A judge in Ecuador ruled Wednesday that the directors and former opinion editor of El Universo newspaper must each serve three years in prison for an opinion article about President Rafael Correa, state media reported. The judge also ruled that the accused must pay $30 million, and the newspaper must pay $10 million, to Correa, the state-run El Ciudadano government information website reported.
He seems to have learned from Chavez.
(h/t to Eugene Volokh who has interesting observations about when such prosecutions have occurred in the United States!)
2) Good neighbors?
In August, 2001, during the “Aqsa Intifada” Charles Krauthammer wrote a column suggesting what Israel do:
There is only one way this war will stop. The scenario would go like this:
A lightning and massive Israeli attack on every element of Arafat’s police state infrastructure–the headquarters and commanders of his eight (!) security services, his police stations, weapons depots, training camps, communications and propaganda facilities (radio, TV, government-controlled newspapers)–with a simultaneous attack on the headquarters and leadership of Arafat’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad allies.
Arafat has given Israel war; he will now receive it. He either flees (as he did Jordan when trying to overthrow King Hussein in 1970) or is deported back to Tunis (as he was from Lebanon in 1982).
Israel does not reoccupy Palestinian cities. Israeli troops stay only the few days necessary to (1) begin building a wall of separation between Palestinian and Israeli territory and (2) evacuate the more far-flung Israeli settlements.
With a new border consolidated, Israel withdraws.
In the current bloodshed, not a single suicide bomber has come from Gaza. Why? Because there already is a wall separating Gaza from Israel. Palestinians have lobbed mortars over it, but it is difficult to send suicide bombers through it. Such a wall built between the rest of Palestine and Israel is the only way to ensure the reduction of violence that everyone says they want.
Aaron Lerner critiqued (and objected to) the plan.
I quote the column because it is rare for a columnist (or anyone) to predict future events so accurately. Israel has fought the war, built the fence and experienced a drastic drop in terror attacks. And yet here’s a recent description of the fence in a “news” story:
Israel began building the West Bank barrier in 2002, amid a violent Palestinian uprising, stating that it was essential to prevent suicide bombers from reaching Israel.
But most of the barrier runs inside the West Bank, deviating from the pre-1967 boundary, leading the Palestinians to accuse Israel of a land grab. The International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled in 2004 that the construction of the barrier inside occupied Palestinian territory was contrary to international law.
Elliott Jager has written a brief history (and defense) of the fence at Jewish Ideas Daily:
Clearly, gunmen can still lob rockets over or (as in the Gilad Shalit case) tunnel beneath any barrier. In 2003, two British nationals managed to legally exit Gaza to bomb the “Mike’s Place” club in Tel Aviv, and in 2005 terrorists launched a deadly attack at the Karni truck crossing. But since the Gaza perimeter was secured in 1999, no terror attacks have emanated from the Strip. Even where it is still incomplete, the security fence has made it harder for enemy operatives to deliver car bombs or suicide bombers into Israeli population centers.
No doubt because of this success, the fence has served as a lightning rod for Israel’s radical de-legitimizers who have nonsensically labeled it an “apartheid wall.” Characteristic of those who have coalesced around this issue is the International Solidarity Movement, which organizes weekly riots (euphemistically, “direct action”) at the fence. Four years ago this month, the International Court at The Hague predictably ruled that the barrier was “illegal.”
Israel’s Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the barrier and has, at times, ruled in favor of Palestinian claimants with regard to its precise route—most notably in the Bil’in-Modi’in area. In Jerusalem the fence is being erected along the municipal boundaries so as not to divide the capital. That still leaves too many Israelis on the “wrong side” of the fence feeling isolated and worried that its placement is a precursor to the abandonment of Jewish rights in the West Bank.
3) Which refugees are missing?
The New York Times carries a report today, For Refugees, a Frustrating Feeling of Permanence
When Iraqi militias threatened Ghasswan Al Taee, 36, in 2006, he fled to Jordan. Five years later and with three children born here, his state of limbo has become a constant.
Since 2003 an estimated four million Iraqis have fled their homes, the largest exodus since Israel’s creation in 1948. Deepening violence and sectarian strife have led to the internal displacement of many Iraqis and have driven others out of the country, largely to Syria and Jordan, but also to Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and the Gulf.
Which refugees’ existence isn’t mentioned?
4) Al Qaeda’s new recruiting strategy
An al-Qaida affiliate says it plans to roll out what some have called a Disney-like animated cartoon aimed at recruiting children to the terror network. Scenes from the proposed short film show young boys dressed in battle fatigues and participating in raids, killings and terror plots. It is the latest attempt by the terror organization to use multimedia to draw in potential recruits.
5) Follow ups
Reader Lynn pointed out a couple of things from previous Samplers about which I haven’t been accurate. I’ve been writing that the new anti-boycott law establishes a tort for actual damages caused. This isn’t necessarily correct. According to the translation of the bill, damages may not be necessary for someone to be obligated to pay.
(c) If the court finds that a civil wrong according to this law was intentionally carried out, the court is authorized to charge the civil wrongdoer with the payment of compensations that are not dependent on the damage (in this clause – damages for example); when determining the amount of damages for example, the court will take in to account, among others, the circumstances in which the civil wrong had been carried out, its severity and its scope.
Also I’ve written that Israel stopped remitting tax payments to the PA in retaliation for the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement. Back in May, Israel gave into American pressure.
Bowing to international pressure, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed a statement issued by a Palestinian official on Sunday that he would renew the transfer of millions of dollars in suspended tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority.
“For the last two weeks, we gave the PA a yellow card,” the finance minister said Sunday night, “but we decided to renew the revenue transfers after we got confirmation from the Palestinians that no money will be transferred to Hamas or to terrorist operations.”