Monday, May 29, 2006

The Missing Half of the Headline

A few weeks ago, on Independence Day here in Israel, the body of an eight year old girl was found near the market in Beit Shemesh. The police rounded up suspects, and recently announced that the murderer, a Palestinian worker who was in Beit Shemesh illegally, had confessed. has the full story here, under the headline "Palestinian Man Murdered Child". The article gives some of the more sordid details, like the fact that he raped her first, and then calmly washed his face and went to eat dinner with others.

The article also states his name, the fact that he is a father of eight (shudder), and from which village he comes from.

So why do I claim that there is something missing from the headline? Because what would follow in most of the other countries in the Middle East would be the equivalent of "Enraged Citizens Burn Down Village" or "Palestininas Lynched in Revenge for Child's Murder".

No such headlines here in Israel, because we Jews don't take the law into our own hands and kill innocent people in retaliation (and no, killing innocent civilians by mistake when targeting terrorists is not the same thing).

Just my own little voice speaking the truth - even if it is drowned out by the loud cacophony of lies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disturbing and true.

Have you read about Palestinians who prefer Israeli jails (via Augean Stables)?

Forgive me if I sound tacky, but I suspect that even though this isn't anti-semitic terrorism it nevertheless contains aspects of it: a throughly weak (and desperate) individual destroying one of the few members of his (perceived) enemy who was, physically, weaker than he is.

It's terrible to contemplate. I'm a little embarrassed to discuss the case in this way.

10:56 AM, May 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... the other missing half of the headline is that this guy was an illegal squatter in Israel, and would not have been able to do what he did if the barrier fence were in place.

11:46 AM, May 29, 2006  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

you are also missing the part where he has addmited to another murder of a man 2 days before this case.

- as for the missing headline - I am not sure it's a missing headline more like the Extra headlines (around the world) should be the one that trouble us, but we seem to accept the fact that some people will be violant and take revenge, while we are expected to sit quietly and not do anything. Sometimes I wonder if we are "too Moral" (Is there such a thing??)

4:26 PM, May 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we often are "too moral". A discussion like this is a luxury; if conducted improperly, an obscene one.

6:52 PM, May 29, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

i'm so glad it was said before i thought it.
i used to get beaten up by this older girl when i was in elementary school. for years i let it continue, believing that if i didn't hit her back, she'd leave me alone. finally when i was in the seventh grade, i slapped her with the back of my hand, and yes, i was, unfortunately for her, wearing rings. needless to say, she forever left me alone after that incident.
why we remain moral and decent in the face of enemies, political and social alike, is beyond me. maybe if we did take out a village or at least the guy's family, it would serve as warning enough for crimes such as these to not happen again. then again, it might set off a wave of events that would cost us many more innocent lives. who's to say?
however, whatever we do, we need to remember to look at this realistically, and not from some fantasyland idea that if we're quiet and nice they'll leave us alone.

3:41 AM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

jeremayakovka - it is hard for us to know "why" someone does this sort of thing, and you are right, discussing what is "morally" right in this case is complicated

ben-david - I hadn't thought of that aspect

olehyashan - the truth is is that I honestly feel that we still have to follow the law - even if it makes us look weak. I was just commenting on the double standard of the rest of the world

bec - we need to look at the situation from the standpoint of halacha also. There are guidelines of what constitutes pikuach nefesh and what doesn't, and that should help us decide our actions

8:18 AM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger Lady-Light said...

What we should do is, prevent these palestinians - excuse me, arabs - from entering Israel, and NOT allow them to work in Israel. And deport anyone who commits a horrible crime such as this, to JORDAN, which is also palestine.
I am beside myself with anger. Maybe, we SHOULD riot!

8:23 AM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger tafka PP said...

This story made me feel physically sick: And yes, you are right, lynching and violent retribution is not in our culture, Thank G-d. But while you are right that the killing of innocents during "targeted assasinations" isn't the same thing, it is not something we can sweep aside either: Until the nature of Israel's relationship with the Palestinian nation is officially defined as either a state of war or a state of coexistence, both sides will continue to exploit the fact that there are no rules within this limbo.

And bearing in mind that there are many Palestinians legally living and working here, and several million with Israeli citizenship, I'm afraid that all those who cry "deport to Jordan" and suchlike need a serious reality check.

11:27 AM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

lady-light - no, we shouldn't riot

tafka-pp - how do we "officially define" the conflict? In my opinion, most Israelis want to co-exist with their Arab neighbors, with a minority that want to transfer them out, and...honestly, I don't know what most Arabs want, because they are not free to really express their honest opinion. But I do see that Hamas won the election, and that suicide bombings of innocent civilians seems to be acceptable behavior. So now we have one group wanting peace, and the other wants war, and we are stuck in this limbo, as you call it. Does that mean that the IDF shouldn't go after wanted terrorists? We should do absolutely nothing and let them kill as many of us as they want to?

5:42 PM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Of course we should take steps to stop terrorists: But over-exertion our military control (I would define targeted assasinations in that way) isn't going to encourage any warm feelings among the non-terrorists in the Palestinian population who could be swayed towards a less anti-Israel stance.

That said it is very hard to know what Palestinians want: I can only come to micro-conclusions based upon my personal interactions, reading their press, and some of the blogs I follow. Sadly I've concluded it makes it easier for anyone in any situation of conflict, defined or otherwise, to stick to their (alas, not proverbial) guns if they choose to remain uninformed/dismissive of the others' narrative, which is certainly the case with our neighbours.

Anyway- on a cheerier note- I finished my Aliya piece!

6:36 PM, May 30, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

tafka pp - great, put it up and send me the link....

7:36 AM, May 31, 2006  
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