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Monday, June 30, 2008

The inevitable 'Supreme Court' appeal against the 'terrorists for corpses' exchange

Nothing happens in this country without a 'Supreme Court' appeal against it. And while as a lawyer I believe that certain actions of a duly constituted government are political decisions that ought to be unassailable in the courts, as a matter of morality, this despicable pretense of a government committed yet another perfidy that deserves redress - if not in the courts of law then in higher courts.

On Monday morning, an appeal to the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice will be filed by the families of twelve Iranian Jews who disappeared during the 1990's while attempting to immigrate to Israel. They are not appealing against the entire 'exchange,' but only against the part that requires Israel to give the Iranians (for whom Hezbullah acted as agents) information regarding the fates of four Iranian 'diplomats' who disappeared in Lebanon during the 1982 Peace for Galilee operation (now known as the First Lebanon War).
Dalia Ravizada, whose father Nuriel disappeared while most likely trying to cross the border to Pakistan on his way to Israel, told Ynet that, “twelve years have passed and we still know nothing about my father.”

He and 11 other Jews throughout the years 1994-1997 simply vanished while assumedly trying to cross a dangerous escape path with the help of smugglers. “It is like the earth swallowed them whole. The government promised to deal with this, but nothing is happening,” said Ravizada. All attempts to locate them have failed.

In 2004, when the media continually reported the actualization of the second stage of the previous agreement with Hizbullah which was to include the release of Samir Kuntar, the families appealed to the High Court against the deal.

The appeal was postponed but the government promised to continue making an effort to receive information regarding their fate. Since then, the families say they have been left in the dark.

“The missing Jews in Iran tried making Aliyah to Israel with the encouragement and assistance of the Israeli government and this is why it is the government’s obligation to do everything possible in order to attain reliable and substantial information that will put an end to these families’ suffering,” said attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, who is representing the families.
As I understand it, the only information the Israeli government has about the Iranian 'diplomats' is that the four 'diplomats' were kidnapped by Christian Phalangist forces in Lebanon (the same people who perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacre). But the fact that such information may be useless to the Iranians is not the point. The fact that Israel is making a payoff to Iran at all, and the fact that by giving 'information,' it is in a sense admitting to involvement in a 'kidnapping' to which it had no connection are a disgrace.

That's without even mentioning that we Israelis are already desensitized to the fact that the current government is willing to abandon yet another twelve Jews who are not media darlings. That has become so routine that it rouses no reaction in most of us. The bottom line in this country is that sitting quietly and not insisting on your 'rights' - to the exclusion of all others' - is a violation of the first commandment of life here: Thou shalt not be a 'frier' (sucker). It's every man and woman for him or herself here. I've talked about that before. The abandonment of twelve more Jews (not to mention the IDF's missing in action soldiers from 1982) is all part of the same syndrome.

But then there appears to be nothing that is beneath the Olmert-Barak-Livni-Yishai government in its drive to maintain itself in power. Nothing at all.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - "When you are merciful to cruel, you will be cruel to the merciful." Israel's government is fulling the Talmudic Sages injunction to the letter. I agree - why Israel is admitting any role in the disappearance of Iranian diplomats in the first Lebanon War is a complete disgrace. The government is not even demanding information about Ron Arad or the twelve Iranian Jews families who disappeared during the 90s. Yet it is prepared to spare nothing to appease Israel's enemies with information about which it has nothing. This is what one gets in a country devoid of principles, morality and conscience. There's nothing the Olmert-Barak-Livni-Yishai government will not stoop to - including subverting justice - to keep itself in power.


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