Whoever carried out the horrible arson attack that killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh and nearly burned his entire family alive is a wild thorn, as Israelis like to call them. The perpetrators are in no way connected to, or inspired by, the settler movement, religious Zionism or the Israeli right wing in general. Whoever says so is slandering, defaming and inciting, as the left is wont to do.
Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, was also a lone wolf. The fact that right-wing politicians had whipped up a public frenzy in the weeks before his killing, accusing Rabin of selling out Israel to terrorists, or that rabbis were discussing and some even sanctioning a religious sentence of death against Rabin, doesn’t mean they were prodding Amir in any way. By claiming otherwise, the Israeli left and their lackeys in the media only prove how low they are willing to go in order to exploit a national tragedy for political gain.
The same is true of Baruch Goldstein, the Brooklyn-born Kiryat Arba doctor who massacred 29 Muslim worshippers at Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994. True, Goldstein was revered by hundreds if not thousands and still commands sympathy and respect among hardcore settlers and Kach-supporters, but let’s not forget that he was savagely murdered for his beliefs by terrorist Palestinians at the scene.
Goldstein, in any case, was a native-born American, which renders him completely atypical. Baltimore-born Alan Goodman, who stormed the Temple Mount in 1982 in order to liberate the Temple Mount, killing two Palestinians in the process, is just as much your problem as he is ours. Nahshon Walls, who shot a pregnant 25-year-old Palestinian woman to death near Kiryat Arba in what he said was an act of revenge, was Ohio-born and bred. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was released in less than 10 years and spent his last years surrounded by friends in Tapuach who praise his good deeds to this very day.
And don’t forget Los Angeles’ own Yehuda Richter, a disciple of Meir Kahane, who was a member of the radical group Terror Against Terror (TNT, naturally), together with other friends he made during summer camps in the Catskills. Richter was convicted of taking part in a 1984 bus attack in which 6 Palestinians were injured. Now he is a respected rabbi in the settlement Elon Moreh, but what does that prove? That all Americans are terrorists?
And then there’s Yaakov Teitel, originally of Florida and Virginia then of Shvut Rachel, an all-purpose man-in-one terror machine who killed Palestinians, tried to poison a village, bombed Christian churches, maimed Messianic Jews and planted the pipe bomb that injured Professor Ze’ev Sternhell in 2008. Ironically, in a chilling link to this week’s double tragedies, Teitel was later re-arrested posting flyers in praise of the 2009 Tel Aviv gay center shooting in which two people were killed - and just before he could carry out a plot to fly a bomb-rigged toy plane into the Tel Aviv gay parade. That job would be left to Yishai Schlissel, another Orthodox Jew by pure coincidence, who murdered 16-year-old Shira Banki in Jerusalem last week and stabbed five others.
As for the rest, well, their singularity is almost self-evident: Yona Avrushmi, who threw a grenade at a Peace Now demonstration in 1983, killing Emil Grunzweig, was a fish out of water; Yisrael Lederman, who was convicted for killing a Palestinian in 1978 and then for scalding MK Yael Dayan with boiling tea, was an odd man out; David Ben Shimol, who fired an RPG rocket at a bus, killing a Palestinian and injuring others, was an alien aberration; Danny Eisenman of Ma'ale Adumim, who together with others killed a Palestinian taxi driver in 1985 revenge for the killing of an Israeli driver the previous day, was an exception who proved the rule.
Don’t forget, one swallow does not a summer make, nor does one terrorist – or even quite a few, for that matter - necessarily create a pattern. What you see isn’t necessarily what you get, and we can prove it.
Ami Popper, who killed seven Palestinians in May, 1990 near Rishon Letzion was atypical; Gur Hamel, a Breslav Hasid who stoned an elderly Palestinian to death in 1998, was obviously a bit deranged; the Hebron residents who went on a rampage in 2001 following the killing of a Jewish baby were enraged, perhaps, but understandably so. Eden Natan Zada of Tapuach killed four Arabs on a bus in Shfaram in August, 2005 writing that “A Jew doesn’t expel another Jew”; Asher Weisgan of Shvut Rachel murdered another four Palestinians that same month near Shiloh: both had hoped to stop the Gaza disengagement, but they could not have been inspired by settler leaders who described the Gaza withdrawal as blasphemy that would lead to catastrophe. Perish the thought.
The Jewish Underground that bombed Arab mayors in 1980, murdered three female students at the Islamic College in Hebron in 1983 and hoped to detonate the Temple Mount were a one-time fling. The fact that they were all pardoned by President Chaim Herzog and are now rabbis, educators, politicians, newspaper editors and other esteemed members of society doesn’t necessarily mean their actions are condoned. It could be simply be the remarkable rehabilitative powers of the pristine air in Judea and Samaria.
The Lifta Gang, a Chabad-trained messianic group who “were a step away from blowing up the Temple Mount” in 1984, as Nadav Shragai wrote in his book "The Battle for the Temple Mount," were absolute weirdos; The Bat Ayin Underground who wanted blow up a girls school in East Jerusalem and who police suspected of killing seven Palestinians may have lived in settlements, which is only circumstantial, but were out of their effing minds, which is much more pertinent; and the Revenge Unit that threw a grenade into the Butcher’s Market in the Old City in 1992 were all disciples of Kach, which, you will recall, is outlawed in Israel. When the Palestinians outlaw Hamas, give us a call.
No one can doubt our disavowal of self-appointed Price Tag vigilantes, whose motives are appreciated but who do more harm than good. And everyone remembers the genuine outpourings of outrage and vows of “never again" at the gruesome burning alive of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in July 2014, though his ungrateful parents did say that the killing of the baby Ali Dawabsheh in the village of Duma made them feel as if their son had been murdered all over again.
Be that as it may, the fact that these and countless other terrorist incidents- including scores of attacks in which people were maimed and property was destroyed but no one was killed - were carried out by Jewish Israelis who were either settlers, or Orthodox, or right wing, or any combination thereof, doesn’t prove a thing.
Attaching significance to such a random though admittedly overwhelmingly emphatic list is a time-tested leftist method of casting aspersions on true Israel-loving patriots. The fact that a Likud-led government has been in power throughout most of these years also means nothing: there are many other problems that it hasn’t managed to solve as well.
The accusations against the right are but a scare tactic employed by supporters of the New Israel Fund and others of their ilk in order to deflect attention away from their evil designs. The fact that they have now enlisted President Rivlin in their campaign is lamentable, but it won’t change a thing. They are out to harm the settlements, which is like a knife through the heart of Israel itself.
NIF hides its sinister plans behind a thick cloak of donations, activities and other supposedly innocuous programs ostensibly devoted to the common good. Then they and the rest of the left camouflage their true intentions by assiduously refraining from engaging in any violence or murder or terrorism, either toward Arabs or toward their fellow Jews. But Israelis won’t be taken in by a worn-out canard based on some old-fashioned concept of “empirical evidence” that shows that all Jewish terrorists come from the right. Instead of succumbing to hypocritical calls for “soul-searching” - which is just another self-absorbed liberal vanity anyway – we will fight them and their Arab masters every step of the way, by whatever means are necessary.
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