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Justice in Israel

August 05, 1985

I take strong exception to both the substance of and the choice to print your editorial (July 24), "Israel's Selective Justice." Your editorial is yet another prime example of the double standard to which Israel seems always to be held in comparison with its Arab and Muslim neighbors.

Israel prosecutes its own citizens for unlawful actions against Arabs, and sentences them to prison terms, while Arab terrorists dedicated to Israel's destruction receive effective pardons through lopsided prisoner trades with its adversaries.

Furthermore, it is well known that Arab and Muslim enemies of Israel sanction and encourage terrorist actions against Israeli citizens, while never holding them accountable for their actions under their own various legal systems.

While The Times should be criticizing this benign treatment of terrorists against Israel by these enemy countries, it instead has chosen to castigate Israel for inconsistent or lenient sentencing of its own citizens, through a democratic judicial process unheard of in the Arab world.

Notwithstanding this appalling lack of reciprocal judicial treatment by Israel's neighbors, The Times chooses to criticize instead the workings of a system like the United States' own judicial system--which is less than perfect, which has always featured justice that is selective in nature by reason of unequal access to the best attorneys and markedly inconsistent sentencing on a state by state, locality by locality, and judge by judge basis, and which is always attuned to political factors.

Occasionally, in the desire of some to hold Israel under critical scrutiny with a microscope, perspective and objectivity are lost. In this instance, The Times unfortunately has lost the forest from the trees. The "anti-Arab violence and vigilantism" concerning which The Times' is purportedly concerned has been infrequent in nature, in comparison with the continuing war by terrorism to which Israel has been subjected for decades.


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