Friday 4 July 2014

An eye for an eye leads to blindness.

Even as Israel sent its forces in a house-to-house search for the three missing teenagers, critical Palestinian and foreign voices were heard condemning Israel for imposing “collective punishment” on Palestinian society. Was this criticism justified? Or was it part of a Palestinian narrative to pick on Israel at every opportunity to gain global sympathy, even as they commit horrendous crimes on innocent Israelis, including youngsters and babies?

As IDF, police, and intelligence units probed Arab towns and villages in and around Hebron, acting on scant information, they were obstructed and hindered by the collective will and actions of local Palestinian residents. Collectively, they refused to offer any information that would help lead Israel to the kidnappers or to the location of the boys. Collectively, local Palestinians, and those in Gaza, celebrated the abduction and disappearance of the young boys, as if this was a cause for revelry.  Collectively, they complained about the efforts that were made to find the boys. Collectively, they interfered with attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Let’s be honest. This was a collective crime encouraged by instructions from Hamas, originated by the incitement and daily drip of hate and celebration of their terrorists by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in their official media outlets, official events, the naming of squares and streets honoring Palestinian murderers of Israelis, and by their official statements and exhortations. Hamas retains a creed to kill Jews. It openly calls for the destruction of Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has also been complicit. It glorifies the murderers of innocents. When caught and imprisoned by Israel, it pays its murderers salaries in excess of those paid to their own civil servants. They pump out the vision of a Palestinian world without the Jewish State. This narrative is confirmed regularly by Mahmoud Abbas with his utterances of a Palestinian state without Jews.

Top down, bottom up, or vice versa, Palestinian society is indoctrinated by Jew hatred. It is a reflection of a wider Arab phenomenon. Abbas has broad and popular support for deeds such as the teenage kidnapping. Even if he knew nothing about the plot, and did not approve of it, the atmosphere had been laid by him. Such grotesque incidents were collectively supported by rank and file Palestinian Arabs. They even blamed Israel for such evil acts, thereby deflecting their responsibility for such inhuman and unacceptable behavior.
To confirm. This was a collective Palestinian crime. The organizers and murderers of this terror act may be few in number, but we witnessed an outpouring of collective support from the bulk of Palestinian society and from the wider Palestinian supportive elite. 

Bari Atwan, a regular anti-Israel BBC talking head, when asked by Jon Sopel if he would condemn the murders of the three Israeli teenagers by Hamas replied that it had not been proven to have been committed by Hamas, and Hamas had not admitted carrying out the incident. When pressed further by Sopel if Atwan would condemn the murders if it is proven that Hamas was responsible, this Hamas-apologist stubbornly said, “No!” before departing on a rant about “excessive crimes committed by Israel” to divert attention away from having to answer a very relevant question. This echoed a Palestinian blogger on Sky News who also filled his air time with the usual Palestinian narrative of “Israeli international crimes” and the “Israeli injustices” leaving no time to answer questions of Palestinian terror crimes against Israeli teenagers.

This is how individually, and collectively, Palestinians and their supporters condone the uncondonable. They cannot bring themselves to express any reasonable remorse for the abduction and slaughter of three innocent Jewish boys, reasonable remorse for Palestinian terrorist crimes deliberately targeting civilians, including children and babies. Have we ever heard any such heartfelt condemnation from Palestinians or Arabs? None that I can recall.

This, in no way, justifies the brutal murder of the east Jerusalem Arab youth. Six Israelis have been arrested for this inexcusable crime which was loudly and publicly condemned by Israel’s Prime Minister and President, and by the vast majority of stable-minded citizens, including the relatives of the three murdered Israeli boys. If Mohammad’s murder was executed by Jewish hands it will be demonstrably decried by rabbis and Jews everywhere. This is how it should be. There is no room in Israel for the hot-headed passion of the mob. There is no room in Jewish ethics or morals for such a barbaric deed. It was never a part of our Jewish DNA. Now, apparently, it is. It must be quarterized and removed before this cancer spreads and irrevocably damages the rest of our Jewish and Israeli soul. Neither shooting a Jewish Prime Minister in the back, nor burning alive an Arab boy, can be sanctified under any Jewish ethical, religious, or nationalistic code.

Both tragic events were not an eye for an eye. They were not even a life for a life. No matter what excuses will be made, the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir was not even a life taken for a cause. His, like the killing of Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali, was a live taken for hate.

Steps can be taken to deter and prevent a repeat of awful acts like the murder of Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal. 

Killing Muhammad is not one of them.

Barry Shaw was the Founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization. He is also the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative” available on Amazon and from
Barry Shaw is also the Special Consultant on anti-Israel Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College in Israel.

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