The Israeli cabinet recently approved a bill that, under certain circumstances, provides for the imposition of the death penalty on terrorists who murder Israelis. The legislation would apply to persons who “intentionally or out of indifference cause the death of an Israeli citizen, when the act is carried out from a racist motive or hate to a certain public … and with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland.”
“We will continue taking action with all methods, on security, in operational missions and in legislation, to deter terrorists and safeguard Israel’s security,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Our answer to terrorism is to strike terrorism forcefully and deepen our roots in our land.”
The reaction in some quarters that Israel was actually planning to reinstate the death penalty after de facto eliminating it in 2008 was shock and dismay. Their logic is appalling. These critics are not to be heard from when terrorists wantonly take the lives of innocent Israelis, but they are outraged if the State says it will take the lives of the killers. Amazing!
“I was astounded this morning,” said MK Limor Son Har-Melech, “to see opposition to the bill I proposed, which is meant to put an end to the absurd reality where murderous terrorists with blood on their hands are freed after a few years from jail and continue to live their lives comfortably.”
Amnesty International predictably condemned the proposed law, asserting that a death sentence is “cruel, inhumane and humiliating.” Seems those folks believe the terrorists are more sensitive than their victims.
Their statement also went on to say that the wording of the law, “which gives the death penalty to people who attacked civilians ‘with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland,’ clarifies that here is an attempt to create a distinction in the law on a nationalist-ethnic-political basis between attackers of citizens, and thus makes the law an apartheid law, which is a crime against humanity, in addition to it being disgraceful and unworthy due to the demand for a death penalty.”
A UN panel of experts weighed in, to similar effect, that the proposed law makes for two classes in the criminal law in Israel: “One class which privileges and protects Israeli Jewish citizens of the State and one which further targets, marginalizes and undervalues the lives of Palestinian citizens of Israel … and their fundamental rights to non-discrimination and self-determination.” But where does it say that the victim has to be both an Israeli citizen and Jewish for the law to apply. And didn’t Amnesty International and the UN therefore just concede that Jews are special targets of the terrorists?
Maybe it’s time that those rights groups and others who have come out against the proposed law consider publicly opposing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ policy of giving incarcerated Palestinian terrorists and their families financial support? That would be a good start.