Nearly four years after the historic Levy Report was presented to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, sources responsible for the document have confirmed that despite refusal to formally adopt the report, the government is quietly implementing many of its proposals.
In the summer of 2012 a legal panel commissioned by the Israeli government to assess the status of Judea and Samaria according to international law produced a set of findings widely referred to as the Levy Report, named after the panel’s chief, Edmond Levy.
The report found that the case of Judea and Samaria was sui generis, and as such is not within the penumbra of international laws restricting government action in hostile territory occupied in wartime.
Thus, according to the Levy Report, there was no legal impediment to Israel building in or developing areas of Judea and Samaria.
Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton immediately condemned the report, as did the Israeli Left.
Boy, don’t that figure! The Left is all for “settled law” unless they don’t like the law. Then it’s “illegitimate”.
Among the report’s suggestions was the legalization of most Israeli communities over the Green Line which lacked full recognition by the state. These communities, often referred to as “outposts”, include Givat Assaf near Beit El, Mitzpeh Dani, near Maaleh Michmas, and Esh Kodesh near Shilo.
While Israeli nationalists praised the Levy Report, within months it became clear the coalition did not intend to adopt it proposals as government policy.
In February, however, the far-left NGO “Yesh Din” published a policy paper claiming that the Defense Ministry was quietly implementing key elements of the Levy Report, removing legal barriers to expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and effectively giving retroactive legalization to existing “outpost” towns.
According to the Yesh Din report, the years following the publication of the Levy Report saw a significant increase in the number of outposts given legal recognition. Some 30 outpost communities were either fully recognized or put on the road to legal recognition in the past few years.
While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and ministry officials have refused to comment, Alan Baker, one of the authors of the Levy Report, has confirmed that the government has quietly adopted some of the report’s proposals.
Speaking on Friday, Baker claimed that the panel originally charged with drawing up the report never believed it would officially adopted. Rather, he argues, the goal was to provide the legal “tools” for action at a later date.
“Are they adopted all of the recommendations? I don’t know. On the same day that the report was released there were legal experts who called it a disaster. Hillary Clinton condemned it even before it was translated into English.”
“On the left [people] thought it would legalize all illegal construction, while on the right [people] thought the report called for annexing the territories – and that’s totally wrong. There aren’t any political issues [dealt with] here. The three of us jurists [involved in the report] sat down and worked out the report in the most serious way, without any political biases so that we could put together a professional report.”
No annexation? Then what good is it? No, I take that back. Baby steps. Baby steps to Eretz Israel.
Was not MadSec prescient with her “what difference, at this point, does it make” crack?
The State Department on Friday turned over more than 1,100 pages of records to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, over a year after the committee first requested them for their ongoing investigation into the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also criticized the State Department’s delayed response to the request.
The records released included emails from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Clinton aides Jake Sullivan, Human Abedin, as well as then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, according to a statement from the Congressional committee.
Also included were files stored on computer networks used by senior employees within Clinton’s office.
There was no immediate information available on the content of the emails and network files.
Gowdy slammed the State Department over the length of time it took for the records to be released, following the initial November 2014 request.
“It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee,” Gowdy said, criticizing his Democratic colleagues for “never lifting a finger to help us get them.”
Following Gowdy’s 2014 request, the committee filed subpoenas for the records in March and August of 2015.
“This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed…at every turn,” he said.
Earlier this morning, I challenged Obama to a match of “dueling unacceptables”, a la Deliverance’s dueling banjos. (He condemned Mitch McConnell’s adamancy against SCOTUS hearings as “unacceptable”.) This would have been one of my unacceptables.
The Justice Department said Friday that it had given to Congress additional documents related to the botched gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious.
The Obama administration had for the last four years refused to provide the records to House Republicans, invoking a claim of executive privilege.
But a federal judge in January turned aside that argument, saying a blanket assertion of executive privilege was inappropriate since the Justice Department had already disclosed through other channels much of the information it had sought to withhold.
House Republicans sued in 2012 to obtain thousands of emails related to the failed effort by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track guns across the Southwest border. Under that operation, ATF allowed gunrunners to buy weapons in hopes of tracking them and disrupting Mexican gun-smuggling rings.
