Monday, March 14, 2005



Yitzhak Laor is his usual self in an editorial in Ha'aretz today. If you feel like I do, that's a good thing. Starting from the debate over Yigal Amir's (Rabin's assassin) right to conjugal visits, Laor embarks on a condemnation of the Israeli justice system that sets up two parallel systems: one for "security" prisoners and one for "criminal" prisoners.
Let's say this openly: In all these places, the system (police, State Prosecutor's Office, the Prison Services) is accustomed to clearly discriminating between Jews and Arabs.
Laor points to the discrepancies between the attention to Amir's conjugal visits and the "rights" of other "security" prisoners.
How many of the 5,000 Prison Services "security prisoners" have committed crimes as severe as that of Amir - i.e., homicide? How many of them get to go out on leave? Not one. How many of them receive family visits? For years, "security prisoners" from the territories have not seen their children, their wives, their fathers or their mothers. Never mind "conjugal visits."
Laor also laments the use of a parallel judicial system to literally let settlers get away with murder (as long as the victim is Palestinian).

Meanwhile, Mahmud Abbas is spending political capital right and left, even (according to a report in the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat) putting feelers out about abandoning the right of the refugees to return. In the meantime, Israel is saying that it will turn security control of a few West Bank cities and towns over to the PA "soon" (oh yeah, this deal was worked out weeks ago now) and saying that the "unauthorized" outposts (who needs authorization when you have funding?) will be dismantled but "not just now" (according to a conversation between Ariel Sharon and Kofi Annan). Everybody's going to just have to wait until after the disengagement plan. Which is going to have to wait until after the budget is passed. Wait and wait and wait some more. And then they'll get around to it. "Soon."

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