Esor Ben-Sorek

AD MATAI? For How Long?

I am resolved to create a new political party in the chain of our many superfluous ones. It will be called the AD MATAI party? For How Long?

For how long must we endure the daily stabbings, shootings, attacks on innocent by-standers by deranged Arab killers? How long must a family lose a beloved husband, son, father and grandfather while he was shot and killed by a crazed Arab Muslim while he was driving in his car?

How long must we mourn a young rabbi who was waiting at a bus stop and who was stabbed to death by another crazed Arab?

How long must it take to search for and find the killer of an Ariel resident? How long will an attack on an unarmed young man in the Gush Etzion section become an almost daily tragedy?

And how long until the members of the Knesset join in an uncommon unity to revive the debate on the death penalty and vote to implement it?

AD MATAI? For how long are we destined to accustom ourselves to accept these attacks as an unhappy chain of events that have become a sad and sick part of our daily lives? AD MATAI?

Jewish religious law has always, since Biblical times, accepted the death penalty for certain cases. The psak din mavet , the penalty of death, was supported by the members of the Sanhedrin and by the post-exilic rabbinate. Even in Israel, the death penalty is in our law books. Regrettably, it has been used only once in the hanging of the Nazi architect of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann.

But now it is time to use the law that permits terrorists to roam freely about our country in search of Jewish blood to spill without fear of retribution

If the killers are not caught and shot on the spot or in their hiding places, they are eventually brought into our courts and handed stiff prison sentences…. Sentences which give them three meals a day, television to watch, classes online to obtain a diploma, outside physical activity to keep their bodies in shape, and socialization with fellow inmates and family visitations. What could be more desirable?

I believe that when Arabs speak of wanting to attain paradise, it is the Israeli prison system to which they are referring. Our prisons have become the paradise for Arab killers and attackers.

Pending lack of death penalties, one suggestion might be to re-create the memorable heroic pre-State days of the Lehi when British soldiers were hanged by the Jewish underground in retaliation for the execution of Jews.

Vigilantism has always been despicable behavior since every criminal is entitled to a court hearing to determine guilt or innocence. But in the absence of a death penalty, vigilantism might be an answer.

AD MATAI? How long must our families be destroyed? How long must our children become fatherless orphans? How long must our cemeteries be filled with the bodies of slain innocents? How long must our law-makers debate the death penalty issue without resolve?

Lichyot v’lo lamut… to live and not to die… should become our national motto. We Jews cherish life whereas Muslims cherish death in the hope of joining with seventy-two virgins in paradise.

We must put an end once and for all to drive-by shootings and to stabbings. Cameras should be installed in waiting bus areas to capture the faces of evil and to lead to their apprehension.

The Hebrew adage, “Am Yisrael Chai”…the people of Israel lives… should become entwined in the multitude of our laws. We must live and not die. Our nation needs us. And more importantly, so do our families.

Bring back the implementation of the death penalty. Only then can we stop asking “AD MATAI”? For how long?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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