Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will Israel Ever Get Serious About Treason?

From the Jewish Press (NY)

Will Israel Ever Get Serious About Treason?
By: Steven Plaut
Published: November 23rd, 2011 | Latest update: November 23rd, 2011
Earlier this year Israel 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 government has yet
to apply the law to anyone.

Earlier this year Israel 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 government has yet
to apply the law to anyone.

Sometimes called the "Azmi Bishara Law," it was motivated by the fact
that an Arab member of the Israeli parliament, Azmi Bishara, from one
of the Arab parties, had openly engaged in espionage and treason,
including passing on intelligence to the Hizbullah 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 denounced this law as "racist," just as it
denounces everything Israel does as racist (including rescuing Haitian
earthquake victims). The bleating from Bash-Israel NGO groups about
supposed Israeli "apartheid" sound particularly absurd when one
realizes that Israel is one of the few democracies that has not
utilized mass internment of hostile minority populations that identify
and, in some cases, collaborate with the enemy in time of war. And
Israel has yet to charge any of its extreme leftists with treason, no
matter how brazen their words and deeds.

Treason itself is left undefined under Israeli law, and in general it
has been interpreted by legal authorities in Israel so loosely that
virtually no one has ever been prosecuted for it.

On paper Israeli penal 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 Israel 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

It should go without saying that no one has ever been sentenced to
either punishment for treason in Israel. Only a few people engaged in
actual espionage – including nuclear spy Mordecai Vanunu and some
old-time spies for the former Soviet Union – have ever even been
charged with treason.

The Israeli law against treason is little more than a joke. Nearly all
the Arabs who sit in the Knesset openly communicate and even
collaborate with the enemies of Israel. They support their agendas and
some have engaged in violence.

There are far left Israeli Jews who work against the sovereignty and
integrity of their own country every day. Examples of this would
include issuing calls for Israel's destruction or declaring support
for international boycotts against Israel. No one 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 t-shirts or affix
bumper stickers on their cars that some might find in poor taste.

Bear in mind that Israel is in a permanent state of war. Even so,
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.

Many countries have the death penalty for domestic traitors; some of
these anti-treason laws are quite old. Several 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, went back to 1351. One
famous application of the act was the trial of Roger Casement, who was
accused of collaborating with Germany during World War I. There was
debate during the trial over whether the act applied to treason
committed outside Britain or only on British soil. The prosecution
carried the day and the traitor was executed.
Because of court arguments over the punctuation in the act's original
language, it was said that Casement was "hanged by a comma."

The act was also used to prosecute "Lord Haw-Haw," William Joyce, in
1945. Joyce had served as Hitler's radio propagandist, beaming
pro-Nazi messages into Britain during the war.

Churchill's Britain banned not only fascist newspapers and
organizations during World War II but also the communist newspaper The
Daily Worker.

The British Treason Act provided for mandatory execution of traitors.
It distinguished between high treason and petty treason. In both
cases, the traitor was executed, but in the latter cases his property
was not seized by the Crown. Britain executed sixteen traitors under
the Act during World War II.

The act was suspended in 1946 and later repealed. However, Britain has
other laws against treason. Under the British Crime and Disorder Act
of 1998, the punishment for treason is life imprisonment (it had been
death up until that law was passed).

Canada also has a treason act. It distinguishes between high treason
and other forms, with high treason consisting of acts committed during
time of war. The punishment is mandatory life imprisonment.

Australia 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, though these were seldom applied, and similar laws were
once passed by some individual states. The U.S. also has the Espionage
Act of 1917.

French law provides for life imprisonment for treason, as do statutes
in Hong Kong, India and New Zealand.

Switzerland's treason act usually provides for softer punishments, but
in some cases life imprisonment is a possibility.

Germany also has an anti-treason law with punishments up to life
imprisonment for high treason, 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 Defense Regulation 18B. It suspended habeas
corpus for Nazi sympathizers and allowed for their wholesale
internment without trial. While enemy aliens were interned under other
laws, this law was used to intern British nationals.

