We Jews know all too well how prone people are to blame "foreigners" when something tragic and unexplainable happens. This historical legacy of being scapegoated should make us even more sensitive when we see the same thing happening to others. And there are few such cases in the world today more troubling than that of the six healthcare workers, mostly Bulgarian nurses, who have been condemned to death by Libya. Just, yesterday, the Libyan Supreme Court upheld the death penalty imposed on the six.
The case arose because of the infecting of over 400 Libyan children with AIDS at a hospital in 1998, a tragic and inexplicable event. An event that may have even had to do with some degree of negligence. But a conspiracy of intentional murder (of which the six were convicted)? Murder worthy of the death penalty? And only the foreign workers being responsible, not a single Libyan? The accusations are laughable on its face.
But there is nothing laughable about innocent people being killed by a government in order to placate an angry populace. Nothing laughable at all.
You can sign a petition for the six here.