Revelations of the operation created a political firestorm and set off a documents dispute between then-Attorney General Eric Holder and Congress that resulted in Holder being held in contempt of Congress.
The Justice Department had already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents, but Congress continued to seek records that the department argued it was entitled to withhold.
The department said that, in producing the documents Friday, it had completed its obligations under the court order.
Chaffetz said in a statement that while the department had turned over “some of the subpoenaed documents,” the committee remains entitled to “the full range of documents for which it brought this lawsuit.” He said the committee was appealing in hopes of getting additional documents.
Some say better late than never. I say justice delayed is justice denied. This illegal regime has been operating outside the law throughout—but especially in its second term. Even the first-term crimes of the IRS scandal have been exacerbated by the second-term lies and cover-up.
We may yet see Obama and Hillary led away in manacles. And I may yet find a leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Investigators with the California Department of Justice on Tuesday raided the home of David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist behind a series of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the activist said.
Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The equipment contained all of the video Daleiden had filmed as part of his 30-month project, “including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,” he said.
A spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation. But the raid confirms that California is among the states looking into possible criminal activity on the part of Daleiden and his organization, the Center for Medical Progress, which have been the center of controversy since releasing videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue for a profit.
Planned Parenthood has denied the allegations, and numerous state investigations have so far turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by the group. However, a Houston grand jury earlier this year indicted Daleiden in connection with fake driver’s licenses he used to gain access to Planned Parenthood facilities and abortion provider conferences.
While Planned Parenthood was selling the livers and hearts of unborn children like scratch tickets, this guy was creating fake IDs (for himself, not for sale).
The National Abortion Federation, a professional organization for abortion providers that was also targeted in Daleiden’s videos, lauded news of the raid.
“We fully support a thorough investigation into the activities perpetrated by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress,” president Vicki Saporta said in a statement. “As the evidence has shown in our case, he engaged in a long-running criminal conspiracy. His actions are not without consequences.”
Did you know there were consequences for faking a driver’s license? That’ll come as a shock to about 12 million illegal aliens and at least double that number of college students. Obama’s going to have to empty the jails to make room for—hey! You don’t suppose that’s why he’s cutting loose all the “low-level” drug offenders, do you? To make room for pro-life activists and their crime wave of ersatz IDs.
In sum: it is a crime to fake a driver’s license to document evidence of a crime, but not to fake a driver’s license in order to drive without a genuine license, which is a crime. Neither is it a crime for the IRS to deny the right of assembly (organization) to conservative voters in a midterm election; nor to sell guns to Mexican drug lords which end up killing many Mexicans and at least one American; nor to splurge money intended for wounded and sick veterans on personal enrichment; nor to abandon four Americans to the fate of a terrorist massacre; nor to wield a phone and a pen to create executive powers out of thin air (even powers one denied were possible); and it is certainly not a crime to half-ass a health insurance redo that threw millions of Americans into confusion and disarray—least of all a crime to promise them $2,500 savings, but in reality to relieve them of thousands in premiums and co-pays every year.
I’m not aware of a single “consequence” for those “smidgens of corruption”.
PS: Not to mention it is evidently not a crime to break the law by auctioning off the internal organs of the unborn like so many used Oldsmobiles.
PPS: I guess it would be naive of me to complain that justice itself has been corrpted by politics. But Nixon never dreamed of abusing the powers of the office the way Obama has. And not just him: Ms. Harris (D) is running for the US Senate in California, and is the presumptive Senator-elect. This corrupt act should put her in solid with her base.
Oh yeah: and they lied about it, and won’t have to take responsibility for their myriad crimes.
U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal brought cholera to Haiti, as we describe in a new article for the journal Perspectives on Politics. Although cholera is endemic in Nepal, the peacekeepers were not screened for the disease before their departure. Once in Haiti, they built a camp with substandard sanitation that allowed human waste to spill from open pits and cracked pipes into a nearby waterway. Soon after their arrival, the first cases of cholera appeared, leading to an epidemic that has cost over 9,000 lives and sickened more than 750,000 people.
