“The state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, where they realize their aspiration for self-determination according to their cultural and historical legacy….the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” – Text of Pending Israeli Law
The pundits have been quick to see in Benjamin Netanyahu’s pending official redefinition of the State of Israel—as the national home of the Jewish people worldwide—the seeds of the complete disenfranchisement of the non-Jewish population of Palestine. And at this point I fear they are right, with Palestinians facing either a degrading internment in tiny “Bantustans” or complete expulsion from “Eretz” or greater Israel.
No doubt, Israel is the only country in the world without a constitution or national boundaries making it a natural candidate for this type of despotism. And it is significant that this announcement comes when the so-called “red heifer” is possibly being readied for sacrifice in 2016 (i) in the third Temple to be located on the current site of the Al Aqsa Mosque (“Temple Mount.”) And when Egypt’s Sisi has reportedly greenlighted relocation of some Palestinians to the Sinai and when Jordan (considered by Israeli hard liners to be the “Palestinian state”) is in no position to stop a prospective relocation.
In June 2004—ten years ago–I had pointed out in my article “BUSH & ANNAN STATEMENTS: NEW THREAT TO NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY” (complete text follows this article) that the proposed current (2014) law was, in fact, the actual basis of Israeli jurisprudence: Sec. 7(a) of Basic Israeli Law defines Israel legally as “the state of the Jewish people.”
In a nutshell, thanks to the myriad of “hate crime” laws passed in Europe, Australia, Canada and the U.S.—and Sec. 13 (b)(2) of the Israeli Penal Code, which was ratified in 1994—the proposed official redefinition of Israel’s status paves the way for the extradition and trial of critics of Israel in Israelif it becomes law.
This could not come a moment too soon for the unstable current Netanyahu government. Nazi-era alleged criminals are becoming increasingly scarce for show trials—such as that of elderly auto worker John Demjanjuk. Without them, Israel may have difficulty finding the national unity necessary for the realization of Eretz Israel.
BUSH & ANNAN STATEMENTS: NEW THREAT TO NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY?
Sat Jun 26, 2004
Criticize Israel or Zionism and wind up in an Israeli prison? That could be the outcome around the world if recent statements by U.S. President George W. Bush and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan become reality.
Max Boot and other American neoconservatives have long argued that any criticism of Israel or Zionism, even ordinary political criticism, is equivalent to anti-Semitism. George W. Bush gave his blessing to this theory at the May 18th, 2004 meeting of AIPAC, the powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group:
“You understand that anti-Semitism is not a problem of the past; the hatred of Jews did not die in a Berlin bunker. In its cruder forms, it can be found in some Arab media…Such hatred can also take subtler forms. The demonization of Israel, the most extreme anti-Zionist rhetoric can be a flimsy cover for anti-Semitism, and contribute to an atmosphere of fear in which synagogues are desecrated, people are slandered, folks are threatened.”
Kofi Annan, meanwhile, at a June 18th, 2004 U.N. seminar devoted to combating anti-Semitism, called for a resolution of the U.N. General Assembly condemning anti-Semitism and stated that nothing related to the Palestinian situation justified the crime of anti-Semitism.
The problem with Annan’s and Bush’s comments (in Bush’s case, even more of a problem since a “Hate crime” bill could soon reach his desk for signature) are best highlighted by another speaker at the U.N. seminar. Anne Bayefsky, adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, termed the U.N. “…the leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism, intolerance and inequality against the Jewish people and its state.” She apparently references such U.N. actions as the equating of Zionism and racism in 1975, repealed in the 1990s.
Bayefsky’s use of language drawn directly from Sec. 7(a) of Basic Israeli Law, in which the Knesset defines Israel legally as “the state of the Jewish people”, is an indication of where the recent frenzy to legislate on “anti-Semitism” is going. And it’s soon not going to be just an inside joke among the neocons.
By Israeli definition, criticism of Israel, Zionists or any Jew anywhere in the world can be criminal if a Jew anywhere in the world claims such statements caused, say, emotional distress or mental problems. It’s all contained in Sec. 13 of the Israeli Penal Code, which was ratified in 1994, and claims extra national jurisdiction of Israeli courts over offenses committed against Jews anywhere. Sec. 13(b)(2) is straightforward:
“Special protection is granted to the life, health, freedom and property of a Jew, BECAUSE he is a Jew; and that this is without any other connection to the State of Israel.”
To date, there is one thing that has stopped this very effective tool to muzzle critics of Israeli policies and Zionism around the world: the lack of “dual criminality”. In order for the Israeli courts to extradite critics from other countries, equivalent statutes must first be placed on the books of target countries criminalizing the actions. Thus, if a “hate crime” statute criminalizes an otherwise noncriminal act on the basis that it causes “distress” to Jews, or “LEADS” to unrelated parties (such as provocateurs) committing a criminal act against a Jew, it can open the door to extradition to Israel. Likewise, if criticizing Israeli war crimes in the Occupied Territories or Ariel Sharon supposedly leads to a crime against a Jew, or even distresses a Jew, the door could be opened to extradition.
Just by way of comparison, the system of Israeli jurisprudence is far different from that in the U.S. The accused is essentially guilty until proven innocent. Jewish religious teachings do not recognize the testimony of non-Jews as having any legal merit. Torture is frequently employed in Israeli prisons. Prisoners can spend several years waiting for “trial”. The defenders appointed for non-Jewish prisoners are either incompetent or intimidated. Convictions can often result in the DEATH PENALTY–something not available to prosecutors in many European countries. And even if acquitted by some higher appeals court, the defendant can be threatened and have the remainder of his life ruined by vindictiveness.
This is not mere idle speculation. Cleveland auto worker John Demjanjuk was wrongly accused of being the infamous Nazi camp guard “Ivan the Terrible” in the mid 1970s. Despite significant evidence indicating that he was not this guard, Demjanjuk was shipped off to Israel and convicted. During the appeal his lawyer committed “suicide” by jumping off a high building just before what should have been his triumph. By some miracle, the Israeli appeals court reviewed the evidence, said there was no way he could be that Ivan, and ordered him released in 1993. Demjanjuk was threatened by Israeli hard liners who reportedly promised to “get him anyway”. On his return to the U.S., his citizenship was stripped from him for failing to properly fill out naturalization papers and he was financially ruined. Demjanjuk’s major U.S. defender, populist Ohio Congressman James Trafficant was relentlessly hounded for efforts and subsequently defeated a major Federal prosecution effort to put HIM in jail. (Recently, Prosecutors had more success, and Trafficant is serving a long sentence for racketeering”.)(ii)
[i] Based on its current 1-year age—3 years old being the time to sacrifice the “blemish free” animal according to Jewish source
[ii] Note: Jim Trafficant, not long after being released from prison, was killed in an alleged farm accident.