Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Israeli election fever

You can tell election fever has hit Israel bigtime. Labor leader, Ehud Barak talks tough. Arutz Sheva:
"Not all Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are a threat to law and order," Barak said. However, when it comes to those who fight soldiers and police, he continued, such as those who protested the destruction of the Federman farm, “that's clearly an attempt to undermine the state's authority over its civilians, and requires harsh action with no compromises.”

The first step in punishing Jews who protest the destruction of communities lacking government approval will involve using existing punishments more frequently, Barak said. “We'll need to find a way to convince our judges that we're not talking about just another case of interfering with a public official as he performs his duty to national security, but rather an attempt to undermine the state's authority, and therefore these people must be put behind bars,” he explained.

The second step, Barak said, would involve using laws reserved for use in emergency situations; laws which allow the government to take steps that would otherwise be considered undemocratic. “If there won't be a choice, we'll need to consider using the emergency regulations,” he said. The regulations in question “are a remnant of the British Mandate.”

The “emergency regulations” would allow security forces to arrest suspects without charges and without a warrant. “They allow a different course of action, that allows us to [immediately] arrest people who otherwise would not be arrested for another six months, if at all,” he explained. The regulations would only be used if necessary, he added, “in order to secure the state's authority over its citizens.”
As odd as the idea may seem, arresting any Jew who dissents from the Labor party line does have a strong appeal for Israeli progressives.

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