The U.N. repeatedly denied any connection between its people and the epidemic, but the organization’s culpability was soon confirmed by a range of scientific studies, expert findings, and even a report commissioned by the secretary-general.
Though the U.N. is clearly responsible “in fact” for the epidemic, it has never been found responsible “in law.” The gap between the two is important, both for the U.N. and the people who suffered. The U.N. is protected from legal accountability for the harms it has caused by three legal and political factors: U.N. immunity, the absence of legal standing for individuals in international law, and Haiti’s position of dependence in the international system.
Restricting U.N. immunity would carry practical implications. Being responsible for damages makes it harder for the U.N. to do its job. The victims’ lawyers demanded that the U.N. pay $50,000 per illness and $100,000 per death. At this rate, U.N. liability amounts to roughly $38 billion—over four times the U.N.’s total annual peacekeeping budget. A payout that size would dramatically undermine U.N. peacekeeping activities in Haiti (including cholera eradication) and elsewhere, potentially even shutting them down.
So, it’s a win-win! If the UN has to put every penny toward helping Haitians it sickened, and the families of Haitians it killed—AND can’t carry on raping underage girls in Congo, OR slandering Israel perseveratively—I’d say a little cholera will have been a small price to pay. Even if the Haitians don’t see it the same way. For the first time in my adult life, I would finally be proud of American contributions to the blighted United Nations.
After interviewing any Clinton aides who choose to be interviewed, the DOJ personnel on the case will move their investigation into its final phase, in which they will ask Clinton herself whether she wishes to speak with them. The prosecutors will basically tell her lawyers that they have evidence of the criminal behavior of their client and that before they present it to a grand jury, they want to afford Clinton an opportunity blindly to challenge it.
This will be a moment she must devoutly wish would pass from her, as she will face a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma.
Here is her dilemma.
If she were to talk to federal prosecutors and FBI agents, they would catch her in many inconsistencies, as she has spoken with great deception in public about this case. She has, for example, stated many times that she used the private server so she could have one mobile device for all of her emails. The FBI knows she had four mobile devices. She has also falsely claimed publicly and under oath that she neither sent nor received anything “marked classified.” The FBI knows that nothing is marked classified, and its agents also know that her unprotected secret server transmitted some of the nation’s gravest secrets.
The prosecutors and agents cannot be happy about her public lies and her repeated demeaning attitude about their investigation, and they would have an understandable animus toward her if she were to meet with them.
If she were to decline to be interviewed—a prudent legal but treacherous political decision—the feds would leak her rejection of their invitation, and political turmoil would break loose because one of her most imprudent and often repeated public statements in this case has been that she can’t wait to talk to the FBI. That’s a lie, and the FBI knows it.
Judicial Watch announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted “limited discovery” to Judicial Watch into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email matter. Lamberth ruled that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.”
Not only is the judge not protecting Hillary, he’s citing her “wrong-doing and bad faith” as cause to throw her to the wolves, as wolfish as Judicial Watch can be.
Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the Government and the former government officials. Whether the State Department’s actions will ultimately be determined by the Court to not be “acting in good faith” remains to be seen at this time, but plaintiff is clearly entitled to discovery and a record before this Court rules on that issue.
“This remarkable decision will allow Judicial Watch to explore the shifting stories and misrepresentations made by the Obama State Department and its current and former employees,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This Benghazi litigation first uncovered the Clinton email scandal, so it is good to have discovery in this lawsuit which may help the American people find out why our efforts to get Benghazi answers was thwarted by Clinton’s email games.”
Officials in Oregon said on Tuesday that state troopers were justified in fatally shooting LaVoy Finicum, who was part of an armed group that had occupied a wildlife refuge, because they feared for their lives.
This news came six weeks after Finicium was fatally shot when FBI agents and Oregon state troopers moved to arrest the leadership of an armed group that had seized a federal wildlife refuge.
The six shots fired by state troopers — three of which hit Finicum — “were justified and, in fact, necessary” because these troopers feared for their lives, Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said at the news conference Tuesday.
Law enforcement officials had stopped a pair of vehicles on Jan. 26 when Finicum, a grandfather and Arizona rancher who acted as the occupiers’ spokesman, tried to drive away at a high speed.
