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Capital punishment: America vs. Israel--Something is totally wrong with this picture
Jewsweek ^ | 12-15-03 | Irwin N. Graulich

Posted on 12/15/2003 7:52:48 AM PST by SJackson

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Capital punishment: America vs. Israel

Something is totally wrong with this picture: Those who murder and maim innocent civilians are allowed to live to a ripe old age in Israeli prisons.
 
by Irwin N. Graulich December 13, 2003
 
 

 
   

 

 


Two Western moral democracies have polar opposite views on a very important issue. America, "land of the free and home of the brave" executes murderers. Israel, "the Biblical founder of morality," allows murderers to live out their natural lives. Who is right and why?

On this particular issue, Israel has forgotten its ethical foundations, influenced by the morally bankrupt European Union. Europe's "progressive" system has evolved to show compassion for people who take the lives of innocents in the most cruel manner. It is America virtually alone that has the temerity to stand up to the world with great moral judgment by executing individuals who murder our beautiful brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives.

Where does America get such arrogance? From the Bible of course. The only Biblical/Torah law which is actually repeated in each of the 5 Books of Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy - is capital punishment for murder. The idea that a Jewish nation might somehow imbibe these values seems a bit absurd to the Israeli elite. In this instance, America's Judeo-Christian ideals are more in keeping with what God had in mind.

Unfortunately, Israel has fallen into the trap of the outdoor cafe philosophy crowd of the pseudo intellectual European left with its flawed logic and neurotic reasoning. The four main arguments against capital punishment can easily be refuted by any thinking teenager. It is only when you get brainwashed at a university do you find excuses for cold-blooded murderers paying the ultimate fair penalty.

Fraudulent Argument #1 - An innocent person could get executed - Although no one has ever proven that such an error has actually occurred, it is the only argument with any validity. However, many more innocent people get killed in automobile accidents, so perhaps we should stop driving. People fall from tall buildings, and office workers have been victims of terrorists acts, so perhaps we should stop building skyscrapers. People die from taking drugs, so perhaps we should stop making those tiny pills which save so many lives. Perhaps the police should stop carrying guns. Innocent people have been shot accidentally in crossfire.

The reality is that everything in life has risk associated with it, and in virtually every circumstance, innocent people will die. Unfortunately, that is part of life. The trick is to make the risk as small as possible which includes making cars safer, buildings safer, drugs safer, cops safer and the court trial system as safe and accurate as possible. Societal laws are all about minimizing mistakes because in virtually every case, from building codes to traffic laws, a mistake can take innocent lives.

Fraudulent Argument #2 - The death penalty does not accomplish anything, because you cannot bring back the dead person - Of course it accomplishes something. In most cases, it revives the outlook and provides closure for the relatives of the dead person. There is immense relief. Just ask a mother whose daughter has become fertilizer while her murderer watches cable television and lifts weights in prison. We should be more concerned with the families of the victims than the murderer and his relatives.

Even more profound, the death penalty ends the murderer's "essence" on earth. According to Judaism, when someone is truly evil, you say the words "Y'mach shmo" after his name; which means "may his name be erased." A murderer who lives, even in prison, still has a name, is interviewed on tv, has a web site like Charles Manson, emails people and even gets married while behind bars. Only when "his name is erased from life" does he stop enjoying it and will society stop hearing from him.

Fraudulent Argument #3 - Capital Punishment is state murder. Who are we to take a life? -Only the well educated can call capital punishment murder. There are 2 words for the act - killing and murder. Murder is taking an innocent life and killing is usually associated with a moral act, like in war, a policeman shooting a sniper or capital punishment. Killing Adolf Hitler was one of the most moral acts of the 20th century. The same act can be moral or evil depending on its context. Just like rape and love-making are the same act; one is truly evil and the other is one of the most beautiful acts in which the human can engage. So too, there is moral killing, and immoral killing which is called murder.

In the final analysis, unless one believes in God who tells us what to do with murderers, all punishments become mere intellectual exercises in higher education which provide valid reasoning for somehow releasing a Joseph Stalin from his just desserts. Amazingly, there are two words for that very same act in the Hebrew Bible just like in English - killing is taharog and murder is teertzach. The Ten Commandments say: "Lo Teertzach," do not "murder."

