Using Lawfare To Stop Prisoner Releases and Fraudulent NGOs

UPDATES 11 am Israel time, Wednesday, July 24 2013:

*At 10:23 am–about 45 minutes ago–two more Hamas rockets were fired from Gaza by Palestinian terrorists into southern Israel’s Eshkol region. No physical injuries have been reported but there is no estimation of the emotional trauma suffered by Israeli men, women, and children. Disturbingly, the “red siren” alarm system did not go off at all.

Your humble servant, as many others of us here in the south, wonder if the IDF is now purposely not warning citizens of incoming rockets. For example, “explosions” were heard by residents of Netivot yesterday, but there were no sirens and no IDF report of rockets fired.  Such “non-warning” would not be surprising given the extraordinary lengths to which the IDF goes to give excuses for Hamas and to not respond to the rocket attacks.


Two extremely interesting cases of lawfare have surfaced in the past few days. In the first case, a private individual is seeking to rein in the Israeli government’s penchant for releasing terrorists, and in the second, Jewish community members in Judea and Samaria are targeting a particularly anti-Israel NGO.

To begin with, readers of israelstreet surely remember the horrific murder of Asher Palmer and his son Jonathan back in 2011. A Palestinian threw a “rock” (about the size of a concrete block) from a moving taxi on Route 60 near Hebron that crashed into Palmer’s car causing him to lose control and overturn.

In addition to the facts of the murder, the aftermath of the murder was especially egregious because the IDF refused for some time to even classify Asher and Jonathan’s deaths as being caused by “terrorism”. On April 23, 2013, the perpetrator of the crime, Waal al-Arjeh was sentenced to two life sentences plus 58 years. The sentence was supposed to insure than al-Arjeh spends the remainder of his life in prison.

But this is Israel. 

And almost certainly, someone will propose that al-Arjeh be released as part of a future “gesture of peace” to the Palestinians. To try and make sure that doesn’t happen, Michael Palmer (Asher’s father) filed a $10 million shekel suit this morning against al-Arjeh.  If the suit succeeds, the Israeli justice system will need to exact payment from either the PLO/Palestinian Authority or from the Israeli government before the prisoner can be released.

Palmer’s lawyer, Adrian Agassi, eloquently put it this way: “[The suit is] a statement of intent to all concerned – that we will fight them – the terrorists and the morally bankrupt government of Israel – for justice, and make it as hard as possible, legally and morally, to release terrorists – who then go and return to terror – in the name of peace.”   

In the second case, the Shomron Settlers’ Committee has taken aim at “Breaking the Silence”, an NGO that sends former IDF soldiers who served in Judea and Samaria around the world to “publicize” the alleged abuses of Palestinan civilians by IDF soldiers. Last year, Breaking the Silence even made an appearance in your humble servant’s city in northern California.

The specious thing about “Breaking the Silence” is that the “testimonies” that the former soldiers give is almost always generalized, and they rarely, if ever, give specific information about what they did–or what any other specific person did. One simply does not know what is real and what is not.

However, in a painstaking project, the “Settler’s Committee” decided to plow through hundreds of hours of videotape from such places as youtube and Facebook. In the process, they isolated the rare passages in which some of these former soldiers did admit to personally abusing Palestinians.

Earlier this week, the Committee took all of its “evidence” into the main police station in Hebron and filed criminal complaints against specific members of “Breaking the Silence.”

According to the Committee, if these former soldiers want to parade around the world claiming IDF abuse of Palestinians, they should face criminal charges for any such abuse that they committed.

Your humble servant could not agree more.







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