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November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Take Off the Kid Gloves: Time for the Death Penalty for Terrorists

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

In theory there already is the death penalty in Israeli Law.

In Israelcapital punishment is currently allowed only during wartime and only for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, treason, and crimes against the Jewish People. (Wikipedia)

It just has been used once, when the Nazi Adolf Eichmann was executed.

Israel and its citizens are under attack by Arab terrorists and their foreign supporters and ideologues.  Their aim is the murder of Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel.  That certainly fits the law’s criteria.

This may be a dumb questions, but: Why aren’t convicted Arab terrorists executed? What’s the Teflon?

The Palestine Media Watch is an excellent source of information about what tour enemies do, believe and aim. Listen to the Arab leaders whom the world and too many Israelis claim is our “peace sic partner” admitting how he sent terrorists into Israel:

The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a very dangerous man.  There’s no way we in Israel can have a true peace with him.  And even if he really wanted and was willing and ready, his cronies aren’t.  The Arabs support the terrorist’s and if they don’t, they’re afraid to admit it.  There isn’t enough power in the Arab “peace camp” at this point in time.

At present, ordinary Arabs fear the terrorists more than they fear Israel. Terrorists execute their opposition, while we Israelis coddle convicted terrorists in our jails. They get food, clothes, medical care, visits from family, opportunities for education and always a chance to be released in exchange for captured Israelis.

If the Israeli Government and Judicial System would start executing all terrorists convicted of murder and attempted murder of Jews, then there would be less terrorism.  And with time, the terrorists would have less power over ordinary Arabs.  With time and I’m talking decades, not days or months,  we’d find ourselves living with peaceful Arabs who wouldn’t be afraid to say they want to  live under Israeli rule, because Israel is a more just society than the Arab countries.

True justice requires punishing the criminals for the crimes and not rewarding them.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Jewish Destiny Or Iron Dome?

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

After the Pillar of Defense cease-fire, many now understand what we understood after the Zo Artzeinu demonstrations: The Israeli crisis is not on the continuum between Right and Left. It is on the continuum between Israelis and their Jewish identity.

We knew exactly where the Oslo Accords would lead. The huge amount of people who answered Zo Artzeinu’s calls and blocked traffic throughout the entire country understood the reality. Ultimately, we succeeded – against all odds – in electing the Right to rule. But Zo Artzeinu refused to “cash in” politically on the tremendous public credit that it had accrued. We understood that the Right also had no solution and that it was also incapable of getting off the Oslo track.

Many are angry with Prime Minister Netanyahu for signing the cease-fire. But Netanyahu’s predicament is a precise reflection of post-Oslo Israeli society. If Netanyahu had ordered a ground invasion of Gaza, soldiers would have been killed. After a short period of time he would have pulled the troops out of Gaza without significant achievements. After all, he had no intention of remaining. The retreat after many more fatalities would have ignited much more virulent criticism.

To remain in Gaza, we must first renounce the very essence of the idea of partitioning the land of Israel. We have to internalize that this is exclusively our land. We must, on a national scale, return to the land of Israel and to our Jewish identity. We must beg for the forgiveness of the Jews expelled from Gush Katif and rebuild their towns and villages with the forces that destroyed them – and bring them back to their rightful place with an honor guard.

We must vote with our feet, declaring to all that this is our land and proving to our enemies that this is not their land. Most important is that we must expel the Muslim waqf from the Temple Mount and restore exclusive Israeli sovereignty over the Mount – Judaism’s holiest site. We must encourage Jews to ascend the Temple Mount after the proper halachic preparations and to actualize their sovereignty over the beating heart of the Jewish nation.

If we do not take all these measures, there really is no reason to endanger our soldiers just so they can go into Gaza and retreat again. Every round of this type of fighting only proves the enemy’s claim that we are colonialist conquerors and not liberators of our own land. Security and pragmatic claims don’t convince the world anymore. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial no longer does the work for us. It can’t be a replacement for the true justice of our cause. Just a short time after a hypothetical ground invasion of Gaza, international public opinion would come down squarely on the side that talks about justice – the very justice that we, with the cursed Oslo handshake, deposited into the hands of Yasir Arafat.

Is Israeli society ready for this type of return, the return to being ourselves?

Netanyahu expresses the dichotomy in Israeli society between the “Israeli” who wants to escape to “normalcy” by disengaging from the land of Israel and the “Jew” who wants to connect to his identity and national destiny – expressed by loyalty to the land of Israel.

