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      What To Do About Those Israeli-Arab Terrorists

      Yesterday's announcement of the discovery of an Israeli-Arab terrorist cell responsible for the murder of 35 people still has Israel reeling. Interior Minister Eli Yeshai said yesterday that he would take steps to revoke the citizenship or residency status of the Israeli-Arabs found to be involved in terrorist activities. MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) said, however, that such measures would be a "
      First Publish: 8/22/2002, 6:50 PM

      Yesterday's announcement of the discovery of an Israeli-Arab terrorist cell responsible for the murder of 35 people still has Israel reeling. Interior Minister Eli Yeshai said yesterday that he would take steps to revoke the citizenship or residency status of the Israeli-Arabs found to be involved in terrorist activities. MK Michael Kleiner (Herut) said, however, that such measures would be a "laughable punishment." He said that the State Prosecution and the Attorney-General should show "public courage" by indicting the terrorists on charges of treason and demand the maximum punishment: death.

      Minister Yeshai's proposal could have at least one positive outcome, however, according to the head of the National Insurance Institute, Prof. Yochanan Shtesman. He told Arutz-7 today that at present, the terrorists' families could demand unemployment benefits, "since their provider is unable to work. The fact that this is due to his being in prison for committing acts of terrorism is not germane. I leave it to you to decide if this is logical, but that is the situation. If, on the other hand, a terrorist's residency status were to be revoked, he would not be liable to any payments from Israel, nor would his family receive any compensation because of him."

      Prof. Shtesman explained that until recently, the situation was even more absurd, in that an Israeli-Arab terrorist who blew himself up, or was otherwise killed or injured in the course of committing a terrorist attack, was liable to pension payments from the State for himself or his family. This anomaly was ended earlier this year by legislation sponsored by MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union). "Unfortunately, however, the law did not go far enough," Shtesman said, "and currently, the families of the terrorists arrested yesterday can receive unemployment [unless their status is revoked, as above]."

      In a related matter, Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA notes that the discovery of the Israeli-Arab terror cell puts another nail in the coffin of one of Foreign Minister Shimon Peres' pet theories:
      "According to the Shimon Peres 'flush toilet theory,'" writes Lerner, "Arab terror would end if the Arabs were gainfully employed and had good housing. Israel Television Channel 2 news showed some of the villas of the gainfully employed residents of the well-developed Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem who participated in the most dangerous bloody terror cell in Israel's history. The group, all employed inside Israel and living in nice homes, following Hamas orders from Ramallah according to an agenda set in Damascus and/or Iran, were responsible for the Cafe Moment, Hebrew University and Rishon LeTzion attacks, as well as an attack at a gas storage facility that could have incinerated scores of thousands of Israelis near Tel Aviv."