Prosecution representatives already hinted that this time around they are leaning towards demanding the death penalty, and Awad’s words are not supposed to change their minds. If he prefers death over regret, he should go all the way, with his partner to the massacre of course.
Indeed, after so many years of PLO murderousness it would be odd to inaugurate the gallows here. After all, we did not even hang the masterminds of the Park Hotel massacre, the deadliest suicide bombing in Israel’s history. Only two or three terrorists were sentenced to death here in the past, including one before the Six-Day War, but their sentence was mitigated following an appeal.
People who blew up buses and other serial killers were only sentenced to life in prison. Eventually they were released, or will be released.
Over the years, Israeli governments shied away from sending terrorists to the gallows. The incisive debates over this charged issue in the 1970s and 1980s ended with a decision to instruct prosecutors to settle for a prison term. Our leaders explained that the death penalty would not deter the terrorists, but they were mostly concerned about our global image. What will the world say about us?
We still love life
Today we are facing much worse image problems, yet precisely because of this, prosecutors must demand a death sentence for the Itamar killers. As of late, Israel’s enemies have formed the impression that the Zionist state is gradually losing its joie de vivre. As opposed to the past, it is willing to shrink within narrow borders and conveys a growing lack of confidence in its own righteousness.
Our enemies read in the newspapers about some 100,000 Israelis who acquired a German passport recently and conclude that the mental and operational conditions are ripe for storming our border fences. They see on television the waves of protests in favor of releasing hundreds of killers for one soldier and interpret them as a desire to commit suicide.
Hence, it is very important to show them, as soon as possible that they are wrong. A death penalty for anti-Semitic terrorists would prove that we still love life. Our life. It will make it clear that we show no hint of understanding whatsoever to the motive for the murder (occupation, oppression, etc.) Beyond anything else, it will bring justice.
Even the Turkish government would have trouble criticizing a death sentence to baby killers, let alone other governments. They may have never heard of Bialik’s poem, yet nonetheless they know that Satan has not yet devised a vengeance for the death of a young child.
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