Commenting on the Gilad Shalit deal, Louis René Beres gives a new spin on an old theme:
No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian. Terrorism is a criminally sanctionable violation of international law that is not subject to manipulation by individual countries. In the United States, it is clear from the Constitution that the president’s power to pardon does not encompass violations of international law. Rather, this power is always limited precisely to “offenses against the United States.”
In originally capturing and punishing Palestinian terrorists, Israel acted on behalf of all states. Moreover, because some of the terrorists had committed their crimes against other states, Israel cannot properly pardon these offenses against other sovereigns.
Freeing hundreds of murderers in exchange for one soldier is definitely a questionable decision, but a violation of international law? Not sure how that would hold up in court. For those of you who are interested, Isis Liebler gives a much more convincing argument against the swap.
On a more positive note, the Israeli High Court is continuing to brazenly enforce human rights. Yesterday, they ruled that forced segregation of men and women in the public streets of an ultra-orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood is illegal.
At a hearing of the High Court of Justice on Sunday, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch ordered the police to remove the separation barriers and also ordered the police to remove private security personnel enforcing the gender separation.
… “Succot has arrived and once again there is illegal segregation [of men and women],” Beinisch stated during the hearing. “There has been a takeover of public places by a minority in the neighborhood… The private-security personnel and the canvas partitions should be removed now and beginning at the end of Succot, and from then on, there should be no segregation in Mea She’arim [in the future].”
… “It began with buses, continued with supermarkets and arrived in the streets. It’s not going away – just the opposite,” she said.’
Now I’m not normally one to mention “Israel” and “Apartheid” in the same sentence lightly (or at all), but the imposition of segregated buses, supermarkets and roads does smack of a certain 20th-century South African regime, or at least pre-Civil Rights America. Good on the Israeli Court for ruling against it. If people want to live in the Middle Ages, they should be entitled to do so in the privacy of their own home, but they should NOT be allowed to force others to follow suit.
Speaking of breaking down gender Apartheid, a genuine actual female was just elected to the top advisory council in Oman. Yup, 1/84 of the people elected to advise Oman’s dictators are now women. This is a watershed moment in the Arab world and creates an important female voice for the rulers of Oman to ignore.