Canadian Jewish News | Nov. 21, 2002 | Orest Slepokura

Israel is not above the law

The Editor:

Jewish-Canadian parliamentarian Irwin Cotler insists that "Israel is not above the law... if individual Israelis engage in excessive practices, Israel itself holds the perpetrators accountable" ["Israel not just a Jewish cause: Cotler," Canadian Jewish News, November 21, 2002].

"Accountable," eh?

In the fall of 1996 an Israeli military court convicted four Israeli soldiers of negligently shooting to death an 18-year old Palestinian in the West Bank. Then the court passed a sentence on the four: An hour in jail, suspended; and the fine of one Israeli agora (just under one-third of a U.S. cent).

This was hardly the first time Israeli soldiers got off lightly for killing an Arab in haste. Independent investigators have counted over 1250 cases where Israeli troops killed Palestinians during and after the 1987-93 uprising in the Israeli occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Source: Barton Gellman writing from Jerusalem for The Washington Post in its November 20, 1996 issue).

Sincerely yours,

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore AB

c. Canadian MPs: Irwin Cotler, Libby Davies, Caolyn Parrish, Sven Robinson; and Canadian Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien; et al.