Why was Rape Suspect Mahmoud Qadusa freed but Not Arson Suspect Amiram Ben-Uliel?

A false witness will not go unpunished Proverbs 19:5 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel Admitted their Mistake After Falsely accusing an Arab. Why Can’t they do the Same for Jewish Suspects?

The prosecution dropped all charges against a Palestinian Arab accused of raping a 7-year-old Jewish girl in Modiin Illit. Following fifty-five days of sitting in custody, during which many right-wing ministers called for his execution, the suspect, Mahmoud Qadusa, was released due to “insufficient evidence”.  

There were simply too many holes in the investigation. The military advocate, Sharon Afeck acknowledged the troubling investigation and therefore released a statement  saying “the evidentiary infrastructure that underlies the indictment does not at this time amount to a ‘reasonable chance of conviction.’ Therefore, by law, the criminal process cannot continue, the indictment must be withdrawn and Qadusa released from custody.”

In a rather sloppy investigation, over two months after the rape was thought to have taken place, did the police finally collect the victim’s clothes for DNA testing. Other problematic developments include the fact that the seven-year-old girl only identified Qadusa after her mother pointed him out claiming that he was the perpetrator of the act. Additionally, the lie detector test was taken in Hebrew rather than in his native Arabic. Finally, in order for the official report to have been credible, Qadusa would have had to drag the victim for over a kilometer by force in the middle of the day in a village with high unemployment and where almost none of the women work…with no eye-witnesses.

The police did the right thing. Falsely accusing anyone of such a horrid crime is unfortunate but at least they admitted their mistake. So why don’t they apply the same level of accountability to Jewish Israeli suspects?

Take the Duma affair for example. The 2015 arson had even more holes in the investigation than did the alleged rape in Moddin Illit. For one, witnesses in the Samarian village claimed they saw two suspects torch the house. But the official report claimed that the 17-year old suspect, Ben Uliel, acted alone. Witnesses also said that they saw the suspects arrive in a vehicle. However the official report claimed that Ben-Uliel approached the house on foot. The house that was torched was located in the middle of the village – hardly a logical target for a “Jewish terrorist” who allegedly approached the village from the outside and is looking to torch a random house. And finally, the only evidence that the prosecution does have is a confession that Ben Uliel’s attorneys allege was forced under duress after being locked inside a cell for several weeks without access to basic rights such as the right to see an attorney.

But instead of just admitting their mistake and letting him go free like they did with Qadusa, the state prosecutor coerced him into settling for a plea bargain. In it, the court has agreed to drop the murder conspiracy charge but instead convicted him of planning the arson along with other “attacks”. Among these attacks were setting fire to a garage next to a house in the Arab Samarian village of Aqraba, setting a taxi on fire in the nearby village of Yasuf, and slashing tires on vehicles in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa in Jerusalem. No evidence was submitted for any of those attacks but that didn’t stop the prosecutor from requesting the suspect be sentenced to five and a half years behind bars. 

It’s important to realize that Ben Uliel is just one of many. Anyone who takes the time to review the case of other Jewish suspects like Roman Zorodov would understand what half the country of Israel does-  he didn’t do it. The evidence against him is about as solid as an earthquake and everyone who dedicated five minutes to research the case knows it.

The list of innocent people behind bars goes on and on. The determination of the Israeli government to prosecute suspects by all means necessary is hard-wired into its DNA. And if the same security apparatus is finally showing that they can release an Arab suspect once they realize his innocence, the same admission of guilt should be extended to Jewish suspect. After all- we are a ‘Jewish’ state aren’t we?