Armed officers shouted commands at the people inside both vehicles when they initially stopped. On Tuesday, authorities released new video footage captured from a passenger inside Finicum’s truck. Finicum can be heard yelling “shoot me” at the agents before eventually taking off down the road.
“It was not the outcome that any of us wanted, but one that he alone was responsible for,” Tim Colahan, the Harney County district attorney, said Tuesday.
Finicum swerved at one point to avoid a law enforcement roadblock, nearly hitting an agent, before eventually veering off the road and into a snowy bank, authorities said.
After Finicum got out of the car and walked toward an officer, he appeared to twice reach toward his jacket, where officials said they later found a loaded 9mm handgun.
There was one state trooper in front of Finicum with a Taser who intended to use the device to subdue him, but two troopers behind Finicum told investigators that they opened fire at him because they believed he was reaching for a gun, Nelson said. All three shots hit Finicum in the back, according to the autopsy conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.
Does Oregon have a Marilyn Mosby? “To the ranchers of the Beaver State, I hear you. Your time is now.”
Just as “Hands up, don’t shoot” became a national slogan, I hope to hear menfolk across the fruited plain chant “Shoot me!” in unison.
Many celebrities have given their support to Kesha after a judge on Friday refused to let her out of her Sony recording contract despite her claim she was raped by producer Dr Luke.
And Lena Dunham is the latest to lend her support to the 28-year-old singer.
The 29-year-old Girls creator, director and actress took to her feminist newsletter Lenny Letter on Tuesday to pen a powerful essay backing the Timber hitmaker.
She began the strongly-worded document by writing: ‘When I saw the outcome of Kesha’s court case last Friday, I felt sick. Actually sick — I wanted to ask my Uber to pull over so I could throw up in a New York City trash can.’
Now Ms. Dunham knows how the rest of us feel.
In the aforementioned court case, the singer alleges producer Dr Luke – real name Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald – drugged, sexually abused and psychologically tormented her.
Kesha has argued she is unable to make and release new music while bound by the contract, while Sony claims she is free to work with any of their other producers.
Lena goes on in her essay to paint the picture of a distraught Kesha in the courtroom with tears in her eyes while voicing her disgust that the word ‘alleged’ had to be used referencing the sexual assault claims.
There’s just one problem, Lena—one you’ve had before: there may have been no raping at all:
Also on Monday, Kesha’s producer Dr Luke – real name Lukasz Gottwald – broke his silence to deny that he had raped Kesha and hitting out at what he called a ‘trial by Twitter.’
‘I didn’t rape Kesha and I never had sex with her,’ he tweeted on Monday.
‘Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.’
He also said that Kesha had previously denied under oath that he had raped her, and retweeted media reports that Lady Gaga had denied Kesha’s lawyer’s claim that she had also been raped by the producer.
It should be noted that the rape allegations came up only after the singer tried to break the contract with the producer. There is no evidence of rape, other than the accusation. Second only to rape itself, false allegations of rape, especially to wiggle out of contractual obligations, are the vilest of the vile. I don’t know these people, and I never, ever want to. But I know justice when I see it, and I don’t see anything like it in unverified charges.
PS: Out of sympathy for our more sensitive readers, we included no visuals of Lena Dunahm this time—other than the planted image of her hurling into a midtown garbage can. Something we could all too easily imagine.
PPS: Am I the only one struck by the cognitive dissonance of the likes of Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Iggy Azelea, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, among others, subscribing to something like this?
Lena goes on to say that the battle is bigger than Kesha’s freedom, career, her personal safety and even the ‘systemic misogyny’ of the entertainment industry.
If only there were enough “systemic misogyny” to have killed “Girls” before the pilot.
The extreme right-wing activist Amiram Ben-Uliel, the main suspect in the Duma arson and murder, has released a special recording in which he describes undergoing torture at the hands of the Israel Security Agency (ISA, also known as the Shin Bet or Shabak).
Ben-Uliel claims that this torture led to his confession.
