web analytics
October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘sentence’

It’s My Opinion: The Empty Chair

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The Passover Seder is the most celebrated religious event among Jews in America. Attendance exceeds even Yom Kippur services. There is something very fundamental about this holiday rite. It is tied to the redemption and birth of the Jewish nation. Unfortunately, there is one Jew who will not be attending a family Seder, and hasn’t for the past 27 years. His name is Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard was working as a civilian American Naval analyst in the mid-1980s. He became aware of information being withheld from Israel that was vital for its security. He attempted to go through normal protocol to warn Israel but hit a stone wall. When his continued efforts proved futile, he passed the information directly to Israel. He felt that innocent Jewish lives were in jeopardy.

Pollard’s activities were discovered. He was arrested and charged with sharing information with a friendly government, without the intent to harm the United States.

Pollard agreed to a plea deal. The median sentence for this type of charge has always been two to four years in prison. The American government did not honor the agreement and Pollard was sentenced to life in prison. No other individual in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for this type of infraction.

At this year’s Seder, set a place for Jonathan. His continued incarceration is a disgrace. We must insist, with a united voice, “Let our brother go!”

To learn more about Jonathan Pollard and how you can help, visit www.jonathanpollard.org.

New Knesset Law Gets Tough on ‘Get’ Refusers

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Two bills that change the Israeli Rabbinical Court’s system for dealing with people who refuse to give or accept a Get – the document required to finalize a divorce by Jewish law – passed into law yesterday. The two bills, which were merged into one, were sponsored by MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) and endorsed with the blessings of Rabbinical Courts Chairman Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky and Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. The bill received the nickname the “Sanctions Law” for making it easier to impose sanctions on people who refuse to give or accept a Get.

The bill states that the Rabbinical Court must determine a court date for a Get within 45 days of a divorce sentence. If the court is authorizing a divorce agreement, the date of the Get hearing will also be within 45 days. If the Get is not given within that time, the court will issue a ‘restriction order’ on the Mesarev Get and hold another hearing within the following 45 days. The court will meet within 90 days of giving a restriction order to discuss it and decide if it must be extended. If no restriction order was issued, the court will set a date for a hearing about the possibility of issuing one within 45 days.

The court will be able to use these extensions as they see fit. There will be no need to have more than one judge hearing the case extensions, but if a judge wishes to invoke a restriction order he must call in the other judges within 15 days. The new law will also make it more difficult to appeal a restriction order.

The law will allow appeals on the absence of a restriction order to be heard by the Higher Rabbinical Court within 60 days, and forces a court decision within 60 days of the hearing. If the appeal on the absence of a restriction order is heard in a regular Rabbinical Court, the decision must be made within 30 days.

The bill passed its second and third readings late last night 11-1 and 9-1, respectively. Ultra-Orthodox MK Maklev (United Torah Judaism), who was running the session as Deputy Speaker, was the sole MK to oppose the bill. He did not provide a reason for his objection.

Jonathan Pollard And The McFarlane Factor

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Israeli President Shimon Peres, during his meeting with President Obama on Sunday, asked the president to release Jonathan Pollard. It was also reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu planned to make the same request of the president at their meeting on Monday. There have been no reports about how Mr. Obama responded to the Peres request or whether Mr. Netanyahu did in fact make similarly petition the president. To be sure, reports of this sort have surfaced before and led to much useless speculation, but a recent development on the Pollard front could be significant.

Over the past two years, a number of former high-ranking U.S. officials – several with national security responsibilities – have called for Mr. Pollard’s release on various grounds. Several weeks ago it was reported that Robert “Bud” McFarlane, President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser at the time of the Pollard arrest and obviously someone privy to all the information known to the government – wrote a letter to President Obama asking that Mr. Pollard’s sentence be commuted to time served. Significantly, Mr. McFarlane characterized Mr. Pollard’s life sentence as a “great injustice,” something “well beyond what any court would award for the same action today.”

Even more significant was what Mr. McFarlane had to say about the pre-sentencing affidavit of Caspar Weinberger, which was credited with sealing Mr. Pollard’s fate:

I must add that the affidavit filed by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, was surely inspired in large part by his deeply held animus toward the state of Israel. His extreme bias against Israel was manifested in recurrent episodes of strong criticism and unbalanced reasoning when decisions involving Israel were being made.