The law's provisions for such arrests were very loose. They included
any suspicion that a person represented a danger to Britain or was a
member of any association hostile to Britain or involved in "acts
prejudicial to the public safety or the defense of the realm or in the
preparation or instigation of such acts."

People could be arrested without warning, including those serving in
the British military. About a thousand were so interned in 1940,
though that number was halved by mid-1943. The law was used to jail
pro-German British citizens, including members of the pro-Nazi British
Union of Fascists party, led by Oswald Mosley. Mosley was arrested in
1940, along with his wife, and held in Holloway Prison. In a
controversial move, Churchill released him in November 1943 due to
health problems. Churchill famously ordered the arrest of George
Pitt-Rivers, another British Nazi sympathizer.

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. Among those indicted
under it was an American congressman born in Ireland, Matthew Lyon. 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 4,200 trials by military commission
were conducted.
"Copperheads" or Americans in the North who identified with the
rebellion in the South were arrested and jailed. One of the more
famous was Clement Laird Vallandigham, who was deported. Other
Copperheads were also deported and stripped of citizenship. Some
traitors were executed. As many as 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. Those expressing opposition to military conscription in the
North were subject to martial law penalties. Under the Confiscation
Act of 1861, the private property of those – not only Southerners –
accused of treason could be seized.

While all belligerents in World War II took action against enemy
aliens and domestic supporters of the enemy, Britain under Churchill
was particularly uncompromising in this area.

There had been about 20,000 German nationals in Britain in 1930, but
this number grew by about 60,000 after Hitler came to power. At the
start of the war these came under scrutiny and surveillance, even
though some of them were Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. All
Germans and Austrians over the age of 16 were called before special
tribunals and divided into three groups:

• "High security risks," who were immediately interned. About 600 fell
under this category.

• "Doubtful cases," who were subject to supervision and restrictions
on their movements. There were around 6,500 of these.

• "No security risk," numbering around 64,000, who were not
restricted. Most of these were Jewish refugees from Nazi oppression.

Britain had historically made liberal use of internment as an
instrument against the enemy, especially during the Boer Wars. The
British intensified their operations against potential spies after
1940, arresting Germans, Austrians and Italians in larger numbers.

On May 12, 1940, more than 2,000 male aliens living in British coastal
areas were arrested under special orders of the Home Secretary. 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.

Churchill ordered that all 19,000 Italians in Britain be rounded up,
even those who had lived in the UK for decades. Internment camps for
these enemy nationals were set up around Britain, including at Huyton
near Liverpool and in large camps on the Isle of Man. In addition,
over 7,000 suspect aliens were deported, mainly to Canada and
Australia. Tragically, in some cases these included non-British Jews,
for fears that German spies might infiltrate Britain while among them.

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 the Canadian government.

Australia also ran internment camps, holding as many as 7,000
Australians, plus thousands of aliens sent there by Britain.

While their numbers were much smaller than those of the interned
Japanese-Americans, hundreds of Italian-Americans were interned by the
U.S. 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
6,000 were arrested and more than 2,000 were interned. Some 11,000
alien Germans were interned in the United States during World War II.

Surprisingly, given the pro-Nazi sentiments found among some American
ethnic Germans and the operation in the U.S. of several pro-Nazi
organizations in the 1930s, German-Americans were not interned during
World War II, though 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 U.S. After Pearl
Harbor the U.S. outlawed the pro-Nazi German American Bund.
Throughout Europe before and during World War II, the ethnic German
minority populations by and large supported Nazi Germany. After the
war, these Germans were expelled en masse by many of those countries,
including democratic Czechoslovakia, in retaliation for their having
identified with the enemy.

The irony is that Israel's Arab population more openly identifies with
the country's enemies than did any of the groups interned during World
War II by Britain and the other Western democracies. Israeli Arabs on
the whole make little attempt to hide their intense hatred for the
democratic country in which they live, though they rarely seek 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
that are hostile to the existence of Israel and that openly back
genocidal terrorist groups and Muslim countries that seek Israel's

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 academic tenured Far Left. None of
these have been targeted for prosecution by Israel's legal system or
Why not? Why can Taliban John and Jihad Jane be prosecuted in the U.S.
while traitors in Israel enjoy immunity?

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