King Ahab’s Biblical Kangaroo Court

Dec. 16 2016

In the book of Kings, the Israelite monarch Ahab, egged on and assisted by his wife Jezebel, has a man named Naboth tried and executed on trumped-up charges so that Ahab can then inherit his vineyard. As Shalom Holtz notes, the trial, although clearly a sham, follows several procedures of biblical justice:

Jezebel convenes the “elders and nobles” before whom Naboth is to be denounced and Naboth’s accusers testify against him “in the presence of the people” [in keeping with court proceedings described in Numbers and Deuteronomy]. . . .

For an accusation to stick, it must not only be made in a proper venue; it must also follow the proper procedure. To this end, Jezebel specifies that there be two witnesses, not just one, to accuse Naboth. This brings the process into line with biblical laws that explicitly prohibit punishment on the basis of just one accuser’s word. By requiring corroborating testimony, these laws guard against false accusations and a rush to punishment. Thus, Naboth’s two false accusers subvert these laws’ very purpose. . . .

By convicting Naboth in a kangaroo court before his execution, Ahab and Jezebel attempt to launder their corruption in the machinery of justice. Their accusation is rooted in law, but so is the punishment God [eventually] metes out to them. False accusation, according to the Bible and other ancient legal sources, entailed “do to the false witness just as the false witness had meant to do to the other.” Moreover, abuse of royal power, in the Bible and elsewhere, was subject to punishment directly from God, the ultimate judge.

Read more at Bible Odyssey

More about: Ahab, Ancient Israel, Hebrew Bible, Jewish law, Religion & Holidays

Close the PLO Office in Washington

April 24 2017

In the wake of the Oslo Accords, and in order to facilitate futher negotiations, Congress carved out an exception to the 1987 Anti-Terrorism Act to permit the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—a known terrorist group—to open an office in the U.S. capital. The legislation allows the president to extend this “temporary” waiver at his discretion—which every president since Bill Clinton has done. Shoshana Bryen argues that putting an end to the policy is a proper punishment for the PLO’s continued financial support for terrorists and their families.

[The waiver] was conditional on the PLO’s meeting its Oslo Accords obligations, including refraining from terrorism and renouncing international moves that would impede a bilateral agreement on final-status issues. . . .

In 2011, a Palestinian bid for recognition as a full member of the UN failed, but the waiver remained. Over U.S. objections, “Palestine” joined the International Criminal Court in 2015 [in violation of the Accords and thus of the waiver’s conditions]. . . .

[Furthermore], worried about foreign-aid payments from the U.S. and the EU, in 2014 the Palestinian Authority (PA) claimed it stopped paying salaries [to terrorists and their familites] and that future money would come from a new PLO Commission of Prisoner Affairs. . . . [I]n 2015, a year after the PA “officially” transferred authority over Palestinian prisoners to the PLO, it also transferred an extra 444-million shekels (more than $116 million) to the PLO—nearly the same amount that the PA had allocated in the previous years to its now-defunct Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs. . . .

[T]he U.S. government should let the PLO and PA know that we are onto their game. Disincentivizing terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington would be a good first step.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy