Not Richard Silverstein. Nope.
A Moser in Judaism is basically a Jew who informs on another Jew to non-Jewish authorities. The law relating to a Moser has evolved over time. Jewish communities that lived in societies that discriminated against Jews, treated Mosers more harshly than those who lived in societies with fair justice systems. For instance, one who informs on a Jewish pedophile or criminal today in the United States, ought not be considered a Moser. The law of Moser is not, in fact, akin to the Mafia’s code of Omerta. The law of Moser was never meant to help criminal Jews escape Justice. It was meant to prevent injustice.
The law of Moser’s harsh strictures, often requiring the administration of the death penalty, also reflected the fact that such informants often lied in order to curry favor with the anti-Jewish authorities.
Recently, a team of at least 11 and as many as 17 people, killed the leader of Hamas’ Military wing, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Mabhouh was said to be in charge of Hamas weapons procurement from Iran and was personally involved in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers. The suspects arrived in Dubai bearing a number of fake European passports and are suspected of being Israeli but that has yet to be proven unequivocally.
Despite that, self-described pro-Israel, pro-Zionist Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein, after posting photos of the suspects, expressed his fondest hope for those that carried out this extra-judicial killing as follows:
I would like to see Dubai take out Interpol warrants for these Israeli murderers. Then I would like to see Dubai request that the ICC try them when they are caught. I would like Israeli progressives to watch out for these people and report them when they see them so they can be identified even if they choose to stay in Israel where they can’t be captured. No more impunity
Are the people that committed this killing Israelis? We don’t absolutely know. Are they murderers? Is killing an enemy combatant, with blood on his hands, actively engaged in plotting the deaths of civilians, a murder? Or is it the sort of measured response to terrorism originating in Gaza, urged for by no less than Justice Goldstone in his infamous Report?
But one cannot help but be struck by the bile and pure hatred emanating from Richard Silverstein’s exhortation. He not only wishes ill against people defending Israel, he seeks to recruit fellow progressives in Israel to root out and bring to justice the suspects he hopes they will find in their midst. Will such suspects receive a fair trial in Dubai? I’m guessing… not so much. Will they receive a fair trial in the International Criminal Court? Well, Richard Silverstein is no expert on International law amongst other things he’s not an expert on. If he was he’d know that this sort of operation falls outside the ambit of the ICC. But whatever. This isn’t the first time Richard Silverstein has made a completely idiotic statement, and I suspect it won’t be the last.
Of course we can debate the merit of such killings. I have no doubt that Mabhouh will soon be replaced by someone else. But for a Jew to express such unbridled hatred against another Jew, and to actively urge people to turn them in, one has to wonder how the law of Moser ought to apply in such an instance.
Traditionally, no one was ever held in greater contempt than the Moser, and the sages often compared the informant to a serpent. Sanctions against Moserim range from death to excommunication. There isn’t much information about the penalty for one who encourages another to be a Moser. I would never suggest that Richard Silverstein be killed for his opinions and he excommunicated himself from Klal Yisrael a long time ago.
I guess the bottom line is that whatever the actual Jewish law is, Richard Silverstein has proven himself to be a world-class douche bag.