The recent judgment against Boaz Shabo - perverting justice

Do you wonder why the subject of reforming the Israeli courts is such a highly-debated issue in the Jewish state? Read on.

Tamar Adelstein ,

Boaz Shavo
Boaz Shavo
Amatzia Haeitan

During Pesach, we received a video appeal that left us reeling in disbelief and outrage. After a day of researching more about the story, our group, Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel, invited activists to an online meeting to discuss the issue: the egregious and in our eyes, shockingly wrong decision of an Israeli court against a terror victim. The verdict also has serious, detrimental ramifications for the entire concept of Pikuah Nefesh, saving lives, for being able to protect oneself in the midst of a terror attack without fear of a negative backlash or prosecution.

First, some background: In 1992, at the height of the first Arab Intifada, Boaz Shabo, a founding father of Itamar, a town in the Shomron where he and his young family lived, was driving along when he came to an Israeli checkpoint in Shechem (Nablus). As he waited to pass through, he came under Arab terrorist attack; he fired shots at the ground to ward off the mob surrounding his car. One of the terrorists later claimed damages and filed suit against him. Presumably the case lacked little, if any, merit and was, thus, filed away and forgotten for the next nineteen years.

On June 20, 2002, during the Second Intifada, an Arab terrorist entered Itamar and with guns blazing began shooting wildly at passersby. Forcing his way into the Shabo home, he murdered Boaz's wife, Rachel, 40, and three of their children, sons - Neria, 16, Zvika, 12, and Avishai, 5 as well as Yosef Twito, 31, a neighbor who tried to save them. Nine-year-old Asael was seriously wounded in the attack (he lost his leg and spent two years in hospital recovering); his sister Aviya, 13, was also moderately to seriously wounded. During the attempt to rescue the family, a bullet hit a gas canister resulting in an explosion that burned the house down to the ground. The terrorist, attempting to flee, jumped out a second-floor window and was shot and killed. His driver was caught and remains (we think) in prison till today. The PFLP and the Fatah Al Aqsa Brigades (which are the armed branches of the PLO/Palestinian Authority claimed responsibility for the attack.

Boaz, a fine man and exceptional father, moved his family to nearby Kedumim where together they began their healing journey from darkness to light and recovery. Not one to give in to despair, Boaz eventually remarried and was blessed with a beautiful new blended family and the birth of triplets in 2009.

Then, out of the blue, in 2011, Boaz received notice from the Court that the Arab terrorist’s 1992 motion for damages was not only still pending but also found to have been mishandled, leaving him no choice but to hire attorneys and file an appeal. This March, twenty-nine years later, Boaz was found guilty and ordered to pay an Arab terrorist NIS $85,000!!

“It’s crazy,” says a bewildered and clearly pained Asael who made the appeal to help his father pay the Court's judgment as well as $500,000 of legal bills accumulated over the past decade. More of an understatement, in our view, the Court's verdict jeopardizes Israeli Jews' civil right to protect and defend themselves and others from a terrorist attack. It is difficult not to interpret the Court’s decision as anything other than a warning, that should an Israeli Jew defend himself, he can be subject to prosecution, at any time, regardless of the circumstances or facts. We’ve already seen how this upside-down kind of thinking wreaks havoc on the safety of Israeli soldiers, whether on the battlefront or on patrol, forcing them to give pause before responding to a terrorist.

On one hand, we could totally understand if Boaz Shabo decides it's just not worth the aggravation trying to appeal - particularly when not a shred of sympathy has been spoken in support for him by any of the politicians now clamoring for control over the next Israeli government. Without backing or the funds, it probably makes more sense to just pay the cursed terrorist and get it over with. On the other hand, the verdict is an assault on Pikuach Nefesh, the Halakhic imperative and universal right to protect one's life, family and others from danger and thus demands the rest of us take a stand and protest.

In the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there are times when we must “bang our fists on the table if necessary because on this issue rests the very security of Israel!” (Yud Tes Kislev 5743/1982)

Boaz’s predicament raises a number of troubling issues. But first, what motivated the Court, after nineteen long years had passed, to suddenly decide to dig out the case against Shabo? Might the timing of last month’s verdict, ten years later, have anything to do with the new Biden administration? Could this be an obsequious gestures by Israeli judges trying to show how even-handed they are? The case was on the docket for twenty-nine years! Who covered the legal fees for the Arab plaintiff? The PLO/PA/Hamas or one of their anti-Semitic NGO supporters, perchance? Considering all that Boaz Shabo and his family have been through, we say let the Court or Knesset draw the money from the PA’s tax revenues (their pay-for-slay source) to pay the Arab terrorist.

