Tuesday, June 28, 2011
It is High Time for Israel to Get Serious about Treason
Why Israel Needs to Get Serious about Treason
Posted By Steven Plaut On June 28, 2011
Israel recently passed a law that would strip Israelis of their
citizenship if convicted of espionage or treason. Condemned for this
by countries all over the world, almost all of whom have far harsher
anti-treason laws than Israel, the Israeli law has yet to be applied
to anyone. Sometimes called the "Azmi Bishara Law," it was motivated
by an Arab member of the Israeli parliament (or Knesset), Azmi
Bishara, from one of the Arab fascist parties, who had openly engaged
in espionage and treason, including passing on intelligence to the
Hezb'Allah terrorist organization while it was firing rockets at
Israeli civilians. Bishara is now in hiding and has yet to be
prosecuted. The anti-Israel lobby has denounced this law as "racist,"
just as it denounces everything Israel does as racist (including
rescuing Haitian earthquake victims).
Treason itself is left undefined under this new Israeli law, and in
general it has been interpreted by the legal authorities in Israel so
loosely that virtually no one has ever been prosecuted for it.
Israeli law defines treason as "acts that impair the integrity of
Israel" or "impair its sovereignty," and the granting of assistance to
the enemy during time of war. Based on British law, Article 99(a) of
the Israeli Criminal Code states, "If a person with intent to assist
an enemy in war against Israel commits an act calculated to do so, he
is liable to the death penalty or to life imprisonment." It goes
without saying that no one at all has ever been sentenced to either
punishment for treason in Israel. Only a few people engaged in actual
espionage, and this includes nuclear spy Mordecai Vanunu and some
old-time spies for the Soviet Union, have ever even been so charged
This Israeli law is little more than a joke. Israeli Arabs, including
almost all the Arabs who sit in Israel's Parliament, openly
collaborate with the enemies of Israel, support their agendas,
sometimes engaging in violence. Israeli Jewish far Leftists work
against the sovereignty and integrity of their own country every day.
Examples of this would include issuing calls for Israel's destruction
or support for international boycotts against Israel. No one at all
has been prosecuted for any of that. The Israeli Attorney General is
quite militant when it comes to prosecuting Right-wing Israeli Jews
for "incitement" and "racism," including offenders who wear
politically incorrect Tee shirts or have bumper stickers on their cars
that some might find in poor taste. Israeli Arabs and Jewish Leftists
never go to jail for collaborating with the enemy during times of war.
It is instructive and illuminating to examine the history of what
other Western democracies have done with traitors, especially during
times of war. It is important to see what sorts of anti-treason laws
exist elsewhere in democratic countries.
Some countries have been putting teeth into old anti-treason laws
recently because of international terrorism. Britain's Treason Act,
which allowed for the prosecution of British nationals supporting the
enemy in time of war, goes back to 1351. It provided for mandatory
execution of traitors. Britain executed sixteen traitors under the
Act during World War II. The Act was suspended in 1946 and later was
repealed. However, Britain has other laws against treason, and these
are still being debated well into the 21st century. Under the
British Crime and Disorder Act of 1998, the punishment for treason is
life imprisonment, but it had been death up until that law was passed.
Canada also has a Treason Act, where "high treason" consists of acts
committed during time of war. The punishment is mandatory life
imprisonment. Australian has a somewhat similar treason law. Turkey,
Ireland and Brazil have Treason Acts that provide for execution of
traitors, as do many Third World countries. The United States has had
anti-treason laws that allow for execution of traitors, although these
were seldom applied, and similar laws were once passed by some
individual states. The US also has the Espionage Act of 1917.
France's law provides for life imprisonment for treason, as do Hong
Kong's, India's, and New Zealand's. Switzerland's Treason Act usually
provides for softer punishments, but in some cases they can go as high
as life imprisonment. Modern Germany also has an anti-treason law
with punishments up to life imprisonment for high treason, but that is
defined as attempts to overturn the constitutional order.
Execution and life imprisonment were not the only responses of Western
democracies to internal treason. In 1939 the British government under
Winston Churchill passed Defence Regulation 18B. It suspended habeas
corpus for Nazi sympathizers and allowed for their wholesale
internment without a trial. While enemy aliens were interned under
other laws, this law was used to intern British nationals. The law
was used to jail pro-German citizens, including members of the
pro-Nazi British Union of Fascists party, led by Oswald Mosley.
The United States passed its first law against enemy aliens and
against treason in the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. It allowed for
the internment of enemy aliens in time of war. It remained on the
books, supplemented by the Sedition Act of 1918, an initiative of
President Woodrow Wilson, which was later repealed.
Abraham Lincoln may have been the most aggressive president when it
came to prosecuting and jailing traitors. He ordered the suspension
of habeas corpus in 1861. He used military tribunals and declarations
of martial law liberally. More than 4200 trials by military
commission were conducted. "Copperheads" or Americans in the North
who identified with the rebellion in the South were arrested and
jailed. Other Copperheads were deported and stripped of citizenship.
Some traitors were executed. 13,000 people in the North were rounded
up and jailed under martial law. The Union government took action
against newspapers that identified with the rebellion, closing some.
