Friday, August 9, 2013

Take Israel and Italy to Court over Jesus

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Dola Indidis, former spokesman of the Kenyan Ministry of Justice, is taking Israel and Italy to the International Court of Justice. Indidis is asking that Israel and Italy be tried for unjustly convicting Jesus. And then he is asking for the conviction to be overturned.

Indidis is basing his case on the case of Joan of Arc. He maintains that the precedent was set when Joan of Arc's conviction was overturned 25 years after she was executed. Joan was burned at the stake and years later, in 1920, she was canonized. Indidis is convinced that - "This is the same case with Jesus. The judge who sentenced him said that he had no jurisdiction to attend to the matter but he went ahead to convict and pass a capital sentence under duress."

The basis of this argument is that Jesus was brought before Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate announced that he does not have jurisdiction and sends the case to Herod. Herod, not wanting to touch the issue, sends it back to Pilate who then convicts Jesus and has him crucified.

According to Indidis: "His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office, bias and prejudice."
"The proceedings before the Roman courts were a nullity in law for they did not conform to the rule of law at the material time and any time thereafter."
"Some of those present spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him, taunted him, and pronounced him worthy of death."

There is no parallel between Jesus and Joan of Arc. And there is no way the International Court of Justice will hear this case.

The case of Jesus is full of historical and legal questions and asking those questions makes for interesting academic debates and great dinner party conversations and has even been the foundation for tenure at some very august universities.

But they do not belong in court.

Then again, you never know. The International Court has a rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tone. But still, I do not believe that they will take on this case.

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