Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A pleasant New Year's surprise

I don't know how many of you have been following the story of Tirza Sariel. She's the 15 year old girl who has been in prison for the last two and a half months for failing to accept the authority of the Israeli Justice system to judge her. Let me explain...no, not enough time, let me sum up.

In mid July Tirza and some of her friends were protesting against Arabs picking olives in a disputed area. Allegedly one of the girls dumped out a bucket of olives and threw some at the Arabs. Along came the police, accepted the Arab’s story at face value and went to arrest the young girl. Tirza and her friends made it clear that they would not let the police arrest the supposed perpetrator unless they too were arrested, and so they were.

All the other girls were willing to sign guarantees that they would show up their respective court cases, of which they were all found innocent from lack of evidence. Tirza on the other hand refused to sign on the grounds that the Israeli legal system has no authority over her, as it doesn’t judge in accordance with Torah law. And this seems to have irked the judges. So they tossed her in prison. And kept here there for two and half months. Not in a prison for minors, but in an adult prison. With Arab prisoners. To teach her, and her compatriots, a lesson. None of the usual suspects were anywhere to be heard. None of the human rights groups. None of the children’s rights groups. Nada. Nothing. Silence. Except Shelly Yechimovich from Labour, who gets kudos for raising a stink about it.

In any event, she’s been released. The judge claiming that even if she was found guilty of the crime she had been accused of, the maximum sentence is less then what she’d already been incarcerated for. So she’s free without restrictions. So, Baruch Matir Assurim!

You Go Girl!
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Sara with NO H said...

This is really an amazing story. I never heard about it. But now I have a great toppic to bring up at the shabbes table. There should be more people in this world willing to not just believe in things but to stand up for what they're believing in. Since there are so many people who believe in things but do nothing, maybe more people like her would bring on a new era in the world. Thanks for sharing this.

Robbie said...

And I particularly like it when you use Princess Bride references.

Olah Chadasha said...

Now, it's time to SUE! Really, this country needs to get a bit more American when it comes to these kinds of matters.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

OC: Who can you sue? The same legal establishment which incarcerated the girl in the first place (in order to EDUCATE her???)

I think the best we can do is just breath a sigh of relief that she's been released.

kishnevi said...

Her reasoning makes no sense.
Israel is not governed according to halacha. That's obvious.
So it is simply a Gentile government that happens to be staffed by Jews.
And therefore is be treated as any other Gentile government. Or does this girl believe that being Jewish exempts her from following the laws of any country now in existence? Dina hamalkutha dina. If I were the trial judge, I'd be a bit irked too. And probably order a psychological evaluation.

Not to mention that that no matter who the owner of the olive trees are (would I be right in presuming these were local Arabs harvesting from trees located on land they claim to own?), if they did throw the olives, commit what Anglo-American law calls assault and battery, and IIRC violated halacha in the process?

Liberated Land said...

Wow! You sound like the Dati cops and IDF service people that were pro-expulsion last summer.

Bla, bla, bla...Dina hamalkutha dina...

Whine, whine, whine, Chilul HaShem, be more Catholic then the Pope, if they did throw the olives, commit what Anglo-American law calls assault and battery, and IIRC violated halacha in the process.

What will the Goyim think?

You should look into a career in the IDF rabinate!

kishnevi said...

liberated land--
I'm just pointing out how illogical her claim is.
Halacha is not the law of the land in Israel. We all know that. The government of Israel, as I said, is really a Gentile government that happens to be staffed by Jews. So her claim is that lack of halachic government exempts her from following any laws, in Israel or another country. Do you agree with her? If so, please provide a rational agrument to support your position. If you don't, get out of the way.

And if her actions did violate halacha, wouldn't that be relevant in Jewish eyes?

And her actions may well be Chillul Hashem. Last time I looked, Chillul Hashem was a fairly grave matter, at least in the eyes of Hashem.

Liberated Land said...


I'm glad you agree with me.

What branch of the Expulsion Force are you applying for?

Dou you already have Smicha or are you buying your whiny Rabinical degree online?

Lurker said...


Your comments are completely beside the point.

So the girl is wrong in what she says. WHO CARES?! She is a 15-year-old girl being held in prison without justification, because of politics and personal spite! That is ALL that matters.

I don't agree with her either, but that doesn't distract me from seeing the main issue, which is the abuse of a child by the judiciary for political purposes.

Nobody would accuse leftist Labor MK Shelly Yechimovich of agreeing with Tirza Sariel's views, but that didn't stop her from writing a public letter condemning the court's actions.

Is it too much to expect of you the same level of intellectual honesty and decency that Yechimovich has shown?

[As an aside, you might be interested in knowing that (a) Tirza Sariel denies comitting the actions in question, and (b) she was held in prison for a longer time than the period to which she can be sentenced should she be convicted.]

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