Ameer Makhoul and Israel’s Sham Justice
When you are a political activist facing a sentence of life to be handed down by a security state in which all the levers of power are arrayed against you; when you are a father and husband facing the prospect of never seeing your daughters till they themselves are grown, married and with children of their own; when you are a man who has faced a lifetime of oppression as a member of a largely despised Israeli minority and understands that every card is stacked against you. When you face all of these factors in weighing your future and your options in facing “justice,” what do you do?
Do you respond as Ethel Rosenberg did? Though the historical record now indicates that her husband was likely a spy and hence guilty of some of the charges against him (though they certainly didn’t constitute a capital crime), the record also indicates that Ethel was press-ganged by a national security apparatus which used her as leverage to extort a guilty plea from her husband. But Ethel turned the tables on the government and didn’t play the role the government expected. She refused to pressure her husband and was so infused with discipline and belief in the couple’s cause that neither broke and they went to their deaths for it.
If you are Ameer Makhoul, what do you do? If you are Richard Silverstein or whoever reads these words–what do YOU do? Do you cave in the belief that you are entitled to save yourself for the sake of family, your political work, your life? Or do you hang tough and never give an inch?
Ameer Makhoul has made his choice. He has signed a plea bargain admitting to a number of the charges levelled against him by the Israeli secret police (though his attorneys say that some of the original charges were removed from the final deal). The Haaretz headline says he admitted to espionage, contact with a foreign agent, and abetting an enemy.
The national security goons will never tell you what Makhoul really did. But I have reported here about what I know of those contacts. Makhoul met, during a conference he attended in Amman, with Hassan Jaja, an expatriate Lebanese environmental activist and landscape designer living in Jordan. This is the alleged Hezbollah agent to whom the Israeli Palestinian activist spilled precious state secrets. What did he tell him? That Haifa bay faced environmental pollution?
Imagine yourself Nancy Pelosi, who when she was Minority Leader during the Bush presidency, travels to Syria and meets with that country’s president. The Wall Street Journal calls for your prosecution under the obscure Logan Act, which prohibits Americans from traveling abroad to conspire with an enemy state. All this happened. But imagine what could’ve come afterward: when Pelosi returns she finds a subpoena from the FBI investigating her for her actions. The Republican Justice Department files suit against her and even wins a conviction accompanied by a serious jail sentence. Imagine Nancy Pelosi spending five or tens years in federal prison, all for meeting Bashar Assad.
Fantasy, you say? Of course. But not for Ameer Makhoul. He had a meeting with a man, which for any other person in the world would be an ordinary meeting over coffee involving consultation about issues of mutual concern. But for a politically hounded Israeli Palestinian activist, this meeting becomes the grounds for stealing his liberty and throwing him into a cell for possibly the rest of his life.
Makhoul’s wife is circulating tonight a statement read on her husband’s behalf at the International Conference of the World Social Forum, which addresses these same issues:
I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to come to Haifa on the day of my trial [Thursday, October 28th 2010] so that you can see for yourselves that the Israeli court and legal system are mere manifestations of the Israeli state’s injustice. Thus, we do not seek justice in these systems, but we choose to…accuse them of being instruments of oppression, not righteousness. A Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli prison can never be found innocent.
They target us, the 1948 Palestinians, and our relations with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and in exile, as well as our relations with the Arab world. For according to the myths of Israeli security, these are considered to be “relations with the enemy.” However, our enemy is not and will never be any people or national, religions or ethnic group. As much as they would like to accuse us as such, the Jews are not our enemy.
Or, as the Talmud would have it: leyt din, v’leyt dayan (“there is no judge and no justice”)
You will undoubtedly hear a floodgate of self-congratulation from apologists for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians trumpeting Makhoul’s “confession” and “admission of guilt” (according to Israeli headlines). But you and I and every reasonable person knows what happened here. Makhoul chose a tactical retreat in order to preserve what he could of his liberty.
What evidence do I have of this? Look at the history of similar Shin Bet prosecutions. They are known for targeting effective political leaders and hounding them into prison or exile. They did this as early as the 1960s when they drove Mahmoud Darwish into exile. A more recent victim was Amzi Bishara, whom the Shin Bet drove from the country. In 2004, they arrested Mohammed Kana’neh, giving no reason for doing so. Eventually, he too accepted a plea deal involving a 30-month sentence which, on appeal, was lengthened by another two years. Yes, under Israeli justice, when the defense appeals they ADD to your sentence if you’re a Palestinian security suspect.
The Shabak has a very narrow repertory and very little imagination. The list of crimes of Palestinian security suspects is long, but remains the same no matter the name of the suspect. In the old days, perhaps you met with a radical leader of the PLO. Today, you meet with Hezbollah. So yes, there are a few modifications over time to account for changes in political fashion. But the broad outlines remain virtually the same.
Returning to Makhoul’s plea bargain, the prosecution is seeking a ten-year sentence in connection with the reduced charges. The defense is lobbying for a seven-year term. Seven years instead of life. That’s a tough calculation to make. But can anyone fault a condemned man for choosing a lesser sentence so that he can live to fight another day?
The Haaretz story as much as alludes to my own perspective on the plea deal and the reasons Makhoul agreed to it:
Makhoul’s lawyer said that notwithstanding the plea bargain, his client did not pass on classified information to an enemy agent, and that all of the information was already known.
Makhoul said in court yesterday that the story “is not yet finished.”
Makhoul said that although many of the charges that were brought against him were irrelevant, he decided to accept the plea bargain after consulting with his lawyers and with his family.
