Israel: Let's Get Physical

Let's Get Physical

In the beleaguered land of Israel, it is sometimes argued that the need to combat terrorism outweighs the niceties of law. The degree to which that view has penetrated official circles was vividly apparent last week. In a report on alleged abuses by Israel's internal-security agency, Shin Bet, a government- appointed commission virtually endorsed limited physical abuse as an interrogation technique.

The commission was impaneled last May after the Supreme Court freed a Muslim army officer who had been imprisoned for seven years on the basis of perjured testimony by Shin Bet agents. The three-man panel condemned Shin Bet's habit of...

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