Many will now try to escape this complex reality by voting for the rightist parties. If they are too successful, the result will be that the next government coalition will not be formed by Netanyahu and his allies, but instead by Shelly Yachimovich, Yair Lapid and Aryeh Deri. The political situation in Israel is also part of the same dichotomy. It expresses the same dead-end mentality – Oslo – that brought about the defeat.

The Israelis want the best of both worlds: security and normalcy. But it has become quite clear that it is specifically the mental servitude to Oslo, the flight from destiny to the enslavement to normalcy and pragmatism that has so severely compromised Israel’s security.

It turns out that it is actually the “delusional extremists,” the “propellers” (as Yitzhak Rabin derisively called those who opposed Oslo) who are the most realistic of all. It turns out that the choice that the Israelis are being forced to make is not between living under a bareheaded secularism or a kippah of observance. Their choice is between their Jewish destiny and living under an Iron Dome.

Baffled In Sderot

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

What is the solution to the constant missile attacks in southern Israel?

Those with a solution are the people who warned against signing the Oslo Accords in the first place. These people continue to be sidelined. Clearly, the Oslo advocates have no intention of giving up the profits and perks of the “peace industry” that they have created.

Those profits are not necessarily monetary. Our current president, Shimon Peres, enjoys his position due to the peace industry. He has also become a wealthy man, thanks to “peace.” But that is only a small part of the problem. The peace industry advocates are senior media personalities, well-connected industrialists and politicians who climbed the political ladder with alacrity once they realized on which side their bread was buttered.

Most seriously, the peace industry also includes a thick swath of senior IDF officers who understood that their path to progress was paved with Oslo and who erased the concept of victory from their lexicon. In Oslo we surrendered the belief in the justice of our cause, exchanging it for pragmatism. He who surrenders the belief that he is just is incapable of winning.

On Tuesday of last week, I was at a campaign rally in Sderot. “I would like to ask what some of you may see as a strange question,” I said to the audience in the packed hall. “In the war that is raging right now [this was before the major fighting began the next day] between us and the Gazans, who is right?”

The hall fell silent. The audience looked uncomfortable and curious.

“They are right,” one woman said.

“We are right,” said another.

Most of the audience just looked baffled.

“Look at what is happening,” I continued. “Even here in Sderot, we cannot get a clear answer to the most fundamental of questions. So who is right?”

An endless stream of commentators, security experts and politicians visit Sderot. One advocates targeted assassinations, the other conquest; one says we should talk and the other says we should disengage. When all is said and done it is clear to all that not one of them has gotten to the root of the real problem, and is still incapable – after 12 years of Sderot being on the receiving end of incoming missiles – of relieving the misery of southern Israel’s residents.

Sderot’s problem is not military in nature. Clearly, we are stronger than them. The reason that we cannot deal with murderous attacks against our citizens is not military; rather it is spiritual. We have lost our belief in the justice of our cause. A mistake of this proportion cannot be rectified with shortcuts. We must return to the point at which we strayed from the path.

That point is Oslo. It is there that we declared that this land is not our land. It is there that we recognized the rights of a different sovereign in our country’s heartland. It is there that we lost the legitimacy for our existence in Sderot and, as a result, the ability to fight against an enemy who does believe in the justice of his cause.

Where was God When Hurricane Sandy Struck?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

What was G-d thinking when he sent Hurricane Sandy and what could have been its purpose?

In truth, I don’t much care, because our role as humans is not to understand G-d’s plan in the face of horror and tragedy, but to challenge God and demand that human life always be protected and preserved.

Did I say demand? Yes, humanity has rights before God. We are His children. He commanded us to preserve and promote life always. “Choose life,” Moses orders the Israelite nation in God’s name, on the last day of His life. And the Creator must abide by the same dictates He expects His creatures to.

Reading The New York Times story today about the approximately 39 people who died in the storm, I was sick to my stomach. I read it out loud to my kids over our candlelit dinner in a home with no electricity or heat. They could not listen any more. There was the Manhattan woman whose only sin was to walk her dog and was killed by a falling tree. There was the woman whose iniquity was to take a picture of a downed power line. She did not see the puddle in front of her. Her body, the Times reported, was on fire for half an hour before rescue workers could salvage what was left of her. There was the young Jewish couple killed walking a dog in Brooklyn. There were the two boys in New York state killed when they walked just outside their house to peer at the storm briefly.

Did any of these people deserve to die?

In the face of these natural disasters there are always those who are trying to divine the mind of God when really their role as humans is to argue with God. That’s exactly what the name Israel means, He who wrestles with God. Isn’t that what Abraham does in this week’s Torah reading where he raises his fist to the heavens and proclaims, in the face of God’s announcement that he is destroying all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, “Will the judge of the entire earth not Himself practice justice?” Would God really allow the righteous to die along with the wicked?

