Former AG Denounces Death-Penalty Deal

YERUSHALAYIM -
Outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein speaks during a ceremony for a new Attorney General at the Israeli Bar Association's office in Yerushalayim on February 1. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein speaks during a ceremony for new Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit at the Israeli Bar Association’s office in Yerushalayim on February 1. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he is outraged by the reported coalition deal calling for the death penalty for terrorists.

Under the agreement struck between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, a directive will be issued to military courts saying that only a simple majority of two judges will be needed to sentence a terrorist.

While the death penalty technically exists under Israeli law, it has been implemented once, in the hanging of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.

Weinstein told Haaretz that his successor, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit should veto the move, or threaten to resign.

“I said that I would not [agree to be] appointed as Attorney General if there will be a death penalty here,” Weinstein said. “I think that this is without a doubt the appropriate position [to take], and I think that Mandelblit also needs to vigorously oppose this ruling.”

“This has no parallel in the world,” he said. “There is no country which adds the death penalty to its laws – there are only those who removed it.”

In addition, he said that it would be counter-productive, since jihadists who glorify “martyrdom” wouldn’t be deterred by capital punishment.

“It is not practical as a deterrent – since these criminals acts in any case from an ideological motivation, and do not worry about death – and moreover it is unethical,” Weinstein opined.