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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 15, 2009 / 23 Tamuz 5769

The Spanish Prisoner

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's the name of an old, turn-of-the-century confidence game. A nobleman of great wealth is being held in a Spanish dungeon under a false name. And if the sucker will just chip in to raise the ransom money, he'll be richly rewarded. The imprisoned aristocrat has a beautiful young daughter who may be part of the bargain, too. Details vary. Consult your own e-mails for any number of modern variations on this old theme.


Today's Spaniards can play games, too. It seems the judges of Spain's national court have decided theirs is actually an international one. At one point they were in the process of investigating 16 — count 'em, sixteen — charges against highly selected foreign nationals. The charges range from torture and genocide to Crimes Against Humanity if not the universe in general.


The ideological orientation of the Spanish judges is easy enough to guess, since the list of usual suspects included six members of the former Bush administration. Plus seven Israelis of various rank, including a former defense minister, for an air strike that killed a Hamas commander and anybody nearby. The court has since backtracked on the charges against the Israelis, but Spanish prosecutors may still try to pursue them for a show trial.


All in all, the jurisprudence of the Spanish court is definitely of the politically correct variety. There hasn't been quite so impartial a tribunal since the Spanish Inquisition.


No top-ranking members of the Obama administration are being investigated by the court. Not yet. But bad law can be fickle, the war in Afghanistan is heating up again, and today's favorites may prove tomorrow's scapegoats.


To date the Spanish court hasn't evinced any great interest in some of the worst violators of human rights on the planet, such as terrorist outfits like Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaida, not to mention the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Brothers Castro in Cuba. (There are many contenders in this loathsome category.)


Nor has Spanish justice focused on the perpetrators of real genocides like the one in Darfur.


When it comes to Spain's own historical record, its national court strictly observes the statute of limitations. So the Spanish jurists are not likely to comment on the mutual atrocities of that country's civil war in the 1930s. Or the conquistadors' cruel and barbarous treatment of the natives of the New World, let alone the mass expulsion of Spain's Jews in 1492, an early case of what today would be called ethnic cleansing. One will look in vain for the name Torquemada on any bill of indictment out of this court. As for the medieval cathedrals in Spain that used to be mosques or synagogues, no plans have been announced to return them to their rightful owners.


Someone should point out that the Spaniards aren't the only ones who can play these legal games. If a Spanish court can refer American officials to prosecutors, an American court equally free of any sense of restraint could issue a warrant for the Spanish judges' arrest on charges of stalking American citizens under cover of law. Or maybe just imitating a court of justice.


Any such step might not prove necessary, since various officials in Spain, too, grow weary of these judicial antics — and the retribution they invite from other countries. In the end, the Spanish themselves may put an end to these provocations. Spain's parliament is expected to pass a new law soon that would limit the international jurisdiction of its courts to cases in which Spanish victims are involved. Which would put a serious crimp in this kind of legal showboating.


These days the Spanish prosecutors are being pressed to defend their actions. Now it's they who become prisoners of their own fantasies.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here. Paul Greenberg Archives

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