What the terror suspect trying to exclude Jews from his jury should have asked for

Judge Tingling’s ruling to strike down Mayor Bloomberg’s big-soda ban was not the only story to come out of the New York court system on Monday. Thanks to the New York Post, we were also treated to one attorney’s half-baked scheme to (in the words of the Post) “purge the Jews”:

Lawyer Frederick Cohn will ask a judge today to bar Jews from the jury hearing the case against Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, who’s accused of lying about trying to join jihadists in Pakistan.

The judge on the case is Robert Levy, which means that, yes, a Jewish lawyer is petitioning a Jewish judge to implement a judicial final solution.

Of course, this comes off as a shady request, but there’s gotta be a rationale right? Here’s what Cohn argued:

“The American Jewish community is heavily aligned with Israel and Zionism. Here is a guy who is a Muslim, who is opposed to those things.”

I suppose that argument sounds moderately sympathetic if you don’t feel like thinking very hard. But give it a try and you quickly realize crossing Jews off the list opens a Pandora’s box of potential exclusions: we’re talking about a guy who bought a one-way ticket to Pakistan in an attempt to join the Taliban, tried to enlist in the US Army so he could be sent to Iraq and defect to “the other side”, and created websites “which advocated violent jihad against the West.”

In other words, it would appear that Shehadeh doesn’t just have a problem with Jews or Zionists or Israelis: he also has a thing against Americans, and Europeans, and other assorted infidels, and whichever of Sunnis or Shiites he isn’t. And so, one might just as plausibly claim it’s not just Jews who should be precluded from the jury: it’s all Americans.

And if you start thinking along those lines, you might conclude that it might just be easier not to give Shehadeh a jury trial at all. After all, if you’re gonna go to all this trouble to try this guy in the United States, why not just drone him instead?


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