We recognize that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu are dealing with issues that may affect the fate of tens of millions of people. But that does not mean the palpable injustice visited on an individual by a vengeful government official has no place at the table. Especially at Purim time.

It is time to let Jonathan Pollard go home. He has languished in a federal prison under a Draconian sentence long enough.

Terrorist Released in Shalit Deal Goes Back to Prison

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Ayman Sharuna, a terrorist released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, was arrested by the IDF a week ago on suspicion that he has renewed his membership in the Hamas terror organization and has returned to terrorist activities. Intelligence reports indicate that he has returned to anti-Israel activities, breaching the terms of the agreement which led to his release.

The Military Advocate General has requested that he be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his original sentence, another 27 years.

Sharuna was initially convicted of involvement in terrorist attacks, including the placing of a bomb in Be’er Sheva in May 2002 that wounded 18 citizens, and a score of shooting attacks. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

A special three-judge committee will convene next week to decide whether Sharuna should be sent back to serve the remainder of his sentence. The IDF said: “Sharuna’s activities constitute an outright breach of his terms of release”.

Major-General Avi Mizrachi, CO of Central Command, decided two months ago that terrorists released as part of the Shalit deal who are arrested again should be brought before a special three-judge committee which will determine whether they should be sent back to serve the remainder of their sentence. This is the first time the committee will convene.

The IDF stressed that dozens of breaches have been committed by terrorists released as part of the deal.

MK Uri Ariel, who opposed the Shalit deal, said: “Unfortunately, the recapture of this terrorist is the first event in a wave of terror which is being planned by hundreds of terrorists released in the Shalit deal. We predicted this prior to the deal, and our prediction is now materializing, which further strengthens the need to promote the law I have submitted to ensure the release of terrorists on a one-to-one ratio.”

This new law, entitled “The Redemption of Captives”, stipulates that an exchange of imprisoned terrorists for IDF captives can only be consummated on a one-to-one ratio. The law further states that terrorists released in such a deal will not be pardoned. As a result, if they are arrested again for terrorist activities, they will be sent back to prison immediately to serve the remainder of their prison term.

MK Ariel recently hosted a special conference in the Knesset on this issue. The event was attended by Nobel Prize Laureate, Prof. Yisrael Aumann, Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, Dr Boaz Ganor, Rabbi Moshe Hager and Noam Shalit, Gilad Shalit’s father, who was very active in bringing about his son’s release “at any cost”. Shalit surprised everyone at the event by saying that he agreed the price paid for his son’s release was high, but blamed the government for making strategic mistakes throughout the process.

Prof. Aumann said that the Shalit Deal was a catastrophe which strengthened Hamas. “We must stop giving terrorists incentives to kidnap soldiers and get what they want”.

Terrorist Released in Shalit Deal Rearrested

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A terrorist released in the exchange for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was arrested last week in the town of Dura in Judea and Samaria, the IDF’s official newspaper, BaMahane, reported Wednesday.

Ayman Sharuna, who was freed with 27 years remaining on his prison sentence, was arrested on suspicion of engaging in terror-related activity. An IDF official said that intelligence reports had indicated that Sharuna rejoined Hamas and was therefore in “blatant violation of the terms of his release.”

Sharuna was sentenced to 38 years in prison for his involvement in a terrorist attack that injured 18 in Beersheba in 2002, and other attacks he perpetrated during the second intifada.

The AP’s Gonzo Journalism

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

The decay of the traditional Western media into irrelevance continues, as it sinks to the level of the old Soviet Pravda.

News item (the numbering of the paragraphs is mine):

1. (AP) JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has made two overtures to West Bank settlers in the run-up to his party’s leadership race on Tuesday: It’s offering financial incentives to encourage people to move to settlements and opening the door to legalizing rogue settler outposts.

2. The gestures appear to be aimed at appeasing hardline elements in the ruling Likud Party who are sympathetic to settlers. While Netanyahu is expected to win the leadership race, a relatively strong showing by his ultranationalist rival would suggest many Likud voters consider the prime minister too soft on peacemaking with the Palestinians.

