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Rabbi Abraham Cooper Headshot

Lockerbie Terrorist's Release Debased Justice with Misplaced Mercy

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One who is merciful to those who are heartless will end up being heartless to those who are merciful.--- Jewish Thought

What a shame that the Scottish judge who released the terrorist mastermind of the PAN AM 103 mass murder never learned this teaching found both in the Jewish Book of Law--The Talmud, and 3 separate times in the philosophical musings of the Midrash.

Did anyone doubt that the release of this mass murderer would wreak havoc on the hundreds of bereaved families of the victims of terrorism? Was there anyone on the planet who couldn't have foreseen the hero's welcome this thug has reported to have received upon his arrival back in Libya?

Simon Wiesenthal, the great hunter of Nazi War Criminals, a man who lost 89 members of his family during the Hoiocaust and spent the rest of his life trying to bring Nazi murderers before the bar of Justice. was constantly asked: "What is your motivation--Justice or Revenge? "Revenge?", he would reply, "who could even conceive of a revenge befitting a murderer responsible for the death of hundreds or thousands of innocents? "No the best we can do", he would add, "is to pursue a measure of symbolic justice--since it is impossible to give each and every victim, what they deserve-- their own day in Court"...

Now a judge in Scotland has robbed the victims of PAN AM 103 of their measure of symbolic justice.

That life sentence meted out to the mastermind of the mass murder over Lockerbie was supposed to be society's way of standing up for justice and in solidarity with the hundreds of families whose lives were permanently crippled by this premeditated horror. This terrorist was sentenced to die in jail -- yes, even if he had cancer. Not executing him initially was society's act of compassion. Today's release is devoid of any compassion for those blown out of the skies over Scotland -- or their families. Justice -- through this misplaced act of Mercy--stands debased.

Today, I can only bow my head in shame and pray for the families of PAN AM 103...