This is not all:

In July 2019, in another case, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori held the Palestinian Authority liable for damages suffered by Israeli victims of Arab terror. However, Judge Drori went on to demand the plaintiffs, eight of whom were represented by Shurat HaDin, come back and once more prove their claims. What’s going on here? Aren’t the victims’ damages what brought the case to Court in the first place? Since it didn’t take much to prove the Palestinian Authority’s culpability, why then, subject these poor people to a second round of victimization by calling into question their claims?

Adding insult to injury, nine months later, after finally satisfying the Court, Judge Moshe Sobol saw fit to prioritize the welfare of the PLO/PA’s regime and financial stability over the victims’ needs, hacking in half their rightful award. The Court also gave the PLO/PA relatively easy payment terms, spreading the payout over a long period of time.

Moreover, if the PLO/PA is liable for victims' damages, shouldn’t that make them also subject to criminal prosecution? Why are these murderers still running around free? While it's heartening to see some Jewish victims of Arab terror finally granted a measure of justice, watering down the consequences weakened the message that terrorism will not be tolerated.

At the end of last year, in December, the Israeli government began enforcing its 2018 Pay to Slay Law that penalizes banks that handle the transfer of Palestinian Authority salaries to terrorists and/or their families. Periodically, Israeli leaders put on a show of clamping down on the PA’s Pay to Slay program by freezing the tax revenues Israel collects for them. Inevitably, the pressure begins to mount on Israel to give in and release the money, which is a massive amount totaling billions of dollars. Needless to say, the PA has shown no intention of curtailing its wages to terrorists. In fact, just recently, it was uncovered that the PA is scheming to bypass the Pay to Slay Law by using the Post Office and ATM cards instead of banks to pay their terrorists.

Israel's National Insurance provides help and assistance to terror victims in Israel. Still, a good part of the burden falls on those stellar organizations like One Family Fund. Why did the Pay to Slay legislation leave out provisions that would deduct proportionate sums from Palestinian tax revenues to compensate terror victims and cover the budgets of agencies like One Family Fund? MK's must amend this obvious omission immediately

Additionally, we would be remiss if we did not remind readers that nary a peep was made last year when Blue and White appointed the Israeli Arab Joint List, which supports terrorism, to head the Knesset Welfare Committee for disabled soldiers and wounded victims of Arab terror.

Lastly, why does Israel continue to facilitate the transfer of millions of dollars in “aid” from Qatar to Hamas in Gaza? see: Qatar pledges $360 million in aid to Hamas-ruled Gaza (apnews.com)

In 2011 Prime Minister Netanyahu relented to PLO/PA/Hamas demands and freed Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi in the Gilad Shalit exchange. Tamimi is the evil woman who masterminded the 2001 S’barro Pizza Shop bombing, Once back home in Jordan, Tamimi was given a hero’s welcome. She hosted a TV show, spewing anti-Semitic hatred and calls for violence against Israel. Arnold and Frimet Roth’s daughter Malkie died in the blast that Tamimi planned. Since her release, they have been unflagging in their efforts to bring Tamimi to justice in the US. Malkie was an American citizen; under the terms of the extradition treaty Jordan signed with the US in 1995,

Tamimi can be tried in the US for her crime of murdering an American on foreign soil. But Jordan could not care less. Israeli politicians across the board, seem to be unwilling to even acknowledge the Roths’ struggle or work quietly behind the scenes to help them.

Recently Tamimi relocated to Qatar to join her husband there. Imagine the Kiddush HaShem were Israel to put a stay on Qatari "aid" from going to Hamas until they first turned Tamimi over to the US. Considering the shambles Gaza is in, cutting off the flow of millions of dollars supposedly earmarked for improving Gazan Arabs' lives that go instead to pay for incitement, terrorism and buying weapons - putting a hold on this pipeline will also work to protect Jewish lives.

In a letter sent to journalist Uri Tzvi Greenberg in the Fall of 1977, the Lubavitcher Rebbe observed that in his opinion, he saw “no difference between a hawk or a dove [the Right or the Left, the Secular or the Religious.] “For they continue in the same way, deluding themselves [about the peace talks they carry on and the concessions they make] and their followers with empty hopes that, even though nothing has changed, this time the outcome will be different.” Still, the Rebbe was as much of an optimist as he was a realist. Believing in better late than never, the Rebbe never gave up the belief that Israeli politicians will “give the alternative a try.” And nor should we for security, settlement and sovereignty will always be the keys that bring true peace.

Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel will continue to raise these issues and call for justice and change.

Tamar Adelstein heads the Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of IsraelCadelstein@aol.com



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