If you read Hebrew and don’t mind reading an article that is liable to make you ill, you can read Dan Margalit’s smug, self-satisfied pimping for Israel secret police and its role in this case. Margalit brags that Makhoul was allegedly made to eat crow and rescind every charge he made against the Shin Bet (no torture, no mistreatment). The Bibiton bought-and-paid-for reporter also rubs the noses of the Israel-Palestinian activist solidarity community (that would be you and me) who championed Makhoul’s innocence. “Look at ’em, now,” Margalit seems to be saying. “Boy, they’ll have to eat crow after this.”
I detest the man, as I wrote to the Israeli friend who sent me this piece of garbage. The Talmud talks about those who sin unintentionally and those who do so intentionally. For unintentional sin, the punishment is much lighter than for intentional sin. Margalit’s sins of bolstering the evil of the Israeli crimes against Palestinians are not unintentional. His are fully intentional. Unfortunately, only history can mete out punishment for the Margalits of the Israeli power elite. The wages of his sin will be future irrelevancy when history eventually rights the wrongs and clears the record of Israeli injustice and Occupation.
We may have a long time to wait for the liberation of political prisoners like Ameer Makhoul and the ending of Israel’s massive system of injustice. But we and the Palestinians will win this fight. And Israel will be the better for it. Not weakened or destroyed as the apologists have it. Justice when it finally comes in a national conflict does not ultimately harm either victim or perpetrator. It heals both (cf. South Africa, Northern Ireland, Kosovo). And it will do so in this case as well. Of that you can be sure.
If I were Hamas, I would add a new name to the prisoner list of those they are seeking to free in exchange for Gilad Shalit: Ameer Makhoul.
- Israeli Arab convicted of spying (bbc.co.uk)
34 thoughts on “Ameer Makhoul and Israel’s Sham Justice – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Dan Margalit’s piece is here:
The man hasn’t written anything worthwhile since uncovering Rabin’s dollar account over thirty years ago. Naturally, today he’s considered a “senior journalist”, a.k.a. someone who can be trusted not to ask the leaders any difficult questions.
Ameer Makhoul signed a confession admitting to (from haaretz) “Ameer Makhoul admits to charges of espionage, contact with a foreign agent and conspiring to assist an enemy, in plea bargain reached Wednesday”
he also chose to deny any accusations towards, what you call the “security apparatus” that he was tortured in the process. these are serious allegations to take responsibility of, especially if as you claim, he didn’t do any of them.
people of the truth tend to fight for their opinion, even while facing life in prison, Makhhol chose to confess.
i wonder why ?
as for Dan Margalit’s articles which was publish in israel-hayom. as you know Israel-Hayom is a free newspaper, as such the daily edition is available on the internet. all one need to do is use google:
I don’t care what he signed. Israeli justice when it comes to security issues is corrupt (not in a financial sense). It is a total sham. Nothing about it is transparent, fair, or just. It is dominated by the secret police. Bought & paid for by the security apparatus.
And don’t repeat arguments already made in my post. I specifically noted everything you’re claiming in yr comment & refuted them. By repeating what I wrote it doesn’t make it any truer or more likely of being accurate.
These are the same stupid arguments made smearing Azmi Bishara. I simply will not let YOU talk about the values or principles that a courageous fighter for Israeli democracy like Makhoul should uphold.
I don’t have any patience for your bulls(&t. I warn you. If you don’t want to fight for your democracy, others will. As for you, you can go to hell (& you likely will).
To re-iterate Richard’s point, perhaps without the anger:
In the Soviet Union, too, all the “degenerates” and “parasites” usually signed confessions attesting to their sins.
A system that allows arrest without trial and torture, bars access to legal help until it is too late, and – when it comes to “state security” – allows its courts to become kangaroo in all meaningful respects – will also produce “confessions” for every “crime” the interrogators want to paste onto the victim.
Any “confession” produced by such a system is meaningless. These are the essentials of Democracy 101 and Justice 101. This is *really* not rocket-science. It is really a mystery to me how intelligent people act so ignorant and blinded when it comes to Israel.
I wonder if you read or saw “In the name of the father”, about the false confession elicited by British intelligence from a poor Belfast kid. His totally innocent father ended up dying in prison.
“I detest the man” Richard writes about Dan Margalit. So do I.
Here’s an interview, showing all his condescension and lack of empathy with the one that very well could be next on the list: Jamal Zahalka, MK and leader of Balad after Azmi Bishara was ‘ethnically cleansed’.
Zahalka talks about Michel Foucault and Mefisto, as if Dan Margalit would ever know who they are.
It’s worth to look till the end.
I watched the video and could not believe my eyes. I have never seen anything like it. Is this how a talkshow host/news anchor interviews his guests in Israel?! All that derision and the insults…
And how revealing when all his fears, guilt and anxiety come out when he is reminded of a destroyed Arab village… Wow!
Here is the village, Zahalka was talking about: Sheikh Munis or Muwannis:
Of course, Margalit freaked out. Sheikh Munis is under the actual Ramat Aviv, with Tel Aviv University, Eretz Israel Museum and The Nahum Goldman Museum of the Jewish Diaspora (how ironic).
I love your passionate, intelligent defense of this man and justice, but believe me, our words, our fight to change public opinion here is not enough.
As you stated in the article you wrote on the S.A. Opera Company, sometimes people don’t get it or just don’t care what the message is. We live in a very selfish, greed-oriented society where the attention span is as deep and as short as pressing the remote control to tune into “Dancing with the Stars”.
The only strategy that will make a difference is BDS which will not de-legitimize the state of Israel, but will de-legitimize Zionism which is what is destroying the state of “democracy” for everyone.
Unfortunately, I’m very pessimistic. Congress will never approve BDS against Israel, and as the environmental issue needs the support of the largest polluters, so without U.S. cooperation, it will be difficult for BDS to gain the momentum necessary to turn Israel around, because Israel will always hide behind the U.S.. But hey, maybe European countries will take the initiative on this and get it rolling, and maybe if the EU and other countries implemented BDS against Israel; it might still have a dramatic effect.
We should be supporting this effort in every way. It worked in South Africa and I believe it’s the only strategy out there. Passionate, intelligent discourse works with people of conscience, but it only goes so far with the rest of the “remote control” masses.
I feel for Makhoul and his family and have no words as well-put as yours right now to express my outrage. Thank you for expressing it for me.
BDS . . . Now in Chicago, coming soon to a city near you: “Be on our side. End U.S. military aid to Israel.” Right now there are high-profile advertisements on Chicago’s public transportation — including large platform signs — for the campaign “Be on our side. End U.S. military aid to Israel.”
See the campaign website [ http://www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org ]
and join the over 500 “Likes” on Facebook
[ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-on-our-side-End-US-military-aid-to-Israel/161749110518267 ].
“What evidence do I have of this? Look at the history of similar Shin Bet prosecutions.” – Silverstein
That is a logically false argument. It’s actually a classic textbook example of the ‘appeal to history’/’appeal to tradition’ fallacy. Not only that, but even that fallacious proposition is based on another fallacy, ‘Cherry Picking’.
I do not care much about Makhoul and if he is guilty or not but I would get my elementary logic straight before making fun of someone for confusing 62+48=100.
I have no idea what you’re blathering about nor does anyone else here.
Did I ask what you think or do I care?
Here is the proof that even when we’re right we’re wrong.
Here’s the logic:
The first false premise is that the Israel justice system is corrupt, and therefore as a corrollary even if a prisoner pleads guilty he can’t really be guilty, because no one you support can ever be guilty of a crime.
It’s Catch 22 by your thinking: If he pleads guilty it’s only to be with his family, if he denies guilt then he will be tried, and of course all the evidence against him is fabricated because of your above premise that it is all corrupt. If he is eventually found innocent then it is not to the credit of the just court system which hears evidence and decides, but rather because of the public lobbying in his favour. The system can’t win by your logic.
Second false premise: ” Yes, under Israeli justice, when the defense appeals they ADD to your sentence if you’re a Palestinian security suspect.”
Absolute BS!!! Both sides have the right to appeal any sentence. If ONLY the defence appealed there can be no lengthening of the sentence. Only if both sides appeal, this side against the harshness, and the other against the lenience, can the court decide to accept the prosecution’s side and lengthen (or the opposite which frequently happens). The above is the law in military or civilian courts and applies to regular criminal acts, political acts or terrorist acts.
The third false premise: (from Makhoul’s wife) “A Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli prison can never be found innocent”
More absolute BS!!! There have been many aquittals of Palestine prisoners both in the Israeli courts and in the Military courts. I personally have aquitted many Palestinian prisoners in my capacity as a reserve duty military judge, including two who were Hamas legislators arrested after the 2006 elections. The evidence is weighed and decisions are made on the basis of scrutinised evidence without any outside pressure. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar! And so is anyone who claims there are no aquittals.
Makhoul may have made a sensible tactical decision, on the advice of his lawyers who have seen the evidence against him, but that does not mean that he is not guilty. It just means that he weighed up his chances and made a calculated gamble to prefer a 7-10 year prison sentence, and will serve only half after getting off for good behaviour. He also knows that his supporters will think him innocent and that his detractors will assume him guilty, but is willing to accept this slur since it is better than the risk of nothing vs. life imprisonment, the outcome unknown until the evidence is presented in court.
By the way you can guarantee that if the prosecution agreed to plea for 7-10 years then they had no chance of getting life in the first place. They would have perhaps gone down from 15 years in exchange for the guilty plea.
You may consider some laws to be draconian or unfair – that happens in all countries, and that is why there are legislators whose job is to right this wrong, but the court system works, and statistics can be found through betzelem or other similar organisations who while critical of some of the findings can be relied fully to show that there are aquittals and a system of fair trial.
Minor correction-prisoners get one-third off their sentence for good behavior, not one-half. Otherwise, well said!
Not a minor correction for someone claiming to be an Israeli judge.
Not what I said. I said that the system was corrupt around national security cases. And yes, most Palestinian prisoners in national security cases are not guilty: Ezra Nawi, Omar Said, Ameer Makhoul, Kana’neh, Bishara, Darwish. The list goes on & on. In the cases of Jewish terror, those suspects are usually guilty because they’re caught red handed killing someone. But there are so few Jews convicted or even prosecuted for security crimes compared to Israeli Palestinians…
I already dared another Israeli apologist commenter like you to find a single instance of an Israeli Palestinian found innocent on a major security charge. Go ahead, find one. If not, s’tom et ha-peh, please. You’re annoying me.
Not really. What I said remains true. I said that if the defense appeals an Israeli security sentence it can be lengthened. You yrself agreed w. me though you added that the prosecution would also have to appeal for sentence to be lengthened. Clearly this is what happened. Again, the justice system found in favor of the security apparatus & against the Israeli Palestinian victim, which is precisely what I wrote about the justice system and what the facts bear out regarding how it works against Palestinians. If this were a gambling system, the Shabak would be rolling in chips & the Palestinians would be sitting in penury having gambled away their last cent. The motto for Israel’s justice system in security cases should be: “The house never loses.” IT doesn’t.