Fraudulent Argument #4 - Minorities are disproportionately executed - This is simply a lie developed by the anti-capital punishment crowd. Minorities are disproportionately represented on death row, but not executed disproportionately. The true statistic is that "poor" murderers are disproportionately executed over "rich" murderers like OJ Simpson and Robert Durst. Fancy, expensive lawyers who could probably win a plea bargain for Pol Pot, are the real problem. We should mete out the death penalty fairly, not drop it.

Yet Israel executed Adolf Eichmann after an extensive trial in 1962. If capital punishment is against Israeli law, why was Eichmann hanged? In some bizarre fashion, Israel has announced that Jews living from 1941-1945 are somehow worth more than Jews living in Israel today, who are being blown up by Palestinian suicide bombers.

Although some may argue that Eichmann "deserved" this punishment because he was involved in the genocide of 6 million Jews, that idea is totally contrary to Judaism. According to the Torah, every life, Jewish and Gentile, is worth an entire world. Therefore, a person who murders is evil and must give up his own life for the life he took, whether he murdered 1 innocent, 1000 or 6 million.

Even more significant, is that Eichmann never "personally" murdered anyone. He was the Nazi numbers cruncher, organizer and accountant. On what grounds did Israel execute him, while the terrorist gunmen and bombers who have actually murdered and maimed thousands of innocent men, women and babies are given three meals a day, daily walks in the prison yard and the freedom to worship to their heart's content? Something is totally wrong with this picture in Israel. If you blow up babies in pizza parlors, you receive free room and board for life!

The reason that Israel thinks in these nonsensical terms is because European socialists were instrumental in founding the state in 1948. The further Israel diverts itself from European thinking and beliefs, instead following the American Judeo-Christian model, the more Israel will return to being a moral beacon and "light unto the nations." Until then, it is "lights out" for Europe and Israel.

 


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/15/2003 7:52:49 AM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
2 posted on 12/15/2003 7:55:01 AM PST by SJackson (If Iraq came across the Jordan River I'd grab a rifle and get in the trench and fight and die, x42)
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To: SJackson
Israel's position really is amazing when you consider that they do sanction state killing -- in retaliation for deadly attacks upon them. Why should the death penalty be considered morally any different?
3 posted on 12/15/2003 7:59:57 AM PST by Amore (La vita č una femmina ed allora morite)
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To: SJackson
He forgot to include the Talmudic dictum:

"Kol merachem al achzorim--sofo lachzor al harachamonim"

"All those who show mercy to the cruel--will in the end be cruel to the merciful."

4 posted on 12/15/2003 8:05:51 AM PST by Alouette (Personne me plumerá)
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To: SJackson
Unfortunately, Israel has fallen into the trap of the outdoor cafe philosophy crowd of the pseudo intellectual European left with its flawed logic and neurotic reasoning.

Great quote. Yes--those self-important beret-wearing, Galois-smoking guys sitting in cafes with long-haired girls next to them with their tongues in their ears. The neurotic Euro left...perfect!

5 posted on 12/15/2003 8:05:59 AM PST by Pharmboy (Dems lie 'cause they have to...)
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To: Amore
Israel's position really is amazing when you consider that they do sanction state killing -- in retaliation for deadly attacks upon them. Why should the death penalty be considered morally any different?

The targets of what you're referring to as "state killing" are combatants at war with Israel. IMO, the idea that Israel only defends herself with measured "responses" to attacks on civilians, on the fiction that one day the PA will stop providing refuge to terrorists, is nuts. If we followed that policy, Sadaam would be living in one of his palaces, as would Osama, US action halted pending another 9/11.

6 posted on 12/15/2003 8:16:35 AM PST by SJackson (If Iraq came across the Jordan River I'd grab a rifle and get in the trench and fight and die, x42)
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To: SJackson
I couldn't agree more with this guy. Israel's government, and a large part of its people, has forgotten their moral roots. Letting murderers survive is not only morally reprehensible, it leads to more murders. These people, even if they will never get out, teach others who WILL get out the art of murder. Further, they inspire hostage-taking, which is done to get them released from prison. Also, the lack of a final penalty, together with the hope of getting released, reduces the risk of such actions to others who are similarly inspired.

The Israelis puzzle me - they can be so incredibly intelligent and practical sometimes, but they are so blind at others. It is a dichotomy that I have yet to resolve.

