Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



AMONA, EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW,

SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT AND DEMOCRACY 

by Robert Barnes

What happened at Amona is sad, but predictable. The State Prosecutors Office, police and courts have been pushing the Nationalist camp in this direction for years. The Labor Unions, Hareidi and Arabs have been using violence or the threat of violence for years to get their way and circumvent the law and the democratic process, with little or no consequences for themselves. Sitting Supreme Court Justice Rubenstien has openly accused left wing elements in the State Prosecutors Office, police and media of colluding to suppress their political opponents.

There is a fundamental lack of equality before the law and a clear tendency towards politically motivated prosecution, namely selective enforcement, which is illegal in most democracies in the world. For example, Moshe Feiglin was sent to jail on sedition charges for his protest activities against the Oslo Accords. The Histradrut Labor Union, headed by Amir Peretz, has regularly engaged in protest activities over the last ten years identical to, and even worse than those led by Feiglin and in numerous cases the Union was in direct violation of court orders. Yet, to my knowledge, no leadership member of the Union, and definitely not the head Amir Peretz, have ever been criminally prosecuted. Justice Heshin disqualified Feiglin from running for the Knesset because he was convicted of a crime which involved moral turpitude, i.e. moral depravity or corruption. Amir Peretz is currently a member of Knesset, head of the Labor Party, and a contender for Prime Minister.

Mohamed Bakri made the movie Jenin, Jenin in which he portrayed fictional instances of Israeli atrocities in Jenin such as the intentional injury and murder of civilians and children. This film was directly responsible for large numbers of Anti-Semitic violent incidents. A group of soldiers privately sued him for liable when he used their images in a way which made them appear to be committing war crimes. They won a small monetary settlement. Bakri, an Israeli Arab citizen living in Israel was never prosecuted by the state under any of the many laws he could have been prosecuted under such as incitement to violence. His film was publicly screened numerous times all over Israel. On the other side is Talia Susskind who drew a picture of Mohammed as a pig and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Then there is the courts caving in to violence and threats of violence. The best example is the Jewish right to pray on the Temple Mount. The courts have ruled that in principle, Jews have a right to pray on the Temple Mount. However, the Supreme Court has made that conditional on approval by the Israeli Police. If the police estimate that Jewish prayer, or even Jewish presence may lead to violence from the Arab Muslim side, then the police have the authority to prevent Jews from praying or even ascending to the Temple Mount. In what democratic country do threats of violence trump individual\'s basic civil rights? When the United States decided to integrate Black Americans into Universities located in southern states, the were widespread threats of mass violence from White residents and even state government officials. The United States federal government did not say, "Oh, there might violence so we better just keep denying Black Americans their basic civil rights." No, the President ordered in armed soldiers to forcibly put down any violence and to protect the basic civil rights of Black American students.

When people see violence works for other sectors, when they see politically motivated selective prosecution, when they feel they have little or no democratic or legal recourse, violence is the result, almost every time. In fact, it\'s truly a miracle that no one was killed in the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza.