A demonstrator wears a shirt reading 'Boycott Israel' [File].
(photo credit: AFP/ MOHD RASFAN)
First of all let us ask ourselves a few questions: Why are former Nazis judged and sentenced in Israel (if we catch them), while modern Nazis go free? Why can a Muslim cleric accuse the Jewish people of an ancient blood libel without being immediately arrested, judged and sentenced, as he obviously should be? Why should not the top leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, who are perpetrating crimes against Israel and the Jewish people everywhere in the Western World, be identified, exposed and tried for their crimes in Israel, as they should be? Closing one’s eyes may have been an ancient ghetto practice, but we have a sovereign Jewish state today.
Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and enemies of Israel are all the same side of one coin: hatred of the Jewish people. All anti-Semitic leaders who provoke violence against the Jewish people and Israeli interests are committing crimes that ought to be brought before Israeli courts. No one should be on trial for harboring or defending anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli ideas, however ridiculous they may be, but once such ideas lead to violence, or to active, physical, practical steps against the Jewish people or Israel, steps should be taken against the perpetrators.
Economic boycott, deadly propaganda, outright lies about alleged Israeli crimes, overturning Israeli products in shops abroad, sabotaging Israeli artists’ performances – all these should be criminal offenses. All such activities should be brought before specially established Israeli tribunal, a people’s court, and the perpetrators should be sentenced, whether the crimes were committed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem or in the heart of London.
Sentence should be pronounced and published widely, even if execution of the sentence proved impossible.
The special Israeli tribunal should offer perpetrators the opportunity to properly defend themselves, and judge them as an ordinary court would. The sentences would be published in official gazette.
It is of little importance whether the perpetrators are ever brought to justice in Israel. The BDS leaders should know that they had been identified as having committed a crime against the Jewish people and that they will be arrested and jailed if they ever appear in Israel. The age of innocence and total freedom of action which these criminals have enjoyed so far must end.
Israel must fight back – and it had failed to do so until now. Culprits must know that they have been identified, that their actions have been observed and recorded.
Justice may be slow – and perhaps unable to reach many – but the very fact that these criminals, who until now have enjoyed complete freedom of action, have been identified will cause many to think twice. It was always easy to attack and blame a Jew for all the ills of the world. Now that there is a State of Israel, it is only natural that everyone who seeks its demise, one way or another, be put on notice that by his anti-Israeli activities he commits a crime and will be punished, if he ever comes to Israel, a crime that should anyhow weigh heavily on his conscience, if he has one, for as long as he lives.
Many may laugh at this preposterous idea of judging criminals in absentia.
Indeed, at first it might sound like a joke; Israel is a small country with very limited capabilities and many problems. What’s the point of seeking justice if it can never be implemented? Many of our enemies might find it ridiculous that an Israeli court has judged them in absentia – indeed, many of them are upstanding citizens of the most powerful countries in the world. But let us not underestimate ourselves.
It will be a rather unpleasant feeling for any fellow, however rough he may be, to discover that he has been sentenced in Israel, even in absentia.
The very fact that these criminals have been identified as such for the entire world to see – accused, judged and sentenced by a court of law – will mark a new page in Israeli and Jewish history.
Successive Israeli governments have been guilty of agreeing to discuss peace with those spreading calumnies and lies against our very existence as a country and as a people. Israeli governments enabled the deluge of anti-Jewish propaganda from the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. “We must make peace with our enemies,” was the prevailing concept. But we cannot continue to allow our enemies to abuse us and close our eyes and ears to what they say and do concerning our vital interests. The time has come for a different policy.
The establishment of special courts as outlined above will be a first sound step in this direction.
There is actually very little new in this idea. It has been practiced by many nations throughout history. And yet somehow the Jewish people always seem so used to abuse that they have hardly ever sought ways of fighting back – as if they had any other choice. Perhaps the new justice minister will give some thought to this new, or rather very old method of dealing with one’s enemies.