Is this not also what Moses says to God after he is told that the Jews will be annihilated for the sin of the Golden calf? If you do so, says the great prophet, “then I beseech you, erase my name from the Torah You have written.”

And when God had earlier sent Moses to free the Jews from Egypt but Pharaoh had instead intensified their suffering and servitude, Moses, defiant, says to God, “Why have you behaved wickedly to this people, and why have you sent me… You have thus far not saved Your people.”

The role of human beings in the face of seeming divine miscarriages of justice is hold God accountable and demand clemency for humanity. God is all powerful. He does not need a defense attorney. But humans are fragile and vulnerable and they need all the protection they can get.

Today me, my family, and our campaign staff toured the devastation of our district. We saw cities deluged in flood waters, homes with trees crashed down on their roofs. We witnessed long lines of cars of people trying to buy gas, including tens of people with gas canisters waiting in line for hours. And as far as our campaign is concerned,, it has been reduced to me and our staff sitting in the Garden State Mall tonight plugged into a single outlet on the floor trying to charge our laptops and phones. All this is an inconvenience and, God willing, we’ll dig out. But the people who buried children, the residents who will never again see a spouse, the citizens will mourn parents, my God, my God, what are they to do?

I have grown weary of those who say that suffering is somehow redemptive, that it carries with it a positive outcome. I do not deny that this is at times so. Those who suffer can sometimes emerge humbler, wiser, gentler. But let’s get real. There is nothing beneficial that comes from suffering that could have not been achieved far more effectively through a positive means. To the contrary, suffering leaves us broken and cynical, disbelieving and forlorn, miserable and depressed.

It is time we human beings agreed to wage an all out war on suffering so that it is never excused as something blessed again.

Never again should we say that earthquakes in Haiti are caused by a compact the Haitians had earlier made with the devil. Never again should we say that Israeli soldiers die becauseKibbutznikim eat rabbit and other non-kosher meat. Never again should we say that innocent Palestinians, who are used as human shields by the terrorist monsters of Hamas and Hezbollah, die because of the wrath of Allah. And never again must we say that the Jews of the holocaust died because they wanted to be cease being Jewish, choosing to be German instead.

Because I am disgusted with this kind of thought, I wrote a full-length book that is to be published in November called The Fed-Up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. But I could not have divined, when I wrote it, that the place I live would have experienced such immense devastation.

The Bible in Deuteronomy is clear. “The hidden things are for G-d to understand, but the revealed things are for us and our children.” Why G-d allows good people to suffer is a secret known to him. But we human beings ought to have no interest in knowing the secret. What we want, what we demand, is that the suffering stop completely so that God and humanity can finally be reconciled, after a long history of human travail and agony, in a bright and blessed future, bereft of suffering, absent of tragedy, and filled with blessing.

Canadians, UN, Judges: Palestinian Authority Is Rigging the Courts

Friday, October 5th, 2012

In an unprecedented move, Palestinian judges in Judea and Samaria this week went on strike in protest against the Palestinian Authority’s repeated attempts to meddle in the internal affairs of the judiciary system.

The judges’ protest shows that the Palestinian Authority is making a mockery of the courts in the West Bank. Moreover, it shows that the Palestinian Authority leadership wants the judges to issue verdicts that do not embarrass or harm senior Palestinian officials.

The protest raises serious questions about the international community’s efforts to help the Palestinian Authority build a proper and credible judicial system in the West Bank.

The Canadian Development Agency, with the help of the UN Development Program, has been funding projects aimed at building new courthouses in the Judea and Samaria “to improve the Palestinians’ access to justice.”

But building new courthouses is not exactly what Palestinians need. Justice can be achieved even if the judges, lawyers, prosecutors and defendants sit in a tent.

Instead of investing in new buildings, it would be more helpful if the Canadians and UN agency demanded that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides stop obstructing the work of the judges.

Hasan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), told the daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi that the Palestinian Authority was trying to seize control over the judiciary system by appointing its supporters to senior positions.

By seeking to appoint the justice minister as attorney-general, the Palestinian Authority leadership is trying to avoid the possibility of holding any of its senior officials accountable, Khraisheh added. “There should be complete separation between the executive and legislative bodies,” he argued.

The attorney-general’s job has been vacant since the resignation last month of Ahmed al-Mughni, who had filed corruption charges against two cabinet ministers.

“We want to be fully independent in our work,” said Ibrahim Amr, chairman of the Palestinian Judges’ Society. “We don’t want anyone or any party to interfere with our work.”