“I didn’t sleep for several nights… and then they took me to the preliminary sentencing. After returning from the hearing, they again took me for questioning. They interrogated me about that night and told me, ‘Let’s say that tomorrow at this time, this will be an emergency room,'” he describes.
He chose not to answer the questions and was then threatened by the interrogators. “They yelled at me a lot, screamed at me until all of my clothes were covered in spit. They threatened me a lot and told me that they can do whatever they want to me because I’m alone. They told me that I’m stuck… they cuffed my arms tight behind my back.”
“They sat me down on a chair with my shoulder towards the backrest and tied to the floor. They forced my legs behind the chair’s legs. Just sitting in that position was impossible and after a minute, at most, I simply fell backwards,” he added.
Ben-Uliel then explained that one of the interrogators “grabbed me by the shirt and told me, ‘I’m going to be your nightmare. We will drink your blood through your ears’ and all sorts of similar threats, screams, shouts, beatings, and slaps.
“They continued torturing me. All throughout the questioning, all under threat, all with beatings. They made me do all sorts of exercises. They stood me up with long cuffs behind my back, always with my legs shackled. They put me in a position that I was bent over.”
Ben-Uliel’s lawyer, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has stated in response to the recording that “The chilling evidence on tape, accompanied by the fact that, until this moment, the ISA and prosecutors have not been willing to give us the interrogation tapes from these hours and days, teaches us that Ben-Uliel was tortured and gave a forced confession that is not permitted under Israeli law.”
I could defend this sort of interrogation in a “ticking bomb” situation, where information was vital to spare innocent people from death or grievous injury. But even if Ben-Uliel, Meir Ettinger, and the others detained actually comitted the murder of the Dawabsheh family—which it seems they did not—this is not such a situation. No others were immediately threatened by Hilltop Youth. The “confessions”, so tainted by coercion, are useless in court. You would be excused for wondering if this whole exercise was meant to cover up something else. But what or why, I cannot guess.
Inter-Arab clan rivalry has always been my top suspicion, but I don’t know why the Israelis would leave it to the Arabs to investigate that angle by themselves. Why blame another Arab, especially a guilty one, when you can kill two birds (and three Dawabshehs) with one Molotov cocktail?
The only thing that might make sense is that blaming the Hilltop Youth serves the interests of the ISA more than blaming the actual Arab perpetrators. Cynical, but life among the genocidal beasts in that part of the world can dull the shiniest outlook. Even if the young men ultimately get off free, their movement has been staggered. That’s worse something to Shin Bet, even if justice is not.
Meir Ettinger, 24, of Samaria and Jerusalem, lost consciousness Tuesday after a week-long hunger strike in his isolation cell in Be’er Sheva’s Eshel Prison. He was taken to receive medical care.
Ettinger is protesting his ongoing detention. He has been in jail for close to six months, after being arrested on an administrative order signed by the Defense Minister, which was not accompanied by charges or evidence.
Two other young men who also belong to the so-called “Hilltop Youth,” Evyatar Slonim and Mordechai ben Gedalya, were arrested along with Ettinger, but Ben Gedalya was released three weeks ago after the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shabak) admitted it had relied on mistaken evidence to arrest him.
Ettinger is the grandson of ex-MK Rabbi Meir Kahane Hy”d. His grandmother and Rabbi Meir Kahane’s widow, Libi Kahane, wrote Tuesday in Arutz Sheva that she is concerned about her grandson’s health.
The imprisonment of my grandson Meir Ettinger brings back difficult memories for me. I don’t know how many people remember that my late husband Rabbi Meir Kahane, zt”l was jailed under those same despicable administrative detention orders in May 1980.
An administrative detention order deprives a person of his basic rights. He can be held for six months without being charged or tried and the order can be renewed indefinitely.
Simply put, the powers-that-be don’t like the way he thinks.
If there were any evidence that my grandson Meir committed a crime, he should be put on trial in an open court. He has not been tried in court because he has not committed any crime.
What he has done is not considered a crime in any democratic country. He expressed unpopular views in a blog he wrote on the Hebrew website “Hakol Hayehudi.” Simply put, the powers-that-be don’t like the way he thinks.