Now isn’t that interesting. No wonder you’re acting like your ox is gored by my claims about Israeli justice. You’re likely a civilian lawyer or judge & a military judge as well. How interesting. Thank you for yr candor. Now we can judge your self-interested comments more clearly.
Further, you have pointed out that you yrself have acquitted Palestinian prisoners, which is personal and anecdotal and does not go to the overall function of the entire system. Also, Janan said a prisoner can never be found innocent. That is not the same as an acquital & as a judge I’d ask you to be precise in the terms you use so that I don’t have to point out the weaknesses. I’d be very interested to see a series of cases of Israeli Palestinian victims found innocent by an Israeli civlian court in a security case. And I’d like to compare the number of such decision to the number of findings of guilt in Israeli Palestinian security cases. That should tell us a lot. I’ll await word from you. I’d really prefer to hear about such an innocent result in a high profile Shabak case if possible.
I’m also tickled that you’ve pointed out that you acquitted 2 Hamas legislators, while leaving out that the Shabak arrested 1/3 of the entire Hamas legislators and kept them in prison for years (I believe a number still are). So you tell us about your one decent act while neglecting to mention that your judicial colleagues weren’t as charitable.
I see. So Ezra Nawi, a devout pacifist who wouldn’t lift a hand to kill a flea, tried to beat up two Border Police (acc. to their lying testimony) & you’re telling me the fact that the judge believed the lies of the Police over the truth of Nawi resulted only from “scrutinized evidence w/o outside pressure.” And Abu Rachmeh’s 18 month prison sentence (again against a victim who was devoutly non-violent) too resulted from purely scrutinizing the evidence? Puh-leeze. This doesn’t even pass the smell test. I hope you’re a better judge than you are in what you write here.
I’m telling you otherwise & I’m not a liar. And if you call me one you’ll be in deep trouble here.
Do you have any evidence that his lawyers have seen the evidence? You clearly have never been a defense lawyer in a security case involving an Israeli Palestinian, have you? I didn’t think so. You might want to try that sometime. It would open yr eyes. Or maybe not.
Yes, & those brave, honest, morally crusaders in the Knesset will right such wrongs every time, won’t they? Israel’s security laws are a disaster–a disaster for the country & for its alleged democracy.
That depends what you mean. It works if you’re a Shabak agent. It doesnt’ work so well if you’re a Palestinian victim. It works if you’re a Jew. It doesn’t work so well if you’re an Arab. Funny thing about that.
No, I’m going to give you a homework assignment since you’re claiming everything’s honky dory in Israel’s justice system. You find B’Tselem statistics or any credible statistics dealing w. the subject you raised above. You find proof for your claim & support it since that’s what good lawyers do. Right?
And how can you be a military judge & not know that a prisoner gets 1/3 off for good behavior and not 1/2. Which one of you doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Bar Kochba or you?
“I already dared another Israeli apologist commenter like you to find a single instance of an Israeli Palestinian found innocent on a major security charge. Go ahead, find one. If not, s’tom et ha-peh, please. You’re annoying me.”
OK here it is:
A recent acquittal for a major political crime by a military court. A Palestinian accused of the infamous Ramallah lynch was aquitted a few days ago on the basis of the evidence presented to the court:
I know it’s arutz7, but I know from firsthand evidence that it’s true, and the Judge who acquitted is in fact a settler. How’s that for ruining preconceptions and prejudices!! I’m sure the attorney, Leah Tzemel, will confirm the facts that he got a fair trial and a well justified acquittal. Can’t get a much bigger crime than murder, and here’s the acquittal. QED
There is no real legal concept of being “found innocent”, since the accused is innocent until found guilty. Thus if he was found not guilty = acquitted, he remained innocent, and is not “found” to be innocent! This is not nit-picking but fundermental to legal thought.
My collegues are as charitable as me, I’m not especially lenient nor favourable to any party – we all examine the evidence presented to us. Sometimes it has as many holes as Swiss cheese, and other times it is water tight.
A judge will always read all the evidence presented to him, as otherwise he won’t last past the first appeal against his decisions – he’d be embarassingly shown as a charlatan by his superior appeal judges and be removed.
I tried 4 Palestinian legislators and found two to be guilty and two acquitted – it depends on the evidence. I can’t speak for the others, I only know what I saw with my own eyes.
Evidence comes in many forms – the most common is a confession which by Israeli and military law has to be supported by a “dvar ma nosaf” (something extra) in order to be substantiated. So even if a confession may have been extracted by illegal means that will never be enough by itself for a conviction.
Another form of evidence is another person incriminating the accused. Again, if the other person does not repeat his testimony in court (which very often happens) then the court needs to find a “dvar lehizuk” (a substantial extra matter, stronger than a “dvar ma nosaf”) in order for the written evidence of the incriminator to be accepted by the court.
The other form of evidence is being caught “red-handed”.
I don’t know the facts in the cases you mentioned, but cannot comprehend how you are so sure as to their innocence when the evidence against them has been weightily considered by judges in the first instance and probably again on appeal. No judge, even if he has the most right wing views, will allow himself to send a man to prison if he has the slightest doubt to his guilt.
As for the third or half, it’s not really a judicial matter so I’m not expert here, but I asked around and found out:
In Israel a prisoner (political\security or otherwise) is elegible for parole after serving only a third of his sentence (this could be Makhoul’s case, and so he may only serve 2.5 to 3.5 years).
