One hand tied behind our back

I only spent a summer living in Boston, yet that brief connection to people and a place left me completely enrapt this week with the incredible, horrifying tumult that turned a wonderful American city into a police state of fear.

The ordeal has made me want to hug loved ones. We, watching and listening from the distanced gallery that is INTERNETNEWSPAPERSTWITTERPOLICESCANNERTV, first and foremost can be thankful that it didn’t happen to us.

But as life restarts now, big questions, drama and arguments lie ahead as a nation focuses on the fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We must all pray for healing for victims; we must also pray for sanity in whatever comes next.

And something will come. I hope it is true justice. Not angry mob vengeance, but sober, encompassing, compassionate, holistic justice. As others deliberate what justice will look like, I have one quote from Aharon Barak, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court, ringing in my ears:

This is the destiny of democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it. Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the Rule of Law and recognition of an individual’s liberty constitutes an important component in its understanding of security. At the end of the day, they strengthen its spirit and its strength and allow it to overcome its difficulties.

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