Enough is enough with all these travesties of justice

The stomach-turning spectacle of Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi, the terrorist who planted the bomb on Pam Am 103 in December 1988, killing 270, being welcomed in Libya as a hero makes you lose hope that there is any justice in the world.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

What was the Scottish government thinking? That because this cold-blooded killer was terminally ill he should die in freedom rather than rot in jail where he belongs? And the Scots have the gall to call this compassion.

Where is the compassion for the families whose lives were destroyed when this monster blew their loved ones into oblivion? Did the Scottish government and its justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, think of the additional horrors they were going to visit on the families when they saw their loved ones’ barbaric murderer carried aloft as a returning conqueror?

I lived in Europe for 11 years and learned that Europe has lost the capacity to hate evil. Amorality that masquerades as modern liberal sensibility has left the continent morally bankrupt when it comes to truly punishing evil.

Who will ever forget that Germany chose to release the Black September terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics on 1972, or that Italy granted a 12-day furlough to Youssef Maged al-Molki, convicted of killing Leon Klinghoffer aboard the Achille Lauro and sentenced to 30 years. He used the furlough to flee to Spain, where he was recaptured and extradited back to Italy and then released this year “on good behavior.”

The most notorious incident, of course, was Norway’s awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Decent people everywhere should punish the Scottish government, should MacAskill choose not to resign, by calling for an economic boycott of whiskey and other Scottish goods. The same would apply to the British government and what Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi referred to as his “good friend [Gordon] Brown” should the Brits be implicated in this outrage. Governments that do deals with the devil should pay a price.

But the person we must punish most is Gaddafi. I wrote an article last week revealing that in September, Gadhafi is going to be my next-door neighbor in New Jersey. He is expected to stay at a private mansion owned by the Libyan government in Englewood, N.J. while attending the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

Gadhafi is being courted by President Barack Obama, who met with him at the G8 Summit in Italy this summer, and speculation now is that he will be greeted even more warmly in New York.

But Gadhafi should be judged by his actions, and the open mind that I declared I had harbored for him, in light of his overtures to the West and his restitution payments to the Pan Am 103 families, has now slammed shut.

Gadhafi has shown that he is proud of the terrorist outrage he engineered, and has no remorse whatsoever. Ronald Reagan was right: any man who can hail a killer as a hero is indeed “the mad dog of the Middle East.”

Obama has thus far been weak on tyrants. He has curtsied to the Saudi ruler King Abdullah and embraced Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. In a stunning reversal of the Bush administration’s pressure on Egypt to democratize, last week Obama accorded a warm welcome to Hosni Mubarak.

Indeed, the only world leader that Obama has pressured is the democratically elected premier of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Obama ambushed in their private meeting at the White House in May with a demand for a total freeze on settlements, which would absurdly include a ban even on adding a room to a home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Now is the time for our president to show that he takes his duties as the leader of the free world seriously. He must condemn Gaddafi and his son for lionizing a mass-murderer, and he must refuse to meet or greet Gaddafi on his upcoming visit.

Also, the president should recall the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom pending a full investigation into the role of the British government in the release of a terrorist mastermind.

We the residents of Englewood, N.J., where Gadhafi plans to hole up and where some 600 Orthodox Jewish families reside, are up in arms. Mayor Michael Wildes has decried the upcoming visit, saying that Englewood residents are “infuriated.”

And my friend Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) told me that Gadhafi’s visit to New Jersey is “an assault on integrity and decency. We cannot celebrate the life of a man who engineers the murder of 270 people, and we do not want to see this man in our state.” Lautenberg said this week he had requested travel restrictions be put in place limiting Gadhafi to the U.N. headquarters district.

Fore more than 25 years, the Libyan mission to the U.N. has refused to pay even one dollar of tax to our city, citing diplomatic exemption even though it has already used its diplomatic allowance for their ambassador’s residence in New York.

Our city, which has been soft on the Libyan mission until now, must sue to obtain 25 years’ worth of taxes. I have no desire to work so that my money can be used to collect Libyan trash. If Libya has millions to spend on sprucing up their property for a week’s visit by their dictator, then surely it has millions to pay for the basic services they have been enjoying for the past quarter century.

Yes, we are mad as well and we won’t take it anymore.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the founder of This World: The Values Network.

JTA contributed to this piece, which first appeared in the Jerusalem Post.