The interrogation sessions held in Iraq earlier today for two of Saddam Hussein’s former top aides cannot but arouse a mixture of conflicting emotions.
There was, of course, something heartening about the fact that a monster such as Ali Hassan Al-Majid (aka Chemical Ali), the man allegedly responsible for the 1988 chemical weapons attacks which killed thousands of innocent Kurds, will now at last be facing justice for his crimes. The sight of this once powerful general, now sitting humbled before a set of independent Iraqi judges, was as splendid as it was thrilling.
And yet, in pondering this turn of events, I couldn’t help but wonder: why aren’t similar trials being held here in Israel for the terrorist leaders of the Palestinian Authority?
Sure, Marwan Barghouti, one of the heads of Fatah, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his lethal acts against the Jewish state. But there are so many others, such as the heads of the various Palestinian “security” services, nearly all of whom are believed to have been involved in acts of terror against Israel in recent years. But no one talks of detaining or interrogating these thugs – instead, the government is hoping to “coordinate” with them the proposed withdrawal from Gaza – in effect rewarding them for their years of violence and bloodshed.
Why have the Iraqi people merited to see their tormentors put on trial, but we haven’t? When will Israelis at last see justice done?
The answer, of course, is quite simple: when our leaders finally overcome their boundless capacity for self-delusion, and start to treat our foes with the severity they so richly deserve.
May that day come soon.