Opinion |

If Only He Had Killed Ali Harb With Anything but a Knife

B. Michael
B. Michael
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הלווייתו של חסן עלי חרב, שמתנחל דקר אותו למוות בכפר אסכאכא בחודש שעבר. לוּ היה המתנחל הורג אותו באקדח או רובה, הוא היה מקבל תעודת הוקרה. אבל הוא הרג אותו בסכין
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Ali Harb last month at his funeral in the West Bank village of Iskaka.Credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP
B. Michael
B. Michael

So the stabber finally confessed. He really was the one who stuck the knife into the heart of Ali Hassan Harb from the West Bank village of Iskaka, and caused his death.

Now he is under arrest, suspected of murder or perhaps, according to the latest reports from the police, reckless homicide. Either way, what a stupid thing to do.

Who brings a knife to fight the Arabs? Why a knife? What is a Jew doing with a knife? Knives are for Arabs. A knife is what is stuck into the backs of Jews, not into the hearts of Arabs. A knife is what they always find among the “tools” of Arabs, after they are neutralized. And a knife also stains your hands when the blood spurts out.

Israelis don’t get their hands dirty. Israelis kill cleanly, elegantly, from a distance. With a pistol, or a rifle, or a machine gun, or a warplane. But a knife? Disgusting! That’s the way goyim do it.

But the stupid stabber used a knife. If he had killed Ali Hassan Harb with a pistol, rifle, machine gun, drone, warplane – he would have been immediately invited to a cabinet minister’s office and received a certificate of appreciation. The regional commander would have patted him on the back in comradery and taken a selfie with him. His picture would have been in the news, but instead he came with a knife. So now he's a homicide suspect. How embarrassing.

It turns out that the stabber is not just an idiot but also an ignoramus regarding the law. They forgot to teach him that leaving the house that day carrying a knife is in itself a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Now he wants to take refuge behind the claim of self-defense. He and his lawyer cannot expect to have an easy time with such a claim. After all, the stabber and his friends – that’s what was reported – entered land that didn't belong to them with the intention of building an “outpost” there. Building an outpost, tent or settlement on an someone else’s land, without permission and without authority, is an illegal act.

So we're dealing here with a claim of self-defense on the part of someone on land not belonging to him, who intends to carry out a criminal act there and kills someone with an unauthorized weapon. In other words, the claim is the peak of grotesque chutzpah. It's like a bank robber claiming self-defense and arguing that he killed a bank employee for resisting the robbery.

“Your honor,” the robber would tearfully tell the judge. “I felt threatened. He threw a chair at me that just missed my head.” And his lawyer would nod in full agreement.

Nonetheless, the trial – if it is ever held – may yield an important benefit: revealing the total absurdity of the slogan “I felt threatened.” That same mantra is uttered by anyone suspected of killing Palestinians. It's the contemporary equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly – and alas – there are still judges who buy the trick.

I actually rather identify with the slogan itself. I have spent most of my life with the feeling of being threatened: The government, police, military, media, bacteria, the next-door neighbor, French waiters, all of the world's drivers, armed settlers, dental hygienists … from all sides and everywhere. In spite of this, I haven't even killed a single person to this day. I’ve really missed out.

Maybe the year has come to abandon by wimpy habits and become a real man. In preparation for this revolution, I have already prepared a set of T-shirts for myself with appropriate slogans. On the front, they read: “Caution! I feel threatened,” and on the back: “So what? I felt threatened.”

Being a law-abiding citizen – even though the law is also one of the threats I face – I don't carry a knife of course. But I always, always have my faithful fork with me. Short-pronged, dairy, silver-plated and sterile – and in especially threatening cases – a spoon, too.

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