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Op-Ed: Fighting Terror With Our Hands Tied Behind Our Backs

There are Israeli legal professionals who seem to fear the International Court of Justice in The Hague - and Obama - and Israel's image - more than they fear for the lives of Israeli citizens.
Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:00 PM


While Israel faces the reality of war, many ask themselves why a country with one of the strongest armies in the world, exceptional technological abilities, and very high human abilities did not handle the threat of rockets being fired all over Israel from Gaza decisively before they began to be launche in such numbers.

The answer is simple yet disturbing, Israel does not have an operational or military problem to act against the murderers and terrorists, but what Israel does have is fear and trepidation from the judicial system who are de facto managing the operation. This is true with regard to the fight against Hamas in Gaza, this is true with regard to the search for the murderers of the three teenage boys, and this is true with regard to the war against terror which is rearing its ugly head and is acting to murder Israelis and instill fear among  Israeli citizens.

The reason the State of Israel is not acting against the terrorist organizations is because it is being restrained by legal professionals who live by a legal school of thought deeply rooted in the minds of leaders of the New Israel Fund. These people are legal professionals who seem to fear the International Court of Justice in The Hague more than they fear for the lives of Israeli citizens.

The State of Israel provides electricity (despite the enormous debts of the Palestinian Authority), water, gas, food, and funds in cash to pay salaries and who knows what else. All this is being done while Gaza is firing rockets the length and breadth of the country.

The reason the State is continuing to fund Hamas in Gaza is the fear it has from its legal system and its leading senior professionals, from the Attorney General to the State Attorney Office, the Military Prosecution and the International Branch of the State Attorney Office. Everyone is afraid of the Supreme Court's statement who in the past agreed to hear a petition of Gaza residents against the government's decision to reduce the power supply voltage to the area while rockets were being fired towards Israeli cities.

This vicious circle of the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Court also affects the international arena, as it is obvious that if the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice tie the government's hands, then the rest of the world will take another step forward and protest against "illegal actions" which Israel is taking in Gaza.

How did this incomprehensible reality come about? One small example which illustrates the seriousness of the matter is a professional training seminar held earlier this week for members of the Military Prosecution. The only civilian participant to take part in this seminar was Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for "Betzelem". Out of all the organizations who are involved with human rights and law enforcement, "Betzelem" was selected to enrich the legal perspective of members of the military prosecution.

And then we wonder why they do not demand the death penalty for the heinous murderers of the Fogel family and others.

Since its establishment on 2004 the Legal Forum for Israel has been acting to bring this problem to the attention of the decision makers. The Forum is continuously making it clear that without a fundamental change to the legal system, the most advanced weapons and technological capabilities will be useless, as soldiers and commanders will still be prevented from achieving decisive results by legal constraints.

Today more than ever it is clear that the legal discourse among the decision makers must be changed. Many decision makers realize today that they must not simply rely upon the official legal authorities, but that everything must be done in order to change the dialogue, and that there is still a duty to do everything  in order to save the State of Israel from itself.

The Legal Forum for Israel is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the Jewish identity of the State of Israel, ensuring sound government and protecting human rights.

While Israel faces the reality of war, many ask themselves why a country with one of the strongest armies in the world, exceptional technological abilities, and very high human abilities is unable to handle the threat of rockets being fired all over Israel from Gaza.

The answer is simple yet disturbing, Israel does not have an operational or military problem to act against the murderers and terrorists, but what Israel does have is fear and trepidation from the judicial system who are de facto managing the operation. This is true with regard to the fight against Hamas in Gaza, this is true with regard to the search for the murderers of the three teenage boys, and this is true with regard to the war against terror which is rearing its ugly head and is acting to murder Israelis and instill fear among  Israeli citizens.

The reason the State of Israel is not acting against the terrorist organizations is because it is being restrained by legal professionals who live by a legal school of thought deeply rooted in the minds of leaders of the New Israel Fund. These people are legal professionals who seem to fear the International Court of Justice in The Hague more than they fear for the lives of Israeli citizens.

The State of Israel provides electricity (despite the enormous debts of the Palestinian Authority), water, gas, food, and funds in cash to pay salaries and who knows what else. All this is being done while Gaza is firing rockets the length and breadth of the country.

The reason the State is continuing to fund Hamas in Gaza is the fear it has from its legal system and its leading senior professionals, from the Attorney General to the State Attorney Office, the Military Prosecution and the International Branch of the State Attorney Office. Everyone is afraid of the Supreme Court's statement who in the past agreed to hear a petition of Gaza residents against the government's decision to reduce the power supply voltage to the area while rockets were being fired towards Israeli cities.

This vicious circle of the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Court also affects the international arena, as it is obvious that if the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice tie the government's hands, then the rest of the world will take another step forward and protest against "illegal actions" which Israel is taking in Gaza.

How did this incomprehensible reality come about? One small example which illustrates the seriousness of the matter is a professional training seminar held earlier this week for members of the Military Prosecution. The only civilian participant to take part in this seminar was Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for "Betzelem". Out of all the organizations who are involved with human rights and law enforcement, "Betzelem" was selected to enrich the legal perspective of members of the military prosecution.

And then we wonder why they do not demand the death penalty for the heinous murderers of the Fogel family and others.

Since its establishment on 2004 the Legal Forum for Israel recognized this problem, and since then has been acting to bring this to the attention of the decision makers. The Forum is continuously making it clear that without a fundamental change to the legal system, the most advanced weapons and technological capabilities will be useless, as soldiers and commanders will still be bound by legal constraints.

Today more than ever it is clear that the legal discourse among the decision makers must be changed. Many decision makers realize today that they must not simply rely upon the official legal authorities, but that everything must be done in order to change the dialogue there, and that there is still a duty to do everything  in order to save the State of Israel from itself.