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Illegal sentencing, illegal release

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On July 29, 2007 @ 1:00 pm In politics | No Comments

Totalitarian states rarely lack legal systems. More often they employ ad hoc laws, bending rules to suit the fleeting needs of the rulers. Ad hoc laws break societies, for they make a society’s functioning unpredictable. Imagine if a stone sometimes falls to the ground and other times floats in the air; sometimes bread is free and other times a sky-high price is charged; electrocution kills sometimes and heals other times. Law-abiding societies sentence criminals even if they admire or respect them. Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde were duly hunted down, even though the populations admired them.

Consider the case of the Palestinian terrorists whom Israel releases from her jails. Are the inmates enemy fighters, criminals, or victims of Israeli injustice? Israel rejects the last possibility, and indeed most of the Palestinian inmates were sentenced for murder, complicity, or attempted murder. Foreign relations do not influence criminals’ fates. The only possible legal reason for a prisoners’ release is treating them as enemy fighters.

If the Arab inmates are fighters, then they automatically become war criminals who deliberately targeted civilians. International case law stipulates that they be executed rather than kept in jail or released. No country releases convicted war criminals simply upon signing peace with its former enemy, let alone as a gesture of goodwill in preparation for peace talks. The criterion for release of Palestinian terrorists, that they be “without blood on their hands,” is legally absurd. Failure to commit a crime due to arrest is not an extenuating circumstance.

The few Arab inmates who targeted Israeli troops rather than civilians are not war criminals, but prisoners of war. They, however, are not detained as enemy fighters, but sentenced by Israeli courts. Criminal courts have no jurisdiction over POWs, as indeed the Supreme Court recognized when it allowed the government to release Arab prisoners for “political reasons” without judicial consent. If Arab inmates are POWs, then Israeli courts have grossly overstepped their jurisdiction by sentencing them, and Israel has acted unreasonably by detaining POWs often for decades. Also, jail conditions are much harsher than what international conventions stipulate for POWs.

If the released Arabs are enemy fighters, then Israel is fully at war with the Fatah to which they belong. Absent a formal cease-fire, Israel must bomb the Fatah-land instead of subsidizing it with tax transfers.

The Israeli government and the leftist Supreme Court blatantly violate the law by releasing Arab terrorists because the ruling establishment does not fear the public or media, and has positioned itself above the law. As if there is any law in Israel.

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