The question sometimes comes up, how can the Ari Shavits of Israel and the United States-- people in a position to know the real history of the conflict or who can hardly fail to know it--disregard or not know about it?
In the January 9, 2014 issue of the New York Review, Judge Jed S. Rakoff discusses the issue of whether the top officials of banks whose underlings were engaged in criminal fraud, but who claim no knowledge about it, should be prosecuted. Here is his answer:
"This, of course, is what is known in the law as “willful blindness” or “conscious disregard.” It is a well-established basis on which federal prosecutors have asked juries to infer intent.... And while some federal courts have occasionally expressed qualifications about the use of the willful blindness approach to prove intent, the Supreme Court has consistently approved it. As that Court stated most recently:
The doctrine of willful blindness is well established in criminal law. Many criminal statutes require proof that a defendant acted knowingly or willfully, and courts applying the doctrine of willful blindness hold that defendants cannot escape the reach of these statutes by deliberately shielding themselves from clear evidence of critical facts that are strongly suggested by the circumstances"