Sunday, December 18, 2011
Judicial Disgraces in Israel
he fell victim to Israel's politicized dual judicial system.
Mizrachi lives in Kiryat Arba, the Jewish town on the outskirts of
Hebron. Five years ago, Mizrachi's daughter, who was the mother of
small children, was mortally injured by a bullet that was accidentally
fired from a weapon. For several weeks she hung on to life, as
Mizrachi nursed her, but in the end died from the injury. Two years
later Mizrachi's own son, who had been born to him when Mizrachi was
quite advanced in age, died in a traffic accident. The cave of
Mahpela in Hebron, not far from his home, is where another Jew is
buried who gave birth to a son only at an advanced age.
After both tragedies, Mizrachi and his wife set up a shop inside a gas
station at the entrance to Kiryat Arba.
Two years ago, just a few months after they lost their son in the
accident, Mizrachi was napping at home when the phone rang. He picked
up the phone and heard hysterical screams from his wife that she was
being attacked and stabbed. A "Palestinian" terrorist had entered the
gas station and stabbed his wife in the neck. Mizrachi raced to the
station, but did not see his wife, and feared for the worst, that she
had been killed. He saw the terrorist who had attacked his wife,
captured and in the custody of several soldiers. Mizrachi climbed
into his car and drove straight at the terrorist, running him over and
injuring his legs. The soldiers took the terrorist to the hospital
and he recovered. Mizrachi's wife also was treated and recovered.
Mizrachi had a nervous breakdown and was incapacitated, unable to
continue to work or run the shop.
Ah, but then in stepped the Israeli Attorney General's office and
decided to prosecute Mizrachi for "attempted homicide." For running
over the terrorist who had just stabbed his own wife. Let us bear in
mind that there have been cases in which Arabs lynched Jewish killers
after they were disarmed and the Arabs were never prosecuted for so
much as jaywalking. The two most famous cases that come to mind are
Baruch Goldstein, who was lynched and killed after being disarmed
following his murderous attack against Arabs in the same Mahpela
shrine, and Eden Natan-Zada, a mentally ill young Jew who killed
several Arabs or Druse in Shfar'am and then was lynched by the mob.
But Mizrachi's case was different. Arabs attacking Jews in Israel are
like dogs biting mailmen and are of little interest to the Prosecution
or to the leftist media. When a Jew attacks an Arab terrorist in
Israel, he (or she) must be prosecuted.
There was some internal debate among the prosecutors. Some wanted
Mizrachi charged with attempted homicide, but he was eventually
formally charged "only" with causing grievous bodily injury. Still
others wanted his emotional state and breakdown taken into account so
he would not be indicted at all. His wife begged in court that he not
be sent to prison, lest it destroy what was left of the man. The
prosecution demanded that he serve a full year of hard prison time.
One of the judges on the panel of three denounced the prosecution for
indicting Mizrachi at all. In the end Mizrachi was sentenced to three
months in prison.
Mizrachi should instead have been granted a medal and the Israel
Prize, maybe even a Nobel Peace Prize. Terrorists should be executed.
They should be lynched. They should be shot and have their carcasses
dumped from choppers into the sea. They should be targeted by drones.
When terrorists are attacked by civilians, especially when those
civilians are themselves victims or relatives of victims of those
terrorists, the "attackers" should have statues erected in their
honor. If a terrorist stabbed a member of my family, I would drive my
car in such a way that "causing injury" would never be a relevant
count in my indictment. My car would NOT have run over the
(Above based in part on news story in Besheva weekly newspaper)
2. In another matter of gross judicial stupidity and incompetence,
many of you have perhaps heard of the verdict a few days back against
Israeli writer Naomi Ragen. Let me say that, while I have never met
Naomi face to face, I consider her a great writer, a great Israeli,
and a great Jew. She may be best known for her fiction, but she also
writes some of the best publicist articles coming out of Israel. I am
not exactly the best judge of literary achievement, but she is
generally regarded as one of the best English-language authors of
fiction in Israel (her books have also been translated into Hebrew and
probably other languages). Her books are often about women's roles in
Judaism, and also rich in portrayals of traditional Judaism. Some of
you may be on Naomi's email distribution list for her articles. She
made aliyah from the US 40 years ago and lives in Jerusalem.
Several years back Naomi was sued by one Sarah Shapiro, an
ultra-Orthodox (charedit) woman writer in the US. Shapiro claimed
that Ragen plagiarized material from an earlier book manuscript
written by Shapira. The book by Ragen in question, in which the
"plagiarism" allegedly appears, is something like 450 pages, out of
which there were perhaps 3 or 4 sentences that closely resembled
sentences that appeared in the earlier manuscript by Shapiro. The
"plagiarized" sentences have appeared in the press so I suppose
everyone can read them to make up his or her own mind about them. To
me they look like 3 or 4 similar sentences out of a 450 page book. I
imagine that if you went searching through all the publicist postings
I have posted over the years you could probably find 3 or 4 sentences
that closely resemble sentences in the Koran and conclude that I have
been plagiarizing from the Koran.
Shapiro hired a lawyer. She was later joined by a second plaintiff
making similar charges. The wheels of judicial injustice spin slowly
in Israel, and it took years, until last week, before the court
reached a verdict. It found against Naomi. Of course this is the
same court system that found damages in favor of anti-Semite Neve
Gordon. The court has not yet ruled on how much "damages" it will
order Ragen to pay.
Accusations of "plagiarism" against well known people on the basis of
similarities in phrases, sentences, or themes in writing are not
uncommon. Among other people who have been accused of such
"plagiarisms" have been Alan Dershowitz, whose "plagiarism" has long
been a cause celebre of the radical Left (and for which he was long
ago officially cleared by Harvard), writer Dan Brown, and other
writers and songwriters. The ruling in the Ragen case came out the
very same week in which a Dutch architect designing buildings in South
Korea was accused of designing them as "plagiarized" representation of
the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center being destroyed by
The Ragen court case was complex and I do not pretend to know all of
its details. Nevertheless it is my opinion that the court ruling
against her was a gross injustice and the ruling judge was a fool.
Ragen seems to believe that the entire suit was politically motivated
by some chareidim who were offended by Ragen's own critical portrayal
of chareidi life. Those plaintiffs then found a foolish or
incompetent judge to side with them. Among the reasons for my
skepticism about the motives of the plaintiffs is the fact that the
plaintiffs filed criminal complaints with the police against Naomi's
own husband after he sent them a newspaper clipping about how those
who had sued author Dan Brown for "plagiarism" eventually suffered
significant losses to their estates when the verdict clearing Brown
was issued AFTER the plaintiffs had died, where the damages were
deducted from the property they bequeathed. What is criminal about
sending a newspaper news clipping?
Naomi could use some words of encouragement, so – if you are of such a
mind – you can send her some at firstname.lastname@example.org.