In Defense of Rabbi Wolpe

Objective assessment of the Penal Law on treason.

Prof. Paul Eidelberg,

Paul Eidelberg
Paul Eidelberg
On January 2, 2008, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe told a conference of rabbis in Tel Aviv that "government leaders should be hanged for negotiating with the Palestinians." (Jerusalem Post, January 3)
The conference was attended by rabbis who oppose transferring parts of the Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.

Rabbi Wolpe denounced the "terrible traitor [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, who gives
Israeli prime ministers have also released more than 7,000 terrorists.
these Nazis weapons, who gives money, who frees their murderous terrorists, this man, like Ariel Sharon, collaborates with the Nazis...." (ibid.)

Of course, Wolpe's denunciation of Olmert and Sharon also applies to Yitzchak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, as well as many other Israeli politicians who have collaborated with the PLO-Palestinian Authority.

The reader should bear in mind that, since the Israel-PLO Oslo Agreement of 1993, Palestinian terrorists have murdered no less than 1,500 Jewish women, men and children, 1,000 of whom were murdered under the premiership of Ariel Sharon. Since Oslo, Israeli prime ministers have also released more than 7,000 terrorists, and some 300 more Jews were murdered as a consequence thereof.

Hence, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that various Israeli prime ministers have been complicit in murder. Under Israeli law, however, murder is not a capital offense. The only crime punishable by death is treason. Before citing the law on treason, let us quote some further statements of Rabbi Wolpe at the Tel Aviv conference, as reported by the Jerusalem Post: "[Olmert's punishment], and the punishment of [Vice Premier] Haim Ramon, and the punishment of [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, and all these people like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, should be (to be) hanged from the gallows."

This last remark came during the conference when news circulated that one of the terrorists who killed two off-duty soldiers the previous week in the Hebron Hills was a PA security officer.

Interestingly, among those attending this conference of rabbis were Knesset Member Arye Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party) and former MK Elyakim Ha'etzni, who apparently "joined in the accusations that Olmert was responsible for the deaths of the two Israelis." As far as the present writer knows, neither Eldad nor Ha'etzni (an attorney) agreed with Rabbi Wolpe that the government ministers mentioned above should be hanged. Consider, however, Israel's Penal Law on treason. Sections 97, 99 and 100
One of the terrorists who killed two off-duty soldiers... was a PA security officer.
prohibit the following acts:

1. the category of acts which "impair the sovereignty" of the State of Israel - section 97(a);

2. the category of acts which "impair the integrity" of the State of Israel - section 97(b);

3. the category of acts under section 99 that give assistance to an "enemy" in war against Israel, which, the law specifically states, includes a terrorist organization;

4. the category of acts in section 100 that evince an intention or resolve to commit one of the acts prohibited by sections 97 and 99.
The punishment prescribed in the Penal Law for the first three kinds of acts of treason is death or imprisonment for life.

Viewed in this light, an objective assessment of the Penal Law on treason, together with laws related to Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza, may very well vindicate Rabbi Wolpe's bold denunciation of Israel's government leaders.