In the territories the prisoner is liable for release after serving two thirds.
I stand corrected about the half.
Life prisonment will usually be Presidentially defined in years after 7 years, and then the above mentioned rules apply.
In the territories life means life unless there is a prisoner exchange.
I don’t work in the Israeli courts so have no access to their statistics, but I will try to attain statistics about the Military courts for your info. May take a few days, but I think my effort will be worth it to show finally that there is a fair system and no real justification for your relentless bashing of it.
You quote Richard on “to find a single instance of an Israeli Palestinian found innocent . . . “, and you come up with a guy from the West Bank. Does that mean that you are in favor of Eretz Israel, and that you already consider the Palestinians as citizens ‘de facto’ of the Jewish AND democratic State ?
I must admit I assumed “Israeli Palestinians” are those living anywhere in the State of Israel or the areas occupied by her. I am unfamiliar with this terminology and assumed it is used to distinguish between those Palestinians living under Israeli jurisdiction as opposed to Jordanian or Lebanese Palestinians.
I think the more common usage if one wishes to distinguish between the Palestinians of the S.of Israel vs WB & gaza is to refer to them as Israeli Arabs (or 48 Arabs) as opposed to Palestinians (w’out added epithet) or “67 Arabs”.
That of couse is not the point, it’s just semantics. I don’t know whether 48 & 67 Arabs consider themselves one people today, or two peoples who used to be one – but it’s not really for me to decide but for them in any future agreement. (I would suspect they are far from agreeing amongst themselves on this point, and of course, no one has ever asked them in any democratic way to decide on this point).
If you asked what I am in favour of – I used to think a two state solution was possible and desireable (since ’74), but today I lean toward a one state solution with some joint government but also with Autonomous government for the two peoples, each dealing with their own particular needs. (Halacha, Sharia, Secular, local government). I would also see some agreement for settlements to stay and allowing the refugees to return to “48 Israel” in some manner. I’m probably dreaming, but I’m not the only one…(Lennon)
The obstacle to peace in my opinion is the leaders of all the parties (Israel, Fatah, Hamas) none of whom really want to rise to the challenges involved, but prefer the luxuries of government and the associated perks rather what is good for the peoples of the area.
By “Israeli Palestinians” you should’ve known precisely who I was talking about. Israeli Palestinian citizens of Israel. Only Israelis call their fellow citizens Israeli Arabs. That’s not how we refer to them here unless I’m specifically referring to such an Israeli attitude (in a critical fashion). Israeli Palestinians & most other people who care about how these individuals see themselves do not use the term “Israeli Arab” nor should you if you really care about how THEY wish to be seen by others.
Israelis might refer to Palestinians with Israeli citizenship as Israeli Arabs but they definitely consider themselves as Palestinians.
I know it’s not always deliberate from an Israeli point of view but qualifying them as ‘Arabs’ is from a Palestinian point of view often perceived as denying their national aspirations.
The Palestinians whether in Gaza, the West Bank or within the ’48 borders do consider themselves as ONE people, and my personal experience is that the growing Israeli stigmatisation of the Israeli Palestinians, and particularly the killing of 13 mostly young Israeli Palestinians in Oct 2000 have only consolidated the national feeling.
If you are in favour of a One State-solution with extended autonomy for the two peoples on certains matters, I wonder why you wrote “extremists such as you” in a commentary a few weeks ago, because this has always been my option and I have never expressed myself otherwise. Anyhow.
The acquital you mention is interesting & I’m glad you were able to find one such acquital, but it isn’t the kind of case I was really talking about. I was talking about a major national security case in which Shabak charged a suspect with being espionage, esp. one in which the victim is a political leader. I know I wasn’t clear originally in what type of criteria of the case I was talking about, but figured you would pick up on the cases I did list, which were all such cases. In other words, what I’m claiming is that when Shabak sets out to put away a Palestinian political leader & charges him w. espionage there will never be an acquital. Never. If I’m wrong, I’d like to know.
You have never been a judge in a Shabak security case & have no idea what procedures are followed & what evidence, if any judges are presented with. Go back over my comments about Einat Ron in the Kamm case & then tell me she & the other Israeli judges hearing security cases are fair & balanced. BTW, she was a former IDF prosecutor accused of coaching IDF officers to lie about an incident. Then of course was promoted to being a judge hearing security cases (surprise, surprise). Tell us what you think of Ms. Ron & her brand of justice.
And while you’re at it, did you know that the Israeli press has called Israeli courts rubber stamps for approving something like 99% of all wiretaps in national security cases. Another deeply troubling issue for a justice system you claim works just fine in national security cases.
If you look at the record of the Israeli Supreme Court they hardly ever question a lower court ruling favorable to the gov’t in precisely the kinds of cases I’m talking about. Yes, here or there they make good rulings but, as in the targeted killing case, even when they rule against targeted killing, when the IDF actually ignores the High Court ruling & acts w. impunity in defiance of it, it does nothing to enforce its decision. What kind of High Court is this? I’ll tell you what kind–one which allows the intelligence & military to run roughshod over justice, rights, liberties & democracy when they involve either Palestinians or Israeli Palestinians & security cases.
So what you’re really saying is that while you may be a more fair minded judge than your colleagues when it comes to Palestinian victims of the Israeli justice system, you can’t account for the fact that that same justice system imprisoned 1/3 of the Hamas members of the Palestinian legislature in a patently political act having no legal basis other than to hamstring the Palestinian legislative process after Hamas won the election. About this overall fact that your colleagues imprisoned, in some cases for years, all these political leaders, you have no comment.
You yrself are writing as if you’re not aware of the absolute flimsiness of this process. In American justice, the confession is thrown out when torture or coercion is used. There is nothing further that can render such tainted evidence kosher. All you need in the Israeli system is to implicate another party in some stupid legal charade of a trumped up charge & coerce that person to testify in the way the Shabak wishes & then you have 2 layers of tainted evidence, but a conviction. I say it stinks.
If you were as fair minded a person & judge as you claim you would take every example I raised & explore them. If not every instance, then pick one, say the Ezra Nawi case, & order the transcript of the trial, read the testimony of the arresting officers who perjured themselves & whose testimony was accepted as truthful. Read the news stories about what Nawi & his colleagues claim happened. I will put you in touch with a professor at the Hebrew University who knows Nawi & knows all the circumstances of his case. Then tell me whether you think Israeli justice did well by this victim. I know I’m asking a lot. I know you have other responsibilities. But if you’re a decent person who cares about Israeli justice then take that time & do that. If not the Nawi case, then take the Abu Rachme case. They are both deep miscarriages of justice.
But this is precisely the problem. Israeli judges somehow convince themselves that there are 2 standards of evidence, one for Israeli Palestinians & one for all their other cases. They may, for all I know, actually believe that they are rendering solid justice in these Israeli Palestinian security cases. But if these cases were heard in any other truly democratic country with a legal system which genuinely presumed the innocence of such individuals, the results would be MUCH different.
We had a period in our history during the 1950s when our justice system ran roughshod over the rights of American Communists & other dissidents. And though our system does sometimes convict the innocent or botch justice, we haven’t repeated most of the mistakes like those which ended in the execution of the Rosenbergs. Yes, I know about Guantanamo, & that is a deeply flawed system fr. which we have not yet rid ourselves.
Your system, alas, does this on a regular basis and does it to your fellow citizens. The only thing that comforts is that you don’t have the death penalty so you cannot actually kill innocent Israeli Palestinians. If you did, Israeli judges would undoubtedly have done so many times over.
As for military justice, it’s not really what I’m talking about for the reasons I mentioned at the beginning of my comment.
shame you guys are protecting and talking about this SPY FOR A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION like he’s some kind of hero.
Everything he does, even bad things, must have some root cause, someone else pushed him to do it. Israel, the evil state, it drove him to do it.
This guy lives in Israel, in a minority of Israeli-Arabs. He has much more priviliges then most of arabs living in arab countries, and surely much more than Jews who lived/live in arab countries. And he spied for an Islamic terrorist organization aiming to destroy the country he lives in.
What would the US/UK/Russia/Germany do if a muslim immagrant would hand of the home address of the CIA’s chief to Al-Qaida?? Because thats the equivalent of what this guy did. (gave the address of head of Israeli Security branch to Hizbollah – as well as giving information on hits of rockets from lebanon, targeting them on INNOCENT CIVILIANS!!!!! – have you all gone MADDD????
No, he wasn’t a spy for anyone. Rather he was an advocate for the Israeli Palestinian minority, citizens of the state of Israel. That is why he is the enemy. You are the one who will destroy Israel with your stupidity, ignorance and hate. Makhoul willl be Israel’s future, at least part of it. You will be its past & I hope soon.
What are you jabbering about? Makhoul gave Hassan Jaja the home address of Meir Dagan? Are you out of yr mind? None of this was mentioned by the Shabak at trial. So you’re just makin’ it up out of whole cloth. Tell me this, how many minutes would it take you to look up Yuval Diskin’s home address? And you think because I tell someone his address that this endangers the man? Are you loony? He’s got massive amounts of security. I assure you that Hezbollah knows the address of every member of the IDF senior command and cabinet. A lot of good it’ll do ’em. Where did Makhoul get information on rocket hits in Lebanon? From Google Earth??
You actually are the one who’s a spittle-spewing lunatic. I frankly can’t stand to look at you. And just like that, you’re gone.
very professional of you to tell me to go to hell.
i appreciate that, thank you.
i think that since you weren’t privy to the evidence presented to the judge, you can’t make the statements you made.
as for the performance of the israeli court system please try and remember that the court system ruled that Ivan Demyanyuk,identity wasn’t proven. and released him. Nazism is a much more sensitive subject in Israel then alleged espionage by an Israeli-Arab.
also Makhoul had one of the best Israeli lawyer there are. if he advised him to accept a plea bargain, he probably knows something you and I don’t.
Oh, you mean the Shabak actually deigns to allow the judge to read its “evidence?” C’mon. You & I both know that judges are rubber stamps in security cases. The headlines in the Israeli media even say so (I feature a link to one in one of my posts). In many cases, I don’t even believe the judge reads the evidence. In this case, why would he have to? Makhoul is copping a plea. Saves the judge a lot of unnecessary reading. All he does is sign off on the deal.
You’re ignoring an important part of what I said. I was talking about Israeli justice around NATIONAL SECURITY cases, not run of the mill criminal, civil or even Holocaust related cases. Read me carefully. It will save us both aggravation.
Baloney. Pure baloney.
