The horrific events of this past Friday in Israel should cause us to re-examine Israel’s long-standing policy against capital punishment.  While early in Israel’s history the law may have been warranted from a public relation’s perspective, it has clearly become a liability that is causing both the death of Israel’s youth, as well as a decline in the morality of our distant Arab cousins.

Friday’s horrific event just illustrates the damage that Israel’s law against capital punishment actually does.  What happened exactly?

Nidal Omar, was a Palestinian man who worked in a sandwich shop in Bat Yam just outside Tel Aviv.  Omar embarked upon a vile plan to help secure the freedom of his brother, Nur ad-Din Omar, who has been in prison since 2003 and was a member of the Tanzim militia, an offshoot of the Fatah faction.

Apparently, Omar lured a fellow worker, Tomer Hazan, who was also an IDF Seargent, to his family home in the West Bank.   There, Omar killed Hazan and planned to use Hazan’s dead body as barter in exchange for the release of his brother from an Israeli prison.  This horrific incident was announced a day later by Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military.  The spokesman further explained that Omar had admitted to the horrific crime and was arrested with seven others early Saturday morning.

Sergeant Hazan served in the Israeli Air Force in a noncombat job and worked part time at the shwarma shop.

The spokesman explained that Omar had persuaded Sergeant Hazan to travel with him in a taxi on Friday from Israel to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and then on to Beit Amin, where Omar’s family lived.  Beit Amin is a nearby Palestinian village of 1,100.  Omar then took Sergeant Hazan to an open area, and viciously murdered him.  He then hid his body in a nearby water cistern.

It is clear that Omar, described by the owner of the shwarma shop in which he worked as a “nice and friendly person” embarked upon this plan because he was convinced that Israel may make the exchange.

In 2011, in exchange for Gilad STomer-Hazanhalit, Israel agreed to a release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of them murderers.  According to the Israeli military there has been a sharp rise of plans to kidnap Israeli citizens and to trade them for some of the 4,500 Palestinian prisoners that are currently in Israeli jails. Indeed, in the past nine months alone there have been 37 such plans discovered.

Instituting capital punishment for terrorist acts may serve as a deterrent for would-be terrorists from engaging in murderous activities in the first place.  It  will also remove the incentive for kidnappings.  It will keep otherwise honest Arabs from the moral decline of engaging in these kidnappings to help out family members.  It will also ensure the safety of Israel’s soldiers.

Enacting such legislation will be a win-win — both for Israelis as well Palestinians.


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