When his case came to court for review after his first three months in prison, the judge ordered his imprisonment continued. The reason he gave was that Meir had not changed his views. The Honenu lawyer said, “If the judge wants him to change his opinions, he can send him to Korea, there they know how to make people change their opinions.”
The administrative order imprisoning Meir can be renewed by the simple signature of the Minister of Defense for another six months, and another and another – life imprisonment by installments.
Evyatar Slonim, a Jewish administrative detainee, has announced that he began a hunger strike on Saturday. In doing so, he is joining his fellow detainee Meir Ettinger, who has now gone eight days without food.
This is how you treat traitors and sworn enemies of the state. I’m just not sure these two scrawny kids qualify.
Planned Parenthood cannot deny that its own senior leadership is caught on camera participating in a widespread and organized violation of state and federal laws against fetal body parts trafficking. Instead, Planned Parenthood can only attempt to distract the public and cover up the evidence of its lawlessness.
A Houston grand jury investigating criminal allegations against Planned Parenthood stemming from a series of undercover videos on Monday instead indicted two of the anti-abortion activists who shot the footage.
In a stunning turn of events, the grand jury declined to indict officials from the abortion provider, and instead handed up a felony charges of tampering with a government record against Center for Medical Progress founder David Daleiden and center employee Sandra Merritt. Daleidon was also charged with a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.
The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.
1) How much money total did Planned Parenthood receive from StemExpress from 2010 to 2015?
2) Why is Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services talking about manipulating fetuses to breech position to get better organs?
3) Why did a Planned Parenthood Medical Director endorse a StemExpress advertisement for “financial profits” from fetal tissue donation if Planned Parenthood does not support profiting from fetal tissue?
4) Since the President of the Medical Directors’ Council said “we didn’t really have to do anything” when letting Novogenix Laboratories, LLC harvest fetal tissue, why did Novogenix pay Planned Parenthood?
Planned Parenthood, predictably, spiked the football:
“These anti-abortion extremists spent three years creating a fake company, creating fake identities, lying, and breaking the law. When they couldn’t find any improper or illegal activity, they made it up,” Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.
“As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable,” Ferrero said.
I don’t know the law, and I don’t know what CMP allegedly did to break it, but I do know—for sure—that Planned Parenthood will be a de facto co-defendent if this actually goes to trial. Be careful what you wish for, baby-killers.
You too, conservatives. If you still haven’t figured out that the wheels of justice turn only one direction, left, you’re going to get hurt.
It’s been five months since members of the Dawabsheh family were murdered as they slept in a firebombing in the Arab village of Duma in the region of Samaria. The murderers are suspected to be Jewish terrorists, members (or at least supporters) of the so-called hilltop youth. We covered the story at the beginning, including the elements that cast suspicion on the prevailing theory, but have left it alone more recently. That’s because there’s been little new to report. Accusations aplenty—of guilt, of torture—but little hard news.
Indictments were filed on Sunday morning at the Lod District Court against two Jewish youths suspected of involvement in the deadly arson attack in Duma five months ago.
They have been identified as 21-year-old Amiram Ben Uliel from Jerusalem and an unnamed 17-year-old from elsewhere in Samaria. Ben-Uliel was charged with three counts of murder, while the minor was charged as an accessory to murder.
According to the indictment, the two defendants decided in July 2015 to conduct a revenge attack for the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld, which occurred near Duma.
Ben Uliel and the minor met at the Geulat Hatzion outpost several times to discuss targets, eventually settling on a double attack in Duma and the neighboring Majdal village.
They agreed to meet at the Yishuv Hada’at outpost on the night between July 30 and 31 to carry out an attack in Duma “with the intention of killing people in their houses.”
A child, Ali, was burned to death that night. His parents, Saad and Reham, died of the effects of the fire later. Another child, Ahmed, survived.
But that is all that’s certain.
Israeli security put a gag on the investigation at the beginning, but appeared to pursue the Jewish-guilt angle alone. We’ve expressed our…what, questions, concerns, suspicions…but they are not based on facts, because there aren’t any facts available to us. Other than the facts of the murdered Dawabshehs.