No, the lawyer, Makhoul, you & I know perfectly well that his goose was cooked & he likely would’ve gotten a few decades in jail if he hadn’t copped a plea. Stop with the nonsense about someone knowing something you & I don’t. There’s nothing to know here. The Shabak wanted to get him & they did. Not for any true criminal or national security reason, but merely because he advocated Israeli Palestinian nationalism which Avi Dichter himself said is now illegal in Israel. Just like that the Shabak renders its decision that such activism is criminal & it becomes so. They don’t even need a law to do it. They just jack up some charges about meeting spies abroad & giving up national secrets & presto-changeo they’ve got him put away for decades. J. Edgar Hoover, if he could, would come back fr. the dead if he could to enjoy this setup.
first, seems that you are getting very upset over this – it’s not good for your heart you know. when someone uses foul language or being rude, as much as you do here, he disrespects himself, not others.
“Baloney. Pure baloney.”
the only guy sentenced to death and executed in israel ever, was a nazi criminal (and that is after the death sentence was canceled) that supports my statement.
please don’t tell me you an I know, cause apparently i don’t know and i am willing to admit it. i don’t know what type of advice Makhoul’s lawyer gave him.
your statements about Shabak are utterly wrong, shabak operates under the law of shabak and there was a judge here who told you that judges are not a rubber stamp, a title in the news paper doesn’t make it a fact.
as for what type of information Makhoul delivered to his contacts, you are saying that because the other guy is an environmentalist then he can’t be a Hezbollah operative hence Makhoul and him obviously discussed environment issues, very interesting and extremely naive, what do you think that people travel around with a sign on their necks saying “I am a spy” ?
Stop being a concern troll. I don’t need yr fake concern nor yr blatant hypocrisy. You disrespect truth, you disrespect Israeli Palestinians, you disrespect human rights & liberty & yet have the never to complain that I disrespect you. Gimme a break. If you showed a shred of decency in yr comments you would receive respect. When you show none, you get none in return. Those are my rules.
The death penalty is a complete non sequitur. You cannot put anyone to death in Israel except under the very specific & limited circumstances & charges under which Eichmann was tried. The fact that Israel routinely kidnaps & imprisons people without trial and for years, the fact that Israel imprisons the innocent after a flimsy trial, the fact that Israel coerces victims into signing away their liberty on trumped up charges. All this proves the glorious decency of yr justice system.
I do and any other reasonable person does. You’re the only one who can’t read what’s clearly written right in front of yr face.
That’s brilliant, unintentional perhaps, but brilliant. Note you didn’t say Shabak operates under the law, because it doesn’t, but operates acc. to its own law.
He is a reserve duty military judge & not one who hears SHabak initiated national security cases. So he doesn’t know anything about the cases I speak of fr. a judicial pt of view.
Here is what I am saying, & you can read it in the blog post I wrote about Jaja if you’d bother to look it up, Jaja can’t be a Hezbollah operative because he’s in Jordan, not Lebanon. Jordan has an excellent national security apparatus. If there was a Hezbollah spy operating in Amman, Jordanian security would put a stop to it immediately. Further, the Shabak does not need to, under the Israeli sham system, put any specific evidence forward so neither you nor I will ever get a chance to hear the specific evidence it claims to have. All of which keeps you in the dark as a citizen about whether your secret police are running roughshod over the rights of fellow citizens for whom you apparently don’t give a shit.
Did you forget that the Jordanian security apparatus actually caught two of yr Mossad assassins, who didn’t wear signs around their necks saying ‘I am a spy,’ and forced Israel to give it the antidote to the poison your Mossad injected into the ear of Khadel Meshal. This is the same security apparatus which would’ve known if Jaja was a spy & stopped his alleged spying efforts if he was engaging in them.
one more thing with respect to prisoners early release:
הזמן בו ניתן לתת לאסיר שחרור מוקדם
עד שנת 2001 נקבעה האפשרות לשחרור מוקדם בתום שני שלישים מתקופת המאסר בחוק העונשין ובבתי כלא צבאיים היה נהוג שחרור לאחר מחצית מתקופת המאסר. ב-13 בפברואר 2001 קיבלה הכנסת הצעת חוק של ראובן ריבלין ודוד ליבאי שאפשרה שחרור מוקדם של אסירים לאחר ריצוי חצי מתקופת המאסר . במקור נועד החוק להקל על הצפיפות בבתי הסוהר. אולם לאחר שמפלגת ש”ס הביעה תמיכה בחוק ונשמעו קולות שהמטרה היא להקל על אריה דרעי, הביעו חברי כנסת רבים התנגדות לחוק, שאותו כינו “חוק דרעי”. דרעי לא נהנה מהחוק שנקרא על שמו, לאחר שוועדת השחרורים דחתה את בקשתו לשחרור מוקדם, מטעמים של חשש מפגיעה באמון הציבור, והוא שוחרר בסופו של דבר לאחר ריצוי שני שלישים מתקופת מאסרו .
Until 2001 early release was available only after the prisoner served 2/3 of it’s sentence in civil law cases and 1/2 of it’s sentence in military law cases(Palestinians excluding citizens of Israel, are trailed according to the military law) . in Feb 13 2001 the Israeli Knesset adopted the law endorsed by MK David Libai and Reuben Ribiln to enable prisoners of civil cases to be released after serving 1/2 their sentence. this law was accepted is in now known as the Darei law.
Bar-Kochba was wrong. Shmuel is right.
Which is sorta funny because Shmuel is now saying that Bar Kochba is right. Would you guys huddle together & decide on one story & stick to it?
