so what did you do on Yom Ha’Atzma’ut?

I exercised my right of irony.  I was called for jury duty yesterday.  Actually, I chose that date, since I had to postpone it from when I had originally been called, sometime last October when we were scheduled to be in Israel.  So I re-scheduled it, thinking I wanted it to be past Pesach and before going back to Israel in a few weeks, b’sha’ah tovah umutzlachat.  I didn’t actually think about Yom Ha’Atzma’ut.  But I wore my כחול ולבן even if no one actually noticed, and I went to court very very early in the morning.  The best part of the day was that I didn’t have to serve on a case; I sat in a well-ventilated room for the morning talking to an old friend who also happened to be there that day (Do you think they saw the two Jews talking and thought we better keep them off any cases?  Nah:).) and I don’t have to serve again for another 3 years.  Yay!  And then I went shopping.

Last time I did serve was shortly after the Lanner case broke open.  (If you are fortunate enough not to know about it, but are curious enough to be willing to be upset, read this.) That was 10 years ago.  I was so angry about the abuse he and the wabbis [the institution of them all] had put upon our young and the lack of thought of the impact ( הרואה את הנולד).  Again ironically, the case that I was seated for was supposed to be about abuse.  We were asked if we had strong feelings about it.

Huh?  Could anyone not?  Could I be impartial?  I didn’t think I could–I was so angry.  But I was still seated.  And the case, as it turned out, was about nothing.  Red herring.  It was an attempt by two punk brothers to try to evade drug charges by pointing their fingers at their neighbor of molesting them.  Not abuse; just that he touched them while doing laundry at some neighborhood laundromat.  They were army brats, living in an army neighborhood in a suburban area I never knew existed.

Oh there’s so much I don’t know exists.

And the accused neighbor happened to be “ethnic”–I’m remembering maybe a mixture of East Indian, black, but “not one of them”, poor guy.

The case never should have come to trail.  That was a waste.  Yesterday, they showed us a video that I remember having seen that time, too, and the talks by the court officer and the judge all repeated the same thing; that people who go through the process learn to have tremendous respect for the system.  I did not gain respect for the system but for the players.  There’s a difference.

I certainly did not have respect for the punks’ lawyer.  He was a punk in a suit, a dumb punk.  An idiot, in fact.  I had a hard time imagining that he actually passed the bar.  He had the gall to quote Shakespeare in his summation but even though I don’t remember what he was trying to say, I do know that he couldn’t even get it right, even with his notes.

So it must have been a civil case; I certainly hope he wasn’t a district attorney!

So this is a silly system where idiots get to accuse someone and we have to defend their rights to do that.  And the real victims of such crimes are shut up and get no day in court more often than not.

I know, I know.  It’s better than anywhere else in the world.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it better; why does it have to continue to be adversarial?

What do they do in Israel?


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