Under the Confiscation Act of 1861, the private property of those
accused of treason, and not only Southerners, could be seized.
Britain had historically made liberal use of internment as an
instrument against the enemy, especially during the Boer Wars. After
1940 it arrested Germans, Austrians and Italians in larger numbers.
The Treachery Act passed Parliament that same year and allowed for the
prosecution of any alien suspected of espionage or hostile activity,
and included provision for execution of foreign spies, In addition,
over 7000 suspect aliens were deported, mainly to Canada and
Australia. Tragically, in some cases these included non-British Jews,
for fears that German spies might have infiltrated Britain while
Canada interned 80,000 people during World War I. While the massive
internment of Japanese-Americans by the United States during World War
II is well known, less well known is the fact that thousands of ethnic
Japanese were interned by Canada. Australia also ran internment
camps, holding as many as 7000 Australians, plus thousands of aliens
sent there by Britain for internment. While their numbers were much
smaller than those of the interned Japanese-Americans, hundreds of
Italian-Americans were interned by the US during World War II, and
other restrictions were applied to Italian-Americans who were not
interned. German-Americans were subject to restrictions during World
War I, over 6000 were arrested and over two thousand were interned.
11,000 alien Germans were interned in the United States during World
War II. Surprisingly, given the widespread pro-Nazi sentiments among
some American ethnic Germans and the operations of several pro-Nazi
organizations in the 1930s in the US, German–Americans were not
interned during World War II, although some other countries in the
Western Hemisphere did intern domestic ethnic Germans. Small numbers
of ethnic Germans were evicted from sensitive coastal areas of the US.
After Pearl Harbor the United States outlawed the pro-Nazi "German
Throughout Europe before and during World War II, the ethnic German
minority populations by and large supported Nazi Germany. After the
war, these Germans well expelled en masse by many of those countries
as retaliation for their identification with the enemy, including from
democratic Czechoslovakia. The same people today whining that
Israel's "Azmi Bishara Law" is "racist" have never had much to say
about those expulsions.
The irony is that Israel's Arab population more openly identifies with
the country's enemies than do any of those groups interned during war
by Britain and the other Western democracies. Most Israeli Arabs make
little attempt to hide their contempt and intense hatred for the
democratic country in which they live, while rarely seeking to move to
any of the 22 countries that have an Arab ethnic majority. Most (but
not all) Israeli Arabs support political parties and groups openly
hostile to the existence of Israel, openly supporting the genocidal
terrorist groups and Moslem countries seeking Israel's obliteration.
Israeli far-leftist groups, awash in funding from hostile anti-Israel
foreign governments and organizations, engage in sedition and treason
during time of war, led by Israel's tenured Far Left. None of these
have been targeted for prosecution by Israel's legal system or police.
Why not? Why can Taliban John and Jihad Jane be prosecuted in the US,
while traitors in Israel enjoy immunity?
Israel, and not Israel alone, needs to start putting some teeth into
anti-treason legislation and enforcement.
2. Haaretz has a new cause celebre. It seems that Arabs are
under-represented among University faculty in Israel. See
Only 3% of university faculty are Arabs. (Haaretz did not ask what
the percentages of Arabs are among those holding PhD's. Having a PhD
is a prerequisite to be a university faculty member.)
You will notice that Haaretz had nothing at all to say about the fact
that there are virtually no Chareidi ultra-Orthodox faculty members in
Israeli universities. The Chareidim are about the same percent of the
over Israeli population as are Arabs.
And of course, if Haaretz were serious about battling against
numerical heterogeneity and against "under-representation" among
Israeli faculty in Israeli academic institutions, it would speak out
against the severe problem of the most under-represented group of all
– the non-leftists!
3. And yet another Jew is attacked by a lynch mob of peace partners:
4. University of Haifa vs. Hatikva:
5. Liberal Pseudo-Judaism is running out of Men:
A Liberal Jewish Woman Asks: The End of Jewish Men? What Hath Jewish
How "Liberal Judaism" Became A Virtually "Women's Only" Judaism
Women are 50% of Reconstructionist "Rabbis," 65% of Reform
clergypersons, & 80+% of Conservative;
6. Those thugs and hooligans who riot each week in the West Bank town
of Bil'in, attacking Israeli soldiers and police:
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 1:03 AM
Subject: Most Bilin protestors paid
Most Bilin protestors paid
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 24 June 2011
"In practice most of the Palestinian protestors [AL: at Bilin] come
today to protest in return for payment for Leftist organizations. This
is a payment ranging from NIS 50 for young protestors who throw stones
up to NIS 4,000 for the leaders and inciters. The organizer of the
protests arrives at the place each week in a new black Hummer jeep."
Makor Rishon correspondent Shabtai Garbarvitz - Makor Rishon 24 June
7. Getting serious about counter-terrorism?
8. Islamist Lawfare:
9. WHAT freedom of speech in Israel?
10. Speaking about getting serious about treason: Ben Gurion
University just announced that it will prosecute in internal
disciplinary proceedings members of the faculty who call for boycotts
against Israel. See this (In Hebrew):
I do not believe them.