3. The moves threatened to derail tentative new peace efforts with the Palestinians. A round of low-level peace negotiations ground to a halt last week, in large part because of Palestinian objections to Israeli settlement construction. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is expected in the region Wednesday in an effort to restart the talks…

4. Years ago, the Israeli government halted generous financial enticements designed to encourage Israelis to settle in the West Bank, the occupied territory the Palestinians see as the core of their future state.

5. But in this week’s government decision, 70 settlements appeared on a new list of 557 communities inside Israel and the West Bank that qualify for housing subsidies. The incentives, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office, are “meant to encourage positive migration to these communities.” …

6. In a separate move, the government on Monday appointed a committee to examine land ownership issues in the West Bank. The panel will review a 2005 government report that found several dozen outposts were built not only without state approval, but on privately held Palestinian land. Officials said the report needs to be reviewed because its author, state prosecutor Talia Sasson, later entered politics with a dovish political party, raising questions about her objectivity…

7. …the panel’s makeup aroused suspicions it would legalize at least some of the more than 100 outposts built without government authorization, including dozens Sasson says were erected on privately held Palestinian land.

This is presented as a news story, not an editorial. Let’s look at how it’s constructed.

In the very first sentence, the idea is introduced that these actions were taken in order to improve PM Netanyahu’s chances in the Likud primary. This may be true to some extent — although his opponent, Moshe Feiglin, was in no way a real threat — but surely, unsourced speculation about Netanyahu’s motives does not belong in the lead sentence of a news story.

The reporter does not let up in the second paragraph, where he refers to “hardline elements” who are “sympathetic to settlers.” I would hazard to guess that almost all Likud party members are to some extent sympathetic to Jews living east of the Green Line, considering that they face pressure from the Arabs, the US, the EU and the (vanishing but foreign-supported) Israeli Left to leave their homes and become refugees like the former residents of Gush Katif.

In paragraph 3, we get the usual line that “settlement construction” — meaning construction within existing settlements — may “derail” peace efforts. Why is that? It doesn’t change anything, particularly since most of the construction is in the larger settlements or eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods that would be expected to become part of Israel in any reasonable peace agreement. It is a problem only because the Palestinians insist that it will be. One would think that the introduction of the Hamas into the Palestinian Authority and the likelihood that it will win future elections (or coups) would be a much bigger problem! But the writer doesn’t mention that.

Then in paragraph 4, he trots out the “occupied territory the Palestinians see as the core of their future state.”  The implication is that Israelis don’t have a right to live here, and Palestinian demands for Jew-free land are acceptable. I’ve discussed the falsehood of this view here.

Only in paragraphs 5-6 do we get to something partially resembling factual reporting. We are led to understand that there is a controversy concerning a 2005 land use report authored by Talia Sasson. The writer tells us that she became associated with a “dovish” party, and so her objectivity when she determined that many settlements were built on “private Palestinian land” may have been questionable.

But Talia Sasson is a board member of the New Israel Fund, a member of the Public Council of Yesh Din, a foreign-funded left-wing NGO which carries out ‘lawfare’ against Israel in the name of ‘human rights’, and a Knesset candidate of the fringe New Movement-Meretz party (which has 3 seats out of 120 in the Knesset). She is a professional opponent of the Jewish presence in the territories. Her objectivity is more than questionable, it is non-existent.

American Jewish Leaders Visit Pollard in Prison

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

American Jewish leaders  visited convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in jail, and pledged to redouble their efforts to secure clemency for him.

Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein recently visited convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.

The two American Jewish leaders pledged to redouble their efforts to secure clemency for Pollard. “He has served 27 years, seven of them in solitary confinement,” they said in a statement after the visit. “He suffers from multiple serious medical challenges, which we  believe add urgency to the timeliness of his release.”

“Mr. Pollard made clear that he does not seek a pardon, recognizing that he committed a crime, but seeks a commutation of his sentence,” the statement continues. “Mr. Pollard wants only to be able to build a family and to be a contributing citizen . . . We believe it is overdue that he be allowed to join his wife, who was present at our visit, so that they can live out their lives together.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-jewish-leaders-visit-pollard-in-prison/2012/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: