Thursday, April 20, 2017

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

This isn’t the first time I’ve written this, and it won’t be the last unless something changes.

Marwan Barghouti is in the news again, calling for a hunger strike to “resist” the “abuse” of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. The New York Times also made news by publishing an op-ed by Barghouti with a note that he is “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian,” but failing to include the fact that he was imprisoned after a conviction for five terrorist murders. He was accused of being involved in many more, but the state chose to prosecute him only for the ones for which the evidence was strongest. After all, five life sentences should be enough to keep him off the street, shouldn’t they?

Israelis can be excused for being skeptical. After all, 16 of them weren’t enough to keep Ahlam Tamimi, mastermind of the 2002 Sbarro Pizzaria bombing, behind bars (she was released in 2011 as part of the ransom for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit). Tamimi has a flourishing career as a broadcaster in Jordan, which has refused her extradition to the US (some of her victims were US citizens). Yet again in 2013 Israel agreed to release 104 prisoners, most of whom were convicted of murder, “in order to move toward renewed peace negotiations.” Some 78 were released before the doomed negotiations fell apart.

Although the Knesset passed a law in 2014 establishing a life sentence without possibility of parole in less than 40 years and without eligibility for release for diplomatic purposes, the pressure that can be placed on Israeli officials when a person, especially a young soldier, is in the hands of the enemy can be immense. In any case, the law doesn’t apply to terrorists already in prison, nor to military courts where many cases which occur in Judea and Samaria must be tried. I am not aware of any terrorist that has yet received this kind of sentence.

Barghouti and Tamimi are popular Palestinian heroes, because nothing makes a bigger Palestinian hero than killing Jews. There is agitation from the Israeli Left and foreign circles to release Barghouti, who is considered a possible “moderate” Palestinian political leader and even (and this is insane) “the Palestinian Nelson Mandela.”

The only thing Barghouti shares with Mandela is the fact that he is in prison, something that could also be said of Charles Manson, and nobody calls him the American Mandela. But I could easily imagine circumstances under which Barghouti (unlike Manson) would be released.

There should be no question of releasing Barghouti and no need to try to extradite Tamimi. These options should have been foreclosed from the start. Both justice and our national interest demand that these murderers and others like them should be dead. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons that Israel should implement a speedy and sure death penalty for terrorist murder.

1.       Fewer terrorists means less terror. As I’ve said above, life sentences are often cut short. Many of the prisoners who were released went back to terrorism, including some that murdered again. At least 6 Israelis have been killed since 2014 by prisoners who were released in the 2011 deal that freed Ahlam Tamimi. They would be alive today if their murderers had received the death penalty. Laws to limit prisoner exchanges are unlikely to be enforced when the next soldier or child is kidnapped.

2.       The presence of high-profile terrorists in prison encourages attempts to kidnap Israelis in order to free them.

3.       It is a deterrent. A terrorist knows that if he survives his attack, he will be imprisoned under good conditions with other security prisoners, he can earn academic degrees, and his family will be compensated. He might even be released early. Yes, some terrorists are suicidal but many are not. A death penalty, if it is swift and sure (as it is not, for example, in the US) does deter other potential terrorists.

4.       How can we ask soldiers and police to risk their lives trying to capture terrorists when they know they will receive de facto light sentences? And how can we punish them if, out of frustration, they kill a terrorist that they could have captured alive?

5.       Honor and deterrence demand that Israel kill terrorist murderers. This is possibly the most important consideration of all. In Arab cultures, a clan that does not retaliate for the killing of its members loses its honor and its power of deterrence. Even if the folks in North Tel Aviv think that we are too civilized to kill our enemies, the Palestinians are certain that it’s because we are too weak, as a culture, to do so. They take this as a sign that their struggle is succeeding and are encouraged to continue it.

There will be objections. What about mistakes? Death is so final. But in the case of terrorist murderers, the evidence is often very strong – they are often caught quite literally red-handed. So there is no reason we can’t insist on a very high standard of proof before imposing the death penalty.

Executions, it is objected, create martyrs. But an imprisoned Barghouti or Tamimi is a martyr already, a living one. In life they continue to work against us, probably more effectively than if they were only names on Palestinian schools, streets and soccer fields. Dead martyrs are no worse than living ones.

But, they say, most civilized countries don’t have death penalties. Yes, but most civilized countries haven’t faced (until recently, anyway) the sheer volume of terrorism that we have.

Israel actually has a death penalty on the books, which was applied in Adolf Eichmann’s case. When the Fogel family was brutally murdered in 2011, prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty, but in the end did not do so. A law requiring the death penalty for murder by terrorism was introduced after the last election by Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, but it did not pass. It should have. Jewish law would probably approve of a death penalty for especially heinous terrorist acts, with a high standard of proof. For example, Barghouti, Tamimi and the Fogel murderers might qualify.

Why has Israel drawn back, even in cases of murder as horrible as the Fogel case, in which five members of a family, including a three-month old baby, were slaughtered by terrorists who were proud of their handiwork? I think the reason is that – as in so many other cases – Israelis feel the need to appease the non-Jewish world, to meet the (supposed) ethical standards of “enlightened,” post-Christian European society.

That’s an attitude appropriate to a subject people living under foreign rule, not a sovereign state. I’ll get into that in my next article.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum David Miller Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forensic Architecture Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene Masafer Yatta max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shireen Abu Akleh Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive