Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir plans to submit next Sunday to the Ministerial Legislation Committee a Death Penalty for Terrorists Bill, co-sponsored by MK May Golan (Likud). According to the bill, a terrorist who murdered an Israeli citizen will be sentenced to death using an electric chair.
Ben Gvir’s preference for the electric chair as the instrument of execution is intriguing, seeing as Israel does not have a tradition of using the chair – so far, the only two people who were executed in Israel faced a firing squad (in 1948) and the hangman (Eichman in 1962). Most US states have banned the use of the electric chair following harrowing tales of malfunctioning chairs and the gruesome torture experienced by the convicts.
The bill determines that any person who causes the death of an Israeli citizen out of racist motives, with a desire to harm the State of Israel and the revival of the Jewish people in its land, shall receive the death penalty. In addition, the bill stipulates that a terrorist’s death sentence cannot be rescinded, to prevent the possibility of including him in a prisoner exchange deal.
The explanatory notes accompanying the bill say: “After every terrorist incident, the heads of the defense establishment promise that ‘the long arm of the State of Israel will reach the murderers.’ But in practice, all those murderers receive improved conditions in prisons, salaries from the Palestinian Authority, and in time most of them are released in exchange transactions.”
MK Ben Gvir added: “The death penalty for terrorists is made necessary by morality and reason. There is no reason in the world that human scum that kills families and amputates lives should see the light of day, or be released in a deal to free terrorists. This punishment will not only reduce the motivation to carry out terrorist attacks but also prevent dreams of kidnapping to reach prisoner-exchange deals.”
“It is especially appropriate to enact such a bill that will facilitate the executions by a military court, given the permissive policy in Israeli prisons,” Ben Gvir continued. “In the face of the wave of terror in our streets and the face of our enemies in the Middle East in general and in Israel in particular, there’s no other way to deal with this issue – what’s good for the United States is good for us, too.”
Six convicts have been executed in the US so far in 2022, two in Oklahoma and one each in Alabama, Texas, Missouri, and Arizona. All of them were killed by lethal injection. Three of the convicts were white, two black, and one Native American. They waited on death row for their execution between 13 and 31 years.