Here’s how Israeli security think Ben Uliel dunnit:
Armed with two bottles filled of flammable liquid, rags, a lighter, a matchbook, gloves and black spray paint, Ben-Uliel arrived at the designated spot at 11:00 p.m. on July 30.
When the minor failed to arrive at the designated meeting place before the attack, Ben-Ulliel, after waiting an hour, set off to conduct the attack on his own.
Ben-Uliel tied one of his shirts around his face and crept into Duma. In an effort to increase the damage, he chose two houses in the center of the village – both belonging to different members of the Dawabshe family.
After preparing the firebombs in the Dawabshe’s yard, Ben-Uliel spray-painted a Star of David and the words “revenge” and “long live the Messiah” on a wall near the houses.
He threw the firebombs through unlocked windows into the houses before fleeing on foot.
They even filmed a reenactment:
Okay, George Lucas or James Cameron might have made more out of the material, but you get the idea.
Shin Bet has laid out its case; it’s up to us to consider it.
Two other Israelis, including a minor, were charged for implication in “other terrorist acts” as well as obstruction in the Duma case.
These included the arson attacks on the Dormition Abbey in May 2014 and the Church of the Multiplication in June 2015, as well as acts of vandalism on Palestinian Arab property.
Arson is one thing, and a very bad thing indeed. Throwing Molotov cocktails into the home of a sleeping family is another thing entirely. Are the hilltop youth capable of going from “price tag” attacks to pyromania?
The document allegedly penned by Orbach, a resident of Bnei Brak, has already been published in part. It is titled “The Evil Kingdom.” Parts of it explain the importance of “setting alight,” metaphorically and physically…
The document Orbach is suspected of writing lists the flammable materials in mosques that can accelerate a fire, and then moves on to the possibility of setting a house on fire: “Sometimes, one grows tired of vandalism and wants to deal a blow that will make things clear to the evil [people] that if we could … so just want to set the house itself on fire with the occupants inside.”
The difference, the author explains, is that “in setting a mosque or a car on fire, there is no direct confrontation with Arabs. … So that the seriousness of the act by the Zionists is much less than killing, whereas arson as well as possible attempted murder the Zionists [is viewed] much more seriously. … [There] you find yourself in a direct confrontation with the occupants of the home … So if after you have understood the risks and have experience with setting other fires, which is very important, especially when you take on weighty things like these and decide that you’re going for it — it’s time to act.”
Orbach, the supposed author, moves on to the practical aspects: “Here, we prefer to use our friend, the Molotov cocktail. Arm yourselves with a 1.5 liter Molotov cocktail, a lighter, gloves, masks, a rod or hammer and a bag to carry everything. … You get to the village and there look for a home with an open door or a window without bars. … You don’t find one? You look for a flimsy door that can be broken down easily. You find one, you break in. You don’t find one? You couldn’t break in? Try and break a window.”
It is important to note that Orbach is not on trial for crime of the Duma arson and murders, but the similarity between the instructions in the document with which he is identified and what actually took place in Duma is compelling. If the murderers were indeed exposed to this written material, they could have learned more than a little from it.
Not bad for circumstantial evidence. But Jewish terrorists hardly need a manual authored by a Jewish revolutionary to know the destructive power of Molotov cocktails. Their Arab neighbors have made them acutely aware of their terror value for years. Indeed, the example of sneaking into a civilian neighborhood and butchering a family is Arab terrorist SOP.
Or have you not met the Fogels?
Anyway, back to Duma. Our disappointment, even disillusionment, with Israeli investigators stemmed from the prejudgement of who committed the murders and why. Any intra-Palestinian motive was either ignored or left to the “Palestinian” “investigators” themselves, which amounts to the same thing. Shin Bet just knew that one or more hilltop youth found their way into the middle of an Arab village on a summer’s night, signed their work (in suspiciously Arabesque script), and then deliberately burned the Dawabsheh family alive.
