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New Knesset Lobby for Death Penalty on Terrorist Murderers

Advocates for death sentence say it has been proven effective in the United States.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/29/2011, 10:02 AM

Death sentence lobby meets.
Death sentence lobby meets.
MK Kara's office

A new Knesset lobby was established Monday, to advocate for imposing the death penalty on terrorist murderers.

A new Knesset lobby, the Lobby for the Imposition of the Death Penalty on Terrorist Murderers, was formally established Monday evening. The first meeting of the lobby was held in the Knesset and chaired by Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud), on the same day the second murderer in the Fogel family massacre was convicted.

"The fact that we are sitting in the Knesset today, on the day of the verdict in the trial of the terrorist who murdered the Fogel family, has great symbolism," Kara said. "We call on the Military Court judges in Salem to impose the death penalty on the murderers," he said.

Kara said the lobby will advocate changes in the military and civil law books, to make it possible to impose the death penalty on terrorist murderers. This lobby will advance the laws in coordination with the government, he said, while rallying a large public consensus in their favor. 

The lobby decided to establish a committee of legal experts who will formulate a position paper that will serve as a basis for a "balanced and stable" bill that will receive wide backing in the Knesset and in the public.

Professor Avraham Gil, who will coordinate the lobby's activity, said at the session: "We are not thirsty for blood. On the contrary, we are acting for life and for the defense of our rights to live in peace and quiet. The terrorists' cruelty forces us to take preventative steps, and this move is vital for deterrence. This was proven in the U.S.: when the death penalty was abolished in the 70s the murder rate rose, and when in was brought back in the 80s the murder rate went down by more than 50 percent."

Dep. Min. Kara cited the poll published Monday that pointed to wide public backing for the death penalty on terrorist murderers. "Seventy percent of the public support the death penalty for terrorists, and this is the result of two formative events," he said. "First – the cruelty of the terrorists that is on the rise, as evinced in the Fogel family massacre. And second – the release of 1,027 terrorists in the Shalit deal, after which the public understood that even in a hundred years' time, the Middle East will not speak Yiddish and the answer to terror is a deterrent penalty."