7 posted on 12/15/2003 8:33:37 AM PST by Ancesthntr
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To: Alouette
"Kol merachem al achzorim--sofo lachzor al harachamonim"

"All those who show mercy to the cruel--will in the end be cruel to the merciful."

This bears repeating. It applies not only to Israel, but also to the US in this war.

8 posted on 12/15/2003 8:34:58 AM PST by Ancesthntr
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To: Ancesthntr
I suspect this is rooted in the tradition of British governance, much as were Israel's restrictive laws on firearms (still highly restrictive).
9 posted on 12/15/2003 9:01:44 AM PST by SJackson (If Iraq came across the Jordan River I'd grab a rifle and get in the trench and fight and die, x42)
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To: Ancesthntr
Ah, but Israel's moral roots included Zionism, which was a form of Jewish Socialism (the kibbutz etc.).

Not surprising to see elements of socialist thinking still pervading the legal system.


10 posted on 12/15/2003 9:30:27 AM PST by WOSG (The only thing that will defeat us is defeatism itself)
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To: SJackson
If the death penalty is valid at all, it is valid for Saddam and OBL, but I part company with most Freepers on this one. Remember that all heaven rejoices when a sinner repents and converts. Assuming (big assumption) that the incarceration of Saddam will not endanger the innocent, then it is better not to end a life prematurely if it is no threat.

I am not, however, categorically against the death penalty. We don't owe it to anyone - even heaven - that we should put a soldier or guards life in danger to keep evil ones alive.
11 posted on 12/15/2003 9:52:43 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind
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To: SJackson; All
Therefore, a person who murders is evil and must give up his own life for the life he took, whether he murdered 1 innocent, 1000 or 6 million.?

Moses, David and Paul were all Murderers?

12 posted on 12/15/2003 10:59:22 AM PST by missyme
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To: Ancesthntr
Has not G-d showed Mercy to the Cruel if they truly repent?
13 posted on 12/15/2003 11:01:32 AM PST by missyme
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To: missyme
And another point to be made: What did God do to the first murderer?
14 posted on 12/15/2003 11:48:32 AM PST by Lysander (My army can kill your army)
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To: Lysander
Exactly what did he do?
15 posted on 12/15/2003 1:52:10 PM PST by missyme
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To: missyme
He did not kill him, but sent him packing as a wanderer, clearly marked to be unharmed. Pretty daring for God don't you think? Most people would seem to prefer a view of a vengeful god to justify their vengeful ways. He dared to show humanity that capital punishment was not of him from the get-go.
16 posted on 12/16/2003 6:43:52 AM PST by Lysander (My army can kill your army)
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To: reed_inthe_wind
The prophet Samuel, appears to have disagreed with that opinion on behalf of his Lord. He dispatched the murderous tyrant.

Saul took the murderer King Agag of the Amalekites alive, Because of that "humility" in the face of evil, Saul came to lose his kingship. Samuel came and rebuked Saul. Samuel then said to Agag, "Your sword has made women childless, so your mother shall be childless among women." Samuel then executed Agag directly.

However in the short time Agag was held, he did manage to father children, and the line of theAmalikites continues afflicting us all to this day.

17 posted on 12/16/2003 7:15:00 AM PST by bvw
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To: bvw
Like I said, I am not categorically against the death penalty. I wouldn't expect a soldier or guard to put their life in harms way to keep an evil person alive.

But the commission from our Lord to baptise the nations is very powerful, as is his grace. The Lord didn't qualify his statement with "only nations that are gentle and harmless." Each soul saved is a great and joyous victory for heaven, and a crushing defeat for evil.

If it was up to me, I would use the death penalty as an instrument of cival authority very rarely.
18 posted on 12/16/2003 7:52:56 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind
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To: Lysander
That was my point. I feel people especially the ones who have comitted horrible crimes should pay the price by reedeeming themselves, if they still do not do it while they were alive then I believe there final end journey will be to a land of torment.
I feel if Hitler would of lived he should of been made to be a total slave to the Jewish people live in a rat infested cage and spend his years feeling like what he inflicted on so many others, my view on Saddam is the same let him be a slave to the Iraqi people and suffer the torment he inflicted, death sometimes is to easy and it makes the tyrant a martyr.
19 posted on 12/16/2003 8:45:41 AM PST by missyme
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