Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boteach Asks- Is It Time For The Death Penalty for Terrorists?

Best selling author and tv personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says, "it is time that we articulate what few wish to, namely, that Israel must finally institute a death penalty for convicted terrorists. "

Looking at the recent release of terrorist and child killer Sami Kuntar, Boteach believes

There are times when a country must temporarily violate a principle to ensure it is upheld. Police cars speed to catch those who themselves speed on highways, thereby endangering other motorists. Surgeons cut open people's chests with knives to save their blocked arteries and stopped hearts. And just governments must sometimes take the lives of unrepentant terrorist mass-murderers to protect and uphold the infinite value of human life.

You can read his comments in the Jerusalem Post.

What do I think? Maybe Rabbi Boteach has a point. Killers such as Sami Kuntar are "martyrs" to their supporters whether they die in the attack or live long years afterwards in prison. But Judaism has always frowned on the death penalty and it is significant to note that Israel applies it only in the case of "crimes against humanity" such as participating in the murders of the Holocaust. Perhaps civilized society does need to weed itself of the most uncivilized among us.

No comments: