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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 15, 2003

Court Hands Terrorists Major Victory

Martin Wasserman argues this decision will give rise to major terror attacks in the future.

Those who hate Jews, and those who seek to destroy the State of Israel, won a tremendous victory the other day when Israel´s Supreme Court ruled that Arabs who openly side with Arafat and Hezbollah may sit in the Israeli Knesset, while Jews who openly side with God and the Covenant may not.

Arab MKs Bishara and Tibi, who publicly support the terrorist war against Israel, were given permission to run in the upcoming elections. Moshe Feiglin, who publicly supports the Covenant, including the part about God giving the Land of Israel to the Jews, was denied permission.

Feiglin was disqualified because several years ago he was convicted of leading protests against the Oslo agreement. The court judged his protests to be a crime of "moral turpitude," requiring a seven year period before he can seek political office. If Feiglin´s actions constitute moral turpitude, how much greater is the turpitude of those who seek to surrender the Land of Israel, including its holiest places, into the hands of the Jews´ mortal enemies, when there is no military necessity to do so?

Baruch Marzel, a former member of the banned Kach movement, was also challenged, but was permitted to run, simply because there were no legal grounds to prevent him. But one senses that the court would gladly have excluded him if even a flimsy legal pretext could have been found. Sha´ul Mofaz was also denied the right to run, because the required six month cooling off period between his army service and his political career had not yet ended. The question turned on whether the clock should have started when he turned over his post to his successor, or when he formally resigned from the army. The court chose the stricter interpretation. Again, one senses that had he been an anti-religious leftist, the justices would easily have found a way to include him.

It is extremely likely that Israel will soon see major terror attacks that will dwarf in magnitude the attacks we´ve seen so far, and that the court´s decision will be a major factor in enabling those attacks.

Why do I say that the court´s decision will enable unprecedentedly severe terrorist attacks? There are two main reasons. First, it vindicates the terrorists and gives them great encouragement, by telling them that there´s really nothing wrong with waging war against the Jews or trying to destroy the State of Israel, since people who support such goals are not even barred from serving in the nations´s highest legislative body. The terrorists are now likely to believe even more in the rightness of their cause, and step up their activities as a result. Second, it severely undermines those who are working to prevent such attacks. It takes enormous energy and focus to prevent terrorists from succeeding. They constantly test our defenses looking for weak spots. The slightest lapse of attention will open a crack wide enough for a terrorist to slip through. But how can our forces maintain the necessary attention level when they´re being attacked from behind by agencies of their own government, who effectively tell them that the goals of the enemy are reasonable, that the land is just as much theirs as ours, and that they, the soldiers, are the unjust ones for not letting the Arabs fulfill their "aspirations"? Besides, why should a soldier risk his life every day to hunt down Jew-killers, when the highest court in the land allows the supporters of those Jew-killers to walk right into the Knesset as full-fledged members, where they can freely participate in making the laws that the soldiers are sworn to uphold?

Another harmful effect of the decision is that the Arabs will now work hard to increase their representation in the Knesset. Some analysts had predicted that if Bishara and Tibi were disqualified, many Arabs would have boycotted the elections altogether, leading to a much more pro-Jewish Knesset. Now, the next Knesset will be less pro-Jewish and more pro-Arab, thanks to the justices.