“The death penalty is a complete non sequitur. You cannot put anyone to death in Israel except under the very specific & limited circumstances & charges under which Eichmann was tried. The fact that Israel routinely kidnaps & imprisons people without trial and for years, the fact that Israel imprisons the innocent after a flimsy trial, the fact that Israel coerces victims into signing away their liberty on trumped up charges. All this proves the glorious decency of yr justice system.”
where do you get your “facts” from a grim brothers book ?
from wikipedia: “על פי המשפט בישראל כיום, לפי חוק בתי המשפט, כל עבירה שעונשה מוות תידון בבית משפט מחוזי בהרכב של שלושה שופטים, שאחד מהם שופט של בית-המשפט העליון, והעבירות שבית משפט אזרחי במדינת ישראל יכול להטיל עליהן עונש מוות (שיבוצע בתלייה) הן:
* בגידה במדינת ישראל. בחוק הישראלי, מעשה לא נחשב לבגידה (או אף לעבירה) אם נעשה בתום לב (לפי סעיף 94 בחוק העונשין), וכמו כן, עונש המוות מוטל רק אם המעשים נעשו בתקופה של פעולות איבה צבאיות של ישראל או נגדה (לפי סעיף 96 בחוק). במגבלות אלה, על פעולות הבגידה הבאות מוטל עונש מוות:
o פגיעה בריבונות – ביצוע מעשה הפוגע בכוונה תחילה בריבונותה של מדינת ישראל, או הגורם בכוונה תחילה לכך ששטח כלשהו ייצא מריבונותה (סעיף 97 בחוק העונשין).
o חרחור מלחמה – ביצוע מעשה המביא בכוונה תחילה לידי פעולה צבאית נגד ישראל, כדי לסייע לאויביה (סעיף 98 בחוק העונשין).
o סיוע לאויב במלחמה – ביצוע מעשה המסייע בכוונה תחילה לאויב של ישראל במלחמתו נגדה (סעיף 99 בחוק העונשין).
* עשיית מעשה שהוא בגדר פשע כלפי העם היהודי או האנושות או פשע מלחמה, בתקופת השלטון הנאצי, בארץ עוינת (חוק לעשיית דין בנאצים ובעוזריהם, התש”י-1950 והחוק בדבר מניעתו וענישתו של הפשע השמדת עם-1950).
לפי סעיף 21 (7) בחוק השיפוט הצבאי, רשאי בית דין צבאי להטיל במסגרת סמכותו עונש מוות. לפי סעיף 43 יכול בית הדין לגזור גזר דין מוות על חייל שבגד, עזב את המערכה, סייע לאויב או מסר לו מידע ובלבד שמעשה כזה נעשה בתקופת לחימה. לפי סעיף 493 (א) לחוק זה עונש המוות יבוצע בירייה.
בתי משפט צבאיים דנו למוות מחבלים אך פסקי הדין הומתקו על ידי הרמטכ”ל. הראשון שבהם היה מחמוד חיג’אזי שהורשע בשנת 1966 בהסתננות ונשיאת נשק. הנאשם ערער לבית הדין הצבאי לערעורים שפסק על ניהול משפט חדש, בו נגזרו על המחבל 30 שנות מאסר. הוא שוחרר בשנת 1972 כנגד השבתו לישראל של שומר ממטולה שנחטף על ידי מחבלים ללבנון. מאז נמנעת התביעה הצבאית מלדרוש עונש מוות למחבלים.”
According to the Israeli legal system, and case that can lead to a death sentence will be heard in one of the district courts in front of 3 judges of which one serves as a Supreme Court judge on the Supreme Court. The felony’s that can lead to a death sentence are:
1. Treason in the state of Israel, only if done as part of military action of Israel or against it. Under these limitations, the following betrayal actions imposed the death penalty:
2. Injury sovereignty – Making an intentionally effort to hit Israel’s sovereignty, or intentionally cause any area that of sovereignty will be passed to the enemy’s
3. Grunt war – making intentional act that brings to military action against Israel, to help its enemies
4. Assisting the enemy in the war – making deliberate act to help Israel’s enemy in his war against
5. Doing an act constituting a crime against the Jewish people or humanity or a war crime
Under section 21 (7) Military Justice Act, a military court may impose the death penalty under his authority. Under Section 43 could cut court death sentence on a soldier who had betrayed, left the campaign, helped the enemy or handed over information provided such act is done during combat. Under section 493 (a) of this law the death penalty will be shot.
Military courts terrorists discussed to death but commuted the sentences by the chief of staff. The first of them was Mahmoud Hijazi was convicted in 1966 infiltration and carrying weapons. The defendant appealed to the Military Court of Appeals ruled on a new court management, where the terrorist was sentenced 30 years in prison. He was released in 1972 against the restoration of Israel keeps Metulla hijacked by terrorists in Lebanon. has denied military prosecutors demanding the death penalty for terrorists. ”
so there is a death penalty it can be used against treason, as few israel-arabs was charged with assisting the enemy during a time of war they can be easily charged with treason (and i am not saying that is what i think should happen) no one ever did – and from that we learn that Nazism is a much more sensitive subject in the state of israel.
These are cold facts, and not Silverstien fiction.
These are all charges that would be very difficult to prove related to a purely political act by an Israeli Palestinian political leader. Even difficult to prove related to a crime of terror. But one of the reasons the IDF prefers to murder terror suspects rather than capture & try them is that it doesn’t, for some reason, trust Israeli justice to do the proper job for them. A lot easier than put a bullet in someone’s head than to arrest him & wait a yr for him to get a 30 yr sentence.
You’re completely off yr nut if you think Israeli jurisprudence is more sensitive to Nazism than to state security related to Palestinians. There have been almost no cases in the entire history of Israel related to Nazism (with a few exceptions-& these are exceptions that prove the rule). There are cases virtually every day involving Palestinian alleged violation of Israeli security.