Amr said that decision to strike came after his colleagues and he felt that there were attempts to “affect judges’ rulings.”

He also warned the Palestinian Authority leadership against pursuing its attempts to take control of the judiciary system. “This marks the beginning of the collapse of the Palestinian judicial system,” he cautioned.

The judges say they are particularly concerned by the Palestinian Authority government’s attempt to appoint the justice minister also as attorney-general, saying the move violates the Palestinian constitution and threatens the independence of the judiciary system.

In addition, the Palestinian judges are angry because the Palestinian Authority has been amending and passing new laws without consulting them or seeking the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Now it remains to be seen whether the Canadians and U.N. agencies will listen to the voices of the angry judges and demand that the Palestinian Authority halt its attempts to control the judiciary system. Ignoring these voices will allow Abbas and his top aides to turn Palestinian judges into obedient servants of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Israel’s UN Envoy Leaves Session in Protest When A-Jad Takes Podium

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Israel’s UN envoy Ron Prosor left a UN session on Monday in protest when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the podium.  Ahmadinejad was present to speak about the rule of law in a session on the subject.

Prosor said inviting the Iranian leader to speak on the subject is like “appointing a pyromaniac as fire chief,” saying he is “a serial violator of the fundamental principles of the rule of law”.

“It is a shame and disgrace to give someone like him the opportunity to speak on such an important topic,” Prosor said.  “There is no justice and no judge.”

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The ordeal of Rimsha Masih, a Pakistani Christian arrested on charges of blasphemy, is far from over. In Pakistan, an allegation of blasphemy can be enough to result in the accused being killed even in the absence of a trial or evidence.

Masih, age fourteen, was charged under Pakistan’s notoriously draconian blasphemy laws, with burning a copy of the Quran, and held for three weeks in Rawalpindi prison.

There are serious flaws in the case against Masih. Not only is she a minor, but there are also reports that she has learning difficulties and is not of full mental capacity. To complicate the matter further, a local imam has also been arrested on claims that over he framed the girl after an ongoing dispute with her family.

Despite this, blasphemy allegations continue to elicit such passions in Pakistan that authorities could not risk sending Masih home; and a number of her neighbours, fearing reprisals after mosques disclosed her address, have fled their village.

Blasphemy is such a contentious issue that despite being released on bail, Masih had to be taken by an armoured vehicle to a military helicopter and then transported to an undisclosed location where she is currently in hiding. Police fear that if Masih is allowed to return to her village, a vigilante mob would attack her.

These fears are not unfounded. A lawyer for the prosecution warned that if Masih were not convicted, such a scenario was likely. Last year the governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer, was shot dead for merely suggesting the blasphemy laws should be changed. Weeks after Taseer’s assassination Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic who was Pakistan’s only Christian member of the Cabinet, and who opposed the blasphemy laws, was also killed.

Far from causing revulsion, these assassinations were largely welcomed by militant groups and their supporters. Taseer’s assassin was lauded not just by radicals, but by those who would be expected to oppose mob “justice”: lawyers. Instead of being outraged, the young lawyers association of the Punjab offered to defend Taseer’s killer pro bono.

Minorities, being subject to almost half of all prosecutions under the law despite comprising about only 3% of the overall population, have particularly suffered under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which is drafted in broad terms and states:

Article 295

B – Whoever wilfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.

C – Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Politicians who want to challenge the law are routinely killed or intimidated, making the government keen to pursue – rather than curtail – blasphemy laws.

In 2009, in an effort an that is still current, Pakistan sponsored UN Res. 1618, to persuade the United Nation to adopt a law that initially would internationally criminalize questioning or discussing Islam, but was then changed to state “religions.” The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, broke years of silence on the topic to sponsor an official three-day, closed-door meeting on the Resolution in Washington D.C. just last December.

Pakistan, has also started monitoring internet and text communications in Pakistan, to ensure that people are not sending, searching, or looking up material that could be considered insulting to Islam.

This is the impasse: No one in Pakistan is willing to challenge the blasphemy laws. Those who do are assassinated. Mob justice is rampant in such cases, with the issues becoming highly charged and little attention being paid to the facts. The implications for those accused of such crimes are devastating.

Masih has no future in Pakistan. To ensure she can live her life, the British Pakistani Christian Association is currently lobbying the British government to grant her asylum so she can escape the strictures of religious fanaticism in the country.

In Pakistan, the mere allegation of blasphemy imposes the life sentence of a death sentence.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/pakistans-blasphemy-laws/2012/09/20/

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