O Justice, O Justice, Where Art Thou?

In a country which professes to have one, if not the best, security services in the world, we are not doing very well in pursuing the trial of the alleged Jewish zealots who terrorized a family in Duma and put an end to their lives.

Gilad Erdan “apologizes”, claiming that there is “insufficient evidence” to put them on trial.

Were the case reversed and Arab terrorists would be alleged to be the perpetrators of such a heinous crime against Jewish victims, all of us know that our police and Shin Bet (Security Services) would be combing the streets and alleys to find and to apprehend the murderers and to supply the evidence to the courts. But their efforts slow down when searching for Jewish fanatics who commit terrorist crimes.

Let us call a spade a spade. We have two systems of justice in Israel. One is for Arabs and the other is for Jews. Our justice system has been mainly successful in catching, trying and imprisoning the Arab terrorists. Much less so when it comes to catching and convicting Jewish terrorists.

There is little doubt in my mind and in the minds of many fellow Israelis that the laxness is due to political party considerations. The far-right politicians in our Knesset together with the extremist Jewish religious parties are sympathetic to the young Jewish criminals. And since their votes are needed in our corrupt coalition system, sincere efforts are insincere in apprehending Jewish bandits.

“Tzedek tzedek tirdof”… righteousness, righteousness shalt thou pursue… falls upon deaf ears in our legal system, in our courts and in our once-valued ideals of justice. It’s politics that determine decisions in Israel, not blind justice which must weigh evidence on scales. We are found wanting in the balance.

Almost five months after the Duma disaster, we are no closer to finding the evidence vital to a conviction of guilty for a deranged group of young Jewish terrorists, urged on by comments overheard from their rabbonim in the yeshivot.

Meir Kahane was an ultra-terrorist who bore a deep hatred for Arabs and who encouraged aggressive hostility against them. Ha tapuach lo nofail rachok min ha etz… the apple falls not far from the tree. His grandson now proudly follows in the footsteps of his grandfather who, together with his hateful political party, was ejected from our Knesset and declared an illegal party. But the spirit of Kahane’s Kach lives on to our national shame and disgrace as Jews and as Israelis.

We don’t have to love Arabs. We don’t even have to like them. But if they are citizens of Israel and/or serving as members of our Knesset we must accord them the respect which we wish for ourselves. Our Israeli Arabs may sympathize… may even approve… of terrorist activities against Jews but they do not publicly support or encourage it. It stems from the oppression and hopelessness of many young Palestinians frustrated at living under an “occupied” regime which gives them little or no hope for independence.

Be that as it may, it is within the province of our government to determine the outcome. In the meantime, more sincere exerted efforts are needed by our police and Security Services in locating the evidence against the Jewish terrorists now held in administrative detention.

If they will be found guilty of terrorism, will we demolish the homes of their parents? Or is that punishment reserved only for families of accused Arab terrorists? Two peoples, two nations, two sets of justice.

Shame upon a nation that has not one set of justice for all its citizens.

O Justice, O Justice, where art thou?

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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