full consequences of their deeds. It is not given to us to execute perfect justice, matching the evil a person suffers to the evil he causes. We would not even know where to begin. How do you punish a dictator responsible for the deaths of millions of people? How do you weigh the full extent of a devastating injury caused by drunken driving, where not only the victim but also his entire family is affected for the rest of their lives? How do we assess the degree of culpability of, say, those Germans who knew what was happening during the Holocaust but did or said nothing? Moral guilt is a far more difficult concept to apply than legal guilt.

Human justice must work within the parameters of human understanding and regulation. Hence the straightforward rule: no vicarious punishment. Only the wrongdoer is to suffer, and only after his guilt has been established by fair and impartial judicial procedures. That is the foundational principle set out, for the first time in Deuteronomy 24:16.

However, the issue did not end there. In two later prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, we find an explicit renunciation of the idea that children might suffer for the sins of their parents, even when applied to Divine justice. Here is Jeremiah, speaking in the name of God:

“In those days people will no longer say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes – his own teeth will be set on edge” (Jeremiah 31:29-30).

And this, Ezekiel:

The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: ‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son. Both alike belong to me. The soul that sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:1-3).

Bibi’s Choice

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

News item:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. law enforcement officials expressed outrage over the release from prison of Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero and vowed to continue efforts to bring to justice the man who ordered the killing of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Caro Quintero was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 1985 kidnapping and killing of DEA agent Enrique Camarena but a Mexican federal court ordered his release this week saying he had been improperly tried in a federal court for state crimes. …

The Association of Former Federal Narcotics Agents in the United States said it was “outraged” by Caro Quintero’s early release and blamed corruption within Mexico’s justice system.

“The release of this violent butcher is but another example of how good faith efforts by the U.S. to work with the Mexican government can be frustrated by those powerful dark forces that work in the shadows of the Mexican ‘justice’ system,” the organization said in a statement.

So imagine how they would react if 104 “violent butcher(s)” were released from prison as a result of improper influence on the justice system, particularly if that influence came from a foreign power! This describes the prisoner release that Israel’s leaders have been coerced into accepting as the price for beginning talks with the PLO.

There isn’t justice in nature. Sometimes evil people do terrible things and escape punishment, even thrive. This brute fact has prompted countless pages of philosophical and theological discourse. But one thing that is not in doubt is that it is one of the functions of civilization to try to bring some order out of this moral chaos by imposing justice.

Hence one of the seven Noachide laws — one of the moral principles that Judaism recognizes as a requirement for any civilized nation, Jewish or not — is to establish courts of law. Subverting justice, then, is one of the worst crimes a person can commit.

PM Netanyahu fell into a trap set for him by Barack Obama, perhaps payback for the humiliation Obama suffered in May 2011, when Bibi dared to publicly instruct the ‘leader of the free world’ about “Middle East reality.”

Now Obama has handed him a “Sophie’s choice,” a moral dilemma in which both forks are horrible. Should he release the prisoners, cause immense pain to the families of their victims, damage Israel’s honor and deterrence, and subvert the legal system that condemned them (and by the way, destroy his own reputation and political career)? Or should he tell Obama to go to hell and expose Israel to whatever consequences were threatened?

Bibi has made his choice. History will judge him.

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