If true, almost any measure taken to expose guilt would be justified. And Shin Bet spared none. They detained young Israeli men without charge, even those with alibis, held them or weeks without seeing a lawyer or family member, allegedly beat them or used other means that fall under enhanced interrogation or torture, depending on your definition. They declared the case a “ticking bomb” situation, in which extraordinary—and extrajudicial—means had to be employed to crack a case which even government ministers admitted lacked evidence (but which didn’t stop them from pre-determining guilt). Bizarrely, someone even leaked a tape of a private wedding in which the Duma crime was cruelly mocked—though it bore no relation to the case whatsoever. (The father of the bride wrote one of the great FU letters it has ever been my privilege to read.)
But now they have their man, or men. And now it is up to the state to prove its case. Released from the clenched fists of the security services, the story will have to withstand the scrutiny of a system of justice that allows defendants rights that the Shin Bet withheld. Will confessions be allowed if they were attained by torture? Will guilt by association be enough to convict guilt of murder? Will the whole case even make it to trial given the myriad violations of due process (however that may be defined under Israeli law)?
I have learned a lot about the hilltop youth while I’ve followed this case. They are not the romantic pioneers of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria that I projected them to be. At least some of them aren’t. The most radical are like typical revolutionaries: single-minded, blind, heedless of consequence. The State of Israel is irrelevant to them at best, a corrupt and intractable enemy, requiring elimination, at worst. The typical rebellious claptrap of having to build the new on the ruins of the old grates on my jaded ear; but to them, the impish tots, it’s the call to glory, to the rebuilding of the Temple, to the return of the Messiah.
Okay, maybe. But talking like that typically leads to people getting killed. And more than one such reb has wound up doing life or doing death for walking the walk. Whoever did the crime had better be prepared to do the time.
Whoever did the crime. Talking the talk of terror and rebellion is not guilt of terror or rebellion. Remember the only certain fact: Saad, Reham, and Ali Dawabsheh are dead; Ahmed is an orphan. Beyond that, nothing is certain. Nothing except prejudgement in the media and in government. Actual judgement—who knows, maybe even the truth—is yet to come.
Though I had much to say about the charges against the Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, I’ve been quiet about the trial because trials are sealed chambers where only evidence speaks.
[T]he Porter case was state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby’s best shot. That the prosecution’s presentation was woeful will come as no surprise to readers who’ve followed Mosby’s antics here: her rush to bring charges before the investigation was anywhere near complete; her politicized rant in announcing the charges, nakedly acknowledging that they were intended to satisfy the mob’s cries of “no justice, no peace”; her embarrassing need to dismiss false-imprisonment charges brought because she was either unaware of or indifferent to the governing law; and so on.
Nor should anyone have been surprised by her signature tactic: a relentless pattern of concealing exculpatory evidence from the defense: e.g., the fact that Gray was under the influence of drugs when arrested; the fact that he’d claimed prior back injuries in the few weeks before his death; the fact that the medical examiner initially ruled Gray’s death accidental but changed the finding to “homicide” after meeting with Mosby; the fact that the medical examiner concluded that the police did not intend harm to Gray and that Gray would not have sustained his severe injuries if he had remained in the prone position the police had placed him in; etc.
The prosecution did not have a case.
As Andrew Branca points out at Legal Insurrection, the evidence established that, if anything, Porter went “above and beyond his duty in dealing with Gray.” The jury could not convict him on any of the four charges: manslaughter (a truly absurd overreach), assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office (each only marginally more plausible).
Finally, it bears noting that, like Freddie Gray, Officer Porter is African-American. That fact is clarifying. The campaign against the police is driven by race-mongers pushing a racial injustice narrative. But it is against the police. We’re told “Black Lives Matter,” but when it comes to black cops … not so much.
All of which leads Andrew McCarthy to conclude:
The chilling thing about the hung jury that resulted in a mistrial for Officer William G. Porter, the first Baltimore cop to stand trial on charges arising out of the death of Freddie Gray, is that it was a hung jury.
Jurors, who are supposed to weigh cases without fear or favor, are beset with concerns about their personal safety, the safety of their families, and the fate of the city. In that setting, even though there was no proof, it was an act of great courage for jurors to vote “not guilty.”
To those that are angry, hurt or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers I urge you to channel that energy peacefully as we prosecute this case I have heard your calls for ‘No justice, no peace,’ however your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.
Last but certainly not least, to the youth of the city. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let’s insure we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now.