Wednesday, November 30, 2005

JUST SAY NO!!! - (to extradition)

The State of Israel is preparing to hand over a Jew to a foreign entity - and no one seems to be bothered by it (Courtesy of Ha'aretz).
The Supreme Court unanimously decided Thursday to reject an appeal filed by suspected underworld figure Ze'ev Rosenstein and allow Israel to extradite him to the United States, where he is wanted for his alleged part in major drug-trafficking deals involving Ecstasy.

Many will argue that Rosenstein is a criminal, and as such, he should pay for his crimes, and if that means his being extradited to stand trial in the US, then so be it.

I agree that Rosenstein should pay for his crimes, assuming he is found guilty of them, but let him pay for them here, in a cold, dark prison cell in the Jewish State of Israel.

In attempting to justify the decision, Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy stated:
...the U.S. has the natural right to protect itself against those opposing to from overseas.

And what of the rights of the Jewish People?

Doesn't every Jew in the world have the natural right to live in the Jewish State of Israel?

Isn't the Jewish State of Israel obligated to ensure the safety and well-being of every Jew who seeks refuge and shelter under her canopy?


This would not be the first time that Israel has agreed to extradite a suspected Jewish criminal to the US. The most famous example of this being Israel's extradition of Jewish gangster, Mayer Lanksy:
In 1970, with the FBI after him for income-tax evasion, Lansky moved to Tel Aviv, spent a happy year there and applied for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which grants citizenship to all Jews. But under pressure from the U.S. Justice Department, Golda Meir's government turned him down, as did the Israeli Supreme Court.

The only difference between Rosenstein and Lansky is that Rosenstein has always called Israel his home, while Lansky sought refuge here, fleeing from the US authorities. Both were abandoned by the Jewish State.

And, while we are on the topic of Jews who have been abandoned by the Jewish State, let us not forget Jonathan Pollard, (who should not be mistaken for the likes of Rosenstein or Lansky, but who was similarly abandoned by the Jewish State of Israel, even though the crimes he committed were in her name and defense).

The State of Israel does not only belong to certain types of "acceptable" Jews, but to every single Jew in the world, and if it is to truly be a Jewish State, it can't shirk that responsibility.

(Hat-Tip: Strong Bad)



11 Comments:

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By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Wed Nov 30, 04:34:00 PM GMT+2  

...No seriously, check me out

By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Wed Nov 30, 07:15:00 PM GMT+2  

Hey, Strong Bad, how do you trype with boxing gloves on?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Nov 30, 07:29:00 PM GMT+2  

Your question is very original.... DELETED!!!

People like you gimme the jibblies

By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Wed Nov 30, 10:16:00 PM GMT+2  

If he is tried in Israel he will get out of jail the next day. He can bribe or blackmail anyone here, that would be harder to do in US. Jew or not jew, a jew like that better sit in someone elses jail other than ours.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 30, 10:35:00 PM GMT+2  

You failed to mention a very pertinent concern, aside from any grandiose nationalist ideals, and that is the very grave transgression of mesirah.

By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Thu Dec 01, 01:16:00 AM GMT+2  

Should Israel be a refuge and safe haven for Jews who intentionally and knowingly break national laws and attempt to avoid punishment by fleeing to Israel? Does it not diminish the loss of millions of Jews who had no where to find refuge, their crime being only that they were Jews. Give him up! He made his bed, let him lie in it!

By Anonymous Phiore, at Thu Dec 01, 02:00:00 AM GMT+2  

With regard to Mesirah:

Two points: if the person is a danger to the collective - it is allowable to hand him over to the authorities. Mesiarah is held by some to speak specifically of when a Jew has come to a community to seek assylum from oppression - not when a Jew has been active within the Jewish community as a criminal.

Basically the point boils down to this - should Israel have extradition? Ze'ev you say no, because according to you the Law of Return means that we should let criminals avoid prosecution by the countries they have harmed. I don't think that is the intention of the Law of Return. Any Jew is welcome to come and live here and be a citizen - that does not mean we will not extradite criminals to face trial for being criminals. Do not all civilised countries extradite their own citizens to those countries with whom they have extradition treaties. And moreover - why should I suffer for Ze'ev Rosenstein? (Whether it be through my taxes supporting his accomodation in Prison, or through the loss of international credibility, etc)

By Anonymous H, at Thu Dec 01, 09:54:00 AM GMT+2  

Strong Bad - I agree. the whole issue of Mesiarah is also very relevant here, and was part of my thinking in writing the post, although I did not articulate it - so thanks for mentioning it.

Phiore - I've been waiting for you to finally get around to commenting...

Israel should be a home to all Jews, regardless of their political / religious beliefs, or ethical standards.

True, that may mean having to let some bad apples in, but in the Jewish State, we should be able to deal with the bad apples along with the good.

As I said, if it means letting the guy rot in a prison in Israel, so be it - but we do not have the right to lock the gates of Israel before any Jew - as was done to us by the British and the rest of the world...

Haim,
How is Ze'ev Rosenstein sitting in a jail in israel and being tried by a court in israel make him a dnager to the collective?

I am not saying to let him walk free, let him rot, but let him rot here.

I am not against extradition because o the Law of Return - the Law of Return entered the gameat a relatively late stage - I am against extradition b/c no Jew should be handed over by other Jews to a foreign entity (except in very specific situations which Jewish Law expounds upon). The Law of Return is simply the modern day expression of this idea.

Haim, you should know, that with me, the argument of isn;t this what all other countries do holds no water, as I am not interested in israel being like all the other countries, but a uniquely jewish State.

Haim, you ask why your tax Shekels should pay for Rosenstein's prison time... so where do you draw the line. why should your tax shekels go to finance bringing over some Ethiopian Jews, or well off American Jews?

Why should your tax Shekels go to help run jewish education programs in the Exile? Isn't it their own problem?

Once again, the jewish State of Israel belongs to every jew and has a responsibility to every jew - and even if we don't like everything about a particular Jew, we are forbidden from abandoning him...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu Dec 01, 11:33:00 AM GMT+2  

Ze'ev,

So your point boils down to Mesirah. Fair enough - except Halacha specifically allows the handing over of criminals. The prohibition on Mesirah is to prevent internal Jewish squabbling getting out of hand and Jews informing on their enemies within the Jewish community to non-Jewish authorities. This is clearly not the case here.

How does not handing over Rosenstein to the authorities endanger the collective? - had you not noticed that Israel's security is certainly affected by our relationship with the US?

Basically, I agree with you that something in the stomach tugs at the idea of us having to hand over someone to the Americans, instead of us taking responsibility ourselves. But I go back to my point - we are no longer in Galut. We are now a state in the family of nations - you always throw back this line that you want to be a Jewish State and not a State like any other. recognising that we live in relation to other nations does not mean we share all their values - but we must live in an international context and recognise that if we have international treaties then it is incumbent upon us to uphold them. Now you can claim that we should not have extradition treaties with anyone (as you are doing) but that is a rejection of progress, a lack of recognition that Zionism brought about a revolution, whereby the Jews were returned to statehood - to the ability to interact with the world as a nation. Your desire to return to a world of torah, is no different from Haredut - but you yourself recognise the preposterousness of the Hareidi position, otherwise you too would wear black.

Extradition is not forbidden by Halacha. And progress is not forbidden by Judaism. This once again comes down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not equal authentic Judaism.

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